Sunday, 17 July 2011

Mount Adolphus Island

We're now at anchor 7nm ENE of Cape York, in Blackwood Bay at Mount Adolphus Island. We covered the 150nm track in under 24 hours, logging 164nm. Average speed 6.8 knots and maximum 10.0 knots. That's probably our best 24 hour run so far. It was certainly a blast. The anchorage here isn't perfect, but I don't think there is a perfect anchorage in the Cape York area when its blowing 30, gusting 35.

We departed Lockhart River late-morning yesterday, beam reaching out of the bay at 7-8 knots. We spoke with another yacht which was entering the bay and they said we looked like we were doing 30 knots! Once out of the bay we could bear away to bring the wind behind us which was much more comfortable. The wind was 25-30, gusting more. It stayed that way for most of the passage, decreasing to 20-25 for a few hours during the night.

Thankfully the only fishing boats we saw were at anchor. A number of cargo vessels passed, the bigger ones travelling at up to 18 knots. Happily they all appeared on AIS well before we could see them, allowing us to get into a position where passing would be easy for both of us. At one stage three ships were in sight and we were all talking to each-other on the VHF.

Although it was a great sail the weather was miserable. 100% low-level overcast all the way with limited visibility, frequent showers of drizzle and occasional light rain. It's a shame we didn't see so much of the coast we sailed past since it was "in the murk".

Anchored in Blackwood Bay at Adolphus Island
We'll remain here for a couple of nights before heading through Endeavour Strait and into the Gulf, where winds are predicted to be lighter. We'll be heading towards the Wessel Islands - one of our favourite places from our previous sail around the country.

Finally, this passage marks our passing the place where the boat had her encounter with a rock near Turtle Head Island on 9th August 2000. The rock is still not charted, but I believe it is that shown by Lucas in his plan of Escape River. The accident led to the boat staying in Australia and her owner Zen returning to Japan. Zen did an amazing job (while sailing single-handed) to keep the boat afloat and sail her to Thursday Island where she was lifted out of the water and shipped to Cairns for repairs.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats, you have reached the top end at last! Went to Freo yesterday and saw Anna. She sid that she is following your blog and is very envious!