23rd Oct 2017
Hi there Family and Friends,
Well if yesterday was special then today was magnificent to say the least. We arrived at Chesterfield Reef at about 0830 – look it up on GoogleEarth. It is a vast reef arrangement about 67nm long by 38nm wide containing a huge lagoon about 45m deep pretty much in the middle of absolutely nowhere. It has a variety of sand cays scattered around its perimeter and we are nestled in a group of them in the SE corner. Arriving in light wind we had men up the rat line scouring the horizon for land and surf – Cam gave us the ‘Land Ho’ signal first.
What hit us first was the absolutely iridescent turquoise water over the white sand as we approached the fringes of the lagoon – so much that any birds flying by with white underneath actually glow turquoise – we even saw clouds with a turquoise underside. We have decided that the most appropriate term for the colour is “Turquidescence”.

Once we approached the cays it became most evident that they are absolutely covered in about a gazillion birds including Boobys (red foot, yellow foot etc), Gannets, Frigate Birds and Terns of all types. They are roosting on every low shrubby tree, on the ground, in the grass and on the beaches everywhere. It seems to be the time of year for the young to arrive so there are a multitude of fuzzy fluffballs and attempted first flights alongside parents shading eggs pretty all over the place. The sound of their calls is perpetual and persistent and the fact that they don’t bump into each other without air traffic control or radar is phenomenal. Along with the birds we have enjoyed seeing a variety of fauna such as:

– Loggerhead turtles (yes Loggerhead turtles!!) They are SO big and are laying eggs at the moment – we gave up counting their tractor tracks up the beaches and are thinking about visiting at night to watch them lay.
– Sea snakes in the water.
– Black tip reef sharks, chased by our most wild hunters with spears and clubs.
– Bright red hermit crabs hiding in the shade of anything they can find, in large groups.
– While snorkelling we spotted fish of all colours including blue, yellow, striped yellow and black and bright coral trout.
– And we found gorgeous complete Nautilus shell.

A couple of other things to note:
– Cam is wearing a custom built ‘holiday shirt’ which was lovingly crafted by Suzi from two sarongs from Kupang – West Timor.
– Rob caught a decent Frigate Mackerel (a small Tuna) which has incredible red flesh – we enjoyed wasabi sashimi and curried fish, courtesy of our galley legend Gwylim, for dinner as a result.
– At sunset, we enjoyed some spectacular crepuscular rays and enjoyed learning a new word and a new nickname for Ray.
– We also enjoyed briefing Rob Latimer with a taste of the details of the day and our hopes for him to have a good day in the office, we received a one word reply……..
We will be hanging here for some exploration and relaxation and some jobs tomorrow before heading SW for SYD the following day.
Wishing you were here,

[Photos kindly provided by previous visitors]