|Sunrise in Bathurst Bay|
|coming round Cape Melville|
Day 1 - Lizard to Cape MelvilleSaturday 6th October 2012
Bouncing in Bathurst Bay
14’11.818S – 144’.27.870
|leaving beautiful blizzard island behind|
After rolling the covers and preparing AR we sailed out of Lizard at 0630hs under genoa on a NNW course with dark grey skies, a sloppy sea and 16knt of wind from the SSE, right up our backs and then the rain squalls began. The rain squalls continued throughout the entire day’s passage only to abate to let the winds increase getting ready for the next squall; at least this was pushing AR along at good speeds. We were moving along at anything between 6.5 - 8.5knts.
Another thing the squalls did was to help the sky produce several wonderful multicoloured rainbows which appeared in front spreading right across our bow like a huge archway for AR to sail under. How magic!
0700hs we picked Andy up on the SICYC radio sched; he was coming in very clear and we were able to report our position.
0800hs there was a long-line fishing trawler off our port beam who had slowed down to let us pass before taking off into the distance with his long-lines trailing.
|boat wreck on Coquet Island|
1030hrs MrJ and I were at Howick Island; it was too early in the day to drop the anchor so we sailed on. We see that there is a wreck of an old sail boat that has been washed up near the light on Coquet Island. I wonder how long that has been there.
1130hs we are passed by three ships and a tug all going in different directions as we sail close to the shipping lane.
We sailed on for Barrow Island and the anchorage in Ninian Bay but this proves not to be any good in these strong trade winds which are kicking up the seas and rolling on into the bay. We head for Cape Melville passing Pippon Island at 1645hs to finally anchor a couple of miles into Bathurst Bay just and another squall covers us with a heavy cloud of rain making visibility almost zero.
|seas got worse|
|and visibilty got worse|
How wrong were we! The weather condition became worse; gale force wind 33 – 36knts and with every severe blast of wind the shallow waters in the bay would kick up and slam AR keeping us awake for most of the night. This was the worst anchorage that we have ever had, worse than Cape Bowling Green a few years ago and catamarans do hobby horse in severe weather condition.
MrJ spent most of the night getting up to check on thing and at one stage the anchor had been pulled out but did reset its self. We had 40mts of chain out in 5mts of water. No colourful sunset just great cloud and rain.
|Stanely Island, Flinders Group|
Sunday 7th October 2012
An Endless Sea and Small Islands
13’29.249S – 143’43.359E
|breakfast sailing past Stanley Island|
Another reason it was good to wait for daylight is that MrJ and I were able to see the outline of the hills along the shore silhouetted against the fading redness and to our suprise we found that we had dropped anchor in the wrong spot. We were sitting right between to large hills and the wind was still fairly bulleting through. I was never so glad to get out of there. Once way from the shore and further out into the bay the wind had dropped away to nearly nothing, 12knts and we sailed off.
0850hrs I hear a boat call us, calling the sailing boat just out of Flinders Island and I answered the call. I was Thalisea, one of the boats back at Stanley wanting to know what wind we were getting. I replied; the conversation went back and forth a couple of time due to the static in the airways and then that was all so we sailed on.
|Wharton Island and light|
Before lunchtime the wind picks up, MrJ has been up for a while, both sails are out and the motor turned off. We were under sail power again doing 7-78.5knts with 16 – 20knts of wind from the NE. Not too much to see, a couple of flat islands and lots of sea.
There was a trawler anchored off Pelican Reef and two more trawlers at another reef. These trawler men go out from late afternoon till mid morning then rest and or sleep for a couple of our before getting ready to go out again; day in day out every day of the week while the season is running. They lead a very hard life but would not be doing anything else.
We had to pass a couple of smaller island sand cays before getting to our destination for the night. MrJ had a couple of running repairs to do one being a small leak, more like a tiny seep in the port diesel tank every time there was a violent movement to AR which is what we had been through all yesterday and last night. The fuel tanks are fairly full. MrJ packed the tank with paper towel and rags and then jammed a block down the side to stop any movement. So far so good!
The other repair was that one of the lazy jack lines (lines holding the sail bag up) gave way just before we were due to drop the mainsail. That was an easy one to fix; with a spare piece of small cord MrJ climbed up on the boom and ties a new line. Job done!
|sunset from Morris Island|
Monday 8thOctober 2012
Island of Birds - Time on Morris Island
13’29.249S – 143’43.359E
|sunrise across Morris Island|
|morning above Morris Island|
The other thing that is most noticeable is all the rubbish that has been washed up on the beach on the SW side of the island. It was a foot deep in places and must have been accumulating there for all time, occasionally being wash back to sea in heavy weather to return another day or move on to another island to be replaced with more rubbish from somewhere else. A viscous circle I do think!
On the western beach I did find the small track that leads in to one of the palm tree where and old grave has been marked. It is a diver’s grave harking back to the not so distant days when pearling and trochus shell luggers ranged far and wide from their home post of Thursday Island in the Torres Strait. They would be away for months at a time, so deaths in the crew were dealt with on the spot and graves being dug wherever necessary.
There was also a report of a crocodile being seen on Morris Island back in 2001; we didn’t find it and it didn’t find us. The waters surrounding the island were a beautiful warm crystal clear blue but I was not going in for a swim.
Sailing to Lloyd Bay
After our little adventure on Morris Island MrJ and I weighed anchor at 0740hs, sailing out for parts further north. We were motor-sailing in light winds doing about 5knts with the help of the port engine.
MrJ made himself at great reading station with back rest and shade at the help to keep comfortable on a lazy passage. I was spending some time on the computer catching up with writing and photos.
At 1020hrs we were passing Lowrie Island and then MrJ went below for a little nap while I stand on watch. Once again we are passing through shipping lanes but it is very quiet. The only thing I did see was a large motor boat/ fishing boat/ Rivera style boat further out passing down the other side of one of the reefs. The motor boat stops to pick up an orange buoy and then continues on.
1420hrs we were passing Chapman Island and light with a helipad. On the chart this island has been marked as an anchorage, it did look very pretty as AR went passed but I have not managed to find out any info on the anchorage.
Next thing you know we are heading past Cape Direction and into Lloyd Bay. MrJ tries to call another boat, a sailing boat on the horizon that has come in from the reef. No answer was the stern reply!
MrJ and I decide to go into Lloyd Bay to anchor behind Lloyd Island instead of trying to go on to Portland Road to be getting in after dark. A fellow Flickr photographer, who travels this coastline often, gave me the heads up on the anchorage behind Lloyd Island and it does get a short mention in the Lucas book. Lloyd Island lies fairly close to the mainland in the top part of Lloyd Bay and could possible harbour crocodiles. The upmost care need to be taken with the cockpit partition being put into place just in case there was a boarding.
On the way into the bay we see our first merchant ship for the day and there is a barge anchored behind Lloyd Island.We anchor safely at Lloyd Island just in time for another spectacular sunset.
|Sunset across Lloyd Bay|