Magnetic Island to Orpheus Island

Ok, well we made it to Orpheus Island, but due to circumstances beyond my control, and it has something to do with a boat we have been racing for the last 4 days, I am not in a position to give you the latest update.  But it was a great sail today despite the forecast and I will give all the details tomorrow morning. We plan to stay here tomorrow.  It is really a great place and we are snug for the night.

Allan and Hilary.

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Magnetic Island

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An enthusiastic people observer on the way to the Fort.

Today we stayed at Magnetic Island to get some food, though not much, but moreover, we wanted to see some of the sights of this island.  It is a very pretty place and it is serviced by good transport.  The Bus ran across the island every hour or so. so we figured we could fit in a few things along the way.

However, last night was interesting.  We had a party boat beside us and they decided to party on until about 0200.  Now the music was not bad and the noise was not too obtrusive, the only problem was the owner loved the Eagles and would keep repeating songs he liked.  We had four renditions of “hotel California”, one after the other, then the Beach Boys and well it went on and on and we only heard about 3 different songs in the hour.  One of the guests was leaving for about 2hrs, then he finally went swimming! I am not sure if that was the intended approach to his leaving… He asked the other guests to join him, which came with a resounding no!  They had read the sign about the crocodiles, sharks and marine stingers that frequent the place.  But that act was the final act which did sort of stop the party, except we had to hear for one more time “Hotel California”.  I use to like that song….

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The travels for today. Blue is by bus, yellow is walking.

Anyway, back to the road trip on the bus.  The first stop was the Fort.  I came to the island over 50 years ago, and I vaguely remember visiting something like this whilst here.  However, I am yet to confirm that this is the case.  Anyway, the Fort was indeed a fort which was set up in WW2 to defend the entrance to Townsville.  It was very large and quite complex.  A lot of it has gone now, but there is still plenty to see.  It is located on top of a reasonable mountain (250m) and the views are outstanding.  There were an enormous number of tourists walking up the track, but this did not detract at all.  I recon we heard about 10 different nationalities as we walked up the rather hot and dry track.  There were Koalas in the trees, which were very easy to spot because of all the cameras pointing in one direction.  The track took us a couple of hours to get back to the bus stop where we again waited for the bus.  It was packed when it finally arrived, but we managed to find a seat.

The drive then continued to Arcadia, which was the next beach on the Southern side of the island.  Another spectacular beach, with a fairly steep and a little concerning ride down the hill to it.  There was some comments about the lack of seatbelts on the bus, but then there seems in general a lack of any motoring sense on this island.  It is also the place where all the mini-mokes of the world ended up as well as Suzuki Sierras and now they hire them out as the transport, along with the many scooters which struggle significantly over all the hills.  This is all mixed up with lots of people, buses, 4 wheel drives and tourists who can’t even drive on the LHS, on roads that don’t look like they have been attended to for about 50 years.

We then traveled to the old port for the island and went to a museum which was centred around an old resort located on the island.  When I was here last, I am sure we must have went to see it, but I don’t remember it.  A picture is provided below at about the same time we visited.  I do remember the bus that we had in those days, and that was an open side thing, which I vaguely remember a picture off.  It was confirmed by one of the old standing locals at the museum.  Then back on the bus to the IGA store to pick up a few veges and fruit, then on the bus again to go back to the boat.

It took us most of the day, but it was a lot of fun.  Moreover, the dingy was still there when we returned.  I anchored it way out in the morning, which mandated a swim this morning to get back to the beach, but when we returned at low tide it was almost on the beach.  It looked like a 3m tide today.  I suppose I should know, but when you don’t have too, you don’t want too!

So back to the boat where we decided we should stock up on water, so back in the dingy with the empty cans (40l) and filled them up at a tap in the park, dumped our rubbish and transported the water back to the boat.  I then decided to have a nice swim as it was pretty warm today (around 30C) and we fixed a shackle up on the anchor bridal.  We are a bit more paranoid about these things now.

Tomorrow the weather is light winds, but we will go north and maybe we will make Orpheus Island, but may not too.  We will just have to see how we will go.  I’m not too keen on another day of motoring, as we could not pick up fuel here.  The bus terms and conditions of use did not specifically say that you couldn’t carry fuel drums full of fuel on board the bus, but I somehow think there was a line we might have been crossing by doing so…  I think the groceries were ok, but 20l of diesel may be interesting….  So as a result we only have the fuel we picked up at Airlie Beach hence, I don’t want another big day with motoring, especially as the whole next week looks very light winds.

Allan and Hilary.

 

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The munition store on the way to the fort.
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The sign at the gun. It gives you a bit of history.
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The gun emplacement.
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Looking south to Cape Cleveland, where we motored passed yesterday. Cape Bowling green is 65km to the south, and you can’t see it.
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Looking down into one of the many pretty bays on the island
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Horseshoe bay from the Fort
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Townsville from the Fort
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Panorama from the Fort looking SE
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Another picture of Horseshoe bay, including some of the houses
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Part of the Fort
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A pretty flower in the midst of a dry hot track
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Me on the walk.
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A picture of the first guesthouse on the island, about the same time I visited it in the 60’s.
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Well the sunset was not brilliant, but still acceptable 3/10

Cape Bowling Green to Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island

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Around 0700 from Cape Bowling Green

Today was a perfect day for wateskiing.  Not a ripple for 12 hours.  We sort of knew it was going to be pretty calm, but we were expecting some wind.  The wind we got was the normal SW in the morning, which is always there, but never predicted.  We picked that up for about 2 hours and got about 15km, until I had to give in and start the motors.  You will see on one of the photos we were traveling at 0.0km/hr in 0.0 knots of wind.  We had to do 65 km, so we pretty well motored all the way.  We were teased a couple of times when the wind picked up to a bit more than 5knots, but after stopping the motors it quickly faded away.  After about the 5th tease, I gave up and resigned myself to motoring all the way.

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I have to say that when it is that calm you do tend to see a lot of sea life.  We saw something that was very big which was air breathing and I assume a mammal, or a really large turtle, a yellow snake, which was about 1m long, about 50mm thick, but it did not have a flat tail like a normal sea snake (and it was not within sight of land), a lot of large finned fish, a shark that was about 1.5m long, maybe a little bigger, and various birds.  So excitement everywhere….

We got to Horseshoe Bay around 1400, and I decided to scrape the rudders as they were building up in slime.  It was not a big deal, but it was an ideal opportunity to do it.  We then went into the town.  It is something out of the 1970’s, with a few shops, holiday makers (it is school holidays here) and about 30 boats.  We ended up having dinner out at the pub tonight and both agree next time we only need to buy one meal between the two of us.

My observations are Cape Bowling Green is flat and green, Cape Cleveland (the next one north) is rocky and very mountainous, and Magnetic Island is as rocky as they come and showed no sign of a magnetic deviation as we got close, as Caption Cook claimed.

Tomorrow we will explore the island.  The weather is a bit more windy, but not a lot.  After that I am not sure where we will end up but will move north as far as the wind will take us.

And no sunset today as we were in the pub when that happened.

Allan and Hilary.

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Morning at Cape Bowling Green
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The final point of Cape Bowling Green. We anchored just inside it.
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Motoring north from Cape Bowling Green
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The tablet tells you the speed of the boat in km/hr (and it reads 0.0) whereas the instrument at the bottom tells you the wind speed relative to the boat in knots, and it also reads 0.0. Basically you can conclude there was not a lot of wind.
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Cape Cleveland
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Magnetic Island with about an hour to go.
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Horseshoe Bay is just around that first point.
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Some of the rocky outcrops on Magnetic Island
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Horseshoe bay looking west
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Horseshoe bay looking East
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The main street, albeit the town centre is at the end of the picture
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A pretty bird we saw
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Looking north from were we are anchored at Horseshoe Bay
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A panorama view of the bay
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Now I am not sure why the toilets are part of the general warnings, they weren’t that bad.
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The beach side park at Horseshoe Bay

Cape Upstart to Cape Bowling Green

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Sunrise over Cape Upstart

Today was going to be a bit interesting with the weather, as it was suppose to be light this morning, building to 15-20 knots after 3pm.  Well that was one forecast.  We use two, one from the BOM (Au meteorology) as well as one called Windy.  The BOM seems to be conservative, were as Windy seems to be accurate.  Well as it turned out BOM was pretty good today.

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Overall Picture

So we left  Cape Upstart, which is actually a really nice place.  If you could go bushwalking up the mountains, you would have a fantastic view.  It would be a place to follow up from the land.  Anyway, we left with no wind.  Not one knot, I mean no wind.  We motored for about 15 minutes and eventually we found some wind, which built and built from the South, which was great.  We moved across Upstart bay very nicely.  There was even whitecaps and we got moving at 20km/hr (11knots).  I said to the Chief if this keeps up we will get to magnetic Island, but I sort of knew it wasn’t going to persist.  Sure enough it dropped out after about 20km.

We had another boat tailing us and worse, catching us. Seems that the rule is if there are two boats there is a race.  Well we were flopping around in the last of the wind and this boat just went past us.  Seems he could also do that when the wind went to 3 knots.  I can’t prove it, but seems that engine of his was running.  However, after 8 hours, we did eventually catch him, but did lose the start, even if I was competing with an engine.

Well at 1000 the wind stopped, well we had 3 knots and we persisted without resorting to the engines for an hour an half, and then the wind started to come in and in the right direction.  It was again one of those magical afternoon of sailing.  We had 10 to 15knots and just on the beam.  We were flying along for a few hours.  Just getting faster ever 10 minutes.

But I will say, just as well.  The scenery was something very close to boring.  We went past the mouth or delta of the Burnett River, which looks kind of flat.  At least it was sandy so sort of nice to look at.  A few houses here and there, but boy there was not a lot there.  We listened to the radio (4TO=4MMM) most of the day until they had a special on AC/DC, which is not exactly fitting for the cruise, so we went to our own music for a few hours.  But it is sort of nice not having to worry about anybody else.  So we could have the music as loud as we wanted.  It was nice just going along, kind of without a care, other than the forecast which may required us to reef the sail.  Big deal….  We got in before the stronger winds as it turned out and just had a great day.

We did see another 2 boats, so that was kind of exciting, but that was it for the day.  No whales either, but plenty of fish and turtles, or at least something that was on the surface.  So a much nicer day today, and yes the sun was out, so that makes it feel a lot more friendlier.

As we approached Cape Bowling Green, we understood where the name came from.  It is flat and green.  VMR Burnett advised to give the Cape a wide berth as it is shifting north, so we did that.  We negotiated all the sand banks to the north of the cape.  Seems the map was pretty accurate.  Apart form that a relaxing day.  We did have thoughts to go onto Magnetic Island as the forecast for tomorrow is absolutely no wind.  But we did 70km today and a top speed of 20km/hr, over 8 hours.  That was enough.

Tonight we have TV.  Wow.  It is amazing as we don’t really have much of a radio as it drops out all the time, and the TV comes and goes, but you take what you can get.  4TO has actually been good to listen too with lots of good songs, so we try to get that when we can.  We occasionally hear the news, but I have concluded it makes no difference to the outcome whether I listen to it or not.

Anyway, a bit of a boring update, but it was a fun day and all is good.  With a bit of luck we will get to Magnetic Island tomorrow, but possibly only to Cape Cleveland.  We will see.

By the way, thanks for all the comments regarding the maps.  Apparently, a map is important, but maybe not the first thing.

Allan and Hilary.

 

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Leaving Cape Upstart
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Cape Upstart in fine weather
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Not a lot of wind….
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Well not very interesting scenery as we look towards the mouth of the Burdekin delta
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Hilary on her perch
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Cape Bowling Green looking south (if it matters)
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Cape Bowling Green looking north. Notice the difference???
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Looking east across Cape Bowling Green whilst at anchor. The cape is about 2m high and just a bit of sand. It comes from the Burdekin river
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Sunset no.1
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Sunset No. 2. Well a 5/10

Gloucester Point to Cape Upstart

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Sunrise looking south through Gloucester Passage

Today we don’t start with the map because the superior person has informed me that:

a) the blogs are too long; and

b) the maps are boring and it doesn’t entice people to read on.

So you now have a sunrise as the first picture, just to entice you to read further.  You can tell me if it works.  Also I am making it shorter as well, mainly because I am buggered after today.

Anyway, here’s the maps for today.

So today we woke up at 0530 as we had a reasonably big day and the weather forecast the previous night was indicating that we needed to get to Cape Upstart before 1500 before the wind picked up to around 20knots.  We typically average 10km/hr (6knots), so I figured with the winds predicted (10-15knots form the SE) we would do a bit better than average, but it was still going to take 8hrs.

Anyway, the rain that was suppose to come last night, didn’t.   Also the easing of the wind didn’t seem to be happening either, in fact it was the windiest morning we had for the last week.  But the forecast still said 10-15knots, but increasing to 15-20knots at 1500.  So press on we did.  We very quickly learned that it was more like 15-20 knots in the morning, and later we discovered it easing to 5 to 10 knots in the afternoon.  As we were heading for Bowen, we encountered whitecaps everywhere with the 20knots of Southerly wind.  I mean everywhere.  It was more white than not and around 1-2m in height.  We had reefed the sail and we were progressing under control, but I do admit one gust caught us and we reached a top speed of 20km/hr (11knots) for a few minutes as we surfed down and across a wave.  That woke us up a bit, so I took control over from the autopilot until things settled down a bit and all was good.

After we passed Bowen, the wind came in a bit more but the seas settled down to less than 1.5m although a couple of swells greater than 2m came rushing through, with one coming over all of the steps and wetting our feet.

The next point we had to get around was Abbot Pt, which has a huge jetty on  it (which was of course in the way, another gybe required…) and about 7 large ships waiting for somebody to take a line to tie them up at it.  Also came across a police boat, but fortunately for Hilary they let us through.  (Hilary doesn’t read the blog so I can get away with that one…).  At every land projection we became accustom to larger waves and generally more wind, and Abbot Point was no different.  In addition, the wind shifted direction which meant we had to go closer to the land, which was actually sort of good as the waves dropped down.  Also the wind started to drop as well and we could see that rather than being windier at Cape Upstart, we were going to have the problem of little wind, but plenty of large waves to contend with.  Indeed, we did and we sloshed around for a good hour trying to get past the Cape’s Southern corner, then another hour trying to get past the Northern corner.  But all worth it in the end as we are at a nice anchorage, very well protected.  Also the rain basically held off till the last hour and when we finally put the anchor down, it rained consistently for about 3 hours.  We didn’t get that much, but I saw on the news that about 100km away they got over 150mm.  I am glad we missed that!

Today we ended up doing 100km in about 8 hrs.  So a pretty nice average for the day.  The only mishap was I fell over during one of the gybes and hurt both knees as I slid into the side of the cabin and now I sporting a few more bruises.

Well tomorrow is expected to be fine and light winds.  So we will most likely be heading for Cape Bowling Green, about 70km away to the North.

Allan and Hilary

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Abbot Point coal loading jetty
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I know it doesn’t look bad, but we had 2m of swell with chop at times
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Cape Upstart looking North
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Rounding the top of Cape Upstart. The actual cape is on the far right
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Cape Upstart looking East after round the Cape
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A settlement at Cape Upstart. I don’t think there are many building regulations enforced here.
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Looking North from our anchorage at Cape Upstart.
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The sunset. Not bad, maybe 6/10

Stuck at Gloucester Point

It has definitely been a relaxing couple of days as the wind has been coming in from the SE at considerable speed.  We have been recording wind gusts in excess of 25knots, but mostly around 20knots.  Anyway, we decided we need a break from sailing every day anyway, so we settled in at Gloucester point.  I seem to recall we had a rest at Airlie as well and only sailed for 4 hours to here.  But these are details, and as they are unsupportive to the argument at hand, it probably is not worthwhile mentioning right now.

We could have anchored closer to the point to make it a little less rocky, but in reality, there was not a lot of difference in the state of the sea as the waves seem to come from Gloucester Passage as well as from the south and meet where we are all anchored.  The only big deal is the boat trip to the beach.  If we don’t get the dingy up on the plane, we all end up pretty wet.

So what have we been doing.  Well not a lot actually.  A lot of reading of books, which don’t have to be very interesting to be amusing.  We went to the resorts yesterday seeking out a shower, and after a coffee and a very nice bun, we found out all you have to do to get the key to the shower was buy some food.  So we set out to go to the boat to get our stuff, but when we arrived, Hilary had a message from her cruising facebook account that there was somebody at the same beach who was from the same port (Newport) where we started from.  So we decided to go over to them instead and have shower and dinner after that.  Well the shower and dinner never happened, and we spent all afternoon and half the evening talking about boat stuff, cold wars, crazy leaders. Chinese 316 stainless that rusts (it shouldn’t) and the such.  We then left to go back to the boat in the usual 20knots of breeze in our dingy, which started to look a little small in the pitch black of night and plenty of waves.  All we had to aim for was our mast light, which seemed an awful long way away!  But after sloshing around a bit being nice and slow and cautious, it was decided to get the mighty dingy on the plane, close our eyes (Hilary only apparently..) and  head for the light, which was reflecting off the waves to give the fearless (well fearful, but who really knows..) driver some idea if there was something in the water in between the dingy and the boat.  Made it to the boat without incident and dry as well, much to the silent appreciation of Admiral Hilary and then  Commander Allan steered the ship to dock at the rear of the Commanding ship and promptly got a wave over the bow which soaked the Admiral and the Commander, but nothing more, albeit, the Admiral had some very unappreciated comments to make about the Commanders driving ability.  We docked the mighty boat, pulled it up out of the churning sea and tried to watch the ABBA special on TV.  Well that was sort of successful, but we kept losing the signal.  So we aren’t too sure about the re-union they were talking about.

This morning the weather was the same, but looked a little better, but we decided to stay for now as I wanted to fix the hot water system.  I had started this yesterday, but had not finished it.  Anyway, this was rather difficult as it is all inside a very tight cupboard, and the boat was rocking a bit.  Should have anchored closer to the beach..  The problem with the system was that the take off point was high up in the hot water tank.  It was designed to take the hot water of course, which is theoretically at the top of the tank.  Well theory gave way to the fact the the pump which pressurises the hot water from the tank for dispensing to the taps, could outpump the pump which replentishes the tank, and as the drain is from the top of the tank, you very quickly run out of hot or any water.  So this required that the theory be disbanded and an outlet on the bottom be used instead.  Of course the tank is full of water, so any undoing of fittings, on the top and especially the bottom resulted in significant water going everywhere.  So we found a way to drain the tank, most of which went into a bucket, which I carefully kicked over whilst struggling to put a fitting on, thus assisting in washing the saloon floor.  We needed to that anyway…  Anyway, after about 4 hours of struggling, finding additional fittings, rerouting plumbing so as to scrounge the appropriate fittings from the existing system (Bunnings is not down the road, and they don’t sell the fittings anyway), we were all good.  I was very proud of the new system as it was less complex, more efficient and I was really keen to see this work.  I then had to put the float switch back as the last job.  That is really easy, but I thought I would do my diligence and check if it was working.  Well much to my surprise, it wasn’t. It was a week ago. It was always open circuit no matter where the float was, so in multiple attempts to figure out how this lovely sealed unit worked, I discovered from the internet that it was a magnetic reed switch.  Unfortunately, in my attempts to see how it worked (and really I had given up), I drilled out the centre of the device, where the reed switch must have been.  Unit destroyed.  No problems, I have two more, unfortunately, after turning the boat upside down, they apparently are in Brisbane….

So we went and had a shower at the resort after buying lunch.

More socializing again tonight and then hopefully we will be off tomorrow, but I must admit it, it looks a little windy, but should be ok, but they are predicting rain, not showers, but rain.  I don’t think we have seen that since last May.  So I am not looking forward to the usual lovely weather.  Worst of all it is building up now, so they might actually be right.  If we get going we might reach Cape Upstart before the rain, but if not maybe we can hide behind Abbot Point.  That doesn’t look particularly inviting, especially if you are not a crocodile, but we will see.

Sorry not many pictures, as it is kind of the same as before.  A couple of pictures to show what it looked like from the boat, but it sort of doesn’t show much.  The noise is far more impressive.

By the way, the sunset yesterday was a 9/10, but I didn’t have a camera with me.  You will just have to come and see for yourself (bring a float switch with you).

Allan and Hilary

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Looking towards Bowen
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Looking towards the beach

Airlie Beach to Gloucester Island

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Yesterday was a rest day so we didn’t travel much but we got fuel topped up as well as water and gas, and did a bit of shopping.  I also went to Bunnings to buy another jerry can to increase our capacity of dingy fuel, as we seem to use a lot.  I also bought another set of Allen Keys as I have lost 3 overboard since we left.  Once they start their slide down the side, they are off, then you hear plonk and then you know you have lost it, forever.

The weather for today looked like we had a bit of a break in the morning before about 1200.  So we decided to move north in this gap. We had our sites set on Gloucester Island, but if you look at the map there are many areas to abort too to shelter from the SE winds.  Anyway, as it turned out, it was pretty light this morning and had a bit more west in it so we were sheltered most of the time and the following sea was very comfortable.  Just as we approached Gloucester Island, it did pick up a bit and we got the boat up to 10.5 knots (19km/hr), but that just allowed us to get through the passage nice and quick.

We saw a whale along the way, but it was a bit shy and never saw much of him. The coastline is also pretty remote and rugged.  The boats also thinned out almost immediately we left Airlie Beach.   There are a few remote communities along the way to Gloucester Passage, but once you get here there is a reasonable amount of population, as it is a very nice part of the world.  There is probably 1000 people living around the place.

We decided to go through the passage and turn to the south and anchor in front of an eco tourist place.  I am not sure what is so eco about it, but then I didn’t inquire either.  I think at $350 per night, maybe a little less eco would be acceptable.  You get to use a BBQ for that price, and the pool, which is the same colour as the sea.  Up the beach is another resort called Montes.  Both look ok, and are really very small.  Anyway, they welcomed us in our dirty clothes and barefeet.

One of the resorts had a wedding going on this afternoon, which was sort of interesting to see the preparations in the sand.  There were big dishes out the front of the bar so that you could wash your feet to get rid of the sand before entering the bar.  You don’t often see that…

We will stay here tomorrow and probably Monday as well, as the wind is expected to pick up a bit.  This afternoon it did get up to around 20knots, but nothing extreme.  We looked at going to Bowen tomorrow morning, but the wind on Monday is suppose to be up around 30knots, and I am not sure of the anchorage there, so we will stay put for now.  We rang the marina, but there was no room.  I suspect many had the same idea.  Anyway that’s about it for now.

Allan and Hilary.

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A sunk boat at Airlie Beach, no doubt a result of cyclone Debbie.
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Sunrise from Airlie Beach as we left…  It was a bit cloudy
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One of the many inlets to hide in from the SE winds and as you can see, the cloud quickly disappeared.
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Looking North up to Gloucester Island which can be seen in the far distance.
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An interesting rock formation along the way on Olden Island.
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Hilary painting her toe nails.
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Finding a spot to send a text message along the way.
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Entering Gloucester Passage
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Entering the anchorage for the night
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Locking North over Gloucester Passage to Gloucester Island
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A view from the Bar at Montes.  Tough life!
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Montes from the beach.  We saw a guy caring cocktails and a fishing rod from here to an umbrella about 200m away.  His partner came and gave him a hand and took the valuables off him.  He was left with the cocktails….
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The wedding setup
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Looking south along the beach at the anchorage.
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The sunset 3/10

Cid Island to Airlie Beach via Hook Island

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Today was a bit of a sightseeing day.  Not like previous days which were full on serious traveling. Tonight we are expecting some wind from the SE, not as much as previously thought, but still enough to not be exposed at the wrong anchorage.  We also have to get some fuel for the outboard, after using heaps with the anchor lose.  So we decided to go to Airlie to shelter from the winds tonight and to do some shopping tomorrow.  However, before the SE change, the wind was from the North and NW, and Airlie does not look like the place to be when the wind is in that direction, so we decided to go for a sail around Hook Island and just look at the scenery.

Well the wind was stronger in the morning than predicted.  Indeed, in the morning, we were very rudley awaken as the swell rocked through the anchorage and a bottle tipped over.  So we set forth relatively early and we were zooming along at times in excess of 10knots, which is not too bad considering it was persistently up at that speed.  There wind of course stopped as we went between Hook and Whitsunday island as it is very narrow and plenty of current.  But today the wind and current were in the same , direction and in the direction we wanted to go.  So all good, but when the wind dropped to nothing, and the current seemed to be determining where we were going, we decided to motor for 10 minutes to get through the passage.

We passed the old underwater observatory.  It is of course shut like many of the old attractions around the place.  Just after getting out of the channel, we had waves from the North, NW, SW and East, all at the same time.  To say it was a washing machine is an understatement.  Anyway, we pushed through it and went north around Hook Island.  It was interesting to see it and one day we will come back to do some snorkeling, maybe as we come back to Brisbane on the return trip.  Apparently, the northern side of Hook did not suffer as badly as other parts of the area in the cyclone and there are reportedly some good coral to be seen.

We then had another passage between Haymond and Hook Island to negotiate.  Again no big deal as the tide had changed and we were still running with it, and we zoomed through that one as well.  We were going to have a spot of lunch in the area, but we could see that the wind was dying so we made our way straight to Airlie.  It took us a while, but it was a pleasant sail.  We did about 80km in 8 hrs today, which was a little further than we thought we would do, but all good.

We anchored just outside of Abel Point Marina.  We had some dinner down town and noted how the area has grown since we visited 25 years ago.  It is the place to be, evidently.  There are so many boats here compared to even Cid Harbour, which now looks like the remote back waters of the place.

Anyway, that it is it for now.  A land day tomorrow and then we will see what the weather is up too.

Allan and Hilary.

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Entering the passage between Hook and Whitsunday Islands
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The old underwater observatory
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Some people come in these boats
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Some come in these
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And the rest have to go in this
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An interesting rock formation on Whitsunday Island
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Looking South down to Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island
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Another interesting rock. I recon it looked like a face, Hilary recons it is a dog, but she is missing her dogs.
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The water was this colour
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Entering the passage between Haymond and Hook, Haymond on the right
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A lone beacon which is standing upright. Most aren’t.
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Rebuilding of Haymond Island Resort.
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Airlie Beach
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Looking into the marina at Airlie
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Not really the sunset, but as good as I could do as we went to dinner early and I forgot to take the camera.

Caves Cove to Cid Island

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Today was a day for indecision or redecision.  We were looking to find a place to the north of Hook Island to hide whilst the expected SE change comes through on Friday.  But we need to pick up some fuel for the dingy and top up our gas as well as get some fruit, so we decided that we will head in the direction of Airlie and deal with the SE change there.  So the first new decision was to decided to go back to South Mole to do a bit of bushwalk.  We wanted to look at some coral, but the morning was actually very dull and it almost rained, so we decide to give that a miss and do bushwalking instead.  Well half way back to Sth Mole, the sun came out so we decided to go to Daydream Island, just west of South Mole as there is suppose to be some good snorkling there.  So decision number two was to reverse decision number one and do so snorkeling  instead of bushwalking

So a slight deviation and we were to go through Unsafe Passage, which is probably inappropriately named, but it is a little narrow with a good current running through it, but well marked.  Hilary had her doubts when I told her where we were going. Daydream was in front of us and we went to the mooring buoy at the northern end of the island, to find that the water was over 20m deep and the buoy was so close to the land, I recon we could step off the boat onto the rocks if it swung in the right direction.  Now this was hot on the heals of the previous night where we also had a buoy and all it did was incessantly run into the boat and make a banging noise for most of the time we were tied to it.  It wasn’t until 1am that we finally figured out how to stop it, and this resulted in many lines getting tangled around the buoy, which took nearly half an hour this morning to untangle.  We were also next to another boat where some person was yelling at the top of their voice” oh my god” for about 20 minutes, non stop and nothing else to say either, all at 1am.  We were starting to wonder exactly what was going on, but figured it was more pleasure than pain…. Anyway, all of this put us off using the buoy at Daydream.  So we continued further south down Daydream looking for a place to moor, but eventually gave up as it all was very deep, well mover 30m, mostly.  So we decided to go back to South Mole on the SW side and anchor there, where we could do some bushwalking, again.  Well we encountered the same issue and it was simply too deep right up to the beach to safely moor.  Hence, no walking and we decided to cut our loses and go back to Cid Island, which looked interesting when we passed it last time. But unfortunately no snorkeling or bushwalking..,..

The wind was good, but against us and going more so in time, and the god of tides was also about to have fun with us as it was against us as well.  So tacking across the channel was a tad frustrating.  Indeed if you look at the map, you may think I can’t sail a boat, but with a current of about 2knots in about 8knots of breeze, it makes a pretty big difference to your progress.

After considerable effort we arrived to a very pretty little bay.  We had it to ourselves, but a very nice boat came beside us late in the day.  It was a solo sailor who was a grandmother.  We had a really nice chat with a fascinating person who has lived on their boat for almost 18 years.  So that nicely filled in the late afternoon.

We did see a few whales today, a couple of turtles and a few small sailing cats along the way.  The sailing was great, despite the tides at one stage, and the weather was nice and warm.  So pretty good all round.

Allan and Hilary.

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Just off South Mole, entering Unsafe Passage and talking on the phone.  I’m not sure if there are rules about that but the autopilot was on and working, so surely not. 
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Looking through Unsafe Passage to Daydream Island
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Happy Valley on Long Island
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Hilary during an exciting part of the day
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Looking north to South Mole as the current rather rapidly drags us south.
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A small cat traveling around. Ross and I did something similar 25 years ago but said we would return in a bigger boat…
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Looking north from our anchorage on Cid Island
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Looking South
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The boat that came to visit us later in the evening
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The sunset. I have to give this one only 3/10.  The god of clouds was only available this morning. 

Cid Harbour to Cave Cove via South Mole

 

We must be getting into the swing of this as today we really didn’t have a plan, other than we were to meet Glen and Margaret on their boat.  We spent a week together when we had Bush Spirit on the stand at the Boat Works, nearly 18 months ago, and although we had lost direct contact, when we lost the anchor we had called everybody we knew to see what we could do.  Anyway, it turns out that they were in  Bowen heading south and indeed had be watching where we were through our AIS and had intended to contact us to catch as we passed.  So that we did, and we choose to meet at South Mole.

We had a great morning tea catching up with a bunch of stories and getting all the goss on various destinations.  They have traveled extensively along the Qld coast as well as down to Sydney, so information overflow was just about reached.

As for the old resort at South Mole, that looks like a bomb hit it.  It is destroyed.  A good bulldozer is needed to clean the place up.  In contrast, Daydream, which we could see in the distance seems to be getting rebuilt.  Thankfully the Chinese have more respect for the resorts and the land they sit on than we seem too.

Then we had to decide what to do.  We were very tempted to go back to Cid Harbour as we had word that Sympthony was heading that way, and that is always a lot of fun to catch up with, but we wanted to do some snorkeling so we headed for Hook Island and picked up a mooring buoy in Cave Cove, half way down the western side of Hook.  Well as you might expect much of the coral is destroyed from the cyclone, but at least the water was clear and there were plenty of fish with some good rock structures to swim around.  I will give it another go tomorrow as well, but it was a nice little snorkel around.

Another boat is in the bay but that is it.  We can hear the birds singing on the island and there are a number of Bat Fish hanging around.  All in all not a bad spot.  Tomorrow we will move around to Butterfly bay or maybe on the western side of Haymond island.  If the forecast is correct we need to be in a good spot by Friday as there is a bit of wind around.

It was a good sailing day today with about 12knots most of the afternoon.  Not an awful lot this morning and we ended up motoring over to South Mole.  But from there on we had a good sail, reaching 9 knots over reasonably flat seas at times.

Allan and Hilary.

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South Mole Island resort, or what’s left of it.
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Leaving South Mole
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Hilary exploring in Cave Cove
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Cave Cove looking south
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Cave Cove looking north, taken on the GoPro as I lowered it into the water
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Got this shot from the GoPro as I retrieved it after looking to take a picture of the fish around the boat
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I think it is a Bat Fish, which I managed to take a picture of from the GoPro.
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Yes the sunset. All I can say is that this is just what it looked like to start with but it went through many different characteristics, with different colours etc, but this is the best shot I got.