Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Fish once more.

Golden Schnapper from the Hinchinbrook Channel
The fish are biting again!
We're currently in the Hinchinbrook Channel, near Haycock Island, and yesterday afternoon Royden caught a beautiful golden schnapper - the biggest he's ever caught. It followed landing two nice bream (and the odd catfish which went straight back in).
The previous day, on our way across from the Palm Islands to the channel, we snagged a huge tuna mackerel which we were really excited about. It was a beautiful looking fish with plenty of meat on it.
However our fishing books informed us that it wasn't much good for eating. Reluctant to give in, we cut fine slivers of meat then marinated it in a spicy mix for several hours before searing it in a hot pan - all to no avail. It was chewy and had an odd taste (once you got past the marinade).
However, it has made excellent bait so it's not been wasted!
It's been so excellent in fact that just minutes ago something big grabbed the bait and took off, whipping the reel from the rod and bending the first carrier before breaking the line. Our guess is a shark!
Since my last Blog entry, we've had a week of land time before heading to sea once more.
While on land we took a trip south (half an hour away) to the small fishing village of Cungulla on the edge of Cape Bowling Green National Park to see what the cape looks like from `the other side'.
It was low tide and the sand and mudflats stretched for kilometres with the sea on the distant horizon. No chance of getting a catamaran in close to shore!
The view from Cungulla, on the edge of Cape Bowling Green
On the other side of the highway the mountains house a large camp ground on the Alligator Creek. Despite its name, the creek is way above sea level here and has some beaut swimming holes - with no crocs (or alligators).
Alligator Creek bordering the Cape Bowling Green National Park campground.
On the day we set out from Breakwater Marina the wind was howling and the waves breaking. Two years ago we would not have entertained the thought of going out in those conditions, but as we were only heading to Horseshoe Bay on Magnetic Island, these days it's bearable (though we did end up anchoring for a few hours off West Beach until the tide changed and the north-east swell eased a bit).
We anchored in Horseshoe on sunset and spent a lovely couple of days lolling about, including a bus trip to Nellie Bay and going to the Sunday morning handcraft market on the foreshore in Horseshoe. 
With the wind, tide and swell all in our favour we had a beaut sail through to the Palms on Monday but finding all the moorings taken in Little Pioneer Bay we pushed on to the Hinchinbrook Channel as the tide change favoured our entry - just!
Morning in Haycock Island in the Hinchinbrook Channel



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