Our first Cape

Hi there how’s it going? Well we have had a change of crew in Cairns but 
not 
much else has changed, except we now have a pourer for the Jack Daniels. 
It 
is amazing how long a bottle lasts now and how well I have been feeling in
the morning. We have continued to purchase prawns and it seems the going
rate is $8/kg cooked so can cope with that pretty easily.
Cairns was excellent, we rolled up on triathlon day so it was packed but
got
Boomerang the second best pen to park up in at the Marlin Marina. Smack 
bang 
in the thick of it. It was Maria’s birthday so we had a great day. To top
it
off we were sitting back pretty well smashed when all of a sudden the
firework show started. Front row seats for the rangas, and the toads 
know 
how to do crackers. It was a ripper show. Cala and I both ducked cause 
they 
looked like they were coming at you, bit freaky really. We sang Carpenters
 songs into the night, Maria likes the Carpenters, and woke up dodgy as.
 We have been to a wedding on Fitsroy Island, the bride showed complete
 style, bare feet and sucking on a can of bundy and coke half way through 
the 
night.

Climbed a track through cyclone devastated rainforest to an unreal
 waterfall. Sort of jumped in but got out quicker, freeze the nuts off a 
polar bear. Cala and I have got the coconut shucking down pat, no loss of 
fingers or toes which is pretty lucky really. We have been getting one of 
Jens’s cleavers and attacking them with it. This is one knife that Jen 
isn’t
too attached to so no care is required. You need to slash all the hard 
stuff
 on the outside then start prizing it off with your fingers. If one of you
put it between your feet and the other whacks it with the knife it is not
to
much of a pain. Then we each grab a side and pull as hard as you can, or
until your finger nails are just about to pull out, over and over. These 
coconuts are the best. Thick flesh and if you have not tried vodka and
 coconut water with ice you don’t know what your missing.
Went to Dunk island but it was destroyed in Yazi, not even any bar
service.
Cala finally caught a fish, Spanish flag and not much of a feed but at 
least
 all his effort was rewarded. He seemed a little bit happier, but that 
could 
have been his tipping, he had a good week if I remember rightly. God it is 
hard to go away with a one eyed eagles supporter. I guess the coach is 
safe
 for a bit yet.
 We island hopped up to Cairns but didn’t do much swimming as it was a bit
cold, although Maria went in at Fitsroy Island. Scored another box of
prawns
there as well.
As I mentioned previously we made it to Cairns and with a bit of juggling 
we 
managed to get a pen at the marlin marina, E30. We moored up on the end of a
 T and thought geez we have got a ladder, fully fendered jetty and some 
really flash bollards to tie up to only to find it was for one of the big
cats. Wasn’t to bad only a couple of people noticed. Once we were in the
right pen organized the new batteries to be delivered and waited. The old 
batteries were rooted and would only just make it through the night and 
were 
a constant pain in the arse, so the newt’s were a welcome addition. They 
fitted perfectly and we doubled our capacity as easy as that. Found a
 yumcha 
and celebrated with a few xxxx and some of the best dumplings on the east
coast. Hired a car and checked out Cairns, dropped the Calabrese’s off at 
the airport and picked up Jen’s brother Chris. Waiting for Chris’s plane 
to
arrive we checked out the mangrove walk just out of the airport. I walked
 about 200m and then the first stinking sandfly got me. I bolted for the 
car,
Jen was nowhere to be seen, I was going anyway as now the itches were on 
both legs, then i saw her yacking with some bloke and gave her the look 
that 
it was time to get the hell out of there. They love pissing on me, don’t
 know why but it is close to the worst thing in the world, worse than dog
shit and that coming from me is saying something.
We got Chris and
 buggered 
off, spitting on the bites every couple of minutes. Chris was sweating his 
box off, as he had just arrived from Russia, cold place, so we got him 
back 
and changed into some normal clothes and checked out the restaurants of 
Cairns. He can eat like a horse. We spent the next morning provisioning,
 Boomerang got a bath and we set off for port Douglas at lunchtime. We made
 it just on sunset and back into another marina, a bit lower budget but 
heaps 
of tourists. It was here that I asked a mate of ours about the idle revs
dropping on the starboard engine. I hoped to just be able to tweak 
something 
but no way. Rhys had the thing in pieces very quickly, I was hoping he was 
as good a diesel mechanic as everyone was telling me, and in the end it 
all 
worked out well although it was over a long weekend so we just had to hang
 in Pt Douglas for a few more days.
I would recommend this place, it goes 
off. Watched the Dockers kick Essendon’s arse and made a couple of 
friends,
made heaps of enermies, losers. One bloke we met came back to the boat for a
 few rums and I offered to taking him crabbing up a creek where the pots
were. We hit them about midnight on high tide. Coming rocket style into a 
corner he lost his balance and fell in, I was amazed as he had the torch 
in 
his hand and you could see it way down deep then he came to the surfase 
then 
went back down, I was wondering if he could swim when up he come again and
I 
dragged him back on board. Now this was a good bloke, he was laughing his 
guts out and saying that that was the best fun he had had for the whole 
week. Lucky his wife wasn’t there as they were on some sort of second
honeymoon. I didn’t take it any further. Next morning he returned my 
wallet, 
had it in his pocket so I didn’t drop it in, and all the clothes I leant
him. Jen and I went for a spin up the river to see the crocs. Holy shit 
the 
first one we saw was over 3 metres long and not real happy, it came down 
the 
bank , into the water and straight at us. I floored it and we came across
 another one in less than 500 metres. This one was only about 2 metres long 
and wasnt that angry. While we were up there we came across a couple of
poms 
who were fishing and crabbing. They had caught a nice muddie on a rod and got it all tangled in there fish catch net and were really
struggling with it all. Captain Rod to the rescue, got there crab out, set
up there pot for them and gave them a handful of cable ties to bait up the
other nets.
We hit the Port Douglas Yacht Club for a few beers and told 
one 
of Jens mates, the bloke she was yacking with at sandfly heaven in Cairns, 
about the crocs. They reckon they have an understanding with old Albert 
but 
he does love to use inflatable dinghies like ours as a teething ring. We 
laughed but since that time my bravado up the creeks has diminished
considerably. 
Rhys rolled up next day installed the bits and she purred once more. We 
did
 a quick sea trial and had a couple a beers. Rhys is as good a diesel
 mechanic as everyone said. Said our goodbyes, great catching up with him
and 
his new missus Kelly.
 Said seeya to the marina mob,$328 for the week. It would have cost more at 
the pack backers in the main street. We set sail for Cooktown and
 overnighted to be waiting for the sun to come up out the front of the 
Endeavour River. Anchored up and worked out that we would have 20mm below
 the keels at low tide. Went ashore and walked through the park. They have 
heaps of plaques and statues of good old Captain Cook and a really good
 narration of what happened to him there. Hit the RSL for smoko, xxxx, and
 ended up having a ball at the bar with an excellent barmaid and associated
 bar flys. Cooktown has one main street and about 5 pubs in it. They all 
rate highly on places you should go before you leave. Picked up a box of 
prawns, fueled and watered up ready for a Saturday morning departure,
can’t
leave port on a Friday. The RSL was going off until 0500, either that or 
someone forgot to turn the music off when they shut the pub.

We left at top of the tide and got a good push out the river and across
 the
 bay heading for Lizard Island. Excellent spinnaker run for over 50nms with a
 top speed of 14.7kns. Hooting along. When we arrived at Lizard an hour 
before sunset we dropped the kite and as I put the port engine in gear it 
stalled the engine so we limped into Thompson Bay and anchored up. I
dived in and found a 8 metre long hauser used for mooring lines about a 
100mm in diameter was around the rudder and was caught in the prop.
Truck!!!!!! But luck was with us as it just fell off once we were anchored
 up. We have no idea when we picked it up but I reckon something that
weighed
 close to 50kgs might have slowed us down a bit. We headed for the Marlin 
Bar 
already tasting the first JD only to find it was not open on a Saturday 
but
 were told to make sure we come tomorrow for the Sunday session. The place 
is 
absolutely beautiful so the disappointment did not last long. Next day we
 were diving on crystal clear reefs with massive clams, heaps of fish and 
pretty of flash coral. As good as the diving any where I have been that’s for
sure. Back at the boat we had now attracted our own aquarium of fish off
the
transom, black tip sharks, Bat fish and spangled emperor all eating bread.
Cala would have been in heaven except that it is a green zone and you
 can’t 
kill anything.
We hit the bar for JD and cokes, wines and just about 
anything we could get our hands on. The next bar is in Gove so we made the 
most of it. Pretty good feed but had to share it with the flys and a pair 
of 
whinging yachties who were going the wrong way back to Cairns. It was to
windy, they saw a snake and it almost killed him, there are no crocodiles 
in 
Croatia where she came from, wankers. We left with a few bottles of white 
and headed back to the boat in darkness. Next morning the bay was almost
 empty when we woke up as everyone else was heading north, except for the
 wankers and a couple of poms on a very different shaped cat. They loved
the
 place so much that they didn’t really care when they left. Had a good yack 
with them about where to head and they made my mind up for me to get up to 
at least Restoration Bay, where Captain Bligh landed after being mutinied 
and cast of with his mates in Tonga in a 24 foot launch. Now that would be
 something to whinge about.
We sailed all the rest of the day then into the 
night when you would think the ocean was big enough not to collide with 
another boat but we had to change course to miss a ketch from Sweden, 
amazing when you are out there and the radio starts and it is someone 
wishing to pass in front of you. He asked so nicely I had to allow them to 
cross our bow and off we went again. We sailed up the coast past trawlers 
and ore ships all night and most of the next day. We first noticed this 
unusual sail on the horizon and as we got closer it was another cat with a 
really flash spinnaker, bit like a kite surfer in the middle of the sail, 
so the Augusta Yacht Club spirit came out and it was a race to where ever 
came next. Bit of a bummer we sailed straight past Restoration Bay so I 
didn’t get to see Bligh’s monument, next time, but we ended up a bit north 
at a place called Portland Roads. Beautiful anchorage, have to stop saying
 beautiful you might think I am gay, the locals have built houses up the
 hill
 completely protected from the trades and tucked away amongst the
 trees.The guys on Felix 
beat us by bugger all but they went hard once they saw us closing with the
 spinnaker up. All good fun. Anchored up and didn’t bother going ashore but 
went over to the trawler in the bay and organized a box of prawns straight
off the table in the morning. Ended up with 10kgs of endeavour prawns, bag 
of fresh squid and some tigers for $60. We divyed the prawns up and
dropped 
them off to the other yachts left in the bay, slept in again, so those 
left 
were stoked. Way to many for our freezer we still had not touched the 
fillet 
steak, porterhouse steak, lamb chops or snaggers all crivact and frozen
 solid with the new batteries looking after the freezer side of things, a
 very good place to be with no more shops anywhere. We left and headed for 
Margaret Bay but with the spinnaker up made it by just after lunch so kept 
going to a little island group not to many people use called the MacArthur 
Islands. This made the next passage to Secure Bay only 50nm and an easy 
little jump if we didn’t sleep in.
Secure Bay is the last anchorage before 
hitting the Cape and is safe as houses. You need to be aware of the pearl 
farm nets and bars but it proved to be a piece of piss to the highly
trained
wrangers and we anchored up right in front of the red rocks that were in 
the 
guide. Jen and I had the pots baited and we were off down a creek to set 
them for the high tide. Pretty dodgy place with high banks and creepy. Got
 out of there pretty quick. 
Woke up next morning and have had the most vivid dream about crocs jumping
 off banks into the teething ring so I have got to admit it I was shitting 
myself when we arced up the teething ring and headed back to get the pots. 
Pulled up at the first pot and the plastic bottle we used as a float was
 crushed and punctured, told Chris to pull it in and let’s get to the next
one and get the truck out of there. Nice big heavy muddie but the next pot
 was empty so we bolted, flat stick, out of there. I was looking at the 
bank 
that was in my dream and thank god he wasn’t ready to pounce. We got the 
dinghy on the davits and pissed off straight away. Don’t reckon I will go
 back there. We headed out the entrance and had 14nm to Albany Passage in 
very rough, 3 metre and windy, 25kn conditions, same words buoy weather 
used. We came up the passage and we could then see Cape York, it was a bit
like reaching base camp at Everest, made you feel really good. We had the
choice of sailing out around some island or passing close to the Cape 
inside
 York Island. We chose the Cape and crossed less than 20 meters out from
it.
What a buzz. Our first Cape. 
Seeya.

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