Thursday, July 19, 2012

Whitsunday's or Windysunday's

Monday - 16/07/2012

Well at least we have the sun trying to shine through the clouds but the wind is howling, through the night and this morning we had winds of 32 - 34 knots and now it has settled to 15 - 20 knots with the occasional higher wind gusts and the wind is rather chilly. I don't think we will be doing much outside today.

Tuesday - 17/07/2012

The rain had stopped today other than the occasional drizzle but still a wind chill factor. We stepped ashore for a walk and met up with Ken and Rhonda the founder and workers of the SICYC and had a coffee with them before walking into town. I think Nancy is very cunning like most wives she always suggests we go ashore just before lunch so I can buy her lunch whilst we are there. So we had lunch at the Whitsunday Sailing Club, the meals are always nice there and you have great views over the water.
(The view from the Whitsunday Sailing Club)

For those members of the SICYC the Whitsunday Sailing Club is offering our members free membership to their club for a period of August (1 month) this year as they know we are all heading towards our club weekend at Gloucester Passage during that month. They would also like us to join in on their fun day race on the 18 August 2012.

(The 'Young Endeavour' this is a training ship which is crewed by the Royal Australian Navy)

(The Australian Bush Turkey, they say the best way to cook these is to place it in a camp over, placing a large stone of similar size mix with vegetables and cook for three hours on an open fire, when cooked throw the turkey away and eat the stone it will taste a lot better and be more tender)

After lunch we finished our walk and returned on board for a short time before going over to Ken and Millie's Leopard 46, 'Rhiannon', they had invited us over for sundowners another very nice couple and we had a very pleasant time.

Wednesday - 18/07/2012

Time to move we needed to get out of the anchorage and we are hoping the weather is on the improve. The weather forecast last night indicated that today we had around 10-15 knots of wind but I think it is a little higher than that.

After breakfast we weighed anchor , motored away from the anchorage and moored boats before hoisting the mainsail as soon as that was up we set the course and then unfurled the headsail and shut the engines down. Sailing between Airlie and Pioneer Point can always be a little testing as the wind changes due to the different landforms you can experience bullets of wind to no wind and then when you near Pioneer Rocks the wind bends around the corner of Pioneer Point bringing the wind on the nose. At this point I usually start one of the engines and let the sails flap for the short distance.
(Our track across from Airlie to May's Bay)

(Short video of the sailing across Whitsunday Passage to May's Bay, the waves do not show up on film but the boat movement indicates what waves are there, we are sailing at 7.5 to 8.5 knots in this video)

Today we did quite well in this area but as soon as we entered Molle Channel the wind was around 18 - 21 knots from SSE, this was the start of an invigorating sail as soon as the wind filled the sails we were off at 7.5 to 8.5 knots on a very close reach with an apparent wind of 23 - 28 knots, seas were not bad waves of around one metre. Again we had picked the time where the wind was going with the tide although the tide of around 2 knots was against us. The course we chose would take us close to the northern tip of North Molle Island and after this I was hopeful that we could creep the course a little deeper south to head for May Bay and anchor off Bernie's Beach and fortunately we were able to do this. This anchorage is not a large anchorage but offers good protection from S - SE winds. When we arrived there was only one yacht there and a little later a motor boat arrived and that was all. The anchorage is quite nice and we have had some resident turtles around the boat which is good to see.
(May's Bay anchorage)
(Anchorage - 20* 13.473 S 148* 56.584 E)

According to the guide book '100 Magic Miles', Bernie's Beach was named after Bernie Katchor, as it was his favourite spot when he started a crewed charter boat operation in the early 70's. May's Bay was named after Lindsay Heiser's wife, she and her husband were partners in the underway observatory (no longer in operation), before their accommodation was finished they lived on their boat and when strong S/SE winds would occur they would anchor in this bay.

This anchorage is good for S to SE winds of 25 knots and E winds of 15 knots although with easterlies it can become uncomfortable with the swell. Coming into the anchorage there is a shallower area that you cross before going into a little deeper, 1.5 metres difference. Last night winds outside the anchorage was SE 18 - 21 knots and this anchorage was calm.  We may stay here for a couple or more days.


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