Sunday, 3 July 2011

Calm seas - and wildlife

Doesn't look rough but we were surfing in front of the waves. Note the angle of the seat - one of its straighter moments.
The sea is a fickle creature. Yesterday we surfed the Whitsunday Passage with a three metre swell, the waves just as high and the wind filling the headsail.
It's the first time we have surged ahead at over nine knots.
The conditions were a big improvement on the preceding days when we heard charterers over the radio with shredded headsails, lost dinghies and/or simply `lost' to the awful and freakish conditions.
Our last night at Gulnare Inlet was calm and peaceful - we almost got to sleep through the whole of the night without having to check the anchorage. Old habits die hard though and we each did a quick reccy in the early hours of the morning.
After a re-stock of groceries and `refreshments' at Airlie yesterday, we upped anchor this morning and headed around to Long Island. Minutes after we set off, heavy cloud and rain drifted in, leaving us in close to white-out conditions. The upside of this was little wind (six knots) and a calm sea. Hard to believe we were re-tracing part of yesterday's bracing sail.
As we neared Long Island we could see four figures on the beach - the smaller two running round excitedly.
Securing the mooring was a breeze in calm conditions and we quickly lowered the dinghy and headed ashore to the resort and to warm hugs and kisses.
The little boys, decked out in their bright life jackets, were keen to visit Sea Piper and Pa keen to oblige.
24 hours later - the same stretch of sea as the photo above.
As if on cue, a pod of dolphins circled the boat as the dinghy neared. To cap it off, turtles appeared off the bow as the boys explored the boat.
A pretty good day by anybody's standards.
Dolphins and turtles - what a treat!

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