Cruising Log - Townsville to Whitsundays (11th to 21st November 2006)

Saturday 11th November 2006 Horeshoe Bay to Cape Bowling Green

Glenda & Warren urgently need to get back to Melbourne, so we check the weather forecast at 5am but it doesn’t sound promising so we all decide to delay our departure. However, by 7:30 the weather seems to have improved so we depart with "Catamaran Imagine".

We have a delightful sail (if not a bit bumpy - see photos of "Catamaran Imagine") and with the wind in the East we only have to make a few tacks. Seems everyone is out here and we see 4 other cats "This Way Up" and "Sail la Vie" and 2 more that I couldn't identify.

We anchor in Cape Bowling Green – a place commonly known as Cape Rowling Green. Thank goodness it doesn’t live up to expectations and we have an enjoyable night after cards on "Catamaran Imagine"

Sunday 12th November 2006 Cape Bowling Green to Gloucester Eco Resort

An early morning departure of 05:00 – ouch! We motor-sail all day with nice E/NE winds which freshen in the afternoon, but Warren & Glenda are on a deadline so we keep the motor on to add another knot or two. After we clear the green zones we put out a line and some time later we catch a Frigate Mackerel 62cm. It gives a great fight before I land it.

Last time we were in Bowen we met Shane & Jacki who have a fishing boat and we bought frozen green prawns from them. We gave them a phone call and they agreed to meet us at the boat ramp at Greys Bay (Queens Bay) north of Bowen where we made a quick stop to buy another 5kg of medium size local prawns for $60. Thanks guys – the last ones were great. Contact Shane & Jackie on 0427 779 970.

We then arrived at Gloucester Eco Resort at 18:30. We take over our prize fish for dinner on "Catamaran Imagine". After cards we say goodbye to our friends Warren & Glenda as they will leave in the morning for their trip to Airlie and their flights to Melbourne. Hopefully we will catch up again in a weeks time.

Monday 13th November 2006 Gloucester Eco Resort

Liz took a load of washing ashore and then we had drinks at the bar, enjoying the outlook. Later in the day I caught a Trevally on the mackerel scraps. At sunset we dinghied ashore and had a great Seafood Platter, more than we could eat.

Tuesday 14th November 2006 Gloucester Eco Resort to Gloucester Channel (north side)

The winds freshened all day from the NW and the anchorage at the resort had become uncomfortable and the weather forecast was for more ahead. So we weighed anchor and motored to Gloucester Channel and anchored on the northern side under the lee of Gloucester Island. There was already one cat here but it wasn't long before we were joined by a few more yachts and cats.

Wednesday 15th November 2006 Gloucester Channel (north side)

Winds are still fresh from the NW so we stay here another day. During the afternoon I catch two good size golden bream. It's their lucky day and I let them go.

Thursday 16th November 2006 Gloucester Channel to Airlie

Although the wind is still fresh, it has eased a little and we depart mid morning. With sails up we have a delightful sail although as we approach Airlie it lightens and a motor is started. We had intended to only go to Woodwark Bay, but one of Liz's friends, Sue, called and will be in Airlie this afternoon on her way to Cairns. Such is flexability and we decide to book into Abel Pt Marina for the night ($75/night, up from $60/nite 2 months ago - ouch!). Later in the afternoon Sue arrives and we have drinks onboard. It is great to catch up on her travels overseas. Sue decides to stay the night so we have dinner and drinks and chat well into the evening.

Friday 17th November 2006 Airlie to Woodwark Bay

I fill the gas bottle and take on half a tank of water before we set off for Woodwark Bay. The winds have turned SE and are about 20 knots with short seas. We decide just to use the jib and a motor for the short trip up to Woodwark. Dinner tonight was the Trevally I caught at Gloucester - it is a white meat and tastes superb. Quite different fro the red meat of the mackerel a few nights ago.

Saturday 18th to Monday 20th November 2006 Woodwark Bay

A wind warning is current for this period and we stay put in Woodwark Bay, soaking up the relaxing sunshine. We anchored down near the end of the bay, but we still experience lots of bullets gusting to 26 knots from all directions. Fortunately we have plenty of scope (technical name for lots of anchor chain) and all we do is complete circles around our anchor. One of the yachts anchored further out in the bay drags anchor and they re-anchor near us with more chain.

On Sunday a charter yacht "Serena" arrives and they decide to anchor between us and the other yacht. I soon realise they don't know the first thing about anchoring and go over to help them anchor on the other side of us where there is more room to let a lot of chain out. They are on holidays (uni?) from Frankfurt. later in the day I dinghy over to the yacht "Hush" and have a chat to Keith. He and his wife have been on their yacht for about a year and rode out the cyclone earlier this year in a creek near Mourilyan.

Mobile phone service has been scratchy at best, although we have been able to get our emails through and weather reports via the Telstra CDMA internet service.

Tuesday 21st November 2006 Woodwark Bay to Airlie

We departed Woodwark Bay in a strong SE and motored to Abel Pt Marina - slowly as the waves were high and short, which are the worst kind. On arriving at the marina we met up with our friends Warren & Glenda from "Catamaran Imagine".

"Catamaran Imagine" will head south while we will leave the boat here for 2 weeks and attend to business in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The flights are regular and cheap from Proserpine to Brisbane and the transport to and from the airport is simple.