06/29/2012, Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, AU
When we woke up this morning we were glad we slept in instead of weighing anchor at the crack of dawn. There was absolutely no wind! I went on the Internet to get the latest weather analyses from two different sources and they both are now saying that there will be no real wind until Sunday afternoon. Thus, it looks like we will be staying here until Sunday morning. I don't mind motoring for a bit but do not relish the thought of motoring all the way up to Cape York....
Our Friends on S/V Sea Mist (John and Cheryl) have spent the about 9 days dinging their way up the coast from Lizard Island to Cape York. In fact, they had started to cross the Gulf of Carpentaria but decided to turn back because there were no winds and they did not want to motor for two days to make the crossing. They are relaxing now in an anchorage at Possession Island and have Internet access. John has caught up in his blog postings and I was enjoying reading them this morning. He tells a wonderful croc story that happened the other night to our joint friends, David and Marian, of S/V Kilkea. Instead of telling it myself, I will just cut and paste what John said on his blog. If you wish to fellow John and Cheryl in their adventures, you can go directly to: http://blog.mailasail.com/seamist/
*********************************************************************************** John writes:
S/V Kilkea, David and Marian, pulled into our anchorage here at Possession Island just before dusk this evening and as they sailed close by Sea Mist to drop their anchor, they drew my attention to their boat flag/ensign that flies from the stern of their vessel as with all sailboats. I could see that the Canadian Flag was missing its outer red vertical bar....only the white center/Maple Leaf portion and the inner end red vertical bar remained. They had me guess how that might have happened as they moved slowly past Sea Mist.......???
I said to them: "You don't mean a crocodile got it".....to which they nodded..."Yes" > Now that is one heck of an experience!!!!!!
I had to have them tell me more>>>>>>>>>>>>this is what happened:
"At 1 am this morning, while they were sleeping at anchor at Escape River (from where we came yesterday), they were awakened to a bone chilling crash (or quick series of crashes)...they first thought they had been hit by a boat....then they thought of a piece of mast rigging breaking...and then as they were closing any large opening into the boat (the hatch by their aft cabin where they were asleep and the main companionway entrance) they came to realize that it might have been a crocodile. They did not venture out on deck to see what they might see....wise move....particularly since the croc had come out of the water so high as to reach and tear away a third of their Canadian Flag. At daylight this morning, they found that the big croc had taken out chips in their fiberglass/gelcoat at the stern and had almost pulled out the corner of the permanently installed stern fended with which Amel vessels are built.
Now there is, as David and Marian would put it, one whale of a tale....oops....no...."one crocodile of a tale!!"
A week ago we were told by some Aussie boaters that they knew of a crocodile that tore apart an inflatable dinghy that had been left in the water by a catamaran overnite right beside the cat's swim platform.....and along came a croc and tore up the dinghy seemingly just for something to do."
Techno-Tip Of The Week: Know Your Right Of Way Hierarchy
Toward the end of this cruising season we will be traveling through the Straits of Singapore. This is an area with the greatest cargo shipping traffic in the world. Therefore, I thought it would be wise to restate the pecking order of who has the right of way amongst water vessels.
In our travels we have found that there is significant confusion amongst cruisers regarding the right of way hierarchy. Since most of us grew up just having to worry about right of way issues between other sailboats and power yachts, this can lead to the belief that sailboats under sail have the ultimate right of way. This means that all other craft must yield to them. Unfortunately, this is patently false and, in fact, sailboats are rather low on the vessel hierarchy regarding who has the right of way. In this hierarchy, there are 7 rankings with the first ranking having the highest level of right of way. Sailboats are in ranking 5. The only other vessel that has a lower ranking is a power vessel (i.e., power yacht or other sailing vessel using their engines). The lowest ranking is reserved for sea planes, which I personally don't consider to be a vessel but what do I know....
This means that all other vessels have the right of way over sailboats, no matter where those vessels are or what they are doing (i.e., under way, at anchor, towing a barge, fishing, without command, etc.). Since cruisers are only in sailboats or power yachts, the concept of right of way amongst all other vessels that they come across is rather straight forward. Basically, it is...YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY!!!! STAY OUT OF THEIR WAY!!!! YOU HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MOVING OUT OF THEIR WAY!!!!
For those who are curious, the right of way hierarchy, as defined by the Collision Regulations as internationally ratified in 1972 goes as follows:
1. Vessels not under command (highest)
2. Vessels restricted in her ability to maneuver (this is basically all large ships such as tankers, cargo ships, and cruise liners).
3. Vessel constrained by her draft exhibiting the signals in Rule 28 for same.
4. Vessel engaged in fishing as defined by the rules.
5. Vessel under sail but not under power.
6. Vessel power-driven including sailing vessel using its engine.
7. Seaplanes on the water (lowest).
What a wonderful beach. It is just missing people and drinks to may the afternoon perfect. A few minutes after I took this, the party began!
As I walked by to where the party was starting, I took this shot of the fleet at Lizard Island.
Landward of the cottage is a mangrove swamp. This shows one of the little channels that cut through it.
Before the beach party started, I had a chance to walk over to where the remains of Mary Watson's cottage was.