Day 40, Year 3: Lloyd Bay to Margaret Bay
Date: Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Weather: Overcast; Winds SE 20-25
Air and Water Temperature: 74 degrees F
Latitude: 11 degrees 57.534 minutes S
Longitude: 143 degrees 12.244 minutes E
Location: Margaret Bay, Queensland, Australia
Total Miles Today: 59.65 nautical miles

Margaret Bay is a beautiful little semi-circular bay with a white sand beach all around. The fishing in this area is obviously good because there are thousands of sea birds and there is a whole fleet of fishing boats who anchor here during the day. Evening is coming and their lights are coming on. Soon they will be out and about for the night. We were told that you can buy huge lobsters here if a lobster boat is in the anchorage, but we think we see only prawn boats. Too bad. They say the tails on these lobster are big enough for three meals. Now that’s my kind of lobster.

We had a long day today and an even longer one tomorrow. We leave here at 4:30 am and travel 70 miles to Escape River. That is the last stop before rounding the top of Cape York. Do you suppose that is why it is called ‘Escape?’ But let me get back to Margaret Bay and today’s trip. Since Bundaberg, we have been traveling northwest up the coast with southeast winds and seas right behind us. Starting yesterday, we are now traveling closer to due north so we are sailing between downwind and a broad reach. The wind is on the aft quarter and the seas sometimes hit us broadsided. The winds vary from 15 to 30 all day long, never staying at any one speed for very long, so it makes for interesting days. Today we started with a double-reefed mainsail and the headsail. We added the staysail and then got hit with 30 knot winds and found we had out a little too much sail. We brought in the staysail and reefed the headsail a little. Then the winds died down and we let out the headsail again. Finally we had to take down the main and go with only the headsail. Mark is tired tonight and he wonders why. I don’t. We spent the entire day changing sails around. And in addition to that, we are traveling in waters with reefs everywhere. As you near the top of Australia, the reefs that were out on the barrier are now close in to shore. We have a flat screen monitor that our son Justin gave us and we keep it in the cockpit on days like today. Instead of having to run down to the navigation table to see the electronic chart on the computer, we have a ‘relay’ station in the cockpit. It is so nice to have that and it makes it so much safer. As we were negotiating a passage just before Margaret Bay we were always between a rock and hard place (an island). We had to keep right on course and by having the screen in the cockpit; I can stay right on course. I really don’t know how people did this without electronics. Well, I do know, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m glad I’m doing it this way. I feel much safer because I know right where I am every second. This is because we know from others that our electronic charts are right on here. It is not always this way, but it is here, and for that we are thankful.

080618 Day 40 Lloyd Bay to Margaret Bay
Day 41, Year 3: Tomorrow is THE DAY - Over the Top
Day 39, Year 3: Stuck in Lloyd Bay