Swinging the Lead
07 June 2019
As we meander our way up the east coast of Australia we are continually reminded we are following in the wake of Captain, or more correctly, Lieutenant Cook (largely because he was born with coal dust in his mouth rather than a silver spoon).
Old Cookie more less rowed himself up this coast, or had his crew row while he sat in the stern sheets looking naval and the poor crew swung the lead line for hour after hour, going ashore to take the last/long of each and every headland. Cook pretty much sounded and charted every estuary, inlet and islet up this coastline, other than the one he hit of course. He was also smart enough to recognise that the reason for his compass reading incorrectly was the presence of iron ore. Poor lad could have made billions if he'd staked a mining claim.
Not long after him, old Joshua Slocum followed. He was apparently in a bit of a rush as he only stopped three times the whole length of the coast. Probably to see if he could shoot something.
And so, we have something of an understanding of the challenges they faced. We've been on the go for weeks and still only just passed half way. As Cook found out and as Slocum was blissfully unaware, this can be a treacherous coast. It's critical to watch the weather, the four to seven metre tides, depth below the keel when creeping up shallow creeks and dodging around the marked and unmarked reefs. (courtesy of C-map). Our lead line has been dunked more than once. It's also home from home. Today we sailed from Scawfell, past St Bees, Keswick, Carlisle, Wigton and Conway to reach the Whitsundays.
We really are like Cook and Slocum - just with access to Pinot Grigio and Facebook.