Saturday, 22 August 2015

Dungeness - pre and post

It's hard to believe nearly a week has passed since my last blog entry - probably because each day was pretty much a repeat of the previous ie take in the magnificent views, catch fish, cook fish, eat fish, take in the view, etc. Yep, the fishing was pretty good.
We diversified for a day and a night by heading into Dungeness (behind Lucinda at the southern entry to the Hinchinbrook Channel).
The main reason for our visit was that we were down to our last two mozzie coils. These are essential for warding off the hordes of midges/sandflies that hang around the mangroves.
It also gave us the opportunity to walk on land for the first time in eight or so days
The town consists of a couple of resorts with a restaurant, bar and small shop at one, a newish public dock and boat ramp, some holiday townhouses and a reasonably new set of pontoons hired out as marina berths.
Getting into Dungeness by boat requires a good map, absolute adherence to the shipping markers and a bit of local knowledge. It is extremely shallow and can only be accessed on a rising tide, preferably close to the top of the tide. Fortunately for us the high was close to the middle of the day so access was achievable - but only just as the high was quite a low one.
It was good to stretch our legs and we ended up walking two kms into Lucinda for an ice cream and look around the old jetty that we have passed by sea many times now. The boating channel is only a stone's throw from the jetty and I remember it's proximity freaked us both out a bit the first time we travelled the route back in 2010!
As an extra treat to our land visit, we went to the restaurant and had steak for dinner.
Final anchorage in the Hinchinbrook Channel - Sunday Creek. The fishing wasn't as good here.
With mozzie coils replenished and Sea Piper's water tanks filled, we headed out on the following day's high tide to anchor up in the Channel in preparation for our trip across to the Palm Islands this morning.
Glass out conditions
It was glass-out calm when we left but the Bureau's forecast 15 to 20 knots blew up just as we got near the end of the Lucinda jetty and prepared to cross to the Palms.
Deciding to take a more comfortable (but longer) course across the ditch gave us the bonus of a whale just off the port side. It was slowly meandering northwards weaving its huge bulk in and out of the waves.
We're now snugly moored in Little Pioneer Bay on Orpheus Island with the aim of using the forecast easterly tomorrow to take us south to Magnetic Island then into Townsville Monday where we pick up our new anchor chain - all 80 metres of it (so I guess we won't be literally picking it up).
Visitors Leigh and Rob fly in to join us this Saturday and with a bit of good weather, we hope to sail south to the Whitsundays.
Watch this space!

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