We ended up staying 5 nights in Mackay while the SE didn't let up. 4 of the 5 were party nights with John and Jo from Kirra Kirra and Mike and Lynn from Time 2, then Mark and Shannon from Axis Mundi.

 

We went into town hitching a lift with Mike and Lynn then hired a car ourselves the next day to re provision and drop John and Jo at the airport. They were returning home to Melbourne for a couple of weeks.

Spent time upgrading software of chartplotter and AIS. Hopefully this will make them more stable. Not trusting the Raymarine GPS 100% at the moment as it does funny things occasionally.

Went for a run into 25-30 knots of wind. Sooo good to turn around!

Met Mark and Shannon from Axis Mundi a Lightwave 38 and had them over for drinks on our last night.

12th June

Finally got away from Mackay but not quite as early as planned. Moderating forecast but still blowing 20 knots and very overcast, and cloudy. Big swell running all the way to Brampton Island but for once the current was with us. Shot the gap between Goldsmith and Linnie Islands to emerge in nice calm sheltered water. Back into the Whitsunday Passage as we cleared Shaw Island then on past Dent Island

 

into CID Harbour for the night managed to hold the current with us all day until just as we entered CID Harbour. Reckon we got about 10 free miles today.

Friday 13th (full moon too)

An early morning brisk walk up Whitsunday Peak. It had rained overnight so the track was wet and muddy in places. Got to the top in 42 minutes about 4 minutes faster than our best time 4 years ago.

 

Found some colourful fungi on the way down

Back at the boat we enjoyed morning coffee before a relaxed sail to Airlie Beach where we dropped anchor just in front of Whitsunday Sailing Club. Planned to go ashore for a wander, then maybe a meal ashore but after getting all showered and dressed up, when we got to the jetty, the tide was out and all the dingies were sitting on the mud. We don't do mud so it was back to GL for a beer and a home cooked meal.

Great full moon

Saturday 14th June

Foreshore run to Cannonvale. Checked out the foreshore market as well. Some nice fresh produce but we were fully stocked from Mackay. Mainly walked back from Cannonvale as Lea had a very sore Achilles' tendon

After a shower we were back on shore for coffee with Brian Hall. We were joined for lunch by Barry and Jan Schuwallow at the Sailing Club. It was a great catch up. Walked off lunch wandering over the new Port of Airlie development, then afternoon coffee before rushing back to the dinghy before low tide. A half hour too late and I had to do mud, dragging her ladyship in the dinghy across the mud into deeper water.

Brian joined us for dinner on GL and another good night was had while it rained again.

Sunday 15 th June

Still overcast and cool but the rain had stopped. Did the short but scenic Airlie Creek walk then stopped in town for coffee.

Had a quick chat with Ian from Bluewater Angel, a Robin Chamberlain designed cat. Ian was the third crew on Skedaddle for the New Cal trip last year.

Decided to move on with the tide to make Gloucester Passage. Quiet Schreecher run with some great scenery

Anchored in front of Monte's resort and had a quick beach walk around to the competing Eco Resort before chilling out with a beer at Monte's

Monday 16th June

Another overcast day. We headed out of Gloucester Passage early to catch the last of the ebb tide heading in our direction. Once clear of the channel the Spinnaker was up and we were zoom zooming along with the breeze slowly building. The forecast was for 15 to 20 SE so Lea, hand steering, held back getting rid of the Spinnaker until she sheepishly had to tell me it was gusting to 28 knots. I'm the bunny who gets lifted off the deck trying to get it snuffed so I wasn't very impressed. However, the retrieval went well and we were romping along under Schreecher not quite as fast but less on edge.

Fishing line was out and we had a big strike. The fish fought like crazy and we were unable to slow down easily so it was quite a wrestle. Very suprised when we realised we had a small shark.

As we got him upto the back deck I was not so happy about those teeth, small shark or not. We had checked the book and identified it as a grey reef shark. Not on the prized table fish list so we decided to let it go.

Passed the Abbey Bay conveyer or loader

The breeze nearly held in for the duration but we did goosewing the Genoa for a little extra speed near the end rather than up the kite again. Rounded Cape Upstart and the “Bun”

Dropped anchor in a beautiful little bay just inside Cape Upstart. Ashore we had a chat to one of the locals then checked out the place including the commemorative plaques to Captain cook's visit here in 1770.

Tuesday 17 th June

The wind was up sporadically all night and more southerly than expected. We were keen to move off early as the weather was not improving and if it stays southerly we can't stay at our planned anchorage at Cape Cleveland and will need to continue on to Townsville.

Spinnaker was up straight away as the Shreecher just didn't have the power. We carried it all the way to Cape Bowling Green with a couple of gybes to deal with some weird wind shifts. Under the Lee of Cape Bowling Green we dropped the Spinnaker and hoisted the Main as our angle to Cape Cleveland was more a beam reach. We soon had to put a reef in the Main as the gusts reached over 20 knots and our boat speed went over 14 knots.

We blasted across Cape Bowling Green Bay over and through short lumpy seas . The sun didn't show itself all day and the temperature remained around 17 degrees C with occaisional squalls and showers. Lea was rugged up in 4 layers of thermal clothes and we were wondering why we had bothered to sail over 1500 Nm to get Victorian winter weather.

The only thing that kept a smile on her face was that we were still doing over 10 knots

Eventually we arrived at Cape Cleveland. Had a bit of a scare as we came around the Cape. Our position shown on the chart plotter was obviously wrong. We compared it against our Ipad Navionics backup and found it was a significant error. We had just passed close by some very serious reefs. Not a good feeling. The main GPS unit has been a bit temperamental recently, showing the wrong date and being slow to start. It was time to replace it. We can't take a chance on where we are going.

The trip across Cleveland Bay was long and frustrating as the wind gusted then headed us, dropped then came in hard again. A long 10 Nm. The GPS crapped out again putting us 1/2 a Nm from where we actually were.

Inside the the Breakwater Marina it was all calm and we had the staff come down to help us tie up and deal with the paperwork.

A 2 beer night for me and Lea retired early to the showers to use all the marinas hot water to thaw out.

The weather had better improve or we will give Greg and Janie, who pick us up tomorrow, a really hard time. They are always whinging about how hot it is in Townsville. HAVE THEY LIED??

 

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