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.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Wild Ride to Curlew Island

Sunday 27th May 2012
Wild Ride to Curlew Island
21’35.596 E – 149’47.915 S
Strong winds, wild sea, cold temperature but nice sunshine.
Leaving Marble Island
MrJ and I pulled anchor just before 0700h to be away from the island, to get enough coverage on the HF for the SICYC Radio Net which I was doing this morning in place of Andy on Paws. Andy was away on a yacht race – how dare he have such fun on a Sunday morning....!!! ;o))))))

HF signal was very good; my broadcast was getting out and I received contact with David off Quinco in Manly, David off Moonglade in the Mary River, Maryborough and a boat named “Rittoure” in Luganville Vanuatu. No time for too much chit-chat, we were underway and the sails needed to be hauled.

Our sail north across to Curlew was under the headsail, genoa with strong winds (up to and above 25knts at times) from the SSW and a running sea of 2.5/3mtrs pushing us hard. MrJ had to do hand steer a lot of the way as our dear George (auto pilot) could not keep up with the constant pushing of the rough seas. I suppose we were lucky that it was a sunny day and not raining like yesterday.

Neriki was following with the main and headsail reefed. Ric had to pull up to put a third reef in his main and wound the headsail in more as it was getting too fierce for so much sail. The seas and having to do so much sail work must have frightened Shelly somewhat as I had her on the VHF radio not too long after this and she did not sound too cool. This was their first real time out in bad running seas and I do know how hard it seems at the time, but they got through it all and can sail again on better days. After a hard day like this you would like to think that a good anchorage would be waiting; not so.
Passing Bluff Island
The anchorage on the northern side of Curlew is supposed to be good for up to 30knts from E – SW, but that depends entirely which part of the bay that you have anchored in, which also depends on how much your boat draws because of the shoaling reefs and beach with a great tide difference of 6/7mtrs at spring and 4mtrs at neaps. These huge tidal differences mean that you cannot anchor too close in shore or you will find yourself high and dry on the long shoaling beaches. T me this anchorage brought back memories of a few years ago when MrJ and I were caught out in very bad weather, huge SE winds and swell with three days of rain stuck in this anchorage at Curlew on a spring tide. For those three days, we recorded doing 9n/m at anchor.


  1. Take care Nancy - letting you know I read your entries when I see them !! Good on you - living the dream !