A day prior to ST3 leaving Mackay Marina we said farewell to the crew of the Astrolabe I .She is a beautiful steel yacht with a well thought out design. Kim and Ian have owned her for 15 years while running a business in Kettering, Tasmania. The crew of John and Keiran will assist in the voyage that will include a visit to the Louisiades. Their ultimate destination is Japan for the snow season. Fair winds; we'll be following your progress with extreme interest. (I just love the wild and adventurous Tasmanians, and they are vey well represented in the sailing community, such a friendly bunch).
Right in the middle of our plotted course.
You are looking at him, looking at me.
Curlew Island beckoned. We had enjoyed the overnight stop here some weeks ago in the delightful company of Ocean Child. A large tidal sand bank made for an interesting lagoon. We had the idea of doing some exploring this time in the extended daylight. This is the only benefit of rising early that I can find.
The tides here are more than five and a half metres ( plus) and it was a full moon again. We timed the dinghy ride out to the bar to coincide with the slack-water either side of the low tide by 30 mins. The bar was " high and dry". We know from experience that we needed to keep a very close eye on the dinghy because lapping waters charge in and out very quickly.
The sand bar looked unimpressive when we anchored.
By the time we had anchored and refreshed ourselves it was time to head to the sand bar. The wind was picking up as often happens in the afternoons, and we were drenched by the short chop before we arrived at the bar. The sand bar was a visual surprise. (We didn't see any of the promised stranded prawns, Bruce). The sculptured patterns left by the tidal flow that had previously rushed out were spectacular: A moonscape or the Grand Canyon comes near the strangeness of these firm mud/sand formations.
Giant steps are what you take, walking on the Moon...
A struggling Pea plant.
Evidence of a few ground nesting birds successfully hatching eggs on the ridges.
Just look at the incredible sea scape: we saw large old turtles and schools of tiny and medium sized tropical fish, as well as frolicking dolphins.
So much contrast. Thought provoking. More about our Hunter Island experience soon...