The seasonally predominant southeast winds had abated, providing a window to start the journey southbound.
The first stop was at beautiful Fitzroy Island (near Cairns) before making an early start back into the Whitsunday reefs.
Dodging an early morning thunderstorm quickly building over Sudbury Reef (our originally planned stopover), we replanned to head further south motoring close to the coast initially.
By lunchtime, we had turned east, heading away from the coast toward Howie Reef.
Late evening and early morning fishing were fantastic. With a mackerel already on ice, our target was one Coral Trout.
The following coral trout catch took 30-seconds. In this video, we have slowed it down by 50% and the lure can be seen going down on larger screen devices, difficult on mobiles.
After a pleasant morning losing plastics at Howie reef, the winds were still very light. It was decided to head further south for Beaver Reef. Around 16:00hrs, the anchor was set in this stunning piece of paradise.
The morning broke with utter tranquillity. The water was so clear and still, that we could see the anchor and chain as clear as day coiled in an arc, 8-metres below.
The area was teaming with fingerlings, occasionally breaking with a predator on the loose. A snorkel soon revealed the charms and wonder of this remote protected group of reefs. A stunning video is on our channel about the footage taken here. If you are yet to see this - CLICK HERE.
I would rate this spot in my top 20 (in the right wind).
Our stay was short as forecast winds were due to develop in the direction we were heading, so a late start after lunch saw us on our way further south, finally setting anchor at Magnetic Island at 01:00hrs.
The next morning we were into the Townsville Breakwater Marina.