Wednesday, March 25, 2009 Cruising Day 10 Great Barrier Reef

Last night the Great Barrier Reef pilot came on board the ship.  It will be his and our pleasure over the next 3 days to listen to his experience on the Reef as he tells of the history of this awesome area.  We’ll be regaled with stories from the past some of which I’ll mention later.

The reef system is amazing, we basically passed by one reef after

another all day. Pelican Island didn’t have any Pelicans, they migrate to cooler climes for the season but a nearby island did have a few stragglers.  There’s even an island that provides fresh water, can’t remember the name now, but it’s the standard stopping place for many smaller yachts and boats to pick up fresh supplies.  It’s marked with a big "W" on one of the many boulders.  As we advance along the Great Barrier Reef, I’m amazed and how many rocks are sticking out of the water. 

I can understand why our Reef Pilot, Captain Wallace Cray is aboard.  He’s a fabulous narrator and provides a tremendous amount of history about the whole area.  He started his career in 1960 and in 1986 gained an unrestricted license as a Great Barrier reef pilot.  He’s worked as a pilot for the last twenty three years and a Cruise ship pilot for the last 18 years.  His interest in the complex tidal patterns in Torres Strait and electronic navigation led to a leading role in developing "Keel Clear", an under keel clearance tool for piloting the waters.








South of Pelican Island

Boulders split during ice age






A busy day, Gert went to another cooking demonstration and then an ice carving demo on the Lido deck while Pat went to a knitting/crochet group gathering.

Chicken stuffed with Mango

Ice carving on the Lido deck






Overnight passage through the Great Barrier Reef is prohibited so tonight we anchored off Piper Island,  within sight of where Captain Bligh (after the mutiny on the Bounty) arrived after using only dead reckoning and his memory of navigating for Captain Cook years earlier. After a two thousand plus mile journey he was out by only 17 miles!

The whole area is just a wealth of history and has seen explorers such as James cook, William Bligh and Mathew Flinders. 

Captain Cray will provide us with a documentary about Bligh on Friday, which we’re planning on attending.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009 Cruising Day 10 Great Barrier Reef — 2 Comments

  1. Yar, mateys… beautiful views, cooking demos (really? amazing!), cooking classes, a sense of history… that’s the life. Gerrit, will you demonstrate the cooking you learned when you get back? 🙂

  2. I hope not! have you tasted Gerrits cooking 🙂 just joking: Honest!

    I hope they are not “real” dolphins jumping out of that pool!
    Stay cool you two.