This is looking northward along the coastline of Pearl Bay
This is the view of the pristine beach that was in front of us as we anchorage in the waters of Pearl Bay. It is part of a military reservation that is used for maneuvers. However, because the steep ridge that runs up from the bay, not many cruisers pose a threat of trespassing on those lands where the armed forces train. Nevertheless, we had been warned by the Coast Guard that there was aircraft flare testing flights going above us on the day we arrived.
05/02/2012, Anchored At Pearl Bay, AU
When we entered the anchorage yesterday afternoon we thought we would have it to ourselves. Instead, we spied another catamaran anchored in the primo spot, tucked in close to the shore and well protected from the swells that made most of the anchorage a bit rolly.
Oh well, that is the benefit of being first into the anchorage. I noticed that the boat was S/V Dreamtime. I had briefly met the wife, Sue, in Bundaberg Port Marina as they were tied up to the fuel dock before departing the next day for Lady Musgrave Island. However, we really did not know them well. Since we were tired from our bumpy sail, we just rested, had dinner, played some cards and went to bed.
This morning I worked on some sail adjustments and tightening the starboard top shroud. I had noticed that the port top shroud was shaking a bit more than normal yesterday as the winds blew from starboard to port. This meant that the mast at the top was bending more than usual, indicating that the shroud was a bit loose.
By the time I was done with these brief chores, Mary Margaret had finished making a hardy breakfast of pancakes and eggs. It was so good and by the time I was through, I was ready for a nap! As I was resting in the stern cockpit, I heard a dinghy motor approaching our boat. It was Bill of S/V Dreamtime. He stopped by and invited us over for coffee. In no time Mary Margaret had the kitchen all tidy and we hopped in our dinghy and motored over.
When we arrived, we were warmly greeted by Sue and Bill and one of their two cats, Black Pearl. Their other cat, Precious, was too content in his little bed to bother coming over. We both got a cat fix with Black Pearl as he loved to have his ears and chin rubbed.
We discovered that, up until recently, Bill and Sue live just north of 1770 but that they had just sold their house and moved onto their boat. They have cruised for years and years but always have had a home base to sit out the cyclone season. Now they live on their boat full time. Bill is an antique car buff and has a few cars that he still keeps and takes to antique car shows.
While Bill and I were talking, Mary Margaret and Sue hit it off very well. Soon they had moved into the salon and were talking about grandbabies, knitting, and a bunch of other stuff that I could not follow. Before we knew it 3 ½ hours had flown by! As we were leaving, we invited them over to Leu Cat for sundowners.
As we were getting Leu Cat ready for Bill and Sue to come over this late afternoon, our friends on S/V Silver Lining II sailed into the anchorage near us. After Pete had set their anchor, I waved over. We will invite them over tomorrow to play some cards and had sundowners.
We have decided to stay here one more day to let the weather clear up a bit. Our next destination is Middle Percy Island and its anchorage is notoriously rolly when the winds are up a bit. Tomorrow and through the weekend the winds are suppose to abate some so we are planning our arrival there for Friday afternoon. It will be a 60 nm run so we will need to leave early in the morning.
04/30/2012, Rosslyn, AU
I finished all my projects today even though it was an overcast, blustery and eventually, rainy day. I have wanted to drill in and set five new bolts into a section of our sail track to give it more strength. Coming from New Caledonia, that second section of track had stretched some of the pop rivets. The pop rivets secure the sail track to the mast. As a result of their stretching that section of sail track was a bit loose. With the additional bolts that I have added, it should hold fine now.
I also did a series of radio checks on our two hand held VHF radios and our built-in VFH radios. I have not been happy with how people had been receiving us. I discovered that our helm built-in has stopped working but everything else was fine. We will order a new second station unit to replace the one at the helm and will get it in Darwin. My "love" for Raymarine keeps growing and growing.
Tomorrow we will be making the 50 nm sail to Pearl Bay. It is just north of Port Clinton, along the mainland. It will be one of the few mainland anchorages we will have. It is a stopping point on our way to Middle Percy Island. That place is a favorite for cruisers since the few locals that live there put on a lamp stew for the cruisers. You just need to bring the vegetables and some beer and they do the cooking. We are looking forward to meeting and socializing with them.
The winds today have been in the 20 to 25 knot range and from the SE. They should hold for tomorrow. We hope so because that would make for a great sail to Pearl Bay
While staying here, we have been eating well. Mary Margaret, loaded up with fresh vegetables made a great phyllo stuffed with spinach and feta. OMG! Today, she made her famous Babaganoush. Yumm!!
Here is another shot of Tommy, munching away at the dock. He is so cute.
I know this is not politically correct, and coming from a person who spent a lifetime working on restoring the environment it is a bit shocking, but when I was a kid, I had a bowl of turtle soup. With a dash of sherry it was absolutely delicious! Every time I see a sea turtle, my thoughts return to being a kid and slurping down the wonderful bowl of turtle soup. Ahh, the confessions of an environmentalist...