Duplicat's Diary

Lady Musgrave
by Rick at 20:05:32, 2021-12-14 (day 2781)

Its been quite windy whilst we’ve been here, and we had a day of squalls which was a bit damp. Very tropical weather… After the squalls we’ve had wonderful weather. Sunny, warm but with enough wind to keep everything a pleasant temperature.

We‘ve managed to snorkel a bit, and get some boat jobs done. When the wind calmed down we went ashore for a walk around the (tiny) island and despite not having seen any signs of life on the island, found quite a few camped there. I knew there was a campsite, and that it was fairly popular (though limited in numbers) - we’d not seen lights or anyone on the beach during the winds. They’d been hiding out on the leeward side out of the wind.

Last night we went ashore at sunset with a picnic and settled ourselves on the beach. Over sandwiches and wine, we watched the turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. I’d done this last year, but this was a first for Nina. Whilst I was checking on one turtle a little way from our camp, a large turtle came out of the sea and over the next 20minutes crawled right past Nina within a few metres of her.

Soon we had half a dozen turtles digging in the sand near us, with more in the shallows starting their slow haul up the beach. The digging goes in phases, and they are quite slow. The first phase is digging out the nest. You could often hear coral fragments chinking off other rocks as the turtles used their front flippers to dig down. After that, they use the rear flippers to dig out an egg chamber. Once thats done, there’s a bit of a pause - then the egg laying starts. At that point, we can use a bit of light to see - but we were aware there were other turtles around not yet in that phase, so we kept light to the minimum. Sorry, no photos. However, it was a wonderful experience and Nina loved it.

On the last of the SE winds, Jadean arrived into the lagoon (late last night). Looking forward to catching up with them today. Tomorrow we leave early to make another jump south towards Fraser Island.