progress north lat 18.35S, long 146.29E

Splinters Apprentice
Bone & Beth Bushnell
Thu 12 May 2011 01:08
We left Sydney late February after spending a wonderful 4 weeks travelling
around Victoria, NSW and even SA. The trip north has been mainly brisk
with SE 15-20, even a touch of 30 kts at times. We got stuck in Bundaberg
for 2 weeks as a large high passed the Aussie bight and brought strong
winds and big swells but then had 3 glourious days at Lady Musgrave reef
diving and watching baby Turtles hatch, before heading to Keppel Bay. 5
days ashore with Pete and Ally Smith, friends from the UK now living in
Aus, gave the luxury of the last bed for a long time! The anchorages
north from there proved quite rolly in the 15-25 kt SE winds but we made
good progress until Scawfell island where we got stuck waiting for the
wind to settle slightly and ended up having a couple of days in Mackay to
reprovision. Luckily the weather really improved and we had good sailing
up to the Whitsunday Islands and 3 calm, sunny days there. The diving was
not good due to poor visibility in the water of less than 4 m. This in a
place of 15-20m viz the norm, due, we think, to the heavy rains , floods
and recent cyclone. Magnetic island proved a lovely stopover in the new
marina in Nelly bay and we took advantage of the good walking tracks. No
problems with shallow water in the entrance like in Townsville. We should
be in Cairns by next Monday for the final stock up before the long trail
to Darwin.