Lizard Island, Cairns it's not!

Sun 4 Jul 2010 07:12
Sunday, 4th July
Previous positions:
Mourilyan Harbour 17:36.5S 146:07.38E
Mission Bay 16:52.1S 145:54.6E
Marlin Marina, Cairns 16:55.17S 145:46.96E
Currently in Mrs Watsons Bay, Lizard Island 14:39.666S 145:27.042E
Goodness, have we had a busy week! After the visual delights of the Hinchinbrook Channel, the coast up to Cairns was a little dissapointing, also windless, so some motoring involved. At least then it was calm, and we spent a long time sewing canvas: Hannah's stitches are as neat as mine. We are making a clothes bag to take to the launderettes, and I am redoing seams on awnings and covers around the boat that have fallen to the dreaded UV light rot. We reached Cairns on the 30th June, and there as was space in the Marina, and it was surprisingly affordable, we parked there, availing ourselves of  the quite luxurious 'amenities' and enjoying the convienience of steppping off the boat right onto the Esplanade. Hightlight was to be the release of the Latest Twilight Movie, but lots of mundane shopping as well, plus I tried in vain to get my chart plotter fixed. It's now on the way back to the UK, just maybe the dealers in Bristol will get a new one out to Darwin, but I have tired of that particular excitement, and have stocked up on good old fashioned paper charts: you can spill coffee on them, but compared to this electronic stuff they are bomb proof. Cairns was hot: the first time that we have been really warm, and blow my if Hannah dosn't start complaining! I do have some sympathy, and to be honest I'm not really looking forward to reentering the tropics, but hey!
Twilight movie deemed a great success. I don't think it will spoil anyone's enjoyment if I reveal that our heroine still hasn't decided whether to marry a werewolf or a vampire, but then it never was easy, being a teenager.
We had a day out in Karunda: a village up in the mountains on the Barron River. A real tourist trap, but a pleasant change, and an excellent scenic railway trip down the mountain afterwards. Hannah even found something that she recognised and enjoyed for lunch: bratwurst at the 'German Tucker'!
Last minute victualling on Saturday morning, cold showers in the public loos as our amenities swipe cards had been timed out, refuelling the boat. Finally we were off at 15.00 hours: Inauspicious weather: scudding cloud, rain and wind, but once you let the mooring ropes go you soon get back into boat mode, and we reefed well down and set off for Cape Yorke. We managed an excellent first days run of 139 miles, ending up here in Lizard Island after 23 hours exactly. The downside was that the weather during the night was dreadful with gale force winds and rain. We are now in the shipping channel within the Great Barrier Reef, so no chance to turn in for a snooze, and really too much going on to risk the mate standing a watch. So, I'm knackered, and it will be a couple of day sails now to get my breath back. Our ahchorage here is calm, which is to say that there is no swell to roll the boat, but we are subject to 35kts plus of downblasts as the tradewinds lift over this quite tall Island, and everything shrieks and flaps like mad, and Fleck yaws about on the end of her anchor warp, which so far has not dragged! The weather is only a little worse than usual as far as I can judge from the guide books, and we may well have gale force winds all the way to the 'top' now. Much more to say, but I'm falling asleep, and the ships batteries have had a hard time overnight, and not much for the solar panel to get excited about today, so low voltage all round!  
P.S. If you are wondering about Mrs Watson, it's an interesting story, I'm sure you could google it.