Friday, April 30, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
we have visited so far in terms of calm and quietness, we sailed to
Refuge Bay on Sawfell Island where we found two motor boats and one
sailboat. Not much to say about the day. Sailing downwind, with the
genoa on a boom and the main wing on wing, we made good time and arrived
early at Refuge Bay.
Same thing the next day to go to Shaw Island. Actually at first, we
wanted to go to the Lindeman Club Med, but when we arrived, we could not
detect any sign of life and we decided instead to join the crowd at the
anchorage on Shaw Island. We would end up 8 boats by the late evening,
which is quite a crowd. Unfortunately, there is no contact between
boats. Maybe this will come if we end up meeting the same boats as we
cruise north to Cape York.
Arriving at the club Med anchorage, Olivier found both lines cut.
Strange since we had not detected any bite on the way. Olivier felt that
the steel lines got corroded and broke while trawling.
Today, we left the club Med to sail through some activity in terms of
other boats, resorts along the coast, aircraft, ferries, etc...I even
had to opportunity as we were passing those areas to connect to internet
and pick up my mail.
This will be short lived. By the time we passed Airlie Beach, supposed
to be a major centre of yachting, we got to Double Bay to find ourselves
alone, in total silence and calm. Still no fish, no bird, no nothing.
Even the butterflies have disappeared.
I long to get to a place where I can meet people and life. This will be
tomorrow in Bowen.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Bay early morning, headed for Head Island creek 56 milles away. The
trade winds are well established and we can sail all the way under genoa
alone. Along the way, no fish, no birds, no boats, nobody. We get there
around 4 in the afternoon. There is a shoal right in the middle of the
entrance and we choose to use the north entrance, as advised by Alan
Lucas in his cruising guide. A little hot for my taste. We have to sail
very very close to a line of rocks lining the north side in very choppy
waters with strong currents. We deal with it OK, and once we are inside,
very quiet and very calm. We pass two sailboats anchored close to the
mouth of the river and sail up to the second affluent to find an
excellent anchorage in a little bay. Super anchorage and excellent quiet
We leave early next morning, with 47 miles to go to South Percy. Again,
no fish, except for a small hammer shark cruising slowly northward. No
birds either. But we are beginning to see butterflies, apparently flying
northward, coming from nowhere, and we wonder where they go, why, when,
where do they come from, what is the reason behind this behavior. No answer.
We get to South Percy again early afternoon, but we fail to find a
reasonably comfortable anchorage, despite visiting those recommended by
Alan Lucas. We end up anchored in front of the beach on the north west
side of the island, and the boat settles with stern to the wind, swell
on the beam and heading into the current. The roll is heavy and we spent
a miserable night there with the chain making all kinds of noise.
Unable to sleep well, we leave before daybreak, this time unfortunately
motoring, then motor sailing, but with only 34 miles to go.
As we get closer to Curlew Island, we see more and more of those
butterflies. And as we are rounding the northeastern corner of the
island, we pass a location on the cliff which is apparently the one spot
where they are all going. There is a dense stream of those butterflies
sailing across the boat as we pass the location, all going to the same
place while coming from slightly different directions. Very strange and
a mystery to us. If anybody has the answer to that, please let me know
This time, the anchorage is perfect. We are in front of the beach, but
the area is protected behind us by a drying shoal and the island having
a croissant shape, no swell of any significance can get in.
We anchored at noon, had lunch and took advantage of this calm and quiet
place to take a good nap to repair the lousy night of yesterday.
Tomorrow, we are headed for Refuge Bay in the Scawfell island, and maybe
we will see a few boats there. Right now, we are totally isolated with
no human activity in sight for the last two days.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
After so many days motoring, we can't complain about too much wind, but the problem remains to slow down enough so as to arrive in daylight. This was again the case going to Lady Musgrave and we had to heave to for more than an hour as we were in sight of the lighthouse of the Island way before daybreak.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
We had left Midtown marina on Wednesday morning. At first we wanted to fuel up at 8, but the fuel dock was taken by a fishing boat, so we just waited for the office of the marina to open so that we could surrender the keys to the toilets et recover our 100 dollars deposit in cash and then left. We went to Port Bundaberg marina, just one mile up the mouth of the river, free of any restrictions due to the tide, waiting for an hypothetical improvement in the weather that never materialized.
On Thursday, we took the shuttle from the marina to go and visit the Bundaberg Rum distillery, supposedly famous in all Australia. This was merely a disappointment. The visit is expensive, at 25 dollars, and there is very little to be seen, apart from a few pipes, tanks and pumps. The visit is done in a very restricted way with tons of rules that include surrendering your camera, wallet, phone, etc... before the visit. And even though there is very little to visit, even less is shown to visitors. This rum, unlike rum Barbancourt, is made out of molasses which is fermented and then di
stilled, in a very industrial manner with lots of chemical involved. The taste is very similar to that of whisky but the price is more to do with gold, at 45 dollars for the lowest grade.
After the visit, we took a cab to go to the commercial centre of Bundaberg and we realized that the city is a lot larger than we first thought. What we had seen was the "old" Bundaberg (maybe 150 years), but the city has expanded the american way towards the west with lots of businesses, commercial centres and fast food joints.
We then returned by bus to the marina.
Friday, we fuelled up at the marina, had lunch and a nap and left in a strong squall at 5:00 p.m. for Lady Musgrave Island. All the way, we had a well established trade wind from the SE at 20 to 25 knots with gusts at 30 knots and we had a hard time slowing down to arrive at the lagoon after daylight.