Blog 36. 10 July. Blackwood Bay. 10.38.45S 142.38.75E

David Batten
Thu 11 Jul 2019 05:54
So an early start for Flinders and a cracking good sail, with speeds of 10+ knots at times and nm in hours, with some excitement on the fishing front.

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We have had several big fish get away, probably a good thing as we would never have been able to eat them or find freezer space for them. We think it takes special talent to hook a leaf, especially with “Toad”on the helm and going like smoke.

8th July. The Owen Channel between Flinders Island and Stanley Island increased the heart rate of most of the crew, particularly the Skipper’s wife at the helm. There was a strong tide running, it was blowing hard from behind and quite rough for the first part and it is narrow and lined with shoals and coral and the starboard engine could not to be relied upon. However, the anchorage was flat and beautiful when we anchored and provided a very pleasant overnight stop. We were the only boat there so had choice of anchoring position, the only other boats around having elected to anchor off the sheltered side of Stanley Island.

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The anchorage off a sandy spit on Flinders Island. The channel runs between Stanley island, the higher headland with the flat top to the right and the low lying headland to the right of the sandy spit. Lots of shelter and no swell!

The following morning a leisurely start, 9.00am and an overnight, either to Margaret Bay if we are there after 6.00am or continue to Blackwood Bay if we are at Margaret Bay before dawn. It is approx 88nm from Margaret to Blackwood, so we would need to depart at dawn, so might as well keep going if we are going well. We were. After many changes of course, gybes, alteration in sails and good steering dead down wind, we arrived in Blackwood Bay at about 5.30. About 250nm in 36 hours, average 7.81 knots.

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A perfect sunset in Blackwood Bay. There was a small green flash, too small for the camera.

Today has been R & R, which really stands for tidying up, laundry and tackling some of the jobs that keep mysteriously adding themselves to a job’s list that never gets smaller. Starboard engine in particularly has been having much attention from the Skipper and Bill and it did not misbehave on the way into the Bay yesterday, so time well spent, even if they did not really pin down the problem. However, the water pump is definitely not circulating as much water as normals, so we have 3 more on order, 1 for each engine and 1 spare, with delivery to the post office on Thursday Island. There does not appear to be any walking on this island and a croc has been seen in the Bay, so we are not prepared to snorkel or continue with cleaning the hull.

Tomorrow is an early start to make the most of the tide towards Horne Island, arriving at the narrowest part of Ellis Island at approx high water. There are 3m patches of shifting sand bars on the chart and two red buoys in an interesting position, plus 2 greens and a cardinal to navigate round.


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