Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Whitsundays - bruised but still beautiful

The weather has been lovely as we sailed up from Curlew Island through Digby Island, Carlisle Island, Goldsmith Island, and Windy Bay on Haslewood Island, one of the eastern-most of the Whitsundays. This area was extensively trashed by Cyclone Debbie in March, with a lot of damage done.

There was plenty of destruction to see, but it is all still lovely.

Broken pines on Haslewood Island

Islet near Whitehaven Beach

Dune on Whitehaven Beach

Defiant Whitsunday cairn

Shipwreck in Cid Harbour

Shipwreck in Nara Inlet

Fresh growth on a cycad in Nara Inlet

Backpackers still coming


  1. Hi Dave and George,
    Thanks for the very informative blog. I flew up to HI on the first available flight after Cyclone Debbie to check out my 1160. It looked like a war zone.

    Like yourselves, I have just bought a Rocna 20 to replace my CPQ, having lost confidence in the latter for exactly the same reasons that you mentioned in an earlier blog - fear of anchoring overnight on reefs.

    I was wondering if you would share the modifications that you made to accommodate this anchor?

    regards and happy sailing,

  2. Hi Bob. I fitted a slab of solid plastic on the underside of the deck, where the roll-bar of the Rocna hits when it is fully up. I also removed the plastic wheel that the anchor chain runs over, and put it on a wood-lathe to reduce its radius in the middle. The idea was to lower the angle of the anchor so it would 'self-launch'. This did not work. So, when we are approaching an anchorage, I release the electric anchor winch by the port helm just a tad (0.3m), and then one of us walks up on deck and nudges the anchor forward, so that its centre of gravity is ahead of the pivot point. Then the anchor will launch on demand.

    Its a minor nuisance, but one we have got used to.

    Another disaster I fear, and we have flirted with a few times, is getting our anchor chain wrapped around a coral bommie. I am expecting the arrival of an OpenROV 'Trident' underwater drone, which should make it easy to do reconnaissance in such an eventuality.

    1. Thanks Dave and George,
      Am thinking to trial fit (using plywood initially) Chris French's implementation for a similar anchor, perhaps with an additional roller... see

      I previously saw your post regarding the drone which I thought an excellent idea... have done a couple of plunges with mask to investigate bombie chain fouls and both times it tested my limits... lucky my brain doesn't seem to require too much oxygen!