An early start as dawn broke, with a 15-25 knot wind right behind us. This is not the best angle for a cat, as the angled back shrouds, to compensate for no backstay, prevent you putting the boom out enough, or risk chafe of the mainsail against the shrouds.
We have found that the kite (aka spinnaker or MPS) alone is a great cruising downhill rig, and we have been getting increasingly confident running it in stronger winds. Gotta remember to wear gloves when working with the kite-sock ropes!
And what a ride. We covered 80 nautical miles to the southern Whitsundays in 10 hours. Hooting along, ducking and weaving past 60+ moored coal ships outside Mackay and Hay point. Signs of the mineral boom export to China, as well as poor rail and port infrastructure.
AIS symbols of ships on the chartplotter
We stopped at Thomas island, a pretty spot where I have stayed a few times before.
Friday 14th May.
A big debate today as to whether to linger in the Whitsundays, or press on to Townsville and Hinchinbrook. The trouble with Australia is that the distance between A and B is further than you think!
So we had another kite run up past Whitehaven Beach,
and had lunch in Tongue Bay under Hill point.
Then on round the north coast of Hook Island to Butterfly Bay.