Tue 18 Nov 2008
With Martial, the French sailor installed for a couple of weeks of Couchsurfing adventure, blue skies we loaded up with some more crew, food, wine and headed off the map. Excellent conditions had us doing 9s and 10s down the passage past Lindeman island in the mid afternoon, to settle into a bay on the southern side of Goldsmith Island. With the tide in for sunset, we nudged the beach, had a swim, played volleyball and removed dozens of plastic rubbish items from the beach.
The next day, we left late bouncing south on the fresh NE'ly, which found us easily into "Dinghy Bay" at Brampton Island, where we spent two days. The excellent walking track around this island is an adventure in itself. Luckily, I had Ranger Katie come along on my walk and she rattled off a heap of latin names for things, which was very impressive. The island walk reveals different habitats based upon exposure to the elements. South side of the island has lush greeens, the top has grasses, kept low by the winds and the lee (N) side has dry timbered valleys.
Meanwhile the other lasses, Laura and Elina were laying about the beach enjoying the sunshine that they don't seem to frequently get in Germany. Late the day we played spin the German while sipping beers in the shallows. Its a beautiful sandy bay, perfect in Northerlies.
Next day we headed down to Mackay for re-prov. My French was meantime improving with my tutor providing new words along the way. Martial also turned out to be a very handy and thoughtful sailor. Having 5 on board is fine on a cat this size, but keeping things organised is a bit of work...
Mackay saw Uncle Nev pile us into town for a shopping expedition. Being schoolies week, a comic moment was the young German lasses being ID checked at the liquor barn. Nice to see the outlets doing the right thing.
Next morning, early we jumped on the forecast N conditions and made for the Percy Islands. With the winds not quite favouring, then teasing, we got smacked in the face by a Southerly change which stopped us 25 Nm short of our goal. Luckily, the bail out stop is Digby Island. Not perfect, it still proved very nice and we went off for a fishing expidition, which resulted in bugger all.
The following days were spent wandering back to the Whitsundays, via St Bees island Whitsunday Island and Hill Inlet. The final night of adventure was a bus trip to Bowen for the premiere of Australia the movie, for which the lasses giddy up'd in Nicole Kidman gear, with mate Jo Pearce donning the "Drover" gear. You can check that one out on ChannelWhitsunday.com