11 May 2012
May 2, 2012 Well, we stayed eight days in the marina at Hamilton Island-- longer than we intended. It was just too comfortable! We also were waiting for the wind to abate a little from 25-30 knots with gusts that the Aussies call "bullets". The forecast was for 20--25 and decreasing to 15-20 knots--so we left the comfort of the marina. We were up at 6am and out of the dock by 6:30. Mark a Yank from S/V Rogue's Scholarship helped handle our docklines as those bullets were hitting us broadside! We went over the top of Hamilton Island--heading to Whitehaven Beach. When we cleared Passage Point we started to get hit with 6 foot wind waves at four second intervals. We were not in any danger, and we certainly have handled much worse seas, but we were not comfortable with spray flying over the dodger. After a brief crew meeting we elected to turn around and head up the west side of Whitsunday Island to Nara Inlet on Hook Island (nothing to do with Peter Pan). We actually arrived at Nara Inlet at 9:30 am and dropped the hook in 27 feet, close to the head of the bay. After sitting for an hour to be sure we were set (it was a little early for a beer), we lowered the dinghy and went to shore. We hiked to some aboriginal cave drawings on the east shore. We then went back to the boat for lunch, work on the generator (there is always something needing fixin'), and a sweet nap in the aft cabin. Neil, an old salty Aussie alone on the boat anchored behind us (S/V Solarno), came by in his dinghy for a gam. Sherry was making frozen cafe' mochas with whipped cream and chocolate syrup (remember those Allan?), and she gave one to Neil--he loved it! We plan to go to the top of Hook Island tomorrow and check out the snorkeling spots--we may not get to visit Whitehaven Beach due to the wind. As Sherry was making dinner we were visited by a sulpher crested macaw. He obviously was used to being fed by the yachties anchored here as he had little fear. We did not feed him so he squawked a few times and took off.