Tuesday, October 6, 2015

WEEK 8 : Magnetic Island to Cairns

Sat 26 Sept - Magnetic Island to Orpheous
We took Rosie ashore then left at 7am. We motorsailed in rough seas. Rosie put her head down and went to sleep. It wasnt a bad day and the weather was good. Went past Palm Island and the seas started to get a bit better then the fishing line took off. The line kept going out and the skipper couldnt hold it so I turned the boat and pulled in the sail and he played it for quite some time. He got it close to the boat and it was a pretty big fish! We were hoping to get it up for a photo and to retrieve the lure (favourite) then let it go as it was too big. But it went under the boat and snapped the line (50lb breaking strain) and it got away. Unfortunately (for the fish) it still had the lure but it was gone. Skipper left with sore arms. We both agree that it was a very big fish but the skipper's arms are longer than mine!!! Had a lovely motor sail up past Orpheus. Passed a yank boat at Yankee Jetty! Passed the resort where cousin Philip had done some work and came round into Little Orpheous Bay at the same time as another yacht. We could see a mooring buoy so gunned it and so did he but he got there first! Then we spied another buoy on the other side which he had already gone past. So we picked that one up and are in a perfect spot. He obviously didnt like the first buoy as he ended up anchoring. It was low tide and they do look really close to the reef but that is why they are there. It is really calm in here and now we just have to wait for high tide to get to the beach over the rocks and reef.
Miles: 39 TTT : 749

Sun 27 Sept - Orpheous - Goold Island
Took Rosie ashore and she did her coffee table run. We met a fellow ashore who was crew on a large motor cruiser which also had a game fishing boat travelling with it. He told us that they take 21,000 litres - 1,000 litres a day!! and then we dropped the mooring and had a good sail over towards Zoe Bay on Hinchinbrook Island. Once again it was too swelly to go in. We hope to get in there one day! The skipper hooked another huge fish here and the same thing happened - another lure gone! We then just slowly motor sailed up Hinchinbrook and around the top and continued on to Goold Island. It was low tide (springs) so we anchored in 2.4m (1m water under the keel). There was a lovely long sandspit with a lovely beach and very tropical looking. It was a bit far away so we took note of where the rocks were on the little closer beaches (and looked for crocodile slides!) and when the tide came in we took Rosie ashore to a lovely little beach with rocks each end of it. Explored for a little while then the midgies came out so we returned to the boat. It was the full moon so it was bright as day. Had a very comfortable night.
Miles : 36 TTT : 785

Mon 28 Sept - Goold - Mourilyan Harbour
We decided to go to the long beach with the lovely sandspit as we thought it would be nice to walk along it. It was 1 - 1 1/2 km away. We read the signs when we got in and it said crocodiles are in these waters (which we knew) but then it said - do not swim, stay away from waters edge, be excessively careful launching boats and do not camp too close to the water with a big Achtung on it. Why do they always think the Germans may be the foolhardy ones! Anyway there is a campsite there with bbq, water tank, picnic tables etc and as it was at the end of the point with water both sides of it - one side being near mangroves we wondered who on earth would stay there and why!!! Anyway it curtailed our walk along the beach and we came back to the boat - exercising great caution where we launched Bob. We had discovered yesterday that our mainsail had inexplicably torn in two places. It had no pressure on it yesterday so we have no idea why. The skipper patched it this morning, then we had a shower at the back of the boat and left for an easy day - motoring. No wind, water almost oily. We are wanting to get out to the reef and today might have been good but the wind is due to come up a bit tonight. We motor sailed towards Kent Island, one of our favourites. We could see a big warship ahead with helicopters and landing craft. It was HMS Canberra and as we got closer they called us up (must have amazing binoculars) and told us we must stay 1,000 yards away. So we changed course. Saw a helicopter land on the deck and two landing craft go into the back of the ship and two more come out. Incredibly interesting. We came round Kent Island and it was too swelly to anchor. And also a batch of canoists had landed and were obviously going to spend the night. We kept going and went into Mourilyan Harbour which is a small gap on the mainland which opens into a large harbour (big enough to turn a ship in). This is where all the sugar trucks bring the sugar to be shipped out. The ship in there was out of Hong Kong. We had to anchor behind the turning point and it really was quite shallow. We took Rosie to the jetty - another crocodile warning sign. At slack tide around 9pm the tug pulled the ship away from the dock and the ship motored out - amazing to see. I could just imagine a first time captain coming in to the harbour say - you want me to go where! Heaps of mosquitoes. Had the net on the front hatch but not the second one so by the time we closed it we had heaps of mossies. Think we got most of them with tea towels!
Miles : 36 TTT : 821

Tues 29 - Mourilyan - Russell Island
We had a grand sail for a while today. Left at 7 but then had to motor sail then just motor to Russel Island. Arrived at 11.45 and picked up a mooring buoy which was for a 10 m boat and there is a huge bommy quite close.. The other two buoys were taken. We went ashore and then took the bathoscope in to look at the reef. It is really good. Saw a giant clam and it was so pretty with irridescent spots of emerald green around it. Beautiful. Thought about snorkeling but the skipper wasnt keen so I made do with the bathoscope. We found out later that a boy had been bitten by a shark here yesterday! The tide went out and a lot of the reef was exposed. It is a beautiful part of the world. We went ashore again in the afternoon and walked around the island. On the other side there was a channel with hundreds of sea slugs (black ones). Never seen so many. Then we sat on the beach and had sundowners. A really lovely stay.
Miles: 24 TTT : 845

Wed 30 - Russel Island - Cairns
Through the night the wind came up from the South West which turned us quite close to the bommy out the back!!! Who would have thought. Anyway took Rosie ashore and left early and motor sailed to Cairns as we knew the wind was going to blow up strong. We dropped the anchor up Trinity Inlet just in front of Braveheart and across from Little Blue (who used to have Single Malt). We managed to find a public boat ramp a bit further up another inlet where we could take Rosie ashore. We all met on Little Blue for sundowners and it was lovely to catch up after all this time.
Miles : 36 TTT: 881

Thurs 1 Oct - Cairns
Went to the boat ramp and had a bit of a walk around and then took the tender up as far as the Yacht Club and then came back to the boat. The wind was starting to blow up. We took Rosie ashore and got soaked and then had sundowners on Braveheart. Little Blue didnt come across as it was too rough.

Fri 2 Oct - Cairns
Well we are truly stuck here now as the winds have set in for the next week. We took Rosie in this morning and had a bit of a walk but could not get her ashore in the evening as it was too rough.
Stuck in Cairns!!!