After our catchup with Waterfront we have now officially headed south. With a lift booked for the 25th November and with a few planned stop-offs along the way, it was time to take the timely northerlies.
Our first stop was Thomas Island. I think the little bay on the southern side of Thomas is everyone’s favourite including ours. We’ve always called this bay Dead Dog Bay with Dead Dog Island nearby. 100 Magic Miles describes it as having a true ‘South Pacific’ feel. Unbelievably, we had it to ourselves!
I had a bit of fun playing with some split shots while swimming. Unbeknown to me, I was surrounded by baitfish in the shallows.
Many years ago we sailed to Thomas Island on our Magnum trailer-sailer with Tim and Abbey, and friends, also on a Magnum. We sat on the beach late in the afternoon with our friends, watching a few ‘old’ salty skippers bring their trailer-sailers right in to the beach, waiting for low tide so they could dry out. Our chatter centered around what we would be doing at their age. It was unanimously agreed … “not sailing a trailer-sailer!”. How things change. That was over 20 years ago.
Which brings me to why this post has appeared today. A gift bearing yachtie appeared at our boat yesterday, offering us a freshly picked pineapple (turned out he was a yacht broker hunting business). He asked how old our boat was. Ahhh … we will be 7 years old tomorrow! After our three-year build, Bossa Nova was launched on this day 7 years ago. How time flies! Do we celebrate? I think we have celebrated each and every day on our boat this year.
We had a relatively uneventful passage through to Great Keppel Island with overnight stops at Keswick and Percy Islands, and Port Clinton’s Perforated Point (another favourite). It seemed to be a consistent pattern each day with little wind in the mornings, followed by stronger winds in the afternoons. We were fortunate with the northerlies as we enjoyed a spinnaker run each day, dueling with Ilikai. While I did manage to injure my hand on a spinnaker sheet and experience my first ever bout of rope burn early in the passage, I was still able to pull in two mackerel, so life was pretty good.
I’ve mentioned we had a great spinnaker run over the three days. As we sailed with Ilikai during this passage it was interesting to compare our two types of spinnakers. Spinnakers are used downwind only. Our spinnaker is asymmetrical which means that it’s two sides are not the same. It is well suited to catamarans as it can be held up on a variety of downwind directions, so lots of flexibility in a following wind. Ilikai’s parasail spinnaker is known for its exhaust slot (also known as its “tongue”) which provides extra lift. It’s the red flap you can see in the photos. This type of spinnaker is limited to true downwind direction only. So less flexibility when the wind direction slightly varies. So we had fun trying to reach that finish line each day. Of course catching a fish along the way meant extra points too. So who “won”?
There’s always a speccy sunset at Great Keppel Island.
Next stop … Yellow Patch … we hope. The winds are making life tricky at The Keppels.