Day 7 - Cateran Bay & Butterfly Bay 2:53pm, Wed 04 Jan 2017The northerly change came through at approximately 2am (1.53am to be precise) and made for a rolly early morning. Not any worse than Tongue Inlet and we were all again pleased to be aboard a decent size cat.
A few hours later, after breakfast, we loaded the tender and made the short trip to the beach. Rob, Jen and Kaitlyn headed to the back of the beach (behind the Cateran Bay sign) to sniff out a trail that might lead to the top of the mountain. Not really a trail, but there was enough resemblance of a path that had been used previously to navigate over the rocky crops and through the hundreds of black boys growing on the side of the cliff and reach the top. Kaitlyn absolutely loved the adventure and suitably met the challenge of large rocks and some tricky conditions that presented an obstacle to her reaching the summit!
The top of the hill was absolutely amazing. Looking down and seeing all of the colors of a perfect and picturesque bay was an experience very difficult to explain. The sense of adventure and solitary was reinforced by looking down and seeing only a single white dot in the bay- that was indeed our 38 foot sailing boat.
The exploring didn't stop there. Further exploration identified a rock pile that had been built from the many visitors to the summit.adding one rock each. Of course the toddler needed to find a large rock and insist on placing it on the top of the pile.
A short hike across to the other side of the summit revealed a series of beautiful bays that were calm in the northerly and had crystal clear water - next time these bays will provide for some excellent snorkeling and diving. Looking further East another long white beach on Deloraine Island looked inviting - again a destination to be properly explored perhaps on the next visit.
All the exploring was making us hungry so we found a suitably flat rock, laid out a towel and sat down for a an apple, banana and muesli bar - our very own hill top picnic.
The trip down the mountain was a bit more technical than the traverse up, but we all managed to make it down without any cuts or bumps.
Margaret had spent the time exploring the beach and found a number of small creatures and rocks.
Before heading off, we just had to find out what that big grey shape that kept appearing at the back of the boat with the batfish was. After a bit of exploring, we discovered it to be a massive resident giant trevally (GT)!
In the bay, the northerly was in full force and making things a bit bumpy so Rob and David abandoned plans for a high tide dive, and instead Destiny set sail for the calm waters of Butterfly Bay.
Our days sailing took us from Boarder Island around the northeastern end of Hook Island. On the way we passed Saba and Mackerel bays which are reportedly good for snorkeling and diving in the right conditions and the past Pinnacle, Manta Ray and Luncheon Bays and Maureen's Cove before arriving at the beautiful Butterfly Bay.
On arrival at Butterfly Bay we found the bay pretty much empty except for a couple of boats. Importantly, the third mooring in on the western side of the bay was available, which provides good access to the reef from the back of the boat. For the afternoon, we took the tender over and explored the beach and rocks on the eastern side of the bay. Kaitlyn played happily on the beach making a really long line of precious collectables and had a great time swinging from pandanus palms and landing in the soft white sand. Rob and Kaitlyn also went rock hopping along the shoreline, which gradually changed from sand to boulder rocks.