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, 13 October 2012

The Flatness Between Cape Grenville and the Escape River

Daybreak leaving Cape Grenville
Thursday 11th October 2012
The Flatness Between Cape Grenville and the Escape River
10'58.205S - 142'31.492E

This morning MrJ and I were up very early and not to be lazy bones sitting around writing blogs for all of you out there to read. No we were up early to go to work; go to work getting AR out of Margaret Bay and sailing on up the far north coastline of Cape York. I could hear a croc noise on the STB side of the hull as I winching up the anchor chain. I was not being paranoid; it was that click, clicky sound that they make. Bit like a funny bird call only that was no bird under the hull.
Our destination was the Escape River about 70n/miles away. Ok, I know that we did this distance the first two days out of Lizard Island but back then we did have high winds and swelly seas pushing AR along. Not so much now with light breezes and flat seas. We have been using one of the iron sails to keep AR cruising above 5knts.

The two trawlers from the night before are still out working and we pass one in the dark as we leave Margaret Bay. I did try going back to bed but the sleep was evading me. I was up again to see the sun rise as AR was passing the Bird Islets.

0700hs SICYC radio sched – MrJ speaks with David off Quinco, they are heading back from New Caledonia, Dave off Moonglade, anchored in Island Head creek and Andy off Paws, still in the Whitsundays.
It was MrJ’s turn to try and get some sleep but no such luck either, his wrist watch sang out a friendly reminder of the wether transmission on the HF at 0730hs and once that had happen the was no chance in hell of either of us getting any shut eye at this time. Breakfast instead was the order of the morning!
The coast along this entire stretch of coastlines tends to be very flat, the hills being very low and featureless. North of Margaret Bay there is the white/white sand hills and blows. The silica in the sand has to be fairly high to get that blinding whiteness. These sand hills we can see from eight n/miles out, as we transverse the shipping lane.

MrJ pulled out the bag of spare nylon cordage; as we go along he has been constructing a croc deterrent net across the back steps. Might not stop the croc who is determined to come on board but we are hoping it will make them think twice.

I have been doing a check on our supplies to see what has buried its way to the bottom of the galley locker and the fridge/freezer. The fresh fruit has all gone, we still have a couple of vegies in the fridge and plenty of root vegies (potato, little pumpkins, sweet potato, onions and garlic) hanging in material bags. There is enough tin food to last at least three more weeks, plenty of dried food, pasta rice, beans and peas a few bottles of wine, plenty of cheese and a carton of beer. Oh no! We might run out of beer...................!!!
Hope MrJ has enough money to shop at Seisia. ;o))))

Midday AR is passing Cairncross Islet and light. The tide is low revealing parts of the reef that surrounds the islands. How brilliant turquoise the water all seems.

Next thing you know we are being over taken by a Navy patrol boat – how cheeky – MrJ dips the colours (dipping the AUS flag) but no one has seen and they steam off into the distance doing about 20 something knots, leaving us to casually cruise along at 5knts. We will get there today!

a feeding freenzy in the river
After AR has entered the mouth of the Escape Rive we can clearly see the building of the pearl farm on the inside head of Turtle Head Island on the northern side of the channel and the pearl rafts to the south just inside the entrance.
Pearl farm
Before we go any further up stream we get a radio call from Rusty at the pearl farm. Rusty gives us direction to where to best anchor without going all the way upstream like it shows in the Lucas book. “Take a sharp left, 45 degrees, once past the big box frame, keeping clear of the orange floating buoys and drop the anchor about 80mts from the mangrove shore and you’ll be right”. Thanks Rusty, we did this and it was a perfect anchorage with not so far to travel.

Later, on their way back from working on the oyster plan rusty and Bronwyn call by; only for a short chat as it was nearly sun down and time to be home.
working at dusk
They asked about our plans and told us that they had been at the pearl farm now four years. Bronwyn invited us over for a cuppa the next morning; I said thanks anyway and declined. “Too bad” said Rusty, “It’s a long way round to come back again”. “But it is your call”. And the Rusty and Bronwyn went on their way while MrJ and I were left to ourselves to enjoy a night in the Escape River.
The Escape River

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