Tuesday, September 17, 2013

To Mackay, via Curlew Island and Freshwater Point.

By Glenn:

Hate to say this but I'm starting to loose track of what day it is! I have to consult the log book now. We are relaxing at Mackay Marina, but what day did we leave the Percy Islands? Ok, it was Saturday. I'm not showing off or anything but see how relaxed I've become without the alarm clock routine. Of course Jen suspects that it's the early onset of "old timers" disease.

We hauled up the anchor at beautiful Whites Bay and followed in the wake of Ocean Child on a leisurely motor sail to Curlew Island. ( I was hoping to get a encore from Denis on the "Dobro Comb"). It was another relaxing day on the water, with the obligatory whale sightings. We witnessed a baby whale learning to leap out of the water. It looked big until we saw the mother slowly surfaced. We motored into the anchorage on the northern side of Curlew by mid afternoon.

Absolutely stunning Curlew Island.

We scoped out our anchorage position. The art of anchoring plays a major part in successful cruising sailing. It means the difference between a relaxing night's sleep or loosing your yacht on the rocks or coral. Even worse would be the embarrassing look of waking up aground, high and dry! The tidal ranges here are up to 5 metres. I'm continually doing calculations. Goodness it's hard enough bloody trying to count my fingers and toes. To make sure ST3 is in the right depth I have let out enough chain. ( ratio 1:5, 1:6 or 1:7)

Our Curlew Island anchorage at dusk.

We set sail on Sunday for Freshwater Point, Llewellyn Bay, which is about 20nm south of Mackay. Freshwater Point isn't in any of the cruising guides, but Dennis from Ocean Child thought it would be a great anchorage. (good call mate but still no Dobro Comb encore :( ) Now if I've said this once I'll say it again....."the sail from (add-name-here) "Curlew Island to Freshwater Point"...was definitely the best sail we've had all trip". Sea Trek III is a cutter rig, and for the uninitiated this means we can put up 3 sails. With more sail we make greater speeds, at times flying along at around 8 knots on a close reach. There was a mad panic to get the all of the sails down when we arrived at Freshwater. We tucked into the totally comfortable anchorage for a great nights sleep. Jen slept with one eye open because she definitely thought this was croc country.

Ocean Child at anchor at Freshwater Point. (Real croc country?)

So although the water temperature was a balmy 25 degrees, I decided not to dip the toe in. We motor sailed to Mackay on Monday. We have settled in for a few days of catching up with long lost friends, and members of the "CRAP Uke Band" for the reunion of "Love and other Bruce's". Hopefully we will have an encore on the Dobro Comb. (see youtube). A minor engine repair requiring a courier service from Brisbane and an oil change undertaken by yours truly, before venturing to the Whitsunday Islands....FINALLY.

Mackay Marina at low low tide.

Final news flash:

Jen now has a real camera! All pics on this blog up until now have been taken on the iPhone. I think you would have to agree that the pics have been great considering her limited resources. No pressure Jen but I'm expecting big things from today onwards.........



  1. Glenn & Jen,

    All I can say is, "I'M JEALOUS!"

    Phillip of Seaka

  2. Great Mackay marina photo. Also, I did the conversion and checked the starts, and yes, the ocean that we swam in off for Orford in Oregon was 10 degrees Celsius! At the end of summer! Hard to believe it's the same water you guys are simmering in

  3. Hi guys

    We have been back in Brisbane for almost 2 weeks now, so now our only cruising pleasure is vicariously enjoying your blog! So jealous of your time in the Percys, Dukes etc - we've only been through there on one trip, and did not have the opportunity to stay more than a few days. Enjoy the whitsundays, and make sure you keep the radio on as the traffic from the charterers will keep you entertained!!

    All the best from Chris and Maggie (Allons-y)

  4. Thanks for the comments, talk soon all!