Blog 19. Land Ahoy. 21.43.66S 150.47.55E
Tue 28 May 2019 08:03
First sight of Australian land, aptly named High Peak Island.
We debate whether to slow down and wait until tomorrow morning before going into the marina, but the staff in the marina office said it was fine to come in in the dark and tie up to the fuel dock while we wait for customs, immigration, bio control etc. So engine revs increased and Alcedo motoring well in the calm seas. The day continues somewhat cloudy and definitely less tropical than yesterday and motoring through the well spread out islands in a flat calm had a somewhat surreal feel.
Motoring up inside the GBR, not at all what we expected
Equally surreal, the sudden appearance on the stern of a small sports fishing boat and the offer of a fish. Skipper’s wife, on watch alone at the time, tried to say no politely by explaining we had customs and bio security etc to deal with and that said fish would not feed the 5 people on board. Completely undeterred, said fish was replaced by a much bigger one, so resistance evaporated and said fish was transferred from one net to another, with one of the “sports fishermen” nearly falling overboard in the process. Best not record what followed once the sports fishing boat had disappeared and no photographic evidence available!
To improve our experience with the officials, we start cleaning the boat in preparation for the searches we know we will be subjected to and the lunch time cook and Ship’s Boy make sure we have no vegetables, meat or fruit left unconsumed.
On the approach to Mackay, the reverse of no ships. Crossing the shipping lanes in daylight and in the dark, lights from over 50 commercial vessels anchored in three separate areas.
Crossing the shipping lanes, this is the sort of commercial vessels that use them.
After zig zagging to go between anchorage areas, we proceed cautiously into Mackay Harbour on the bright red leading lines and then really creep from the harbour entrance to the narrow marina entrance and onto one of the fuel berths. Great teamwork from all and once securely tied to the pontoon, we retire for an anchor nip and celebration at arriving in Aussie land.
Sent from my iPad
Sent from my iPad