Trip to Thursday Island, Darwin here we come.
07 June 2011 | Thursday Island in the Torres Strait
Daryl and Carol
We are currently at anchor in a bay on the north side of Horn Is. This is a short boat ride from Thursday Is and has a nice protected anchorage. We went over to TI yesterday and sampled the local counter lunch at the Grand Hotel. The food and the beer were excellent. We walked most of the Island and visited places of interest including the cemetery which has a lot of history attached to it. The island has a long history of pearl diving and the Japanese came here in their thousands in the early days. Many perished because of the risks they were prepared to take to get the prize. The local divers were not as bigger risk takers. Horn and Thursday Is have a lot of history associated with WW2 and was seen as the forgotten Islands and the last front if the Japanese had not been pushed back in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea. There is an excellent museum on Horn Is.
Horn Is has an airport with Direct flights to Cairns so this is the last chance for the crew to get off before we head across the Gulf. So far no mutinies(that I am aware of). Here are some of the stories from Cairns to TI.
We departed Cairns at 0700hrs on Sunday the 22nd of May with winds from the SE at 10/15knts with a forecast of 20knts destination Low Islet 41 nm to the north. We had a great sail and arrived at 15.30hrs.
Lizard Is – 14, 39, 55 South – 145,26 East
Had a brief stopover that night and 0900hrs the next day Monday 23rd we headed for Lizard Is, 103nm and another overnighter. We had excellent conditions and arrived at 0830hrs Tuesday the 24th May. We spent 4 great days at Lizard and managed to watch the State of Origion in the staff bar at Lizard Is resort. Go Queenslanders. We were not allowed to the main resort because grotty yachties mess the place up. There are 5 other boats in here and all are heading for Darwin.
I managed to dive on the hull in beautiful pristine water for a clean up. It was great, plenty of fish to keep you company and an inquisitive reef shark. Carol and James got to do some snorkelling on the reefs and raved about it. We left Lizard on Sat the 28th for Howick is, only a short sail and a stopover on the way to the Flinders group.
Here is some of an email Carol sent to Hailey that sums it up well and some of the humour that is happening at the moment!!!!!!
We have sailed to Howich Island, look it up in the atlas. It's a very small place and quite exposed and quite windy, but not too bad. I took my medicine and slept all the way here. Something I was grateful for because there were quite big seas. We're going to be doing day hops for the next few days, which can be tiring but I don't think they are long distances.
Lizard Island was very beautiful. It really was a cliché, all white sand and aqua water so clear you could see the bottom. You wouldn't believe it but the first time James used his new snorkel gear one of his flippers fell into the water and promptly sunk to the bottom in 6 metre of water. Well did that start a chain of events that went something like this: James couldn't free dive deep enough to get it, although he could see it perfectly from the surface. Dad came back to the boat having been visiting
and reacted exactly how you would expect. Then he couldn't equalizes so he had to get the diving gear out. Then he got all tangled up in the tube (nilly drowned he says) and when he was having a cow about that I said to him where is your other flipper? Well, in the turmoil he had lost his new flipper too. I'm sure you can imagine the scene. Well, Dad dispatched James off to another boat to get help while he quite quietly had a little break down. Then he did what all good little engines do he tried and tried again and managed to safely rescue both flippers. Hailey it was hilarious! Anyway both flippers are doing well and are back in full service, only I need ongoing treatment and continue to be medicated daily at around 5 o'clock. The rest of the stay was quite calm with very lovely snorkelling (fortunately not in circles for the boys). I think that will be our last snorkel or indeed swim for awhile. This is all my news hope you are beginning to feel stronger and more yourself you fabulous thing. Anyway fill me in.
We all love and miss you heaps
We left Howick for Bathurst Bay which had some good raps but when we got there around 1400hrs conditions were not favourable and along with Veedon Fleece we both decided to head all the way to Flinders Is. We are glad we did as this was a fantastic place
Flinders is - 14,08,53 S – 144,02,73 E
We had a lay day at Flinders Island which was very beautiful. All ragged cliffs and white beaches and unfortunately crocodiles, although I didn't see any but in this case reading the signs is believing. James had a good fishing day and caught one good fish for dinner the night we were anchoring. He put fish blood all over the boat, he keep saying, I'll clean it up don't worry. He was really surprised Dad didn't get cross with him. He was so pleased with himself, he even had an audience as we were pulling up right next to Gote and Ros (Veedon Fleece). Daryl said he wasn't going to let him miss out on that one. Anyway three hours later I had the boat all cleaned up and had the fish all ready to eat and James flitted between the two of us. But there really was blood everywhere. Daryl made some really nice bread yesterday and now claims to be the bread making champion, he is now the official bread maker. Carol is the champion with a really good date loaf still.
Today it's on the move again, but there is no wind so a very slow but smooth run. We probably won't get to the place we (by we I mean Dad) had planned so will have to change plan. Not sure yet what 'we' are thinking. You should have a look in the atlas and see where we are. The whole isolation thing is a little bit scary if you think about it too much. Carol Finished the book “How to Murder Your Husband”, which has me a bit worried, but she said she didn’t get any tips out of it at all. But it was quite funny.
We departed Flinders Is for Morris Is but had our first day of zero wind so had to find an anchorage along the way. Conditions looked like they would be fine but about 5pm as we were anchoring at Magpie reef the wind came up from the east at 20knts. As you could guess, not a great night but it was safe and we headed off at first light for a brilliant 6knt sail all day to Night Is and a calm quite nights rest. Portland Roads the next day and then to Margret Bay the day after that. Now we are well and truly going up Cape York and the tip only 120nm away. Freycinet is going great and we feel very safe sailing her, although Carol does have some doubts sometime about the nut behind the wheel.
We departed Margret Bay at 16.00hrs on the 4th of June and sailed the 120nm overnight to Thursday Is arriving at 16.30hrs on Sunday the 5th of June. This is where the blog entry began. Darwin here we come.
Daryl, Carol and James.