Fantastic Fitzroy Reef

Our second stop along the Outer Reef and the Capricornia Cays is Fitzroy Reef.  This time there is no cay (island), just a fringing reef encircling an aqua lagoon and allowing a narrow entrance to visiting yachts.  

 

Fitzroy Reef-3

Arrival at Fitzroy Reef… It is a narrow entrance!

This is an absolute jewel.  It is strange to find ourselves inside the lagoon, protected, yet in the middle of the ocean.  At high tide there is nothing but sea all around us, with a fine dark line marking the perimeter of the lagoon.  At low tide the brilliant colours of the reef and lagoon are dazzling: turquoise over sand, yellowish over the reef rim and coral platforms, and deep ultramarine on the outside; and all this under a deep blue sky with white puffy clouds.  Unlike North West Island, there are few birds here since there is nowhere for them to nest.  We see a few Noddies and the beautiful Black-napped Terns.

Bridled Tern

Black-naped Tern preparing to land on our dinghy!

But the highlight here is what lurks beneath: the coral platforms and bommies inside the lagoon are stunning and incredibly diverse with the variety of shapes and colours, and the jaw dropping beauty and quantity of the fish make this reef a very precious place we must strive to protect.

We saw the reef in all its moods: calm, sunny, idyllic conditions, then threatening and stormy when a strong change came through, making us very aware of our isolation and distance offshore.

Fitzroy Reef is by far the best we have ever, ever seen.  Having it to ourselves most of the time made it an incredible experience. It was hard to select from the hundreds of photos we took.  But this gallery will you a glimpse of the wonders we saw over the three days we spent there.

25 thoughts on “Fantastic Fitzroy Reef

  1. Great catch Wade! Fitzroy Reef really does look amazing!
    It’s great to see you both enjoying the ‘Take It Easy’ lifestyle. Wish we were there with you.
    xx

  2. Amazing photos and situation. Was that surf I saw in the far distance – Were you near an outer reef where surf was breaking?

    • Ah oui, c’était mieux que Lady Musgrave pour les coraux et les poissons, et sans touristes, mais pas de promenade possible à terre! Bisous💕

  3. wow, looks fantastic!! And I guess with dark clouds moving towards you it felt rather strange to be surrounded by water everywhere and knowing that there is only one potential exit point…

    • Hi Hubert, it was amazing. And yes, being in a lagoon can be idyllic, but it can turn sour and dangerous really quickly. Really strong wind in a lagoon can lead you to drag anchor; the reef is unforgiving and navigating through the narrow exit in 35kn winds and at night would be horrible… We dragged in the 35kn change and had to put 2 anchors out in tandem plus a lead buddy… Stressful exercise in shitty weather! But it was still light, so we could see where we were going and knew we were set good and proper. We like to sleep at night!

  4. Wow how good is that. The snorkelling looks fantastic. Wadie you have perfected fishing, well done. I remember your first off the coast, and that shark!

    • Well Sue, Wadie impressed me with his first ever spear gun shot: a beautiful stripey snapper – tasted good! And that big mulloway he is holding inside the cockpit kind of caught itself on the line left hanging on TIE while we were snorkelling! Got to laugh 🙂

  5. Incredibly clear water. Clearer than the Maldives. You have been busy. We are sailing our Tri to the Equator in early Feb. Bit nervous but lots of support as it is part of an organised event.
    http://www.neptune-regatta.com/main.aspx I resigned from work as well so more sailing to be done.

    All the best
    Phil

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