June 12 – We thought we’d stay another day at Lizard Island but the water was cloudy and there was no hope of swimming or snorkeling so we upped the anchor at 8am. No wind but to conserve fuel we sailed/poked along at about 3.6kt. We did a little motoring to charge the batteries and make water for 4-5 hours, then had some pleasant sailing. At 3:15pm we anchored at Howick Island in 40.6ft. 14-29.689S, 144-57.327E. It was a little overcast in the distance and refreshingly cool. And then the anchor windless broke as he was putting on the snubber. Good grief, one more thing breaks. What gives?!? We’d just had it repaired in Scarborough. Jim dismounted the unit and found the key to part of it slipped out because it had been put in with cheap masking tape! We spent hours working on putting it back together as it grew dark and misty. We eventually got everything back in place and it works now but it took us 4-5 hours. Fortunately the rain held off until late night. It was a very calm anchorage but boring with its low mangroves.
June 13 we upped the anchor at 6:15am. It was a delightfully cool morning with 5-7kt wind. We put the full main up and motor sailed all the way in glass-smooth water, not a hint of a breeze. At 3:55pm we arrived in Owen Channel off Flinders Island and anchored in 27ft at 14-10.660S, 144-13.768E.
June 14 – It’s a beautiful anchorage so we put the dinghy in the water. Jim discovered the Yanmar guys in Brisbane did not return the kill switch when they serviced the motor. You can’t run the motor without it and it requires a specific size and type of sweitch. Clever Jim improvised and he took Nick and I over to Flinders Island near Castle Peaks for a bush walk. It was a little scary getting out of the dinghy and going ashore after all the crocodile warnings. I was constantly monitoring for crocks and snakes as we walked across the spit onto the beach and then through the bush to the Aboriginal cave paintings. It turned out to be a great hike. Back at the boat i discovered my computer completely stopped working. Impala took pity on us and invited us over for a book swap and scrabble.
June 15 we had the anchor up at 5am and motored until 11am when the winds kicked in. We had a great day of sailing, wing and wing ending in a beam reach. We anchored at 3pm in 33ft at Morris Island. 13-29.381S, 143-43.317E,
June 16 and another early start at 5:45am. We were sailing by 6:45am in 11-15kt wind under grey overcast misting conditions. Then rain and wind picked up at 37.5kt true. Coming in to Paluma Passage in 2.5 meter swells wind was 31.1kt and we were going 9.4kt. I saw 33.1kt at one point and SOG (speed over ground) 10.1. That’s our fastest so far. It was a great downwind ride and we averaged 7kt for the day. It doesn’t get much better than this. We anchored at 2:35pm in 20ft at Portland Road on the mainland. 12-35.621S, 143-24.410E. Thankfully it’s calm here, just a lovely gentle rocking sensation.