10 October 2011
*We are still in remote areas so this post is via Sailmail and I'll add the photo's later once we are within reception again. This morning we left Turtle Bay at the Wallabi Group and headed for Leo's on the Easter Group of the Abrohlos Islands only 20NM south. After a short sail past Beacon Island and the site of the Batavia wreck (with Chris providing a brief history lesson of the Batavia as we past this treacherous place) and later we motored to windward and arrived at midday where we rafted up with Illusion on the only available mooring within the bay. We quickly remembered from our previous visit 18 months ago how narrow the entrance to Leo's is and how limited the room once in the bay is with depths of 20m and suddenly only 2ft over the surrounding reef. A little nerve wrecking but not so difficult this being our second time in and without Drina screaming from down below as she had done previously. It didn't take us long to go ashore and seek out the massive Potato Cod in the island lagoon that we had found the last time. The Cod being originally placed in the lagoon and somewhat a protected pet of the local fishermen. We took a few small fish that Kieran had caught to entice the huge fish from their secret rock ledge. Chris was first in the icy water and confirmed they were still there followed by Kieran, Drina and Dianne. Unfortunately Chris was the only one that was able to see them after leaving them the fish as the water was easily stirred up and it was difficult to see them under the small rock ledge, but great to know they were still safe in their Island home. Next we returned to the sandy shore so that Bruce could give Kieran a diving lesson and opportunity to scuba as a belated birthday gift (Bruce being a professional diving instructor for many years prior to the cruising life). Kieran was very excited to have a try at scuba! I think Bruce was also keen to use his equipment that they had carted all this way and had hardly the opportunity to use. Even better there was a Sealion on the beach that took an interest in our activities and was soon in the water alongside. Both Chris, Drina and Dianne enjoyed a play with the Sealion in the shallow waters while they snorkelled and later Bruce and Kieran also played using the scuba gear underwater. Im not sure who enjoyed it more as the Sealion seemed to be having a lot of fun copying every move. It seemed particularly interested in Drina and even leapt out of the water over the top of her while she snorkelled and put its flipper on her back as she was on her way back to the beach! It was like playing with a playful puppy dog under water. What an amazing experience for everyone! Not only was it Kieran's first scuba but with a Sealion to play with made it even more special. This would definitely be a highlight of the trip and hopefully an experience the kids will cherish and remember. What a great day! Tomorrow will be a late start as we wait for good light to navigate the reef out of here and head towards Morley Island only 6NM along within the Easter Group.