Sunday, 16 September 2012

Blue skies, smilin' at me

A whale breaching on the horizon made our day yesterday as we sailed up to Low Isles.
We'd been a week in the marina where Royden replaced our two starter batteries and installed a new battery charger. Meantime the wind was blowing a howler so we had no desire to be at sea.
However the forecast for this week is beautiful and we set off first thing yesterday morning to take advantage of the light winds and low swell. We were also keen to see the start of the Louisiades rally from Yorkey's Knob marina but as there were just 15 boats and they left in drips and drabs according to sailability and power-ability, there wasn't much to see. I was expecting something like the Darwin-Ambon rally which used to (and probably still does)involve dozens of yachts and have a spectacular send-off. Oh well.
As we had all day to reach Low Isles, we were happy to move along at under 3 knots, at times increasing to 5 knots with the odd stronger gust, the Code Zero doing its usual great job in light conditions. I suspect the tide and swell was having more to do with our forward propulsion than the wind.

The swell and tide kept us moving along.
The whale breach was followed by a couple of tail slaps and then it was gone. Gosh he/she was big.
Dolphins were the next to come out to play but unfortunately the mackerel didn't want to have anything to do with us. It's the first time we have crossed that stretch of water and not caught a mackerel. We can only suppose we were going too slow.
All three public moorings were taken when we reached Low Isles around 4.30pm so we nosed our way into the lagoon and dropped anchor for the night.
As always the reef sharks took an avid interest in our anchor, chain and hull. Maybe they remember that Royden always dives in here and checks that the anchor's set. Not this night though as we are in such shallow and clear water that we could see all was well from the deck.
This morning has dawned with some dark rain cloud drifting out to sea, bat fish circling our boat to get our toast crumbs and a pair of sea eagles sitting on a pontoon adjacent to Sea Piper. Not too bad a start.

A pair of sea eagles sit on the pontoon awaiting the arrival of guests from Port Douglas. The pontoon belongs to one of the big day-tripper yachts.