Sunday, July 15, 2012
Airlie Beach - Taking cover
This morning we left Hamilton Island and after looking at the weather and wind predictions we decided the mainland would be the better place to be so we sailed back to Airlie Beach.
The boats a bit of a mess which is due to the weather more than anything, everything is damp from the rainy weather. Nancy wanted to get it all cleaned up so I volunteered to do the laundry, so being a smart person I am I grabbed our dirty clothes washing and got out of the place. Fortunately I got up there early because everyone had the same idea they were all having the same problems of not being able to get things dry with the weather the way it has been.
The weather was still wet with light rain showers and low drizzle clouds so this day was spent just doing chores. Although on the bright side we met some very nice people off other yachts.
(Southern end of the marina)
('Reflections' Southern end of marina at night)
(The cooks in the galley and foul weather gear hung out to dry)
(There's always a bright side to cold raining weather)
I woke during the early hours for the usual call of nature and when I looked out the hatch I noticed we were fog bound so I went topside to see what it was like, the moisture from the fog had floated in under the covers of the cockpit and everything was wet and when I got up in the morning the fog was still there and I thought of our neighbours on yacht 'Phantom' who were flying to Sydney hoping the fog would lift so the airways could operate.
(A foggy morning looking at the southern side of the marina and airport)
(As we had both been busy I bought Nancy and I an iced coffee and an apple danish, Nancy sat on the transom step to eat hers and as soon as she did a friend arrived, the cockatoo)
I gathered more washing, all the mats and sheets a got up to the laundry very early filling all four washing machines whilst Nancy cooked breakfast, it took most of the morning to finish it all as drying everything took a long time. We then got changed to go for a walk the weather had brightened and the fog had lifted which pleased the people flying out. We had a good walk and a good look around the place, we had lunch at a cafe before continuing our walk in another direction.
(The northern side of the marina, look at that motor yacht infront of our 'Alana Rose' it is worth a cool $15m, note the magnificent building of the Hamilton Island Yacht Club in the background which I believe cost $35m to build)
(More cockatoos waiting for a chance to get a feed)
Later in the afternoon we went for our showers then went to the yacht club for sundowners and yes today the sun was there. After we had a drink and took some photos we headed for Manta Ray's Cafe for dinner, we had a very pleasant night.
(Sunset taken from the Bowsprint of the Hamilton Island Yacht Club)(What a glorious sundowners it was, until today I don't think we had seen the sun all week)
Our initial plan was to sail up to Cid Harbour after looking at the wind charts last night as the stronger winds are returning at midday today according to the forecast. However, after rechecking the wind charts this morning I suggested to Nancy that we go back towards the mainland as the weather as far as wind would be better on the coastline. Predictions indicate 25 - 30 knot winds for later today and all day tomorrow. So the plan now was to have breakfast fill the water tanks and set off around 1000 - 1100 hours. As we sat having our first morning cup of tea just after daylight the boat started to swing on the dock a bit. Then we realised the wind had already kicked in, looking on the net Hamilton Island real time wind indicator was indicating winds of SSE 27 knots gusting to 34 knots. Our plans changed quickly, I suggested we get ready and go as soon as we can before the seas pick up too much.
We went to the bakery to get fresh bread and bought breakfast, ham, cheese and tomato croissants and had that with another cup of tea. Whilst having breakfast I topped up the water tanks and then got everything ready to head off.
One problem we had was that the strong wind was blowing and holding me on the dock and just ahead of us on the next finger there was this $15m motor yacht and the wind would push us in that direction. We waited until 0800 hours when the marina staff are available and asked them to assist which they did promptly. They took a line off the port bow and towed the bows away from the dock which then made it easy for us to exit, we thanked the staff for their assistance and headed out of the marina.
Once out of the marina we unfurled the headsail I figured with the wind direction and it's strength that's all we would need and sure enough we sailed along at 7 - 7.5 knots. The wind was cold and the light drizzling rain returned as we entered Whitsunday Passage. It was a good sail but it was wet and cold. As we neared South Molle Island I turned the navigation lights on because the drizzle was causing poor visibility.
(Sailing up Whitsunday Passage)
(During strong winds it pays to sail this passage wind going with the tide, these waves would really stand up if it was wind against tide, we had 20 plus knots of wind today)
(A tug towing a dredge platform today going the opposite way to us, imagine it is going against wind and tide but it would be worse if the tide was going with him and the wind was against him)
We anchored outside the marina wall at Airlie a little further out as someone is anchored in our favourite position.
Hopefully the weather will get better during the week and we can get out to the islands.