It wasn’t all work and no play, after Cooktown, we spent 8 days on lizard island waiting for the winds to calm. The island had been smashed by the recent cyclone so the only resort was closed. Meaning besides a few clean up crew, and a couple of other yachts, the island was essentially ours and we made the most of it.
We were anchored right on the edge of the reef, literally able to step off the back of the STNT and swim with the fishes. Being a protected marine park the fish were plentiful. It was pretty beautiful. We spent the first couple of days snorkelling across the coral until some scared German sod from another yacht called wolf and claimed to have seen a crocodile. Swimming was no longer allowed after that, on the plus we got out of scrubbing the hull of the boat.
After the crocodile claim we turned our sights on the island itself. Every day going ashore exploring another corner, often ditching the tracks and going bush. These were good times. Plus being off the boat also gave us plenty of time to vent about our travelling nudist companions. More so luke, he liked to vent, usually I was able to calm him down on these walks, remind him of the big picture, have a laugh about the situation and then return revitalised ready for our awaiting jobs back on the boat. We soon learnt to make a lot of noise when we returned on the dingy, as I think the nudists enjoyed us leaving the boat as much as we did. Luke was too quick one time, jumping out of the dingy up onto the boat only to catch a surprised bare arsed Andre doing a quick dash down into his cabin.
As I was ending a very promising relationship with an amazing girl for this adventure, Luke was doing the opposite and starting one. It was a flash in the pan love story with an American backpacker he had only meet two weeks prior before we left. I thought he was being a bit blind to the true situation in front of us but he was completely smitten with her. So like a good friend I supported him, hopeful it could be the thing to slow him down as he is a massive party animal and big drinker. Too big for me to ever keep up. When rumour spread through the yachts that there was phone reception up the summit of the highest mountain on the island, Luke was gone. Everyday after we were told the news Luke was up there every chance he had. Talking to the Mrs. I swear he would have camped up there if he didn’t have to come back to recharge his phone.
It was pretty funny how far gone he was, sometimes frustrating as one time he disappeared to talk sweet nothings with my phone still in his backpack, leaving me up the mountain phone less unable to make the most of it. I walked around for a good half an hour calling his name like an angry parent looking for their trouble making son “LUKE! Where are you!? Stop hiding!” only to have him resurface just as it was time to make our decent and head back. “Where the bloody hell were you?” Said me annoyed yet amused by the situation, “Just over there…” Replied the innocent faced Luke, “Oh, by the way your phone rang”. Yeah cheers mate, bit late now.
When it came time to leave lizard island, we really felt like we had made the most of our time there. We were happy and hopeful for the next adventure. Keen to explore more of the east coast and to do some more sailing. Looking back now, lizard island really was the highlight of the trip. I couldn’t have known then how stressful and different the following weeks would be…