Friday, August 1, 2014

Easy cruising

This cruise is particularly undemanding. Lovely sunny weather, a gentle SE trade wind of 10-20 knots most of the time, and not far to go from Airlie Beach to Townsville in two weeks.

So we have been enjoying the easy pace, some lovely sails, and sorting out a few tasks before the big trip in September.

Here I am trying out a new cover for the RIB in case we have a 'Life of Pi' experience. We also have an official life-raft, but I regard it as little more inviting than a blow-up kids paddling pool. We may end up with two separate ones; one for us and one for the tiger!

More safety rehearsals

A few days in the Whitsundays.

Stonehaven Bay sunset 

We are not Tamils, honestly hossifer!

 Bowen headland

Some success. A spotted mackerel

A fisherman at Bowen who is more successful than us!

 Coal ships at Abbott Point

Trawlers at Cape Upstart

There is a controversy currently raging about the dredging of the area around Abbott Point as part of a plan to increase coal exports from Queensland to India. Read about it here. The concern, which is entirely legitimate, is that the spoil from the dredging will damage the Great Barrier Reef, which is already under stress from various environmental threats.

The GBR is on a shallow shelf about 50-60 metres deep. I am surprised that neither the proponents nor the opponents of the scheme have put up the idea of dumping the spoil off the edge of the continental shelf, less than 80 nautical miles away. It would do much less damage there.

There is currently a plan to prohibit spoil dumping at sea entirely, and to drop in on land. The case against this is discussed here.

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