Sailing to Picnic Bay

We were feeling a bit trapped in day to day trivia, so decided to take Pete for a sail and a night out on Maggie. With a light wind from the north, Picnic Bay was the obvious choice.

We have never anchored there before, so it was good to have a seasoned pilot with us. It was important to enter the bay by the reef marker, as the reef extends much further than you would have thought.

What a beautiful, sheltered anchorage it was!

Rocky cliffs ,with trees growing on them, surrounding a sandy beach, and no one else around. Just the sound of the call of the birds, and water lapping on the hull.

We saw kites and sea eagles diving onto the water, grabbing fish in their talons, then flying off to their eyries.

Turtles circled the boat, popping their heads up for a gulp of air, then diving down again.

It was very hot around midday, but by four it was very pleasant sitting on the trampolines with a cool breeze blowing on our faces with a glass of wine.

We played some music together after dinner, then unrolled our sleeping bags on the tramps and fell asleep to the sound of night birds, under the full moon.

Around eleven I was a bit too cold, and returned to my bunk, and had the best night sleep I’d had for weeks!

The next morning Peter guided us to a wreck of an old iron ship that had landed on the reef many years ago.

It was badly rusted with huge hole exposing the ribs, all the deck and  everything above had disintegrated. Oysters encrusted the outside, and mangrove trees had colonised the inside, herons had built nests,.Gradually nature was taking over.

We sailed back to Townsville after breakfast, vowing we would do this more often.

Full moon drumming every month is a delightful evening playing drums, cow –bells and agaogos under the stars, beside the sea, on the Strand with about a hundred other people. All ages, enjoying the Latin rhythms, and children dancing unselfconsciously in the middle of it all.

People out for a stroll stop and watch, then a drum is passed to them, hesitantly they join in. At first they are tentative, then the rhythm takes them over and they start  togive themselves to the beat, a huge smile on their faces.

Strangers talk to each other and friends are made, all thanks to the music.

After the drumming there is salsa dancing in the tropical night. And the full moon rises, reflected in the sea as a warm gentle breeze rattles the palm leaves.

We are reminded, once again that we are living in paradise.