Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Airlie Beach - 04/07/2012
This morning at around 0300 hours the wind hit around 25 -30 knots and as we are in a new anchorage from when we moved yesterday I had to get up and check all was alright. Although we have a GPS on anchor watch I still prefer to see our track and make sure we are not dragging anchor and we are secure. The other thing that got me up was the headsail sheets were banging on the deck due to the strong wind stretching things out so by the time I got some clothes on and went out in the cool wind I was wide awake and no chance of getting back to sleep so as I said yesterday I stayed up and did my scribbles for the blog.
I expected the wind to howl all day by the weather forecasts however, the early wind came from S/SW which produced a few bullets of wind around the hills but after the sun was up the wind went around to the S/SE and the wind dropped at our location being protected from the mainland, the wind at Hamilton Island was around 25-29 knots. Hamilton can read a little higher by 3 to 5 knots to what is actually happening in the waterways I think they have the sensors at the airport and the wind accelerates around the hills nearby.
After the wind dropped we went ashore to do a little shopping and to go for a walk, walking back was a little harder being loaded down with our shopping but it gives us both good exercise. Needless to say during the afternoon we relaxed having a read.
(Airlie Bay Beach with the lagoon to the right)
(Part of Airlie Lagoon for safe swimming)
(Pioneer Bay from Abel Point)
Late in the afternoon Rick off 'Neriki' called by he said his sails were ready and he was going to pick them up on his way back I asked if he wanted to get the sails back up now. I suggested it would be a good time to start getting the sails back in place before the winds pick up again. It takes a little longer to get the sails back in place especially the huge mainsail. I got my tools and followed him over to his boat, Garry and Mercedes off 'Forever Dreaming' came over to help . I was leading the group basically because this is the first time Rick has removed and replaced sails and although Garry has done it on the catamaran he built this cat is a lot larger and has a different setup. Unfortunately I could not spend the time to take things slow to show Rick every detail because we was trying to beat the wind and also sunset before it got dark. However, I am sure Rick watched everything I did.
We first got the mainsail bag in place and attached the lazy jacks to the starboard side and lifted that side of the bag to prevent the mainsail falling over that side of the boom when we haul it in place using the outhaul and the winch, this drags the heavy sail aft to the end of the boom. Normally we would have fitted the batons before doing this but all the old batons had delaminated and Rick had to get new ones but unfortunately the batons have come in two lengths and have to be cut to size this may have to be done at leisure once the winds settle. We then started to hoist the mainsail sliding the cars on the track. (The cars are units that are bolted via a bracket on the sail and the cars slide up and down the track attached to the mast). The wind kicked in a little bit but we managed to get the mainsail on and secured.
When the mainsail was secured and lowered into the sail bag we started on the genoa (Headsail), this was a lot easier although we had a small problem which turned out to be a small piece of securing wire that had broken off at sometime and had got caught in the slide. We just beat last light in finishing the job. I had a quick beer before returning to 'Alana Rose' for a quiet night inside out of this bloody cold weather.
Today we caught a bus to Centro Shopping Centre, a little too far for me to walk and get there and back before dark. Centro has a larger shopping complex with a larger arrange of shops, we did a bit of clothes shopping to start with and into BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing Store), then could not find the all the items we wanted so we headed for the bus and went back towards Airlie and stopped at the Chandlery/Home Hardware store and got a few other items. We walked back from there via the Whitsunday Shopping Centre where we normally do the shopping, we had lunch bought a few other items before walking back to the public dock loaded up.
That's the trouble coming to a civilised centre you tend to spend money, you can't do this out at anchor in the islands where there are no shops.
(The view at 0330 hours in the morning when the wind was howling the moon shining across the bay))
(A yacht from Guernsey in the marina, it is some yacht luxury plus)
We may stay here for a few more days looking at the weather, the winds are going to get stronger over the next few days and I think we will be more comfortable here. Looking at the observations today Hamilton Island had winds between 23 and 27 knots which is alright if we were heading north at this point but whilst we are in the Whitsunday's you look for the best sheltered anchorages and with the current conditions we are better off staying here so there may be little to scribble about for a while.
(This section of the Abel Point Marina, south end 'P' finger at low tide, these boats would not be able to get out in an emergency and the bay with the large hump is never used, wonder if they have ever heard of a dredge? Not bad for the most expensive marina)