Our Current Position

Saturday, 17 September 2016

The Whitsunday Islands

A week ago we sailed into the bay at South Percy island having spent an uneventful overnight of pleasant downwind sailing from Great Keppel Island. South Percy is a beautiful island and Debi immediately jumped into the water and swam the 500m to shore. Pat followed a little later with snorkelling gear but the coral was not terribly exciting. We spent 2 nights anchored there, the only boat in the bay. The only downside was a complete lack of cellphone coverage so we had no way to communicate with anyone, which left Ash and Gillian feeling a bit anxious. 
Next stop was Middle Percy island which has the landmark A-frame yachties' hut on it. There were lots of boats anchored there as it is a great place to stop. We left an X-yacht flag with our names and the date to mark our visit
Digby island was next, followed by Scawfell island and finally 2 nights at Thomas island.  Sailing in between all the islands has been pretty idyllic with 10-20 knots on the beam most of the time and mostly gentle, calm seas. Couldn't ask for more really.  The water is about 22 degrees Celsius so lovely for swimming although one does have to watch the currents which can be quite strong. 
The reef has been a little disappointing so far with only Digby island having any worthwhile snorkelling. Apparently it was all trashed during a cyclone a few years ago. There is also a lot of plankton in the water making visibility poor. 
This morning we did another short sail, aided by a very obliging tide, to Cid island where we will spend our last night at anchor before heading to Abel Point marina for some very welcome showers!

Strenuous work on the helm!

Digby Island anchorage

The A-Frame at Middle Percy

Yachts anchored off Middle Percy

Our friend Sovereign 3 at Cid Island

Cid Island

More strenuous helming

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Onwards we go

The sun has come out so it would be nice to laze about here for a day but it is a pretty rocky (as in wave motion) anchorage so not really a comfortable place to sleep. Also, we have to be at Airlie Beach by Sunday for Pat to fly back to Sydney on Monday so we can't hang about too much.
The bad news is that the next planned stop is not accessible as some military operation is going on which means we have to pull another over-nighter with just the two of us, to get to the Percy islands. Conditions are predicted to be pretty benign so here's hoping it will be an easy sail. Watch this space. 

Friday, 9 September 2016

We're officially in the tropics!

We are now safely tucked up on the north side of Great Keppel Island, after a very hard sail from Mooloolaba. We had Julian onboard for a few days and so decided to take advantage of the extra pair of hands to make some headway up the coast. Unfortunately the weather forecast gave us a rather false impression of what conditions were going to be. We ended up experiencing steady winds around 30 to 35 knots and gusts well over 40 knots. The forecast said 20 to 25 knots. Fortunately they did predict the direction correctly and so we had the wind behind the beam the whole way. We sailed with two reefs in the main and a half furled headsail for the complete journey. We also had two out of three of us sea sick for the first 24 hours and the third person feeling decidedly queasy. 

On the positive side we absolutely flew up the outside of Fraser Island, past the busy port of Gladstone and past Cape Capricorn, to complete 309nm in just 44 hours with an average speed of 6.95 knots and a top speed of 13.5 knots. The anchorage was a very welcome sight even though it was raining. We spent the rest of the day recovering.

Today the weather is horrible drizzly rain. We have been into Rosslyn Bay Harbour, Yeppoon to drop off Julian and fill up with diesel and water. We then decided to return to Great Keppel Island rather than proceeding north and had an absolutely spectacular treat coming back. We encountered a number of humpback whales, some with calves, which were splashing about in the bay. Two of them surfaced within 20m of us and earlier we had a pair which swam directly under the boat giving us some serious cause for concern. What a privilege to sea these fantastic mammals so close.

We are now tucked up from the wind and rain and hoping for better weather tomorrow.

Humpback Whales, Great Keppel Island

Humpback Whales, Great Keppel Island

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Off again

Vital Supplies

After a 3 week stopover in Mooloolaba enabling us to get the boat surveyed and to go home for 10 days, we are back under way. Julian has joined us for the first few days sail up to Yeppoon which we are planning to do in one go, so a few overnights ahead. Much easier with 3 people on board.
Wet weather gear? Uh oh!

More supplies for the nightly banquets

Berthed in Mooloolaba at sunset
Life at an Angle

Friendly Fiji

After a burst of activity early on, it has been a pretty chilled out week. We left Buca Bay on Sunday, motoring out through the reef into...