1ST SEPTEMBER , 2010 POSITION:- 20.17S; 149.03E
We had a great few days up in the Whitsundays and joined up with David de Kantzow who was looking after a friend's Catamaran. We did not have the best of weather for the first two days but it was good for walks so we did a lovely walk through the forest over to Chance Bay from Whitesands Beach, and the following morning we walked one way for 45mins along Whitesands beach but still did not reach the end.
Glynis and Malcolm Gibson joined David having flown in from HK that day, they had had dinner with Donald at the RHKYC the night before along with many other old friends of his and ours also some old friends of David's, Angela and Kelly from Brisbane were on the Catamaran. I made a green chicken curry and an apple tart-tatin and Angela and Glynis BBQd some delicious large prawns with a salad as a starter. We all gathered on the Cat' as it has a larger entertaining area an extremely good evening, and just wished we could have stayed until late, but we had to be up at crack of dawn to set sail for Brisbane. (Forgot my camera for the evening) but photos may follow once I have them from Angela or Glynis).
Horrible 'sail' down motor sailing, as the wind at 20 - 25 knot's was right on the nose and we were slamming into waves, which was uncomfortable. At 2.a.m. I came on watch and at the same time the engine acted as though it was being starved of fuel. It ended up being a long and 'interesting' night as I was at the wheel negotiating reefs and ships whilst Jonathan was below trying to sort out the engine. We ended up by deciding to divert to Gladstone, a huge industrial town with the largest Aluminium plant in the world and a large cole export industry as well. Their main customers are China but we did notice a coal cargo ship on AIS importing coal to Wales in the UK, talk about coal to Newcastle! It was the best place to go as there is also a large fishing fleet so we were sure we could good engineers to sort out the engine. It was a long way up the river though and we could only get minor revs out of the engine. Fortunately the tide was with us which helped carry us along with the sails up and the wind on our starboard. We limped into the marina and came alongside with no problem although at 7am there was nobody around to help us. Engineers arrived at 10am and we have discovered that as we filled up with fuel in various ports across the Pacific some of it was dirty and created sludge in the bottom of the tanks which in turn created blockage of the fuel pipes. So we are here for another night and day, they returned this morning at 8am to give the tanks a very good clean through. This is going to make us late for Brisbane, unfortunately, but rather get is sorted than another fuel blockage as we go through Sandy Straights, a narrow tidal passage between an island and the main land, timing is essential as we do not want to be stranded on a sandbank. Our ETA for Brisbane now is early Friday morning at the earliest, it will mean 24 hour sailing for the next two nights, unfortunately, with no stopping.
Certainly much cooler as we head south, Spring is only just beginning. We don't have much on board in the way of winter clothes. Really looking forward to arriving in Brisbane now, a city that is full of art and culture and supposed to be fantastic.
Unusual tree trunk
Chance Bay beach Whitsunday Island
Float Plane lands at Whitesands beach, Whitsunday Islands
Whitsands Beach Whitsunday Islands