Australia Queensland Yorkeys Knob
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My Adventure Story
FRID 9TH SEP 2011-Departed Breakwater Marina at 0700 hrs and slid out to a calm motor as there was little wind. After an uneventual 3 and a half hours, we dropped anchor in beautifull Horseshoe Bay for the second time at 1040 and relaxed for a while.Next day the wind was still not ideal so made a bus trip to Nelly Bay to investigate some cheap real estate at a resort there. Single studio appartments were being advertised at as low as $30,000 after being purchased by their owners for $100,000! Apparently the visitation has declined considerably but the BC fees plus rates still come to over $7,500/pa while the rental income is lucky to be $2,000/pa! On top of that, the Manager is a crook and cannot be fired as he has a contract! So much for that little exercise. SUN 11TH SEP-0715-Another calm start to my leg NW to Orpheous Island. The SE wind only picked up about 10am when I set the poled-out genoa to starboard. This balances the main on the port side and gives a very stable sailing platform . This enabled me to take several video clips while hanging on at the stern. It was a perfect day with a 5/10 knot breeze so even Shadow kept me company in the cockpit. About 1520 hrs we anchored in Pioneer Bay with about 5 other yachts. MON 12TH SEP-0730-Almost identical weather presented for this day when I was not sure of my destination? We made a lunch stop in Shepherd Bay at the top end of Hinchinbrook Island. This was rather lonely being the only yacht in a huge bay with still some swell so made sail again towards Dunk Island. This would make a distance of 47 nms for the day so could not arrive before 6:15pm-just on dark. It was a slow tedious day in 5/10 knots of wind. Poor old Dunk Island-It was stripped bare again by Cyclone Yasi! This must be the second time in 2 years it has had to be rebuilt! TUE 13TH SEP-0800-Wind is due to pick up today but started with only 5 knots of SW so similar rig heading for Mourilyan Harbour. Usually I sail outside of all the North Barnard Islands but to save time I ventured on the inside-even though by this time the wind was blowing up to 18 knots and Opal was wollowing in quite some swell. In the event it was no problem in a minimum of 10 meters of water through the small passage between Double Pt and the satelite rocks off Lindquist Is. Inside the harbour it was still blowing it's socks off but still a safe anchorage. Fishing boats abound here and the sound of generators never stopped. Next day was a strong wind warning so a rest day for the crew of Opal. I took my dinghy over to the VMR ramp and asked about the way to Inisfail shops? About 15 miles and no buses! Too much for my old legs so I satisfied myself with a walk to the local seller of petrol/fishing gear/etc. Came accross a cassowary which appeared to be a bit over friendly. Not knowing his intentions, I kept my distance but he still followed me all the way to the service station where he was no doubt some sort of pet! THU 15TH SEP-0800-Wind was moderating by still over 20 knots. This leg was noted for a rare burst of speed of over 8 knots while only 6 nms from Fitzroy Island! So much for a dead run being the slowest point of sailing! After furling all sails, I headed for the public mooring bouys and tried to work out which way the lead rope was lying. Wind is rather fickle at Fitzroy and can come from any direction. I obviously missjudged it because when I picked up the rope mooring I could not hold the weight of the boat and had to let it go, return to the cockpit and line up again , but in the process, my boat hook went overboard so there was nothing I could do but scream for help to the large catamaran on the next bouy. Meanwhile I dropped anchor where I thought I would drift onto the mooring bouy. The guy from the cat kindly came over in his dinghy and handed me the mooring rope. That was fine but could he also retrieve my boat hook which was by now some distance away? Sure enough he collected that and asked if there was anything else he could do? I said well no everything is fine but my abchor appears to be stuck on something? He said OK well I have a Hookar on board-I'll go and get it. He was a very nice man! After comming back with his hookar and another crew, he proceeded to dive down about 5 metres and when he surfaced, said "it was wrapped around the mooring but it should be freed by now". So I winched it up and was once again moored safely. He said" Is there anything else I can do for you? Maybe scrub your bottom?" I laughed and said "Thanks very much. You must think I am an accident waiting to happen or something worse?" Anyway, he said "you better come over for dinner later?" Thanks again-that would be great. So I duely shaved off about a week's growth off my cheeks and generally spruced up for my visit to a cat called "It is a Priviledge". When I arrived at 6pm, he was still enjoying a swim-being from Melbourne I suppose he thought it was warm? We must have been a party of six for a dinner of fresh prawns and spicy rice with fresh pineapple for desert. Afterwards he was interested to hear a bit of my story of adventure and then showed me his Apple Ipad and amazed me with the way applications opened, expanded and showed the next 7 days weather including wind direction and strength in the most brilliant clarity. I said "I want one!" FRI 16TH SEP-0830-The wind was still forcast to be 20-25 knots but because it was down wind I thought it could be handled. I headed for Yorkeys Knob and made a booking by mobile on the way. However the wind really blew up and worried me as to how I would fare in an unknown marina in the 26 knots which was blowing at the time? In the end, I decided to play safe and headed for Trinity Inlet instead-I knew I could simply drop the anchor without any drama. SAT 17TH SEP 0800-Once again headed out the shipping channel for about 7 nms before doing a left turn and headed for Yorkeys. In 15 knots of SE, I met with the fleet heading out of Yorkeys for the Louisiaids in PNG rally. About 10-12 of them. Strange thing about Shadow? Ever since we arrived in Yorkeys Knob, he has not stayed on board once at night? He prefers a catamaran about 6 boats away who has left two hatches open for ventilation. I am not sure if the two little dogs next door are a worry to him or he has had enough of sailing and does not want to be on board the next time? I have to be extra nice to him to coax him back on board. Have since been back to Townsville via the Tilt train and included some videos taken on board- my car is now safe and sound in the car park. Luckily for me I had no accidents because when I collected my 2kgms of mail, discovered I had forgotten to register and renew the insurance since July!-Both of which had lapsed!