Monday, July 22, 2013

Queensland. The long arrival.

We left Iluka at dawn. For the entire trip the seas were calm with a slight swell. The pinnacle of Mount Warning watched over us for most of our daylight hours. It was a day of motor sailing: some good speed from the sails prior to lunch. After passing Cape Byron our forward motion slowed right down as a south running current took hold. We revised our arrival time from 21.00 to 23.00. Good coverage was given by the marine rescue who followed us up the coast via radio contact.

Mount Warning: Our view from sea.

When can I surf?

The hero of the day was Glenn "I'm the Skipper" who continually assessed the swell, the activity of charted reefs, kept a look out for navigational hazards (any other craft except ST3) and whales. Glenn did really well without any of the sea sick symptoms that were previously so troubling by night fall. He used the ET' Sea Sick tablets at 6am and 3pm. Apart from feeling thirsty he had nil side effects, including no drowsiness and no nausea.

Mount Warning saying goodnight.

Hip hip Hooray. After 17 long hours of motoring sailing today we are here!
We left Woolwich marina on June 1 and are "chipping away at it". We can now say that we have sailed the entire east coast of NSW and Tasmania. These coasts are recognised as some of the more challenging that Australia has to offer. Glenn is not in a hurry to retrace his path.
After safely entering Southport we began to relax. We had just broken some of the most deeply entrenched sailors laws: never enter an unknown port in the dark, never cross a bar on an outgoing tide, and never attempt a bar crossing at low tide. The benign conditions made all of this possible. Even so I did look back and was shocked go see the steepness of the unbroken waves as they stood up on the shallow water.
The street and building lights of this tourist city (just like most of this coast) created a glittering back drop for the precious navigational lead lights of Port and Starboard. I tried to make sense of the visual chaos by using the binoculars while the very tired Skipper Glenn kept his eye on the chart plotter. No one told us about the assortment of dredgers and machinery that officially litter this channel. Slow and steady. I photographed this machine's lights while looking back out to sea. When it first came into view we were motoring towards the city. It was a blaze with four red lights to port, four green to starboard and several random white lights. It looked like a child's pyramid display. I realised that we were heading straight for it. A second protruding dredger only displayed a fluorescent light shining from inside the galley!!!

Just another floating Christmas tree!

Today we started our search for an outboard motor mechanic. This was easy because our sailing mentors Ken and Lyn from Tasmania were on a road trip holiday in this area. They kindly drove us hither and tither and we enjoyed a long luscious land lunch at the famous Jupiters Casino. According to the publicity there are 5 of their customers who will be millionaires within the next 5 weeks. Probably a bit strange to most people but I have been feeling incredibly wealthy in these past 7 weeks even though Glenn and I are carefully counting our pennies.

I reckon it's fake.

Jupiters Casino: The lucky zodiac includes everyone who was born during any year. It's about 15metres high. The scantly clad figure at the top is curious.

Where we are:


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