Monday, 31 August 2015

Heading south to the Whitsundays

Full moon rising at Cape Bowling Green - as drawn by Mr Squiggle (or taken from a bobbing boat).

It’s been a busy week since we tied up in Breakwater Marina last Monday.

Having noticed that the stitching on the front trampolines was perishing in several places, the first job was to undo the lashings holding them in place then deliver the tramps to the sailmaker.

We’d rung Townsville sailmaker Lex Prior the week before to organise a repair and were able to drop them off by 4pm Monday.

In typical fashion, he did the repair and had them ready to reinstall by Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier on Tuesday Royden had hired a trailer and picked up our brand new 80 metres of anchor chain which came in a 40 gallon drum. Getting it was ok as Bullivants, the supplier, had a forklift.

Getting it off the trailer was somewhat more challenging but all credit to Royden who works out the logistics prior to the job. The drum and chain were safely trolleyed into one of the marina’s shipping containers until the high tide when the walkway was closer to level and trolleying the barrel down the ramp was less of a hazard.

But before that the tramps had to be reinstated so that was Wednesday morning’s job.

On Thursday morning we took Sea Piper to the works dock (nearest the container) for the installation of the new anchor chain. But first the old rusty anchor chain had to be unloaded and the anchor removed.

As fate would have it, another yachtie had his boat at the works dock having his hull scraped. He looked at our old anchor chain, decided the bulk of it (the non-rusty end) was better than his and promptly took it off our hands, relieving us of the job of getting rid of it. Win, win!

Just as an aside, our new anchor chain is the tested Australian made variety. It was 2.5 times the price of chain from China however we decided that `cheap’ did not necessarily equal `good’ and seeing it’s our main means of staying in the same place overnight, we opted for the dearer chain. However it’s an indicator of what Australian manufacturer’s are up against in a global market.

With all major jobs complete it was time to restock and ready Sea Piper for her next outing with Rob and Leigh on board.

With perfect conditions forecast for the next few days, we set off yesterday morning (Sunday) to Cape Bowling Green. The wind was almost non-existent when we left the marina, but rounding Cape Cleveland it rose to 9 and 10 knots north-easterly so we were able to sail from there – a great way to start the trip.

A giant turtle stuck its head up as we sailed along. Next thing Leigh called out with great excitement as a whale fully breached out towards the horizon. Sailing through Bowling Green Bay we saw another two pods splashing and blowing. What a wildlife show!

After a blissfully calm night at Bowling Green, we have set off this morning for Cape Upstart with an early whale sighting and some dolphins to start the day. 

Sunrise at Bowling Green ...

... and moon-set on the western side

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