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
too attached to so no care is required. You need to slash all the hard
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
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
Cala finally caught a fish, Spanish flag and not much of a feed but at
all his effort was rewarded. He seemed a little bit happier, but that
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
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
there as well.
As I mentioned previously we made it to Cairns and with a bit of juggling
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
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
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
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
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
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.