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THE ADVENTURES OF S/V SERENITY AND HER CREW
Hinchinbrook Channel/ Dunk Island
05/17/2012

May 16, 2012 Up at 5:30 am (dark) and away by 6am. Except for a couple of tugs--the anchor and chain came up easily. Again, the power of prayers at work! Hinchinbrook Channel runs between the mailland and Hinchinbrook Island, and is a sometimes narrow and shallow saltwater canal. As we approach the entrance to the channel, we pass a platform and jetty for off-loading sugar to large cargo vessels. The jetty is three miles long--the longest jetty in the world. Once we pass the platform we follow the entrance markers to the channel. We must be very careful here as there are sand banks and reefs to avoid. We are hindered by the out-going tide--but we are finally in the channel. With mangroves and heavily wooded hills on each side it feels exotic, like we are on Disneyland's Jungle River boat ride--remember that one? And with the prospect of a croc or saltwater snake jumping on board (not really)--it could be a dangerous ride. We follow the curves and bends of the channel until we finally exit at Cardwell--twenty-six miles later. We got a nice push by the outgoing tide and we were on our way to Dunk Island. We got used to the calm waters in the channel and now we were getting rolled by the waves as we approached the Family Islands--where Dunk is. We anchored in the lee of Dunk Island in 14 feet of water, behind a catamaran called Keris--Mike and Juanita came by in their dinghy to say hello. They are headed to Darwin to join the Indonesian Rally as we are. There is a nice resort on Dunk Island, but Mike told us that it has been closed since being damaged by a cyclone last year. We get a nice calm night's rest--with no growling! The photo is sunrise over Orpheus Island.

Orpheus Island
05/17/2012

Serenity at anchor in Little Pioneer Bay, Orpheus Island.

Orpheus Island
05/17/2012

Rogues Scholarship on a mooring next to us in Little Pioneer Bay. We shun moorings as we do not know how well they are maintained--we trust our own ground tackle.

Orpheus Island
05/17/2012

May 15, 2012 We really enjoyed Townsville--but, up at 6am and out of our berth by 6:30. We went up between Magnetic Island and the coast--the 'Western Passage'. It was shallow here but by leaving with the high tide we were OK. We motorsailed in 15-20 knot wind to Orpheus Island--one of the Palm Islands. We anchored in Little Pioneer Bay--nice and protected. We were the only boat there, but in a few hours there were three other boats--and our friends on Rogues Scholarship picked up a mooring right next to us. That afternoon and night we could hear our anchor chain 'growling' on coral--'growling' means that the chain makes a low rumbling sound as it grates on coral. We are getting up early tomorrow as we plan to go all the way through the Hinchinbrook Channel to Dunk Island. The entrance to the channel has a sand bar with some areas of only six foot depths at low tide. But I do not get a good night's sleep worrying that I may have to dive to retrieve our anchor if it gets tangeled up on a coral bommie (a big coral out-cropping)--in this murky, stinger and croc infested water! The photo is of Townsville as we sail off to Orpheus Island--goodbye Townsville!

SS Yongala
05/13/2012

Assending from the wreck.

SS Yongala
05/13/2012

Every hole you look in had a fish. We could look into the wreck, but not enter it as it is a national treasure.

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THE CREW OF SERENITY
Who: SHERRY AND GORDON CORNETT
Port: Ventura/Mammoth Lakes California
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