Turtle Bay 8 Oct

Wayne and Liz drove up from Townsville to join us this afternoon. As soon as they arrived, bringing loads of food and wine, we set of to Fitz but decided to stop at Turtle Bay for the night instead, as it would be nearer to the reef f the weather is calm enough to go out tomorrow. Just as we had dropped the anchor another cat joined us so we called over for them to join us ashore for sundowners.

Turtle has a beautiful sandy beach that is inaccessible by road, so we had it to ourselves. It also has  a freshwater stream and pools, billabongs', pools left when a stream or river changes course. There is a waterfall, and a pipe carrying drinking water so you can fill your water bottles, but Wayne drank from it and seems to be safe from ill effects!

After a swim in the sea we sat in the billabong which was warm. The heat of the sun  had warmed the sand and you could still feel the heat rising from under your body, almost like sitting in a hot tub. If you wiggled your body into the sand even more heat was released We sipped champagne, looked at the beautiful trees and hills around us, and chatted with the other couple. Andrew and Vicky Hughes who told us about their time living on Fiji when he was the chief of police rooting out corruption. Unfortunately he fell out with Bainimarama and during the coup the family had two hours to get off the island for their safety, Andrew managed to leave five days later. They are not allowed back.

All around us cane toadpoles were swimming in the water, which explained the lack of birdsong in the bay. I must buy a shrimp net to scoop them out of the freshwater pools we come across on our travels, they are very easy to identify, they come to edge of the pool in groups, native tadpoles stay under vegetation, they are all black, poisonous so other fish in the pool won't eat them. So please if you see any kill them!!

We all went back to our boat for dinner, and to watch an amazing solar eclipse that lasted for several hours turning the full moon orange. Early to bed so we can get to the reef tomorrow before the wind gets too strong.