How many people get to live their dreams? I am..........!

This is my story from the time when Capt'n John and I first decided to sail around the big block, to circumnavigate this great land of ours, AUSTRALIA.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Hop Around the Corner to Island Head Creek

Wednesday 16th May 2012
Hop Around the Corner to Island Head Creek
22’21.481 E – 150’38.620 S
High winds, messy seas, 1.5mt seas, 2mt swell

It was not the best sleep last night with the slapping of the wavelets on the hull and the running of the swell when AR turned after low tide sometime in the middle of the night. Both MrJ and I were up early, earlier than usual making ready to get underway for a quick hop around the corner to Island Head Creek where we think the protection from the weather will be much better.
Sunrise in Pearl Bay from the cabin hatch
0615hrs AR is heading out of Pearl Bay to do the short 10n/m to Island Head. We are heading out the same way that we came in between the South Hervey Islands and the south headland and not by the suggested second track as shown in the guide books going up the inside of the small island group before heading to sea, just because we can. The seas are heavy but running with us with 18/22knts of wind. Under genoa it takes AR a little over an hour to be at anchor again.

Five minutes to 0700 I switch on the HF radio to see if we can catch the Shag Island Cruising Yacht Club (SICYC) sked or Shagger Net as we know it on HF frequency 8161. I here Andy off PAWS loud and clear start up the sked. I answer Andy’s call; I give our location and our destination for the next anchorage. No one else has come up on the sked; this leaves the radio open for Andy and me to have a short chit-chat. We chat about how AR is going and about how things are back at the Manly Marina. Chit-chat and over we sign off till tomorrow morning at the same time.

To enter the wide entrance of Island Head Creek MrJ and I take the much favoured north passage leaving the Island Head close to STB, skirting past the rocky outcrops to the inside and the cutting around the sand bar following the deep water channel. There is another passage along the southern headland that we have yet to try.
Looking into Island Head Creek

Looks like there are quite a few boats in the creek and some of the best anchorages have been taken. Our first thought is to anchor at one of our past anchorage on passages north, behind the southern headland just off the forth beach but this proves to be not so good this time with 30knt bullets of wind blasting around the hill. Breakfast first and then we move. We move further upstream to tuck in behind the southern sandbank where the wind is howling but there is little or no chop. We try to get in behind Neriki, between Neriki and a small sloop; the feller on the sloop is waving his hands madly. Maybe he thinks that we are too close. We are not but we move again.  MrJ and I finally settle AR on the opposite shore, towards the northern beach in 6-7mts of water in good firm sand where three other boats are anchored. Only trouble is that we have put ourselves on a lee shore with strong winds coming across the wide creek giving us a lot of chop but the long shoaling beach is still about 50mts away off our stern. I am pleased to say that our Rocna anchor has set fast; like a rock and I have paid out 50mts of chain. That should do us.

Island Head is at the northern end of a mountainous peninsula on the Central QLD coast between Yeppoon and St Lawrence. It has two natural harbours, Port Clinton in the south and Island Head Creek in the north. The western side of the peninsula is Shoalwater Bay a well known military training area. Uninhabited Island Head Creek is a more compact and secure anchorage than Port Clinton, one of the safest anchorages on the QLD coast where you can get up stream and hide out in spectacular wilderness. Most passing boats choose to anchor by the sandbank just inside the mouth or a only a short distance up stream giving them less distance to travel when leaving. The creek is also the home of huge Mud Crabs and is a top fishing spot. Not that we lay claim to be able to catch either! The upper reaches of Island Head Creek are a popular spot with many fishing boats, private or charter.
Thinks that get washed up on the beach
Before we have time to settle and before lunch, MrJ and I drop the dinghy and motor to the shore to exercise our sea legs. The long golden beach stretches out to the east, out around the point to a sand spit that nearly reaches out to the outside islands. The tide is still going out making the water’s edge a long way from where the beach meets the tree and brush line. There are ripples of water, almost streams running across the sand in some places and in other places there are millions of sand ball which are the only evidence of the huge crab popular on the beach or should I say under the sand. I do see a tiny crab running so fast across the sand, and then other and other. These tiny crabs are so small that the sand balls are almost bigger. Maybe their bigger cousins are sleeping in their holes, and there are millions of those crab holes too.

On the walk out to the sand spit we meet up with some other boaties on their way back from doing the same long walk. MrJ and I stop and chat to these friendly people off Sasha B. Finally we meet after hearing about then and anchoring beside them at North Keppel. This is what happens in the boating world; one day you will get to see or meet just about everyone who is out there.

Out on the sand I can see that there is a lot of ocean debris and rubbish that has been washed up over a great time. Well buried in the sand we come across an old tucker box freezer, a plastic drum, lots of containers of all descriptions and sizes and plenty of drift wood. MrJ and I have some fun on the sand making tracks and taking photo of these and the shadows that we make plus the shadow shapes that nature has provided. We play around like a couple of kids.
MrJ is trying to look like he is lost in the desert, but to me it looks like he is
doing something else. ;o)))))))

After lunch back on board AR, MrJ and I busy ourselves with our tidying up chores till mid afternoon. It is coffee time, time to sit down and relax, time to do some writing and photo editing.

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