They'd sent a boat around in the morning saying this was going to happen and there would be a ``bit of smoke, and maybe some ash, but the sunset should be nice''.
It was a beautiful day - little wind and smooth water. We moved to the southern end of the bay early to enjoy a snorkel and had climbed back in the dinghy, drifting around enjoying some more coral when the red firebombing helicopter appeared.
In a matter of minutes plumes of smoke were rising from the ridgelines. With an increase in the wind speed, flames were licking up and the smoke thickened.
By the time we got back to Sea Piper ash was falling on the decks. We had originally intended to sail across to Airlie tomorrow and restock for our return to Townsville and then Cairns but instead we headed across the Passage today.
|The red helicopter makes its appearance|
|Lighting up the ridgeline|
|Heading back to Sea Piper|
|Now that got rid of those tourists|
|The beautiful day reasserted itself once we were clear of Hook Island. Hayman Island to the north was also blotted out.|