Epiblogue: Mackay - mission accomplished!
We arrived in Mackay at local time on Monday 26th May, a day ahead of our original plan. We arrived in style – on a fast white-sail beam reach, only taking down the mainsail as we entered the walls of the harbour.
We had had mixed weather for the past two days, with a squally, rainy night on Saturday followed by a much gentler sea and wind on Sunday as we rounded the south of the Great Barrier Reef and headed towards Mackay.
By Sunday night we were sailing downwind at 5-6 knots under jib alone, and at sunrise on Monday, we swapped jib for spinnaker and had a glorious run at over 8 knots. Robert had also taken the opportunity to hang out his washing!
By late morning, the wind had risen to around 20 knots, so we took down the spinnaker and for the final two and a half hours, sailing past lots of small islands, we enjoyed an exhilarating 8-10 knot reach up the Australian coast to the entrance of Mackay harbour.
On our way up the coast, we passed no fewer than 32 large bulk carriers anchored off Hay Point awaiting their turn to be loaded. One of them got a closer view of Rumpelteazer than they may have expected.
As soon as we arrived, we had visitations from Customs and Immigration, who went through the usual questions and stamped our passports, and from the lady from Quarantine, who took away with her all our fruit, vegetables, frozen meat and sundry other items
We then moored Rumpelteazer in the marina and enjoyed our final meal on board - Susie’s tuna, what else? The next two days will be ‘clearing up’ days, in readiness for Rumpelteazer being lifted out of the water on Thursday.
It’s not possible to capture here the feelings on board – only to say we have had an incredible four (or two) months, seeing parts of the world we may never see again, sailing in a wonderful yacht with a brilliant skipper and a brilliant crew, and have come safely to our destination. What more could one ask for? Thank you Robert!