Bathurst Bay 14 12.114S 144 27.936E

Mike and Liz Downing
Sat 10 Aug 2013 11:57
Underway again having reluctantly left Lizard Island. Today's passage was 71.2 miles, so it was an early start and we arrived just before sunset. We're anchored in Bathurst Bay which is just to the west of Cape Melville. It's a bit like Cape Bedford in that the depth was only 18ft well over a mile offshore. This bay is 14 miles across, so it's a huge shallow bay and we're the only boat anchored here - it's kinda remote! The terrain is hilly, but the special feature is that a lot of the hills are covered in huge boulders. Saw a whale calf today, but it's mother never appeared. Also encountered quite a few ships. With AIS we're aware of them 20-30 miles away (depending on propagation on the day), so spend quite a bit of time working out exactly where they will pass us and whether that's a good place or not. While it's not always possible to go faster, generally we can always go slower, so can arrange to some degree to try to meet them in a good (wide!) spot. Had strong winds (20 to 30kts) when we left Lizard and with reefed sails still made 7 to 8kts in a boisterous sea, but as we closed the mainland the winds eased, the sea calmed down and with full sail up we made 6.5 to 7.5kts with only 6kts of apparent wind - really pleasant sailing!