Friday, May 31, 2013

Photos from FNQ

Fungi in a creek in Conway National Park, near Shute Harbour

Anchored off Cape Upstart

Cape Upstart

George on driftwood tree

Sunday, May 26, 2013

400 nautical mile sleigh ride!

We left Moon Point on Fraser Island at dawn on Thursday. The forecast was for several days of SW wind, backing to S and SE. Lets ride!

A red arrow with two feathers is 20 knots. 

The original plan was to sail non-stop, to emulate the endurance needed to do the crossing to New Cal that we had canceled. In the event we found the wind died at night, and there was no persuasive reason not to stop for a brief kip and regroup rather than motor through the night. Queensland offers many all-tide anchorages, so we called in at Pancake Creek (midnight to 3am), Pearl Bay (9.30pm - 3.30 am) and Scawfell Island (9.30pm - 7 am). 

Most of the sail was a fast 8 knot broad reach, with a run at the end. A kite run in the moonlight was particularly lovely into Scawfell on Saturday. Today, Sunday, we had a pretty strong 30-35 knot wind. Jib alone up through the Whitsundays to Airlie Beach.

Nimrod at about 8 knots.

Every mile we sailed north, it got warmer. You can see from our clothing.

Getting warmer

Altogether 400 nautical miles (730 km) in four days. Fast and fun.

The anchor winch threw a few cogs in River Heads, so we have been using the old CQR anchor on a rope since. It holds fine, but the rope can get all sorts of places. This morning in gusty Scawfell it got itself round the rudder, throughly jammed. I had to jump in with an underwater torch and mask to sort it out before we could leave.


Airlie Beach boats moored at sunset

Happy crew!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Beautiful skies

People who haven't cruised, or camped in the outback, may not be able to imagine the beauty of the sunsets, sunrises and starry skies.

We are sailing fast up the Queensland coast, outside Great Keppel Island as I write. A perfect passage-making breeze; 15 knots on the beam. Nimrod and her crew are happy. She is bouncing along at 8 knots.

We caught a large muddie in River Heads, and a beautiful bigeye tuna, about 7kg, in Hervey Bay. Bulk sashimi. Lovely.

Here are some of the skies we have seen.

Dawn at Double Island Point

 Sunrise in the Great Sandy Strait

Mist rising off the water by Fraser Island 

 Pastel sunset near 1770

Sunset over Pancake Creek

Lacy fringe of sun around a cloud at dawn

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Northwards again - at last

The lightning strike created a harrowing time. Our plan to sail to Noumea, and possibly Vanuatu, with our friends Brian and Meredith, and in company with George's brother Ken in his Atlantic 48 catamaran, had to be cancelled, and our departure was postponed by a fortnight.

A nearly total electrical refit was needed, including a complete new set of Raymarine instruments, new Fischer-Panda diesel genset, and new electronic throttles. The new Spectra Ventura 200T watermaker was damaged and had to be repaired. All assisted by the insurance company, although we had failed to spot the clause about 'depreciated value', which is pretty significant when valuing electronics that is 4 years old. We had to chip in quite a bit.

Special thanks to the guys at Coomera who worked so hard to put Nimrod back together again; Brad Stack, Craig Humphries and Gavin Hogben.

We have ended up with some shiny new kit which is very nice. Lots of instruction manuals to read, and things that go 'beep' to play with and practice on. The new Raymarine c97 chartplotter is pretty cool, linking with our iPads for remote management. Its also great to have active AIS (automatic identification of shipping), so the ships can see us as well as us seeing them. Anyone with an appropriate app (such as Boat Beacon) can follow our movements. Our MMSI is 503 44 77 00.

We set off gently, with lunch at Jumpinpin where we saw some pelicans.

After an ungainly take-off, these two love-birds are leaving the city and heading north for the warmth.

As I write we are having a fast reach along the Sunshine Coast, en route for Double Island Point. We will anchor there for the night (should be peaceful in a westerly) and cross the Wide Bay Bar after lunch tomorrow.