This week marked the fifth week of residing on a crusing boat and crusing the Australian East Coast.
We have been lastly able to depart North, leaving the Whitsunday Islands behind us.
Airlie Seaside to Double Bay
Our first anchorage location was Double Bay, just a few hours sail Airlie Seaside. We departed early on a crystal clear, calm morning.
We had an honest 15 knots of wind from our stern with nearly no swell. This made it a cushty sail across the headlands and into Double Bay.
Double Bay Wildlife
We had heard that there was loads of wildlife roaming the waters of Double Bay. This was instantly confirmed as we noticed a pod of porpoises frolicking within the entrance of the bay.
We laid anchor simply after noon and simply took time to chill out and unwind within the secluded anchorage. Once more, we have been the one boat in sight.
In the course of the afternoon, we noticed much more wildlife, together with sharks, some turtles and big eagles flying overhead.
Double Bay to Gloucester Island
The second day of crusing was one other quick hop to Gloucester Passage. Our plan was to both anchor simply exterior Gloucester Island or exterior Montes Resort.
Because of growing winds, we selected the latter, which supplied a bit of extra shelter for the in a single day stopover. Although there wasn’t a lot to discover, it was one other stunning spot. We explored the seashores and motored across the bay in our tender.
Gloucester Island to Cape Upstart
We determined that Bowen wasn’t actually a spot that we wished to take a look at. As a substitute, we determined to make an extended sprint previous Bowen and into Cape Upstart.
For the lengthy journey of round 10 hours, we departed at 3.30 AM and sailed into sturdy winds and large seas. Although it felt a bit of tough within the pitch black, it was nothing in comparison with what was ready for us on the next day.
It was fairly spectacular watching the dawn over the water.
Just a few hours later, after the devastation of dropping an enormous Spanish Mackerel on a trolling line, we sailed previous the Abbott Level coal loading facility. It was unusual seeing it in particular person, particularly after studying a lot concerning the controversy of Adani’s new coal prepare strains within the space.
We lastly arrived in Cape Upstart early within the afternoon. Winds had picked up much more, so we determined to sail deeper into the cape in direction of the mainland in hopes of higher safety.
For these crusing and searching for an anchorage location, I’d extremely advocate selecting one nearer to the cape. As you sail inland, the hills turn out to be extra uncovered and the waters much less interesting.
Cape Upstart to Cape Bowling Inexperienced
What a day. One other early departure for what was deliberate to be a ten hour stint from Cape Upstart to Cape Bowling Inexperienced.
As we sailed out of the protected bay waters, winds shortly picked as much as 30 knots with rising swell. The roll was getting uncomfortable, so we have been compelled to tack out to sea to keep away from the breaking waves on the beam.
Because the winds continued to select up and the waves turning into ever taller, we continued our tack with a single reefed ahead sail.
In the direction of the tip of a wild run, we nonetheless had the slender, shifting sandbars simply exterior Cape Bowling Inexperienced. This space is named a tough patch for mariners, full with a 3500-tonne wreck simply off the spit.
However, we pushed on, browsing down three-meter waves with 30-knot gales pushing us from the again. We managed to achieve a prime velocity of 10.6 knots with solely half a sail up on a single mast. Not dangerous for a heavy, metal motorsailer.
Cape Bowling Inexperienced Anchorage
After eight hours, simply as we thought we’d get some peaceable refuge from the tough climate, we have been met with a pointy flip immediately into the gale winds that lead into Cape Bowling Inexperienced.
The complete bay is totally flat, offering completely no safety in opposition to the wind in any course. We noticed some trawlers roughing it out simply contained in the cape however determined in opposition to becoming a member of them because it didn’t look an excessive amount of enjoyable within the swell.
As a substitute, we motored into the wind for nearly two hours till we lastly tried to put anchor.
It took seven makes an attempt to attempt to get the anchor to carry. Sadly, the mud in Cape Bowling Inexperienced simply didn’t reduce it for the sturdy winds.
Since we have been exhausted, and there have been no boats or obstacles for miles in any course of us, we merely laid out most of or chain and took turns to maintain watch so we didn’t drag too far through the evening.
The subsequent morning, we had dragged over a kilometer by the bay. We additionally seen that the ahead mast had some structural harm from the tough seas the day earlier than and required repairs.
However, we have been all secure, Townsville was just a few hours sail away and situations have been a refreshing distinction to the day earlier than.
Cape Bowling Inexperienced to Townsville
It was a delicate cruise into Townsville. We had mushy winds with nearly no swell and solely the occasional cloud.
We have been hoping that after we reached Townsville, we may head to Magnetic Island and revel in some well-deserved island time. As a substitute, we have been compelled to guide a slipping within the Townsville boatyard to do some fast weld repairs on the ahead mast.
Seems like subsequent week will more than likely be spent engaged on repairs and getting some upkeep accomplished as soon as Malaika is out of the water.
We are able to’t all the time have calm climate, stunning tropical waters, and untouched islands. Generally, we’re confronted with the storm and inevitable repairs or upkeep. It’s a bit of bit like life. Discomfort is a state the place progress thrives and what we be taught from our hardships is what shapes us.
So, because the well-known naval proverb goes;
Easy seas by no means made a talented sailor.