Day 20, Year 3: Hinchinbrook Island to Mourilyan Harbor
Date: Thursday, May 29, 2008
Weather: Mostly Sunny Day; Winds SSE 15-20
Latitude: 17 degrees 36.148 minutes S
Longitude: 146 degrees 07.322 minutes E
Location: Mourilyan Harbor, Moresby River, Queensland, Australia

As we look back on yesterday, we think Hinchinbrook was just magic with its tall peaks shrouded in mystical clouds, its lovely white sand beaches with a rainforest backdrop, and the birds. We always love the birds. Today is a different story, however. After a great sail, we entered Mourilyan Harbor. This is a working harbor with no white sand beaches and no friendly birds to greet us. This harbor exists to serve the sugar industry and there is a very long sugar and molasses storage shed and
a sugar loading wharf. The harbor is shallow once you get out of the working basin. It is so shallow that Scot Free II went aground when they arrived. Luckily it was approaching high tide so a little time and patience set her free. Actually when you look southwest there are the crests of Bellenden Ker and Bartle Frere (just love the names so I had to include them) in the distant coastal mountain range. The view that way is pretty, so not all is lost.

For the second day in a row, we sailed wing and wing with the headsail poled out to starboard and the inner staysail pulled out to port. We put a snap shackle block on the toe rail and bring the staysail line down through that to pull the sail back and hold it down. This system is working nicely with the wind dead behind us as it is everyday-no matter which direction we sail! Aqua Magic has two headsails and two poles, so Patrick and Margaret can pole out each sail and made great time going wing
and wing. Scot Free II used the same system as us today but they move a bit faster than we do. So we are the slowpokes but we are enjoying it more. There are advantages to being last. We can learn from the mistakes of others. But we weren’t dead last getting in today. The catamaran, Rendezvous Cay came in right after us. The problem is they sailed the entire length of Hitchinbrook, in addition to the distance we sailed today. Cats are surely fast.

As I read about the next few anchorages today, I found out that there is a great fresh fruit and vegetable market in Cairns that is only open on Friday and Saturday. We were planning to go part way to Cairns tomorrow and arrive on Saturday afternoon. We have decided to speed things up a little and sail all the way to Cairns tomorrow. That is a fifty-eight mile run, so it will be an early start. Rendezvous Cay has a telephone, so they called the city marina for us and reserved a berth. So if
all goes well, tomorrow night we will be at a dock in Cairns. We will enjoy the city on Saturday, but we have to leave on Sunday morning as they only had room for us for the two nights. There is another marina north of town where we can go if we decide to stay longer, or we might just be on our way Sunday morning to the Low Isles. As always, we have to be flexible and make decisions as we go along.

080529 Day 20 Hinchinbrook Island to Mourilyan Harbor
Day 21, Year 3: Mourilyan Harbor to Cairns
Day 19, Year 3: Orpheus Island to Hinchinbrook Island