05/07/15, May's Bay, Whitsunday Island.
Well a couple of days after BOM cried "Wolf" over a possible Cyclone it quietly disappeared from their charts. So we don't have to worry about that one!
I was in Airlie Beach for 3 days from last Thursday. During that time I restocked the larder and put 70 litres of water onboard. When I checked the diesel fuel I found that we had only used 10 litres since leaving the MacKay Marina so I only refilled the main tank and did not replace the fuel.
On the Friday, mid-afternoon, I finally made it to a Physio to have my leg check out. I pulled a muscle in my lower left leg on the day before we went over to Woodwark Bay. During my time there I had been resting the leg which turned out to be the best thing for it. I now have a couple of exercises I have to do several times a day to get it back to normal. We have a ways to go yet on getting this leg back to normal.
Today, Sunday 5th July, we sailed across to Mays Bay via Unsafe Passage. We left Airlie Beech at 0730 with full Mainsail and Genoa up and enjoyed a 4 to 5 knot passage in smooth water until the Pioneer Rocks off Mandalay Point. At that point I received a phone call from a mate who was ahead of me saying "That he had 20 knots [of wind] in the Whitsunday Passage". Taking that onboard, I dropped the Mainsail and so we proceeded on under Genoa only. We sailed across the Molle Channel at over 4 knots, past the Daydream Resort and into Unsafe Passage. Once clear of land and out into the Whitsunday Passage the wind picked up and Seaka took off doing 6.5 to 7 knots in the slight seas for the entire crossing. I really enjoyed that sail today.
We are now in Mays Bay and tomorrow will sail around the top of Whitsunday Island to Tongue Bay, a distance of 12 nm. From there I am planning to go to Windy Bay on Haslewood Island. I am also keeping an eye on the weather looking for a suitable window to go out 20 nautical miles to Bait Reef which is the closest bit of the outer reef to the Whitsundays.
30/06/15, Sunset Woodwark Bay
Well I've been in Woodwark Bay, 6 nm north of Airlie Beach, since last Wednesday sheltering from the high winds we are experiencing on the Queensland coast at present.
We will probably leave here on Thursday, BUT.
I am now doing the initial planning for taking shelter next week to avoid a CYCLONE !!!!!!
BOM today were saying there is a 20-50% chance of a cyclone next week.
Our plan at this stage is to run for Bowen, some 25 nm away during Thursday/Friday if necessary.
There I will take up one of the pile moorings for the duration.
It has been a fine day here but the winds are still around the 20 knot mark.
27/06/15, Woodwark Bay, sunset.
Managed to get the outboard motor carburetor cleaned out yesterday.
Went for a fish today and the outboard worked fine. Didn't get any fish but donated a lure to King Neptune. Also did a bit of housework today.
As you can read not much happening here at the moment and the prediction is for more rain and winds around 15-20 knots for all of next week.
BIG SIGH, not much I can do about it.
Came over to Woodwark Bay this afternoon.
Will be here until next week.
23/06/15, Airlie Beach
Well Sunday arrived clear and cold without the winds that BOM had predicted so the decision was made to go across to Airlie Beach on Monday. During Sunday I helped Tony of "Outahia" bleed the hydraulics on his steering.
I also discussed with Tony, who has cruised here for some years, the rest of the Queensland coast to the north of the Whitsundays. After much thought I have decided that Bowen is to be my most northern port for this trip. This will mean that I will cruise all of those places I always meant to come back to like Yellow Patch and maybe even Lady Musgrave Island.
So Monday morning dawned with the alarm and rain! I must have rolled over and gone back to sleep as next thing the phone was going and Tony was saying to get myself into gear if I wanted to beat the tide change. That I did, and one hour latter we were off with just the Genoa and the iron sail, to counteract the tide. The wind was astern at around 10 knots with the odd gust or two. Seaka loved it and we averaged around 6 knots, with bursts to 7.5 knots, for the 6 nautical mile crossing to North Molle Island. Beyond the northern end of North Molle Island things were a bit rougher as the tide had changed, to our disadvantage, but we were secure at anchor near the second entrance to the Abel Point Marina just before 1100.
Just after 1300 Tony picked me up and we went shopping for those immediate things I needed, like fresh food. Today I have spent the day cleaning inside and reorganizing again the odd unused items to deeper lockers. I also packed up two shopping bags worth of books I have read to be sold on Wednesday. Late today I installed an extra solar anchor light, garden type, on the solar panel frame. It has been really noticeable how many yachts up here have that extra anchor light at near deck level. Then late this afternoon I have inflated the dinghy in preparation for going into Airlie Beach tomorrow to do washing, sell books and buy the last bit of food I need.
We have another weather event, wind and high seas, occurring from Friday on, so I am going up to Woodwark Bay, about 8 nautical miles away, to shelter once again on Thursday morning. I haven't been there before and the fishing is said to be OK. The thing about Woodwark Bay is that being so close to Airlie Beach I can duck back to get fresh food etc.
Once this weather event has passed I will be heading for the Haslewood Island area on the east side of Whitsunday Island.
20/06/15, May's Bay, Whitsunday Island.
On that Tuesday morning last week I finally retrieved the mooring lines and we departed from the MacKay Marina. I had all sails up as we exited the harbour to be greeted by a very turbulent exit. At this point I should have directed Seaka due north instead of heading east for four cables to clear Slade Island. When we did turned north, direct for Brampton Island, we found a one meter swell and just enough wind to full the sails so motored on for the whole journey. The wind did finally arrive around 1500 just before we turned east to the anchorage at Brampton Island. We first anchored west of Pelican Island but when low tide arrived I moved closer to the wharf in 3 meters of water. Here I saw a few dolphins just on dusk.
Tuesday night turned out to be very rolly, on par with West Bay on Middle Percy Island I would say and as such I got little sleep. The swell was out of the north east which was supposed to herald the wind for Wednesday. Well, the wind on Wednesday was a non-event and we motored the whole way to Roylen Bay on Goldsmith Island. With the continuing light winds I changed the Jib for the Genoa and replaced the foresail sheets as one had worn almost through on one of the forestays. While it was calm I replaced one of the mainsail lugs which had broken. This will be an ongoing problem until I replace all of them or maybe my sailmaker, who is not far now from the Whitsundays, does the job for me. I also took the chance to have the bed sponges out in the sun as I had found them to be damp against the plywood base. That evening we were treated to a magnificent sunset.
On Thursday morning we awoke, but still lacking sleep, to a day that was overcast and a nice SE breeze. I started the motor while raising the anchor but did not have to put her in gear as we sailed off towards Thomas Island. We had a great sail doing around 4 knots the whole way to Thomas Island where we anchored for lunch, I was also waiting for the tide change to make it easier to get around the west side of Shaw Island. At 1300 we up anchor at Thomas Island and headed around to Shaw Island. We were heading for the bay just inside Burning Point and arrived some two hours later. Today has been the best sailing for the trip so far and we arrived in a very relaxed mood.
Now some may have worked out that I'm moving rather fast to get into the Whitsundays and the reason for this is that, yes, we have another wind weather event coming this weekend. So on Friday BOM had changed the weather forecast for Friday from light winds to 15 to 20 knots. I had worked out that we couldn't leave until 1030 or we would be battling the flood tide, heading against us, around Dent Island. Well BOM was wrong and all we got for the whole day was a soft 3 knots of wind. So we sailed, at first with the Main and Genoa under the influence of the wind off the shore until we lost it and I then took the Main down as it was only flapping around. With 3 knots of off-shore wind with us and 2 knots of the flood tide against us we motored on at around 4 knots towards Dent Island. We arrived at Dent Island just as the tide changed and suddenly the sea flattened right out and we were doing 5 to 6 knots.
After rounding the southern end of Dent Island our speed dropped to 5 knots but jumped again to 6 plus knots as we entered the ebb tide from the Fitzalan Passage. By the time we rounded the north end of Cid Island the seas were very flat and we had a 3 nautical mile reach across to May's Bay on Whitsunday Island. Unfortunately a hire catamaran beat me to the prize spot behind Lion Point and I had to wait until Saturday morning to move there. We are in May's Bay to shelter from high winds over the next two days. Already today Hamilton Island has recorded wind bursts of up to 30 knots. The plan now is to go over to Airlie Beach on Tuesday around 0900 to get fresh food as we will be completely out by then.
Yachts with which I have enjoyed their company recently include; Outnumbered, Outahia and Wunjo.