Sunday 14 – Scawfell Island

Position: 20 51.80 S  149 35.93 E
At anchor Scawfell Island
Wind: SW-SE;  F0-6, calm to strong breeze
Sea: slight   Swell: negligible
Weather: sunny, mild
Day’s run: 52 nm

The breeze did not hold out for very long and we spent several hours yesterday afternoon drifting. Come sunset we motored for an hour to make some progress towards Scawfell and to put some charge in the batteries. I took over the watch from Kate at midnight at which time we were still mostly drifting but had managed to reduce the distance to Scawfell Island down to fifteen miles.  Would we make it before the blow arrived, I wondered?

At 0100 the wind freshened a little from the south west which had Sylph making four knots.  At 0200 we were doing five knots and had ten miles to go to the anchorage. At 0330 we gybed to alter course around the western end of the island. The wind was just starting to freshen significantly. At 0416 we dropped anchor in seventeen feet of water among four other boats and, once Sylph had settled, turned in for what remained of the night, anchor alarm set as the wind gusted down the island’s central valley and gave Sylph a bit of a buffeting on the way past.

We awoke to continuing blustery conditions and felt happy to be at anchor in a beautiful well-protected bay. At eleven we received a call on the radio from Subzero, a catamaran that we had met in Middle Island, inviting us to a barbecue ashore at noon. We gratefully accepted however explained that the conditions were not very good for rowing ashore in Sylph’s dinghy. Cheryl, the skipper of Subzero, offered to give us a lift in her small RHIB. Problem solved, Sylphide remained lashed on deck.

We have since enjoyed a pleasant afternoon in the company of the crew from Subzero and another catamaran, Double Duo. Interestingly, it turns out that my path had crossed with Cheryl’s back in 2002 when Sylph, Ann and I were setting off to sail around he world. At that time Cheryl and her partner, Jeff, were sailing around Australia in the Willi Wagtail. We had met them at Lizard Island and then sailed in loose company until Darwin. Much has changed in both our lives since 2002.  In particular, Jeff has passed on and Ann chose another path later that year. One constant remains in our lives, however, namely a love of sailing.  And, of course, I still have my faithful old Sylph.

Tomorrow we will make for the Airlie Beach.

All is well.