We will leave Cairns late in the morning (Friday) heading for Lizard Island, about 140 nautical miles to the northwest. It is supposed to be a beautiful place where one can actually swim without worrying too much about crocodiles. We have not been in the water yet this year. First, it has been surprisingly cold for the season — down into the high 50’s at night. Second, the floods of the first months of the year led to large quantities of silt washing into the sea, reducing visibility. Third, Cyclone Yasi, which hit northern Queensland a few months ago, also stirred up the water and killed large areas of coral on the Great Barrier Reef. Friends who are currently at Lizard Island have communicated to us that the water is clear and the coral healthy there.
Today we went to the botanical gardens and strolled the boardwalk at sunset to watch the lorikeets congregate. The photo below is of the public pool where Laura has gone to swim at 7 am in the morning when it is still (relatively) frigid. At that time she can do laps. The second photo tells you why everyone swims in the large public pool, and not in the ocean.