Sunday, November 18, 2012

LWH – Week 19 –Night Island – night passage

Sun – Wed 11 – 14 Nov – Night Island
Sunday was a very sheltered day wondering if we stopped too soon but Monday the big blow came in with 30 knot winds and we were very glad to be where we were. Each evening the pigeons came in and we could hear a deep buzzing sound of thousands of pigeons cooing on the island. Another yacht came in on Tuesday afternoon heading north and anchored towards the north of the island. The next morning they were rolling badly. We had a slight bit of swell but all in all were pretty comfy.

Thurs 15 Nov – Morris Island
13⁰29.430S / 143⁰43.377E
Today would have been little Jackie matys birthday
We left at 6.30am but it was still pretty blowy so we decided to head 20 miles up to Morris Island which is a lovely sand island with a coconut palm and surrounded by lots of reef. The colour of the water was reminiscent of the Philippines. When the tide went out there was a huge sandspit coming out from the island. A couple of pelicans on the beach when we arrived (haven’t seen one of those for ages). We anchored at 12 and by 12.15 it was pouring rain but it didn’t last long. Some large white heron type birds were on the shore and also lots of little birds sitting along the beach. We are still following the shipping channel as it goes between all the reef. This little sandspit island turns into a huge island at low tide when all the reef is exposed and if you were inclined to you could walk for miles. At high tide you wouldn’t know there was any reef around so it just goes to show how close the reef is lurking to the surface! The wind howled till after midnight. A horrible sound but very comfortable though our track at anchorage was all over the place – we think currents are at play here. The skipper had a bit of luck here and caught a huge Spanish mackerel. The freezer is full so it is no more fishing for a while!!!!
Miles: 21 TTT: 3,093

Friday 16 Nov – Flinders Islands
14⁰10.677S / 144⁰13.729E
We left at 5.30am. The wind had died off but started up again at around 5. We put the sails out and could see a tug towing a barge out in the shipping channel – shades of Indonesia! And just to really make it like Indonesia someone did a nonsense gargle on channel 16! The skipper has taken to wearing a shirt as he is cold! We saw the biggest yellow seasnake sunning itself on the surface – it had to be 6 – 7 ft long. It was a beautiful sunny day and we motor sailed over 6 knots all morning following the edge of the shipping channel. During the afternoon the winds increased as did the waves and then we had to turn up into it to get to Cape Melville so we pulled into the Flinders Group and anchored at 4.30pm in 7.3m. We were surprised to see six other boats in there and two more came in after us. Some are heading north and some south. We ran out of pineapple, banana and pawpaw yesterday so now we are on the oranges. The wind howled through till about 2am. A comfortable night.
Miles: 62 TTT: 3,155

Sat 17 Nov – night sail
We upanchored in the dark at 5am and motored through the Owen channel. The Flinders Islands are stark and beautiful. It started out another lovely sunny day – area of interest rounding Cape Melville – hills covered in huge boulders and around the Cape three piles of boulders like God just dumped them there like piles of building blocks. Barrow point – really pretty – very rocky with big slabs of rock which look like it used to be an ancient building (its not) – unusual rocks here. A cat had been anchored at Barrow Island and left just before we got there and called us up for a weather report and it was so good they went back to Barrow Island. Just before Lookout Point we saw the most wonderful white sand cliffs shining in the afternoon sun – they looked quite spectacular. Lookout Point is where Captain Cook left his ship Endeavour while he went out to Lizard Island to try to find a way through the reef. Yes he did and they went out through a gap in the reef the other side of Lizard Island. We also passed Watson Island today which is where Mrs Watson and her baby died of thirst after escaping an Aborigine attack on Lizard Island in a bech-de-mer tub. Just watched the most beautiful sunset. The sun was a big orange orb – could have something to do with the smoke haze from burning off. We went through the night in perfect conditions except the wind dropped out.

We are currently enroute to Cairns having motor sailed through the night. We want to take the best advantage of this wonderful weather window we have been offered.

Hope all your days are sunny too.
Much love
Fair Winds and Calm Seas
Dell and Peter