Photo Gallery - November 2005
Pictures can be clicked to see a large version of the image.
The low, sandy tip of Cape Bowling Green. One of many capes along the coast named by Capt. James Cook during his 1770 voyage. We had a very pleasant night here despite reports from many that it was an uncomfortable anchorage.
The next cape down the coast is Cape Upstart. Named by Cook for the massive towering hills which make up the cape. We anchored just inside the Northernmost tip of the cape which was not quite so high. It was incredibly beautiful and reminded us of Wyoming with ocean. Again, we had a very comfortable night at a place where many reported a swell ridden miserable anchorage.
A view over the stern at Gloucester Island. One highlight of Gloucester Island for us was the sighting of a turtle nest ashore. We found tracks leading up the beach from the low water line early in the morning and tracks back down to the water about 10 yards away. At the top of the beach we found several partially dug holes and one large mound which must have been the nest. Jonah was especially excited about this find. Several species of sea turtles (which are protected in Australia unlike in the rest of the Pacific nations) nest up and down the coast and barrier islands of Queensland.
Under way again after leaving Gloucester Island. Our next stop is Hook Island in the Whitsunday group, a very popular set of islands with its own bareboat charter fleet. The Whitsunday Islands are perhaps Australia's most popular cruising destination.
The Queen Jane at Whitehaven Beach at Whitsunday Island. This was one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever seen with sand like talcum powder that squeeks when you walk on it. Other highlights of this anchorage were the many stingrays we found in the shallow sands.
On the down side, Whitehaven is very popular with day trippers and other boats many of which are bareboat charters. This seaplane is one of several we saw that arrived with a load of Japanese tourists. They spent 3 or 4 hours on the beach then packed up everything into the plane and were off again. Each day 5 to 10 boats arrived ferrying tourists from the mainland and various resorts on the neighboring islands. Fortunately they were all gone by nightfall and only 2 or 3 cruising boats remained.
We approached Digby Island (after leaving Mackay) in mid-afternoon on a beautiful calm day. Many people we spoke with reported that Digby was a hellish anchorage with a terrible swell that keeps you up all night. Luckily for us we visited on a very calm day when the seas were very flat. We slept like logs, all of us.
We arrived at Middle Percy after an easy 30 miles motoring in light to non-existent winds. The second night, however, thunderstorms rolled in and we had the absolute worst night at anchor in the last 5 1/2 years. We rolled so hard that everything went flying, even things which had withstood a tropical storm at sea and didn't move came loose!
At Middle Percy Island's West Bay an "A-Frame" (as it is known) has been constructed, apparently many years ago, and is festooned with placques, momentos, shirts, banners and other bric-a-brac with the names of visiting yachts. Kate from "Kekaimalu II" looks over a book documenting the history of Middle Percy Island.