Wednesday 4th June

Sashimi with soy and wasabi sauce for morning tea and with a sunset G&T as we wafted toward Lady Musgrave Island.

Kept the Spinnaker up into the night but around 2200 the radar showed a rain squall coming up behind us so we dropped the kite and changed to Screecher. Passed Lady Musgrave around midnight then aimed for Erskine Channel, a gap in the islands just west of Heron Island.

The Spinnaker went up again at daylight but we were dissappointed when the breeze dropped out mid afternoon (not forecast) so we changed plans and Motorsailed another 10 Nm to Pearl Bay 209Nm in 36 hours We arrived just on dusk to join 6 other boats already at anchor there. Dinner and bed.

Friday 6 th June

Lea's birthday. She loved the new watch she had chosen for herself.

Bloody rolly on the flood tide and the monos were oscillating violently. Don't know how they get any sleep onboard. We moved off by 0645 and had the Spinnaker flying by 0700. The breeze was a nice solid 18-20Kn which pushed us through the strong tidal currents in this area. The seas were short and steep just like Bass Strait. To keep on the same tack we headed for to Eastern tip of South Percy Island and made 53 Nm in 6 hours averaging 8.5 Kn.

We were entertained by a playfully pod of small bottle nose dolphins that frolicked under the bows of GL for half an hour.

We gybed the Spinnaker just after entering the Strait between the Percy Islands and took off on flat water powering along at 12 kn.

Short lived as I spotted a waterspout develop not far ahead that seemed to be heading our way. Quickly dumped the Spinnaker. 20 minutes later as we wallowed around in the lee of the South Percy consoling ourselves that it's better to be safe than sorry but after the excitement of the Spinnaker run the last few miles were painfully slow.

Arrived at Middle Percy anchorage to find we had the whole place to ourselves, most unusual as this is a very popular place with cruisers.

Went ashore to climb up the hill to get some phone service. Intermittent text service was all we could achieve, but it was good to stretch the legs. Checked out Andys “A” Frame where many tokens of visiting boats are displayed.

 

Was cold up the hill and the tide was coming in to wash away our dinghy. (The sand was too soft to drag it up the beach very far) so I was soon impatient to get back down.

As we descended the hill we saw Sharman a Perry 57 Cat at anchor. We had followed them into Pearl Bay the previous night.

Back in the dinghy we had a quick look inside the Basin, a very sheltered lagoon accessible at high tide, first discovered by Mathew Flinders.

 

Then we went past Sharman to say Hi and ended up spending an hour with Geoff and Charmaine over a couple of drinks, as you do.

It was time for me to cook Lea her birthday dinner, so once she was showered and set up with another glass of cold Pinot Gris I got to work creating a culinary masterpiece with pork chops including freshly made apple sauce no less!

June 7

No wonder there were no other boats in the bay. The roll created by the incoming tide tossed us around all night. Not a good sleep.

Up early again and straight up with the Spinnaker to blast up to Mackay. Noted some tears in the Spinnaker caused by twist in the sock a few days ago leading to some rope burn on the fabric.

Lots of hand steering to control the yawing in the steep short seas. Lea hit 15.5 knots on a good surf and we averaged just under 10 knots for the 72 Nm trip including the extra 6 Nm fighting the tide. Under the lee of Prudhoe Island we doused the Spinnaker and changed to single reefed Main and Genoa as we changed angles from dead run to broad reach in the now 25 knot breeze.

Pulled into Mackay Marina just after 1400 and backed into a nice big pen. Always stressful in 25 Kn of wind. Lea still hasn't managed the art of doing what I'm thinking without me explaining fully. Anyway, we got tied up safe and securely without denting the boat so all was good.

Destressed with a nice cup of tea and a hot shower. Then off to catch up with John and Jo on Kirra Kirra, friends we made last year before heading across to New Cal.

Great evening was had. New friends made with Mike and Lyn, South Africans who have sailed their motor cruiser 2/3 around the world. Looking forward to checking out their boat.

June 8

Blew a gale all night and kept awake by a halyard banging on the superyacht behind us. Asked the young Frenchman onboard, nicely, this morning, to fix the banging. He was dismissive and said it couldn't be fixed. Bullshit! I could have it fixed in a minute, however, I held my tongue. Not quite etiquette to board someone else's boat, especially a multi million dollar superyacht, and adjust ropes so eventually I called marina management. It will be fixed before tonight.

Morning coffee with John and Jo and a catch up on washing and blogging. Preparing for a seafood extravaganza onboard Kirra Kirra tonight with a mixture of hunted and gathered offerings from the 3 boats.

Winds forecast to blow over 30Kn for the next few days so we will chill in the marina. Might even hire a car and go for a hinterland exploration.

 

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