Day 12, Year 3: Back to the Mainland-Greys Bay
Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Weather: Sunny Day; Winds SE 8-10
Temperature: Air 72 degrees F; Water 73 degrees F
Latitude: 19 degrees 58.550 minutes S
Longitude: 148 degrees 15.222 minutes E
Location: Greys Bay, Queensland, Australia

There’s not a lot to report today. We left the Whitsunday Islands early this morning and headed 40 miles to the northwest to Greys Bay. This is a little bay in the larger Queens Bay tucked in under the protection of Cape Edgecumbe. This is on the north side of a peninsula and the little port of Bowen is on the south side. Many cruisers headed north go into Bowen to provision, but we are going to do that just a little further north in Townsville and Cairns. So since we didn’t need to provision,
we just pulled into this little bay and we can quickly be on our way in the morning. Our trip here was uneventful and unfortunately we had to motor sail all the way. Those strong winds we had the first couple of days out have disappeared. There is a huge high pressure system sitting over Australia and until it moves, the southeast trades will not get a change to build up speed. So it was a calm, relaxing day, but we are using up that precious diesel duel that will cost us a pretty penny to replace
here in Australia. Once we are in Indonesia, the price of fuel goes way down, but for now the cost is high.

We talked to our friends Margaret and Patrick of Aqua Magic on the radio this morning. They will arrive in the Whitsundays today and spend a few days playing there. I’m not sure when we will meet up, but we will probably see them somewhere along the line before reaching Darwin. I’m going to take time here to explain the trip to Darwin in a little more detail. Darwin is on the north side of Australia and about 1500 miles from here. Since we are traveling inside the Great Barrier Reef, this is
not prime territory for passage sailing, so most people go from point to point. At our current rate, we will reach Darwin sometime before mid-July. The Sail Indonesia Rally that we are joining there leaves on July 26 and there are two weeks of meetings and activities once we get there that will better prepare us for our trip through Indonesia to Singapore. Right now there are 113 boats signed up for the rally, so we are going to have plenty of company. But for now, we head north one day at a
time. We have two more days before we reach Magnetic Island, just off the Townsville. Townsville is the second largest city on the Queensland Coast, Brisbane being the largest. We will take the ferry from Magnetic Island into Townsville and we will spend a couple of days walking the trails on Magnetic. From there we make a few stops on our way to Cairns. That is the last “city” stop. From then on, we are in upcountry Queensland, home of crocodiles! Once we get all the way to the top of Cape
York, we will then do two major passages that will take us most of the way to Darwin. So, yes, our final destination is Darwin, but we intend to enjoy the trip.

Mark’s project today has been the continued work on the watermaker. He is cleaning the membrane with an alkaline solution and it is a long process. You do one cleaning and then wait five to ten hours and do it again. Then you wait overnight. So we won’t know the results until tomorrow morning. A new membrane costs somewhere between $800 and $1,000 dollars, so I sure hope that is not what we need.

080521 Day 12 Hook Island to Cape Upstart