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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

April 25 – May 1, 2011 – Another Broken Halyard and the Trip to Mackay

Wednesday, April 25th, we departed for Pearl Bay at 6:30 AM. There is not much wind and what we have is behind us so we deployed the gennaker. Progress is a slow but steady 4.5 – 5.5 knots. All was going just fine with Frank in the cockpit reading a book, me catching up on blogs and the fishing line set when at around 10:30, the gennaker halyard snapped sending the parachute into the water.  The line appeared to have been sawed-through just like before with the genoa halyard. We heaved it up on board, strapped it down for now and turned on the engine. Something up there is wreaking havoc on our lines. We have got to find out what is going on but need very calm conditions in which to do it.  We've lost valuable time and are now so far behind the Scallys that we can no longer see their mast up ahead.  We arrived at Pearl Bay mid afternoon finding good holding in about 4 meters of sandy bottom.  Early evening we paid a quick visit to Scallywag for sundowners. The swell was rolling in. We looked across at Destiny's swaying mass and commented that we were in for a very rolly night. Referring to the Lucas Guide this rolling will continue throughout the next several dozen anchorages; such is the nature of N. Queensland waters. We chatted about staying on Thursday to explore the beach and spending a lazy day on the hook.

Thursday, April 26
I had a terribly restless night, not sleeping well between Frank's snoring and the surge rolling us from side to side and rocking us fore to aft. The motion was without rhythm.  Upon awakening I asked Frank if there were any other anchorages he would consider moving to for the day because this was really getting on my nerves. He responded that he wasn't so disturbed and although there is a creek bed anchorage about 3 miles north he was fine with staying here. As he is conveying this to me I am watching the five other boats that had shared the bay with us last night make a mad exit. Thankfully, Glor radioed to ask if we minded moving out of here to another anchorage about 3 miles north (Thank you Glor!). We weighed anchor at 9:15.
10:45, we are getting decent wind, at least enough to encourage us to move on to South Percy Island.  After motor-sailing a good part of the day we bobbed on in to the northwest anchorage of South Percy Island. The Lucas guide gives this a swelly/rolly rating but we found it no worse than the last two and in fact maybe a little more comfortable than at Pearl Bay.  Weather forecasts are calling for high wind warnings and impending thunderstorms over the next few days. We think this will serve as just an overnight stop in case the forecasts bear fruit. After a quick consult with Paul and Glor it was decided we would depart for Mackay at 4:00 AM.

Friday, April 27th
Black is black is the morning.  Of course it would be dark at 3:15 AM. Surprisingly the laundry I hung out last night is dry! This is the first morning we have awakened to dry air. Every other night has been so humid, leaving the decks slippery and wet. We enjoyed splendid sou'easterlys all the day long, giving us good speed into Mackay.
a few of the ships anchored off Mackay

The ocean is plastered with anchored commercial vessels as we near the harbour. Dozens upon dozens are sitting out here as we pick our way through and around them toward the marina. We arrived at Mackay's beautiful marina mid-afternoon. Getting into the berth was a struggle. Scallywag had arrived about 30 minutes prior, so Paul and Glor were on hand to assist us. The first attempt was aborted, as I happened to toss Paul an unattached bowline – duh!!! Frank backed out to give it another go. Apparently seeing our struggles, three guys from a big Rescue ship stopped to give us a hand. We were all laughing except the captain (Frank). The current in this marina gives the Gold Coast serious competition. We hit the Sails Pub for drinks and dinner and then because we were all nodding off by 8:00, early to bed.
Mackay Marina jetty

Saturday, April 28, Frank tried literally all day to get Sailmail working and attempted to load some new electronic chart program Paul had told him about. I cleaned. We met the Scallys for dinner at George's Thai restaurant. It was very good! Then on Sunday, because the marina is quite far from town, we shared a rental car for the day, hitting the essential venues: liquor store, hardware, auto parts (couldn't find the marine store), electronics store, and of course the grocery store. We returned in time to get goods stowed and to hit the bar because all this shopping made the boys very thirsty you know.  Monday was chore day AGAIN.  I forced a lunch break on Frank. We went for pizza at the Sails Pub and have declared it the best pizza in all of Queensland, bar none. Afterward we took a long walk down the promenade, out to the beach and watched some kite surfers for a while. On return from our lovely walk, Frank feeling rejuvenated and inspired finally got Sailmail working – hooray!!!! I got the rest of my mundane tasks accomplished and then we headed to Scally to share the good news over a beer.
Mackay Marina promenade

Today is Tuesday, May 1, 2012. We helped each other secure to the fuel dock early and by 9:45 AM we were under way. Leaving the breakwater was a rough ride. Storm clouds are rolling in and the skies have gone to gray.  Things settled down about 5 miles offshore and we are now enjoying a comfortable 7-knot sail to Goldsmith Island.


Anonymous said...

This is like reading a novel!! How fun and exciting. What a life you are having.
I stay busy with work, Sam's baseball team and can now get out in the yard to putter. I miss you dear friend, and Frankie too! Almost 8 years since we met. XOXO Tammi B

Judy & Bill Rouse aboard S/V BeBe said...

I found your comment about the pizza funny. We took our then 8-yr-old grandson to the same place for pizza. He said that if Australian pizza tasted like that then he did not want any more pizza while in Australia. Bill is not a pizza fan, but I love it. After trying it that one time in Sails Pub, I did not eat pizza again in Australia. Guess you hit it on a good day.