Monday, 30 May 2011

Building character?

Bit of a shipping hazard - The Bun off Cape Upstart

If someone could point me towards the person that said facing challenges is character building, I'd like to let them know that we've built ours enough and we would like to stop now.
Leaving Cape Upstart last Friday headed to Bowen seemed like a good idea at the time. The weather forecast looked as favourable as it could be for heading south so off we went.
In what seemed like a repeat episode of other passages, one metre seas soon became two metres, 15 knot winds ramped up to 25 - right on the nose of course, and white caps started to break across the swell in a confused pattern.
Before leaving the north east edge of the cape, we ducked into a semi-sheltered bay for a reprieve and re-assessment of our situation.
Maybe it was the coffee and cake that helped, but after an hour the swell looked like it was diminishing so we gave it another go, perservering right through to Queens Bay, Bowen.

Passing Abbott Point was interesting with its long, long coal-loading wharf, ships and tugboats. We were rewarded shortly after this with a beaut mackerel which was immediately slotted into pride of position on that night's menu.
Fish for tea at last.
As the sun set, Sea Piper's anchor hit the mud/sand in Queen's Bay. Whew!
Bowen proved a little treasure with numerous beautiful bays and beaches. As yet it appears to not have fallen victim to over-development (the exception being the newish apartment block in Queens Bay that is visible from way out to sea. We initially thought it was an old sugar mill or housing commission high rise a la North Melbourne.)
Early yesterday, with provisions of fresh fruit and veges on board, we bid farewell to Bowen and set off towards Gloucester Passage. Less than 15 minutes into our journey we lost both engines. Royden's investigations revealed water in the fuel system. In the meantime (of course) the wind and swell had built up and started knocking us around.
Ahhh bring on that character building.
We unfurled the head sail and managed to get ourselves back into the outer reaches of Queen's Bay where my brilliant husband worked relentlessly for hours until he had the starboard engine up and running again which allowed us to re-anchor more safely further into the bay. Several hours more work and the port engine was again running, much to the delight and relief of both of us.
What a day.
Today the gods must have been smiling on us as we had a beautiful sail from Bowen across a tranquil bay to the west side of the Gloucester Passage. The freshly installed Code Zero sail was a winner in the light wind and scooted us across at up to 7 knots.
A tranquil sea on the way to Gloucester Passage
The day was topped off with a nice fresh fish for tea. Good for the brain - and maybe the character?

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