run aground in Northern Queennsland
Friday 13th May, 2011
Today was thoroughly unpleasant followed by complete disaster.
I must obtain more chickens, goats and virgins to sacrifice to the Gods.
After solving our fan belt problem we set off for 26hrs peaceful motor sailing to be met with huge swell and 30kt winds on the stern. Very rolly and not at all pleasant.
This continued until lunchtime the next day when we elected to go to the Escape river (named because it’s an escape from bad weather), just short of the northern tip of Australia. The seas at entry were awful but once inside it was slightly better. Unfortunately Clare advised me to miss a sandbank to port as a result of which I foolishly went hard aground on the unmarked starboard side rocks, with 30kt winds blowing us further onto the rocks, which we banged every 30secs or so for the next 3 hours. We rang everyone we could think of, but they were all 5 hours away and we knew we couldn’t get off at low tide (whcih anyway was 1hr later than advertised). A nice Aussie came an hour later and said yes, we were well aground, no he couldn’t pull us off, why were we on the wrong side of his river, but if the boat fell apart we mustn’t go in the water because of the 4m crocodiles.
Some nice people in a yacht came 2 hrs later but by then there was enough water for me to roar off the rocks – who knows what damage I’ve done below; I don’t, but we’re not taking on water and prop and rudder seem to work.
The Aussie came back when we were safely anchored to ask for our names and passport numbers to give to the Police.
Maybe tomorrow will be better. Anyway the coast of Brittany is easy compared to this. Proper tide tables and no crocs.