After five days of being in the ‘wilderness’ (no phone reception) we have arrived in the Whitsundays this afternoon. We are collecting friends tomorrow from Airlie Beach and looking forward to having crew on board!
We left Keppel Bay marina nearly a week ago after experiencing a very big weather event (yes another one, the third this trip) – it was the ugly! 200mm of constant heavy rain in 24 hours, 300mm in 36 hours. We have never seen rain and winds like it, and we were in a marina. It was forecast, so we, like other boats, decided to stay put. Apart from the two days of torrential rain we did manage to get out for walks, take some bus trips, wash clothes, and be social. Many of us enjoyed a few drinks at the nearby Yacht Club along with their Bastille Day dinner and a bbq night. We met some great people.
So after this extreme weather we were all quite relieved to see that the ongoing forecast was more pleasant. The next stretch of coastal cruising involves some island hops, no phone coverage (so no data for weather reports) and some long passages. We met up with several boats we’d met at the Keppel Bay marina, so once again, it was very social.
A favourite destination on this passage is the visit to West Bay, Middle Percy Island. It has an ‘A frame’ hut that has been decked out for the yachties. Boats leave their ‘memento‘ here and meet other yachties. It has become a ‘must do’ on the way north. It is not really a comfortable anchorage so the weather has to be right. We’ve had a horrible night here in the past.
And it was – the good! We had the perfect Middle Percy forecast … no swell and no wind!
The bad? No wind. We can’t complain though, especially after having had so much wind. We have motored the last few days on flat flat seas. Clear skies, whale watching, dolphins and turtles. The anchorages have been so so calm. It has been idyllic.
A favorite memory will be Curlew Island.
We motored through a thick ‘peasoup’ sea fog from Percy Island to Curlew Island. We hadn’t visited Curlew before but read that it was worth a look. After two hours of ‘fogging it’ with little visibilty (radar on), we finally found the light as we approached Curlew Island. There were huge steep rocky outcrops on the islands around us, including Curlew. We passed a small fishing tinnie hugely dwarfed by the immense steep outcrop above, still with fog all around. We watched a whale and calf play in the distance. As we entered the Curlew anchorage we were greeted by dolphins, turtles and sea eagles. And, two Fusion 40’s like ours! It’s rare to see one, let alone two.
We even met the fisherman from the tinnie in the fog. He gave as two snapper for dinner! (We do need to learn how to fillet fish properly!) We caught up for drinks with Brenda and Marty from Waterfront on bossa nova, which quickly moved on to dinner on Waterfront. (The snapper waited till the next night.)
We are now anchored in Happy Bay! Happy Birthday Abbey!!!