Day 13, Year 3: Greys Bay to Cape Upstart
Date: Thursday, May 22, 2008
Weather: Clear Skies and Fair Winds, SE 15-20
Temperature: Air 73 degrees F; Water 73 degrees F
Latitude: 19 degrees 42.726 minutes S
Longitude: 147 degrees 45.171 minutes E
Location: Cape Upstart, Queensland, Australia
The sailing day today was shorter than normal, with Windbird going about forty miles in about seven hours. The southeast winds were behind us, which seems to be the only case here on the coast of Australia, and they pushed us at a gentle but steady five knots and better to the northwest. We arrived in Sharks Bay tucked behind Cape Upstart before two o’clock and have just enjoyed the sunny afternoon aboard Windbird at anchor. From where we were anchored in Greys Bay this morning, we sailed across
Queens Bay, past the very long jetty at Abbot Point which is a coal loading facility, across Abbot Bay, and finally rounded Cape Upstart. There is a little rock just off the cape and it is known as “The Bun” to locals. Just as we were going around it, we saw a very different looking animal in the water beside us. It looked like a small ray with a very fat tail and it looked yellow with reddish-orangish-brownish spots. Before we could get a picture, it disappeared. As we have perused our guides
this afternoon we think it was actually a small shark called a Wobbegong. It might have been an Ornate Wobbegong or a Spotted. At least that’s our best guess. Whatever, it was an exciting find.
There are two more capes before we reach our destination of Magnetic Island, Cape Bowling Green and Cape Cleveland. Our destination for tomorrow was to be Cape Bowling Green, but we have decided to get up at 2 am and head directly for Magnetic Island. We should be there no later than 4 pm tomorrow afternoon and we will avoid another night out in a somewhat dicey anchorage. Cape Bowling Green is shallow and has shifting sand banks that you have to watch. The bottom is also covered in grass that
makes it hard to anchor securely. None of that sounded like much fun and with such good winds predicted, we have chosen for the early start arriving at Magnetic Island a day early. Magnetic is about three and half miles from Townsville on the mainland and it has wonderful walking tracks as well as a ferry to the mainland. We should have no trouble spending three days there before heading further north.
Mark’s continued project ended successfully this morning with a water maker that is now happily making fresh water for us. I spent my day reading cruising guides, and reading cruising guides, and then reading cruising guides and planning. The major thing I discovered is that we are still sailing in the path of Captain James Cook’s Endeavor. He sailed past here on June 5th, 1770 and chose the name Cape Upstart as the headland rises prominently above the surrounding low lands. He named Cape Bowling
Green, Cape Cleveland, Magnetic Island, and almost every point of land from here north. He was one busy guy! I was also able to semi-finalize our sailing plan from here to the tip of Cape York. At that point, we turn to the west and head almost directly to Darwin. I have to run my plan by the captain and share it with Scot Free II to see what they think, but if all goes as planned, we will be at the northern tip of Cape York by the middle of June.
|080522 Day 13 Greys Bay to Cape Upstart|