Monday, 28 May 2012

Hinchinbrook Channel and beyond

It's been a very long time since I've spent a day in my pyjamas but our day on the mooring at Little Pioneer Day provided the opportunity - simply because it was so uncomfortably swelly that the only place to regain your equilibrium was in bed. I think Royden and I basically took turns.
However conditions did abate over the Friday night so (after showering and getting dressed!) we set out first up Saturday morning for the town of Lucinda at the entry to the Hinchinbrook Channel. It was a fast journey surfing the waves and with the wind pushing us from behind as well.
Lucinda jetty
Lucinda jetty has to be one of the longest around - about 5 kms I believe. We couldn't spot the channel marker buoy well out to sea from the tip of the jetty so reckon it was either lost in the swell or blown away in Yasi.
It was a fabulous feeling  to hit the smooth waters of the channel and to take in the stunning scenery here. It is one of my very favourite places. We stopped and had coffee beneath the Bluff nearest the entry point and just savoured an hour or so before meandering down (or up) the channel to choose an overnight anchorage. Waterfalls were running full on the many rock faces of Hinchinbrook Island's peaks and the Cardwell Range on the opposite side. Any wonder after 300 mm of rain overnight Thursday.
What a view! Hinchinbrook Island is one of the most beautiful places we have visited - by land or sea.
We decided to anchor in Gayundah Creek, out of the main waterway and flanked with mangroves. It was delightfully calm but a soft breeze kept the midges away. Perfect. 
On Sunday morning we moved along to just outside Cardwell. While it was good to see regrowth happening, Yasi's destruction is still very evident.
Our sail across to Dunk Island started well with a nice breeze of around 11 knots but about halfway across it dropped to 4, then 2, then just about nothing and we were forced to bring down the sails and motor. Fickle weather!
What a beauty! and delicious.
We anchored off Dunk Island for the evening right outside a resort shredded by Yasi. Roofs and walls were missing from buildings and the beachfront bar and kiosk gone completely.  The jetty has whole chunks missing from it. Imagine it will take many years and many millions to create another resort here.
Royden's fishing efforts were rewarded here with a beaut sized red snapper which replaced lasagne on our dinner menu last night. It was delicious - and there's two more dinners left from it yet.
Today we have sailed through to the Johnson River and are anchored in the river across from Innisfail. Conditions at sea became very rough after a couple of hours this morning, and the weather is predicted to deteriorate further over the next few days so we decided to negotiate the bar at the river entry (an interesting and bracing experience!) and prop in here for a few days until it's calm enough for us to get out there again and continue our trip to Cairns, which is only a half day (or so) sail away now.
In the meantime we will explore Innisfail and get some parts for that bane of all sailors - the toilet.


  1. Yummy. Hope we can catch some too!!!in August.