From Pancake Creek we got a weather window to head to the Swains Reefs, part of the Great Barrier Reef. We had high hopes for the diving out there - so an overnight sail in a falling wind was called for. The wind actually held longer than we had feared, and we sailed to within a few hours of the target reef - Pike Reef.
Unfortunately, the reef is in a pretty bad way. The diving was not great, even on the SE side. Lots of dead coral, not the huge number of fish we’d have hoped for and no sharks. I only mention the sharks as we’d been told they’re quite aggressive on the Swains Reefs - but we hardly saw any which is a concern when the apex predator is missing.
From Pike, we sailed to Isobel Bennett reef. Another nice spot, but we only stayed a night.
Then we moved onto the unnamed, 21-250 reef which supposedly had some great diving. Alas, we found the same as Pike - not much interest. We had planned two dives but after the first, we didn’t bother with the second. Such a shame! However, the weather had turned very nice and we enjoyed our time there.
Our final stop was Perfect Lagoon - a 2nm long, by 1nm wide lagoon with entrances at the north and west. Again we snorkelled and it was disappointing. With weather coming, we decided to head back towards the main land for a bit more protection. We had a great sail from Perfect Lagoon to Middle Percy covering the 90nm in 12hrs arriving just after dark.