Headed off from Rosslyn Bay Marina at about 8 15 for Port Clinton (10 hrs 5mins-50.5nm). NE sea breeze came in about 1100 and had to tack into it for half a day- around 10-15kn. The Port Clinton area is part of the Commonwealth Defence Department's training area and it is periodically closed for military exercises. Lucky for us lazy float-abouts the army were having the day off so we were not subject to target practice. They really do seem to get the pick of the prime real estate. Arrived at dusk and had a comfortable night sheltered below Mt Flinders after a big day. Left about 11 00am for Pearl Bay but again the breeze was not terribly helpful so we motor sailed and tacked towards Delcomyn Island (just south east of Pearl Bay). We thought Pearl Bay might be a bit exposed in the breeze so we found a little cove which didn't have a name and hadn't really been surveyed but appeared too good to be true. On the chart it said it had been sonar swept some years ago so we felt it was safe enough. We spent the rest of the day there before tucking around the corner to Pearl Bay when the breeze had dropped. As we arrived we were greeted by a resident sea eagle soaring around the cliffs to the east. Rowing ashore we were greeted by another local- a medium sized green turtle who kept a close eye on us all day and on departing a couple of small humpback whales playfully crossed between Delcomyn Island and the bay-probably the kids having a break from Mum on the journey north.
|A bay with no name...and no people...perfect!|
|...there were turtles and a couple of whale calves later in the day as we were leaving|
|I explored the beach as John climbed the hill|
|Stranded water at low tide back up into the cool cliff|
|Looking south from the top of the hill|
|Leaving our little bay for Pearl Bay around the corner|
|Blissful evening in Pearl Bay after a delightful day|
|Approaching Island Head Creek|
|Inside Island Head Creek-tempting mountain range in the distance|
|Aren't crabs artistic little critters-Island Head Creek|
|Island Head Creek beach|
|Island Head Creek beach looking at Island Head|
We left Island Head Creek at 7 15am to the Duke Islands, about half way to the Percy Isles. The Dukes and the Percy's are part of the Northumberland Isles. Had the spinnaker up most of the day in light winds but the last 5-6 miles in close to the island were the slowest because of opposing tidal current of between 3-4knots. We managed to get a still and sheltered anchorage on the western side of Hunter Island. Left at 7 00 the next morning through Lola Mantes Pass heading for Middle Percy Island. We had some spectacular whale behaviour on the way!
|Lola Mantes Pass between Marble and Hunter Islands|
|Middle Percy Island|
|The A-Frame Middle Percy|
|The view from the top floor of the Percy Hilton|
|A school of Robust Garfish-they weren't big and strong, its just what they were called in the fish book!|
Departed from Middle Percy Island about 9 00am and headed in a heavy fog for Curlew Island. Motored with the main sail up all the way in very calm conditions. Had a close encounter with a large whale. We saw large whirlpools on the surface of the oily sea, then just very close to the boat a very large spotted back with a small fin appeared then vanished below the surface and the only spotted whale I could find on the chart was a Blue Whale!! I am happy to think I saw a Blue Whale up close until I am convinced otherwise! No photo's but I did do a drawing of my memory! After an eerie day motoring through fog, Curlew Island appeared and the fog lifted exposing a beautiful and rugged little island.
|Arrived and saw Curlew Island emerging from the fog|
|Approaching Curlew Island|
|Approaching Curlew Island|
|One tree-many limbs!|
|A lovely afternoon walk over to Davidson's Bay-eastern side of Curlew Island|
|Black tipped reef shark cruising the shallows at Davidsons Bay-Curlew Island|
|Nice cliff on Curlew Island-new climbing routes for the taking|
|The day is done|
we arrived in the Mackay Marina.
|Early departure from Curlew Island|
|From Curlew Island to Mackay-no wind and more eerie sea fog|
|Ships on the AIS heading into Mackay|
|Fueling up at Mackay Marina heading for Brampton Island|