December 12

We raised the anchor at 11:45pm, technically the 11th of December. Conditions are calm with about 5-8k from the NE. Our goal is Fitzroy Reef about 71 miles to the ESE. Our course, once we clear Humpy Island immediately to our South is 99 degrees Magnetic. We were hoping for Northerly winds which we’ve had for the last week, but, we have NE instead. At least it is light. We considered waiting another day but we have tarried so long at the Keppels (both the island and the marina on the mainland) that we felt a strong urge to move on regardless.

The wind is about 25 degrees off the port bow. We have the mainsail up and if the wind stays light we will have a pleasant 12 hour motor sail. Otherwise it will take longer, be less comfortable and use more fuel. The thought of which does not make me happy. But in the end we cannot second guess our decisions – we felt we had no choice but to stay at the marina and take care of business (i.e. use the internet to search for jobs in California).

It is now 1:20am and conditions remain the same. The sea has gotten a bit lumpy but I don’t think the chop is more then a foot or foot and a half. We are going to pass Heron Island on the way, a popular resort island on the Great Barrier Reef, especially popular with scuba divers. The diving there is reported to be excellent, but Fitzroy Reef should be just as good if not better as there are far less divers who visit there (none in fact except those with their own boats like us).

It is now 8:15am and we have about 23 miles to run to reach Fitzroy. Weather conditions are fine with light wind from the ENE. We are motor sailing at about 7.5k over ground with the wind just off the port bow. We unrolled the jib at about 6am this morning when the wind came around more to the North of East. During the night it was almost dead on the nose and we made slow progress at 5 - 5.5k. Skies are sunny with about 20% cloud cover with light, puffy white clouds here and there. We are passing through the Northern boundary of the Capricorn Group of islands and we can see several islands to our South and North including Heron Island about 8 miles North. We changed our course several hours ago and instead of passing between Heron Island and Wistera Reef we are instead passing South of Wistera reef (and just North of Erskine Island). We hope to arrive at Fitzroy before noon and if our pace continues we may even make it in before 11:30am.

At 10am we are now only 10 miles from Fitzroy Reef. Conditions remain very calm with only a slight swell and almost no chop. The wind remains from the ENE at about 8-10k. We expect to arrive at Fitzroy at 11:30am.

We arrived as schedule at Fitzroy. It was dead calm with about 5k of wind from the NE and low tide. The entrance was really, really narrow, but it was marked with red and green buoys and posts so we had no trouble finding the path. Plus the sun was high in the sky so viz was excellent. It is supposed to get windy for the next few days so I suspect we will hang around for a while here. We really want to do some scuba diving as this will be our last chance so we are going to wait till the wind calms down (after it starts) so we can do some diving then move on. We have 2 weeks before we have to be in Brisbane – we have a reservation at Scarborough Marina on the 27th. Then we have about 10 days to prep the boat before loading it onto the ship.Yikes, the last two months have just flown by.