With the anchor winch fixed and our sleeping berth freshly painted; farewell drinks, BBQ and all bills paid, it was time to leave Yeppoon. (There is no truth in the rumour that Glenn was running a bar-tab at CCYC). We left early on Friday morning with a fresh south-east wind, our destination being Port Clinton, 40 nautical miles to the north.
Once out of the Rosslyn Bay Marina we motored into a confused brown mish-mash of splashing ocean, we hoisted our sails and hurtled our way north. The seas had been churned up by the relentless winds of the preceding week and the looked disgusting! (Think effulent).
Sloppy and muddy.
We gradually moved away from the coast, and the water colour turned a more acceptable grey-blue but the seas remained unpredictable.
We found the remote Port Clinton to be surprisingly expansive. We watched a bush fire burn in the distant hills as the smoke turned the sunset red. A large shiny white and blue checked motor cruiser silently passed close us. "Police" !! We suddenly tried to act normal.(straight that is) It had slowed down to a "polite speed" (no wash created) and they waved at Glenn. Afterwards I noticed that he was "Captain Underpants" again. Oh dear.
The next day and a few quick hours of wonderful sailing delivered us to Island Head Creek.This "creek" was also expansive. Queensland I remembered is the land of the BIG stuff. As we studied our paper charts it was hard to comprehend the size of the next two bays: Shoalwater Bay, followed by the huge Southern Broadsound. These are soooo big that they have their own tidal heights and flow rates. They are used as a military training area and Jervis Bay in NSW is just a little pond compared to these two. On a regular Queensland map they are the pair of prominent indentations about half way along the coast. We know that the extremely rare Snub fin dolphin is found in the upper reaches of these bays.
Glenn's T shirt...thanks Ginny for your efforts.
As we continue to sail further north we feel the vastness of the wilderness more and more. The busy Great Barrier Reef tourist areas are within a full day's sail, but right now we could be amongst the few remaining humans on earth.
Hexham Island is our safe anchorage for tonight. We passed a mother humpback whale and calf quietly wallowing in the channel just around the corner. Glenn kept ST3 on a course west of them so as not to distress the couple. Judging by the frequency and height of the breath-spouts it must have been a very new calf.
A cramped anchorage Hexham Island.
A weird natural occurrence: see the photo. For days we have been passing through streams of ? Coral Spawn. It looks like thick Nestle's Chocolate Quick floating in streams along the coast. An internet sewrch; it is a nitrogen fixing floating algae "Trichodesium" bloom.
Much excitement onboard of Sea Trek III. The tradition of cruisers visiting Middle Percy Island ( our next stop) is to leave a plaque of the ship's name in the "A frame" building on West Bay. Some creativity will be required......
More to come soon, including our time at Middle Percy Island....