Day 37, Year 3: Flinders Island to Morris Island
Date: Sunday, June 15, 2008
Weather: Mostly Cloudy Day; Winds SE 8-10 am / 20-25 pm
Latitude: 13 degrees 29.506 minutes S
Longitude: 143 degrees 43.259 minutes E
Location: Morris Island, Queensland, Australia
Total Trip: 58.55 nautical miles
For the first time that I can remember, I forgot about a special occasion and was reminded by my son. When we checked email early this morning, there was a Happy Father’s greeting from Justin to his dad. So cheers to Justin for remembering. I spent the rest of my day playing catch-up. For Father’s Day, Mark got freshly baked banana bread and whole meal bread as well. Plus I made scalloped potatoes for dinner, so the oven on Windbird was busy all day. We want to say Happy Father’s Day to our
son-in-law, Jed. Just as on Mother’s Day when a mother reflects on the fact that her baby girl is now a mother, on Father’s day, a father (in-law) thinks of his son (in-law) as a father. It is such an exciting thing to watch your children become parents, so we were thinking of you today, Jed. Jed just returned from a nine-day trip to a science conference in France, so he probably spent his day catching up on rest, but we hope he enjoyed it. Heather and Sam survived his absence, with some trials
and tribulations, but basically they got into a rhythm and enjoyed the time.
Right now I am sitting here writing as the sun goes down and waiting for Aqua Magic to get into the anchorage. This will be the happy ending to a very scary experience. When we arrived here at Morris Island at 4:20 pm, almost immediately after anchoring we heard a distress call from Aqua Magic. They were talking with Charles on Munyana. Aqua Magic had run aground on a tiny little reef about five miles from here. They were a day behind us leaving Lizard Island, but evidently working to catch
up. They sailed a different route through the reefs than we did and ended up in an uncharted area. Once we made contact with them and got their position, we could see on our C-Maps electronic charting at magnification 50,000 to 1 that they were in fact sitting on a little reef marked as ‘0’ in depth. Low tide was around 1:30 pm, so the reef was covered when Patrick and Margaret arrived at that location, but at least the tide was rising. They reported that they were bouncing about on the reef
but did not have water coming into the boat. So at least at that point, there did not appear to be massive damage. We, and the other cruisers in the anchorage, started double checking our charts. For us, when on 100,000 magnification we charted Aqua Magic’s position and saw them southeast of the reef, but when on 50,000 magnification, we could see that their reported position was right on top of the reef. Scary that there was such a difference in the two magnification modes. Other cruisers with
C-Maps didn’t see a reef at all. We are using the most updated version and obviously this little rock of a reef is newly reported. To make a very long story short, Patrick and Margaret did float off the reef as the tide rose and they made it into the anchorage with the last bit of daylight. But as I write, they are still struggling to anchor between us and Rendezvous Cay and just a few minutes ago Margaret called for assistance saying that it appears that Patrick has broken his fingers in the
anchoring process. We don’t have our dinghy in the water, but a couple for another boat arrived at Aqua Magic just after the call. We are waiting to see if their anchor is holding and to hear about Patrick’s accident. Not a good day for Aqua Magic and a most sobering experience for all of us.
Continued later in the evening . . . Patrick has some deep cuts on two fingers and probably a broken knuckle. It is almost 9 pm now and this saga has continued all evening. At this point, a local trawler who came to Aqua Magic to help with anchoring and assisted with the medical help is returning at sun-up to dive on the boat to check the bottom. If all is well enough for travel, Scot Free II and Windbird are going to assist Aqua Magic in getting 50 miles north of here to an outpost with a medical
clinic. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day for Aqua Magic than today. I had hoped to end this log with “All is well that ends well” but that is not yet the case. Stay tuned for updates on this.