Day 35, Year 3: Lizard Island to Ingram Island on Friday the 13th
Date: Friday, June 13, 2008
Weather: Mix of Squalls and Sunshine; Winds ESE 20-25
Latitude: 14 degrees 24.953 minutes S
Longitude: 144 degrees 52.516 minutes E
Location: Ingram Island, Queensland, Australia
Our day definitely started out as a Friday the 13th would be expected to begin, but at this point in the evening, it is ending on a much quieter note. Let’s just hope it stays this way. We awoke a number of times last night with roaring winds and rain in the anchorage at Lizard Island. Just before 6 am, a 40 plus knot gust had Windbird heeled over so far that I was sure we must be sailing. At that point, we gave up and got up to greet the morning and talk to Rendezvous Cay and Scot Free II on
the VHF to express doubts about leaving today. We all agreed that we would wait until the weather at 7:30 am and make a decision then. The howling winds and rain continued, and then Joe on Rendezvous Cay called to announce that a boat was entering the anchorage with a completely torn out headsail. Not a good omen on Friday the 13th. Liberty was the boat coming in and it sails out of Japan. We met Aki, the captain, in Airlie Beach, and he is heading to Darwin for the Sail Indonesia Rally with
two crew members. He’ll have a hard time getting that headsail repaired in this part of the world, so we’re not sure what he will do. We wish him luck in getting his repairs done. With this sobering scene, we were getting even more reluctant to leave, but the weather report sounded fine and sun started shining, so off we went.
Actually we had a very nice sailing day. We had sunshine and good winds until around noon, but then the squalls started coming through. No big winds, just mostly rain, so we survived that nicely and arrived at Ingram Island around 2:30 pm. The island we are anchored behind is not very big and it doesn’t give a lot of protection from the wind, but we are getting used to that. Lizard was a much bigger and higher island, but the winds roared through the anchorage day and night. Ingram is a low
island but the anchorage is surprisingly calm with such high winds. Scot Free II put their dinghy in the water just after we arrived and they invited us to go ashore with them for a walk. Walks on the beach will be less frequent as we go further north because of the threat of crocodiles. So even here, we watched carefully for tracks on the beach as we circled the little island. We saw birds, curlews and pelicans of some sort, and lots of seagulls who were obviously nesting here. Donna and I
were very far behind Mark and Gerry as we stopped to smell the roses while the guys rushed on. When we were almost back to the starting point, we noticed some very strange tracks leading from the beach up to the low mangrove area in the center of the island. The tracks looked a bit like the tracks that would be left by the swishing tail of a crocodile coming ashore. Whatever it was, it got us moving. We rejoined Mark and Gerry who were sitting on the dinghy waiting for us and we asked if they
had seen the tracks. Actually they had been much more observant than us and had not only seen those tracks, but had found a fire that was still smoldering and some barrels of fuel and water with a note from the Queensland Turtle Research group. Obviously the researchers had been here earlier today and we are hopeful that the tracks we saw were made by something they drug ashore. Mark and Gerry also found a grave that was wildly decorated with fisherman’s gear and shells. So they are faster than
Donna and I, but they did make some interesting discoveries.
The wind is roaring through the anchorage as I write this and the water is a bit bouncy, but if it doesn’t get any worse than this, we will have a good night. Tomorrow morning we leave for the Flinders group of islands. We’ve heard there is an island with an interesting aboriginal cave and we hope to track that down tomorrow afternoon when we arrive there.
|080613 Day 35 Lizard Island to Ingram Island|
Well don’t look across the Indian Ocean just yet as the monsoon rain and associated weather is accelerating. I’ve been monitoring the progress of the Earthrace (biodiesel powered circumnavigation record attempt #2) which left Singapore a couple days ago and they are rockin’ and rollin’ just south of Sri Lanka at the moment. The crew is having trouble getting rest and Capt Pete Bethune indicates that the ride is rough – ” The monsoon weâ€™re in has us rocking in 3-4m waves and everything becomes a chore â€“ and especially cooking.” According Pete, “What weâ€™re in is the monsoon, which is a weather system starting near Africa, and blowing all the way across the Indian Ocean to Asia. It is a trade wind though, and is sometimes quite gentle, like we have now, although the way it works, itâ€™ll likely get stronger as we work our way across the Indian Ocean.”