We got moving north again on Tuesday April 24th, we motor-sailed to Garry’s anchorage, but ran aground at the entrance with the tide too low to make it in…well we have a lifting keel! We lifted the keel backed off the sandy bottom and anchored in a better spot out front, even in 10-15 kt winds it was like glass, no sandflies and was delightful.
Raewyn with her Spanish Mackerel caught while approaching the fairway bouy at the north end of the Sandy Straits.
The next day timing was everything as in the sandy straits the tides reverse direction mid way so if you time it right you head into it with the rising tide and get the tide going out the other, we hit it perfectly and had a couple knots extra both ways!
We headed for Masthead Island in the Capricorn Group, however we had a forecast for winds in excess of 33 kts and the anchorage would have been too animated so we sailed past it, and kept moving north. All in all it was two over nighters to NE Percy Island, where we spent 2 very blusterous nights tucked into “Blunt Bay”
We discovered our generator was not sending out AC voltage to our distribution panel so rather then continue cruising the Percy’s we decided to head to Mackay a day early to fix the problem, to do so we had to lift anchor at 0400 to make Mackay before dark (and wind 25+kts). I am writing this from the dock in Mackay, and its blowing dogs off chains right now, so we are happy to be tied to land for the moment.
On the way to Mackay we were visited by a small pod of dolphins including a very young calf, who never missed a turn or jump with mother, it looked like a small social group of about 8 .
We want to mention a cool product the coolest thing since sliced bread! Tree Frog Pad www.treefrogpad.com. We approached them to purchase some to hold our computer from sliding on the boat, and they sent us a package of several sizes to try for free, really nice people, and the product is absolutely the cats (frogs) meow. We 100% recommend this as we had our laptop on a flat chart table while rolling from gunnel to gunnel for two days of intense downwind sailing, and not once did I even worry about it falling off the table.
Day 1 in Mackay, we had Rod at “Boat Power” Diagnosed and removed our Generator for rewinding. It was fortunate we were close to Mackay when this happened as Rod knows his stuff and we are confident he will have us powered up again soon, estimate is 7 days, but we are hoping we can get it done before the end of the week, fingers crossed.
We took it apart in bits to get it out of the tight engine room, removed the door, together they were about 200kg all up, but the two main pieces pictured were about 100kg ea, so we just muscled them out.
Day 2 Mackay:
We got all 4 laptops (yes 4) all working with Nobeltec and AIS (automatic identification system) working with the help of Nick at MME, it was a challenge as the Comar AIS says to use different settings than the Nobeltec does, but perseverance paid off, once one was done we knew what to do with the other 3. So now if we loose a computer to theft or damage we can pull out a spare, we also have a dedicated fifth computer that is 13 years old running windows 98 that runs the cruiser version of C-MAP and Sailmail, (this computer runs on it’s own dedicated GPS), so we actually run two computers at all times. This allows a check and balance with each other, and we always have paper charts on hand. It is important to know your position at all times. In the o’ll days (Odds Bodkins - or Tayanna 37) we only had a sextant and if we were within 4-5 miles we were happy, so the modern technology of today opens a lot of doors, however we always have a sextant on board and up to date sight reduction tables and nautical almanac, in case we loose all power and are unable to get a fix by GPS.
Day 3 Mackay: