Cotton Island

Stephen Bassett
Wed 26 Jun 2013 00:29
We left Gove at 8am. Heading out past the container terminal, Mardi Grs, a bauxite container ship was getting ready to leave. As he is a tad larger than us we kept clear of his channel. The weather was bright and sunny, temperature  a lovely 28c.
This is a short hop to the anchorage in Cotton Island of @ 30 miles. We will wait there so that we can go through the Hole in the Wall (Gugari Rip) on the high tide which is at 11am tomorrow.
Fishing was the order of the day, and an eagle was trying to catch Patrick’s vary large PINK lure!! Later in the afternoon, at anchor, he caught several fish. He lost more lures though!! It is an expensive sport.
But our day was not over. At 3am, Stephen and I woke with a bump and crunching sound. We had touched a rock, or something. The moon was full and the tide was exceptionally low! We could now see many nasty sharp rocks. The wind had changed directions and so to prevent going closer to the beach we put out a second anchor, and let the main anchor out to its full length including the rope. The anchor buoy could be seen beyond a line of particular;y nasty rocks. And we had joked earlier about one rock looking like a crocodile – now it looked like an army of crocodiles.
As night changed to day, we waited for the tide to return. We were anxious not to miss the high tide for the hole in the wall but equally did not want to include a hole in the yacht so had to be patient. Later at one point we could not get either anchor in. An anchor buoy was added to the stern anchor and that was released – we could retrieve it later. Then Stephen and Patrick put an extra buoy on the main anchor as well. Back on board we tried to get the big anchor back in but it would not budge. So Patrick jumped into the dinghy to try and pull it up. Stephen was shouting instructions but it would not move. Then  after a combination of driving Karacool forward and the dinghy in reverse, they got it.
Then had to get the other anchor. That would not budge, so Stephen joined Patrick in the dinghy and I had to keep Karacool in deep water. It looked as though they were going to have to leave the anchor when Stephen gave it on  more heave and it came up. Karacool was in 25 metres of water and they got the equipment on board, and stowed the dinghy and put the kettle on for tea.
Now for the next adventure – the Hole in the Wall – see the next post. We need a sleep!!