Mackay to Cairns

Donald Begg
Sat 11 Aug 2018 05:28
We sailed from Mackay on Tuesday 31 July for a short 23 mile starter hop to Maryport Bay in Carlisle Island.

We’ve now joined the WARC ‘18-‘19 rally, but it’s not yet the real thing, because it’s an independent free cruise to Darwin before the rally restarts proper in late August. We’re never far from one or more of the others, and we’re getting to know each other.

From Maryport Bay we had a pleasant series of day hops to Whitsunday Island (2 nights), Airlie Beach (2 nights), Queens Bay behind Cape Edgecumbe, Cape Bowling Green, Great Palm Island, Dunk Island, Fitzroy Island, and Cairns, with a procession of sculptured peaks on the Australian mainland to watch, and daily waves of a flipper or a tail from a passing humpback. The weather was mostly sunny, getting noticeably warmer, with gentle SE tradewinds which were comfortable but necessitated a measure of motor-sailing to achieve a daytime mileage. Mackay to Cairns was 401 miles.

High points: included a stiff 434 metre climb to Whitsunday Peak for terrific views over the Whitsunday Islands; a pleasant couple of days at the buzzy and classy resort at Airlie Beach; and Simon’s success at fishing with an 8 lb Queensland mackerel one day, 20 lb the next, and fresh fish to fill the freezer.