We are afraid we haven’t much to share about our underwater endeavours. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate. It is the second time we have tried diving at the Solitary Islands, and the third time for our friends Waz and Lisa… these dive sites are proving elusive!
We managed to go snorkeling on the Friday at Split Solitary, but the visibility was poor… we did spot a turtle, a wobbegong (a kind of carpet shark), an angel fish and a few other little ones, but there were lots of particles in the water, so not good for photography. The next two days were very grey, a bit rainy, with some swell and too much current, so the dive trips to South Solitary and Groper Island did not happen.
We still had fun though. With Waz and Lisa planning to charter a catamaran in the Whitsundays next month, they were keen to get a few sailing pointers, so we went out of Coffs Harbour and taught them to steer in the swell, tack, jibe, set a course, reef, dodge the whales… We might have passed on the sailing bug! And of course we had a relaxing time all together and enjoyed glorious seafood.
Today we had intended to use the brief day of southerly wind to sail to Iluka, at the head of the Clarence River. But the forecast has changed and a combination of strong wind, 2 meter swell and confused sea would make the 60 miles passage and bar crossing a bit dodgy. So we haven’t left Coffs and this might well be as far north as we get this season. It is a bit disappointing as the Iluka breakwater is a rookery for terns and other birds and fantastic for photography especially in spring, with lots of little chicks! It will have to be for another time!
The northerly winds seem to have settled in, which is making any progress north difficult – lots of waiting for very short weather windows, unless we want to tack – and you know what we think of that! So instead we are going to start slowly heading south again.
So elusive Solitaries Islands diving and elusive bird watching! But the region is beautiful. We hope you still enjoy our images.