Thursday, July 25, 2013

York Sound, Careening Bay & Ivy Bay

York Sound

 After returning on board we got underway we had quite a few miles to go before we would find a suitable anchorage for the conditions that may occur if the weather forecast is correct. We were heading for York Sound in the area of Rainforest Ravine although we had decided not to enter the Ravine as friends had warned us not to go in there alone due to the tides that run very fast and drop in height suddenly.

As we sailed south of Bigge Island we could see two other sailing vessels in the distance ahead of us that appeared to be heading to the same place. When we entered the waterway east of Kartja Island we expected to see a lot of Pearl Farm strings as the charts indicate that they are spread throughout, this proved wrong there was not a single string. With the forecast in mind we searched for a good anchorage as there had been a strong wind warning for the area. We saw where the other two yachts had anchored and noticed that they were bobbing up and down with the swell so we decided to anchor in the southern bay well protected from south through to north west winds. We are now getting the NW sea breeze in the afternoons, west to north west  will be the prominent sea breeze direction from now on until we get south. Although we took these precautions the winds became variable and at one stage we got NE winds that gave us a little slop but it did not last long. We had a good night sleep and was up at first light as normal.

Careening Bay


We got underway as the sun was rising our plan was to head for Careening Bay to check out the boab tree that had engravings on it from the 1800's and then to a safe anchorage at Ivy Bay where there is another engraved boab tree. However, on the way I decided to weave through the Anderson Islands in hope that we could anchor on the southern side for a quick trip ashore to see more crystals that Nancy was eager to see. However, after threading through the islands the winds kicked in from the SE which would have put us on a lee shore and the wind waves had picked up so we abandoned the idea and set off for Careening Bay. We set the sails and we slowly went with the wind having the tide with us again to help us along.

The weather predictions are still stating strong wind warnings and winds up to 30 knots but we are not getting these close to the coast, I would imagine a lot of this wind is in blown apart gulf, (Joseph Bonaparte Gulf). We could do with a little extra wind to sail by.

As we sailed around Bat Island and turned south to Careening Bay the wind backed off being blocked by the land form when we slowed to below 2 knots I started an engine.

As we approached Careening Bay anchorage it was interesting to see that the two chart plotters showed different results again. I have a Raymarine and a Garmin chart plotter at the helm and as far as location of land and sea they sometimes differ, I have found the Garmin more accurate most of the time however there has been some let down on this part of the coast with both of them. Fortunately I never rely on the electronic charts totally I do not take them as gospel , they give the correct lat/long but they show the track in relation to the land incorrectly in fact sometimes it shows us on land. As I have said many times before,  your eyes and depth sounder are your best friends in close waters.

(Chart showing anchorage)
This anchorage is only a day anchorage unless the seas are totally calm as it will get a swell and very open to the W/NW sea breeze. It is the place where Philip Parker King careened his  cutter 'Mermaid'  in 1820 and before leaving engraved the name and date in the boab tree.  It was unfortunate for us that we did not see the engraving, the tree was totally over grown with vegetation and vines that it blocked our way to the engraving.
(Nancy at the base of the tree but it was not possible to get around to see the engraving)
There is another tree that has also been engraved in more recent years by 'Tradewinds III' 2000 and 'Tradewinds IV' 2011, our friends Barry and Robin would be interested in this as they have owned 'Tradewinds III' for some years now and I suspect that the engraving was done by the previous owner.
(Tradewinds III & IV 2000 & 2011)
After our short visit we headed back to the boat and headed for Ivy Cove at Glauert Island. After anchoring we went ashore to see the boab tree with the engraving of  the ship 'Ivy' which had a date of 14.10.97, it is believed that 'Ivy' was a pearling vessel that operated around the Coronation Islands.
(Ivy Cove anchorage)

  (The Boab Tree with Ivy engraved)


This anchorage offers the better protection than other anchorages in the area but it is possible to get some wind waves and swell from the afternoon sea breeze as we did, it got rather sloppy late afternoon but settled before bed time.

The plan for tomorrow is to sail slowly to meet the tide for the King George Basin.


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