We were expecting to spend a few more days in Lizard Island, as were almost a dozen boats at anchor there, until two National Park Rangers came by the day before yesterday to tell us that they were going to start a controlled burn of brush and grass the next day and that we should strongly consider leaving. That was a bolt out of the blue. Yesterday morning early, quite a few boats left for the longish passage to the next secure anchorage, Flinders Island, about 75 miles away. About 6 boats decided to stay and see how much smoke and ash there would be.
Sabbatical III left to try anchoring behind tiny Eagle Islet about 5 miles away. We were prepared to sail on if we could not find secure anchorage there. With Laura up in the mast to look for coral and rocks, we anchored fairly comfortably in uncharted waters. This morning, the second days of fires at Lizard, five other boats came over to join us after we told them that Eagle Islet was a decent anchorage and the smoke and ash at Lizard became worse. At least we had the opportunity to hike the two best trails at Lizard. The newly arrived boats did not hike at all and the trails are closed for 4 more days.
White is Scarborough, Yellow is Lizard Island, Red is Darwin