Blog 35. 7 July 2019 At sea heading for Flinders Island. 14.32.20S 145.06.49E
Thu 11 Jul 2019 05:22
Leaving Cairns in the early morning, Wednesday 3 July, leading lights just showing.
The obvious place to stop for the night from Cairns is Low Islands, which we had been told was nice. For us, not much shelter, good holding but rough in the trade winds we had and very touristy.
We left asap the following morning and headed for an overnight stop at Cape Flattery some 93nm away, not wishing to spend another night off a coral island in a swell. An excellent days sail, goose winged and a good 8 knots plus once the wind got up. We arrived just after dark, with rather a rough sea off the Cape and were motoring into the bay against the still strong wind when the starboard engine temperature warning light came on. This happened twice for a moment or two, then it appeared to recover and we motored up towards the only other yacht in the bay and anchored in time for a strong anchor nip, supper and a reasonable night’s sleep, with another early start to do another much shorter sail to Lizard Island. We arrived in good time for lunch and a short afternoon’s walk with some challenging rock climbing for the Ship’s Boy, lead astray by the Skipper’s wife!
The head of Watson Bay, all very beautiful in somewhat rough where the outer boats including us, were anchored.
The Ship’s Boy demonstrating her unique style climbing up steep rocks from the beach
We liked the Island so much and with a challenging walk in the offing to Cook’s Lookout, where James Cook climbed the same hilltop to see if he could see a way out of the reefs, we definitely wanted to stay another day.
On our way up to Cook’s lookout the following day, with a lovely view of the anchorage. Alcedo is just this side of the dark blue boat.
The monument at the top of the hill with distances and bearings to all the big cities from Cairns to London. You may be able to see that it is foggy at the top behind the Ship’s boy, so we were not able to get a proper view of what Captain Cook might have seen. However, we do have the most enormous respect for how those sailors navigated these waters without the advantage of modern bouys, GPS and excellent charts. Awesome.
One of the lizards that the island is famous for. It ran off the track before the Slipper’s wife could get a clear photograph, but then waited in the long grass while we admired it. Very handsome and with a long tail that is not in sight.
Skipper in the resort where we had an excellent supper the night before with a large number of other rally crews. A very happy, multinational bunch, most of whom speak good English and it was a real help to meet some of them so we can try and remember names and boats before everyone joins up in Thursday Island.
We also managed to snorkel in the afternoon after the walk. Much better coral and masses more fish and huge clams, two to three feet across, the like of which we have never seen before. In spite of the water being fairly cold and it being very windy, we also managed to scrub some of the hull on the port side. Alcedo’s below water hull is now home to a garden of weeds, a large population of barnacles and some circular dark organism not yet identified. The keel and the bulb, both re-done in New Zealand, still look pristine so we can only assume the old copper coat is no longer effective and will have to be renewed in Malaysia. So much for 10 years protection, clearly not applicable to a boat in the tropics!
On a sad note, Skipper’s wife’s mother was cremated on the morning of the 4 July in the UK. Sheila died on Sunday 30th, a blessing for her after 7 years in a care home, even though it was an outstandingly good one. We raised a toast to her life in the evening at much the same time as the cremation and by some strange coincidence, received an email from sister Jane as we were pouring the brandy giving details of the cremation service. We had had no internet connection on the boat before then and it disappeared again shortly afterwards. Make of that what you will.
Today we are on our way to Flinders Island, another quite big island with a channel and recommended anchorage that should be protected from the swell.
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