Friday, August 12, 2022

Fliteboard at Walkerville up and going - best session so far

Session 6. Best Fliteboard session so far!  

Flat water and very little wind made it very cruisy. I launched at Walkerville North and cruised up into Walkerville South and out to Bird Rock. 

I was cruising most of the time on power setting 6 and was able to stay on the foil. Lots of carved turns and no crashes.

This was definitely a magic carpet ride.

Getting back to shore at Walkerville North is tricky - there is a very narrow corridor of sand near the ramp to beach.  I bumped into some reef with the foil - next time  I will invert it when coming in.

Friday, August 05, 2022

Snorkelling at Mackay Cay and trip back to Port Douglas via Snapper Island and some whales

Last day of the trip. After breakfast we packed up camp on Mackay Cay then had did some great snorkelling on the reefs there.  These are some of the best corals I have seen on the Great Barrier Reef.

There was light wind so the trip back was fast and smooth. Approaching Snapper Island there was a whale and it calf swimming through between the island and the shore.

Snapper Island is a lovely spot for a short break.

We got back to Port Douglas in good time, everyone very happy with the trip.

This is one of the best kitesurfing adventures I have done. Brett and Vanessa's local knowledge of tides, locations and weather, sea craft, logistics and their good company made the trip outstanding.

Whale (spout)

Snapper Island

Snapper Island

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Kitesurfing Mackay Cay on the Great Barrier Reef and overnight on the Cay

Session 557. We packed up, had a hearty breakfast, left the Daintree Rainforest Lodge, got the gear onto the boat and cruised out to Mackay Cay, another Sandy Cay to the north of Undine Cay. There was some tour boats at the Cay when we arrived - the big 25m Sailaway cat and the RIB that brings people out from the Daintree on day tours.

We setup the beach shelter again and rigged up with good wind blowing.

The kitesurfing was fantastic again. Plenty of water over the reef and a nice sandy bottom around the Cay.  There were a few turtles in the water, fish darting about and even whales breaching far out to the north.

There was some small swell on the windward side of the reef that was fun to crank some turns in.

I kited all around the Cay again. I did one long run surfing the small waves along the windward side of the Cay along the edge of the reef. When I tacked at the end of the reef I was downwind of the Cay and a fair way out so I headed back to the Cay towards where boats were moored on the leeward side.

There were no snorkelers in the water as I passed downwind of the moored Sailaway cat and kept going on a port tack out to sea.

On my return starboard tack a motorboat was approaching me upwind also on a port tack but not giving way so I tacked and went out to sea again.

Returning on a starboard tack I was surprised to see the Sailaway cat had lifted anchor and was motoring directly towards me! He didn't give way so I passed downwind again. On my returning port tack, still downwind of the cay, I was surprised that Sailaway had stopped moving to put up sails and was in my way again. The skipper could have easily motored away upwind from me but chose to stop in my path. This was annoying and could have been dangerous. 

The Sailaway skipper even "complained" to Brett via SMS about me "passing too close to his boat and getting in his way". He is apparently oblivious of right of way rules. Tour boats should follow marine protocols.

I passed downwind of the cat and continued out to sea again for a considerable distance to get away from all the boats and succeeded in getting back to the cay.

Once the boats were gone we had the Cay to ourselves and the freedom to kite everywhere and solitude. 

We setup our swags then had a final kitesurfing session late in the afternoon. Vanessa crashed her kite then I dropped mine trying to retrieve her board. Brett came out in the RIB to retrieve us.

And excellent dinner during sunset and a warm fire on the sand made for a very pleasant evening.

The swags were very cosy and no crocs visited or were sighted!

The clouds parted during the night to reveal the stars. It was a great night's sleep.

Leaving Cape Tribulation

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Kitesurfing Undine Cay to Cape Tribulation downwinder

 Session 556. I was very keen for a downwinder and Brett was happy to provide boat support to get back to Cape Tribulation.

After a quick feast of delicious local prawns I headed off towards Cape Tribulation. The wind was strong direction was good. After a short distance I waited for the RIB then kited next to it. The surface was uneven with some chop.

It was much smoother in the wake of the boat - I was able to crank up the speed and keep up with the boat. 

About 1km off the cape I dropped my kite in clear blue water then Brett manoeuvred to get my board and kite then we headed into the beach.

This fast and scenic downwinder was a highlight of the trip for me and capped off a wonderful day of kitesurfing.

Photo and video credit: Vanessa Carey