Thursday, 21 July 2011

Meet the Smiths

Today we visited the Smiths.
Smith Islands that is.
We had two goes at it and the second time we were successful.
Early morning from Gap Beach, Lindeman Island
We'd spent the last two days at Gap Beach on the northern side of Lindeman Island but an hour before tide change this morning, we slipped through Kennedy Sound between Lindeman and Shaw Islands.
 All was calm. The channel crossing was beautiful with the early morning light on Mount Oldfield that we climbed yesterday and behind us the glowing rock face of Pentecost Island that juts out of the sea and points at the sky.
Kennedy Sound from Mount Oldfield, Lindeman Island.
We counted 10 yachts at anchor as we passed the sheltered inlet just inside Burning Point at the southern tip of Shaw Island.
As we rounded the Point to head towards the Smiths, it was like a fury had been unleashed .
The time around tide change is referred to as `slack tide' because the flooding (rising) or ebbing tide is at its slowest rate. We'd picked our run to take us throught the Sound at slack tide then catch the flooding tide south.
Nice dream. A 20 knot wind had sprung up - in the opposite direction to the tide, making the waves sit up, which were sideways to the swell of course. We must be getting smarter because after about 40 minutes of trying to push through, we decided to head back and anchor overnight in the calm haven off Burning Point and try the journey south another day.
After a leisurely morning tea then lunch, we settled down to strum the ukele (me) and do a Sudoku (Royden).
We suddenly realised the wind had dropped to nothing and the turbulent sea we had looked out on before had calmed to almost flat. It was an hour before the next tide change (from flooding back to ebbing) so we made a quick decision to haul the anchor and test out this slack tide to head to the Smiths.
We had a lovely motor sail south with just enough breeze from the south-east to fill out the head sail and not enough flow from the ebbing tide to hamper our progress.
And the Smith Islands - we passed them all and thought what great names they had. There's Silversmith, Goldsmith, Blacksmith, Coppersmith, Tinsmith, Anchorsmith and Ladysmith Islands along with Anvil, Hammer, Forge, Solder, Farrier Islands, Bellows Islet and Ingot Islets.
It makes some of the other island names positively boring.
We're currently tucked up in Minne Hall Bay on Goldsmith Island, having enjoyed a glorious sunset over a glass-like sea. We're treasuring the moment.
Sunset behind Ladysmith Island as seen from Goldsmith Is.


  1. Pretty hard to beat Deag dog island just to the north of you though for a great name !

  2. just checking that anonymous works

  3. Testing comments from this end