To Cape York
To Cape York –The Northernmost Point on the Australian Mainland
At eleven thirty the anchor came up, just as well, as the wind was gusting twenty seven knots and we were beginning to buck a bit. I had to drive forward to help Bear with his winding but soon we were off, out of Escape River – or as Bear put it, we’ve escaped Escape. We had to time our leaving in order to arrive at the Albany Passage (eighteen miles away) just after low, slack tide at around two thirty. Nice to have a backgammon win under my belt before we left, don’t upset me, it makes me want to growl. Growl away dear......... It took an hour from anchorage to sea in fairly big gusts, unbelievably a horsefly somehow managed to negotiate the conditions and land on the pram hood, swiftly asked to stage exeunt left. Everything settled to a good sail as soon as we were in deeper water, well all of sixteen metres.
Wirraway of Sydney in action.
Of course our favourite had to be the submarine-challenge-look with a cheeky wave between us. Also between us came a huge turtle bobbing happily on the surface.
The Passage opens up after being shrouded in heavy rain.
Nearly there, still spitting with rain.
Beez lined up at the start of the Albany Passage. On the AIS three girls in neat formation led by Gostoza Tu, then Beez and Wirraway.
It never ceases to amaze us how a giant wall of water taller than the conservatory, peters out to a tiny scuff on the surface.
One more big wave and that was that, we were in the Passage.
Another jaw-dropping moment, a man waving to us from his car.
Half way on the chartplotter, AIS and a happy grin.
Somerset Bay to our left marks mid-way.
Time for a bit of rock watching as Beez is hoofed along on the current at 7.5 knots.
Behind us Wirraway now in the Passage.
A couple of houses and a garden shed on our right – their nearest Tesco’s is twenty five miles away......
We pop out at the end of the Passage, one chum and Quetta Reef on AIS (yachts are all triangles, reef diamond). Just twelve miles to go.
Ahead we see the tip of Cape York on the left and Eborac Island on the right.
As we get nearer the gap gets wider.
With the big lens we can see tourists crowding the ‘sign’.
Cairns to Cape York is the same as driving from Plymouth to Edinburgh and only seeing seven houses once we had left Lizard Island. This by far, is the most desolate coastline I have ever seen. We can fully understand why no one cruises past Lizard unless they are heading for Darwin or destinations north. So pleased to have seen it all, sad it was either hazy or raining so we missed the Red Hills, pure white dunes and other spots on the mainland but a fantastic sense of achievement nonetheless.
The concrete lighthouse atop Eborac Island, a stumpy little chap standing just three metres high was built in 1921 and converted to solar power in 1990 (the lamp on top is almost as big as his body). A bit of a surprise to round the corner and find an American yacht called Wakaya at anchor flying the ‘Q’ flag. Wonder where she came from.
As we passed her skipper gave a hearty wave of welcome. Heading to the anchorage. It was as someone switched the wind machine to twenty five knots and it jammed – never letting up. Beez in position below, pity the sun isn’t shining...... From Sydney to Cape York has been 1926 nautical miles or the equivalent of Plymouth to Belushya Guba in Russia.
The gap once more closes, but we can see the ‘sign’ on the mainland.
ALL IN ALL A REAL YEEHA MOMENT
AMAZING TO GET TO THE TIPPY-TOP