Cape Upstart 19 43.463S 147 45.233E
Mike and Liz Downing
Tue 16 Jul 2013 12:49
Had a wander around Airlie Beach yesterday and bought a few provisions, mostly fresh fruit; we're quite well stocked with general stores. It really is a holiday town with lots of places to eat and bars everywhere. We had lunch at the Whitsunday Sailing Club, on an upstairs verandah with great views across the bay. Once ashore the rain stopped and we had a dry afternoon with a fair bit of sun. It didn't last to today! Woke to find it raining again and the town and surrounding hills covered in mist. The showers were coming across the hills in waves and in the rain the visibility was down to yards. We had planned to leave so were up early, but waited for the rain to stop long enough to get the anchor up and get underway. A few of our friends stopped here a month or more ago and they had bad weather too, so it can't be a good year for Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays.
On leaving the winds were light, but after about 5 miles or so the winds picked up, up went the poles and the boat speed shot up to 7kts. As we left Airlie Beach behind, so the weather improved and stayed dry all day, although still mostly overcast. Our latitude is now under 20 degrees, but it's still not tropical temperatures. The forecast was a max of 22 today and out at sea it was no warmer and we had our wet weather gear on to stay warm. Having looked at the temperatures for this coast this evening, they do not compare well with other places we've been. Here, even at Cairns, further north, the daily temperatures are around 26 degrees and can drop 10 or more degrees at night. At similar latitudes in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands it's 30 plus during the day and only drops around 4 degrees at night. So a whole lot warmer.
Apart from a short period rounding a headland when the winds went very fluky, they stayed in the southeast and we made 6.5 to 7.5kt throughout the day and covered 70.38 miles. The winds had dropped to 15 to 25kts and the seas, although covered in white horses a lot of the time, were no more than half a metre to a metre, so great conditions compared to those we've had to put up with for most of our passages north. We arrived here in the lee of Cape Upstart just as the light was going and actually anchored in the dark. We can see on the chartplotter that we're where we wanted to be, but have no idea what it looks like! It will be interesting to see if it's anything like we imagine it to be.