Thursday, November 10, 2011

Getting from A to B and more fish!

Yesterday, after a lovely breakfast with the koalas on Hamilton Island (yes we went back one last time, to refuel, swim and chill ;-), we headed out of the marina and pointed our bows south-east. We've started the journey home!

The weather was not ideal, some would say not good at all for a trip heading south-east, but we left you do! We started out bashing into 15 - 20 kts pretty much on the nose. Our first goal was to make it to Thomas Island. Our logic was that at least we would be getting somewhere, however small a hop it was, and the weather did not look like it was going to be helping us any time soon.

We reached Thomas Island and no one had spewed, so we quickly revised our destination to Goldsmith. On we bashed, and again, when we got there we were all feeling ok, so Brampton was the next goal, and after that Keswick and St. Bees. Now, as I said to a friend recently, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing...and we should have pulled our heads in and stopped at Homestead Bay on St. Bees. But no, I was superhuman by that time, no 25 kts of wind on the nose was going to make me sick!!! What I failed to factor into my equation was the fact that the island density seriously thinned out after St. Bees...and there were therefore no longer any buffers between us and the swell. I discovered this about 8 nm past St. Bees...when I started getting the dizzy head. It would appear that after 6 months on a boat my seasickness has subsided a lot, and I don't seem to spew as a first reaction any more. Instead I start to get this crashing headache, and I need to lie down and close my eyes, and then I can't really focus on anything at all. So......that was me, passed out on the cockpit floor, and pretty much useless.

On and on we bashed. I remember asking Nick in the middle of the night if Catamarans ever split in two...I was feeling pretty delirious at the time (and being regularly sprayed with saltwater from somewhere, but was feeling so crap I didn't care). Eventually I begged him to let us stop at Middle Percy, and after a bit of muttering and so forth he agreed. We pulled up outside the very small West Bay on Middle Percy at 1:30 am this morning and were gobsmacked. Nick said he counted 13 boats, and there were more in there without any lights on! What the? Where on earth did they all come from? Things had really started to quieten down on the water up here (the anchorages were quiet, the marinas were quiet), and I thought we were one of the last boats still chugging around...but apparently not! They were all hanging out in West Bay on Middle Percy!! We decided not to risk trying to anchor amongst that flotilla, and so on we went! I wanted to cry. At least the wind had started to swing around a little during the night, and combined with a small course correction which pointed us closer to south, the bashing, and swelly swell (hey Mel ;-) motion had reduced somewhat.

Today, thankfully, the wind died right down, and with it the sea, and we just motored on and on and on. We had the main and screecher up, and later this afternoon as the sea breeze picked up again we were speeding along at up to 8 kts. Finally, we pulled in to the Keppel Bay Marina at 16:30 and now its time for a well-earned rest.

I really only popped on here to chuck up a few photos, so I've kinda got carried away with the story apologies. A few snaps of our day today...

Cuddles on the saloon roof...

Emily finds all the best spots to curl up and read. She only started on the Harry Potter series a short while ago...

...but is up to the second book in the series already (thank you Aunty Jess :-). Twice today I called out to Emily to show her something (a stingray on the water's surface, a funny line where the water changed colour completely) but she is so completely absorbed in her book she doesn't hear a word I say.

Carving a path through sea goo off Port Clinton...

We stocked up on more of the 'right' kind of lures before we left Airlie Beach...and boy do they work! This 75 cm Spotted Mackerel caught near Cape Manifold this afternoon made a delicious fish dinner, with more still to come. Fluke? I don't think so!!!!!

We also caught a monster Barracuda today (he went back in to fight another day), as well as a mystery fish on this lure yesterday (but we lost him before we got him onboard). After the Barracuda incident today something else bit and took the lure clean off. These lures rock!

....and NOW its time for bed.

1 comment:

Richard said...

Bean bag and book, what could be better!? Maybe a fish or two to add to the excitement! Sounds like mum had a horrid sail but I'm glad you're feeling well enough to post the photos. When I didn't have lures, I would use a leader with a double hook (a hook at the end of the leader, with that hook's barb put through the eyelet of a second hook). I would then rip a piece of white plastic bag into a strip of about 2 inches wide by 2 feet long, fold that in half lengthwise, and thread it onto the hooks with the folded end at the hooks. This would simulate a flying fish and actually caught dolphin (mahi mahi) and barracuda. A friend told me about it so I tried it and it worked. Anyway... glad you're in calmer waters and hope the trip continues well. Thanks for the pictures.