2019 June – Bundaberg to Airlie Beach


Total Sailing time : 70h36m (4236 minutes)
Travelled distance : 859.40 km (464.04 nm)
Average Speed : 12.17 km/h (6.57 knots)
Peak Speed : 24.02 km/h (12.97 knots) on 2019/06/05

This month marked an important milestone in our journey. On the afternoon of the sixth we dropped anchor just off Abell Point Marina in Airlie Beach. That meant that our (first) circumnavigation of Australia had been completed.

2019-06-01 - FROM Camp Island TO Round Hill Creek

Trip start : 2019/06/01 06:59:13 (Adjusted Local) (2019-05-31T20:59:13Z UTC)
Trip end : 2019/06/01 14:12:46
Trip Duration : 7h13m (433 minutes)
Start Point : 152.158676,-24.629840
End Point : 151.737182,-24.011089
Travelled distance : 85.59 km (46.21 nm)
Average Speed : 11.86 km/h (6.40 knots)
Peak Speed : 17.06 km/h (9.21 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 80.980 km (43.726 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 11.22 km/h (6.06 knots)

Up nice and early, we enjoyed a lovely sail up the coast under spinnaker. We made excellent speed so arrived at our anchorage nice and early and managed to score one of the moorings near the tip of the channel. There was a mono just in front of us who had managed to wrap his halyard around his foresail as he furled, and he had a fair portion of his sail unsecured and it was flogging itself badly. David offered to help but they indicated that they could manage.

2019-06-02 - FROM Round Hill Creek TO Barren Island

Trip start : 2019/06/02 06:21:01 (Adjusted Local) (2019-06-01T20:21:01Z UTC)
Trip end : 2019/06/02 16:05:47
Trip Duration : 9h44m (584 minutes)
Start Point : 151.737014,-24.011049
End Point : 151.071426,-23.157510
Travelled distance : 118.51 km (63.99 nm)
Average Speed : 12.18 km/h (6.57 knots)
Peak Speed : 16.83 km/h (9.09 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 116.655 km (62.988 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 11.99 km/h (6.47 knots)

The trade winds were blowing, so it was up early for a longish run to Great Keppel Island. We departed just on sunrise and set a course north-east, with just a slight kink to avoid the outermost of the bulk carriers arrayed off Gladstone. It always amazes me that these boats have to wait in queue for however long it takes.. tying up hundreds of millions of dollars in capital not to mention driving their crews crazy with nothing to do. There would have been close to a hundred waiting.

Getting closer to Keppel and with the wind still very strong, we decided at the last moment to duck around behind Barren Island and grab a mooring rather than join the crowd at anchor in front of the resort. We spent a lovely night in the lee of the island, quite close to the imposing cliffs.

2019-06-03 - FROM Barren Island TO Pearl Bay

Trip start : 2019/06/03 08:07:55 (Adjusted Local) (2019-06-02T22:07:55Z UTC)
Trip end : 2019/06/03 15:28:37
Trip Duration : 7h20m (440 minutes)
Start Point : 151.071746,-23.157220
End Point : 150.734786,-22.444440
Travelled distance : 89.24 km (48.19 nm)
Average Speed : 12.17 km/h (6.57 knots)
Peak Speed : 15.07 km/h (8.14 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 86.457 km (46.683 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 11.79 km/h (6.37 knots)

A shorter run today, and we made our way to the delightful anchorage at Pearl Bay. Very picturesque, and well protected from any wind froms the south.

2019-06-04 - FROM Pearl Bay TO Middle Percy Island

Trip start : 2019/06/04 06:20:47 (Adjusted Local) (2019-06-03T20:20:47Z UTC)
Trip end : 2019/06/04 16:20:14
Travelling Time : 8h08m (488 minutes)
Trip Duration : 9h59m (599 minutes)
Start Point : 150.734970,-22.444129
End Point : 150.243499,-21.653339
Travelled distance : 104.39 km (56.37 nm)
Average Speed : 12.84 km/h (6.93 knots)
Peak Speed : 19.85 km/h (10.72 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 101.477 km (54.793 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 12.48 km/h (6.74 knots)

The famous Middle Percy Island!! A mandatory stopover for the cruising yacht fraternity. We wandered ashore and had a look around the A-frame and the amazing library of keepsakes left there by visiting boats over the years. David dehusked a coconut and we enjoyed our first fresh coconut in a very long time. The midges were nibbling us something fierce so we beat a strategic retreat back to the boat before we collapsed from blood loss.

A frame at Middle Percy Island

Visiting the A-Frame at Middle Percy Island!

2019-06-05 - FROM Middle Percy Island TO Brampton Island VIA Scawfell Island

Trip start : 2019/06/05 00:26:13 (Adjusted Local) (2019-06-04T14:26:13Z UTC)
Trip end : 2019/06/05 16:17:25
Travelling Time : 11h51m (711 minutes)
Trip Duration : 15h51m (951 minutes)
Start Point : 150.243515,-21.652639
End Point : 149.265426,-20.799079
Travelled distance : 153.14 km (82.69 nm)
Average Speed : 12.92 km/h (6.98 knots)
Peak Speed : 24.02 km/h (12.97 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 138.874 km (74.986 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 11.72 km/h (6.33 knots)

Middle Percy Island has a reputation for being an uncomfortable anchorage at times, and we were certainly could attest to that. Just after midnight we decided that it was just not possible to get any sleep so we pulled the anchor up and headed off. As soon as we stuck our nose out of the anchorage we encountered winds above 25 knots which explained the surge coming into the anchorage.

David helmed XTsea until we arrived at Scawfell Island just after 9am. There were a few boats sheltering in the anchorage, and we tucked in nice and close and napped until after lunch.

A short three-hour jaunt saw us safely anchored behind Brampton Island, with one day to go to complete our circumnavigation!

2019-06-06 - FROM Brampton Island TO Airlie Beach

Trip start : 2019/06/06 07:33:57 (Adjusted Local) (2019-06-05T21:33:57Z UTC)
Trip end : 2019/06/06 14:52:47
Trip Duration : 7h18m (438 minutes)
Start Point : 149.265502,-20.799499
End Point : 148.706405,-20.265190
Travelled distance : 94.11 km (50.82 nm)
Average Speed : 12.89 km/h (6.96 knots)
Peak Speed : 20.84 km/h (11.25 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 83.182 km (44.915 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 11.39 km/h (6.15 knots)

Another day of strong winds to make our run ‘home’ that much quicker. Excitement built as we spotted Hamilton Island off in the distance, and only increased as we passed it and entered Molle Channel. When we turned the corner at Pioneer Rocks Airlie Beach was in sight at last.

Five years and seventeen days after throwing off the mooring, we had completed our first circumnavigation of Australia!

Circumnavigation complete!

Circumnavigation complete!

2019-06-07 - FROM Airlie Beach anchorage TO Airlie Beach anchorage VIA Fuel Dock

Trip start : 2019/06/07 09:18:18 (Adjusted Local) (2019-06-06T23:18:18Z UTC)
Trip end : 2019/06/07 10:12:50
Travelling Time : 0h22m (22 minutes)
Trip Duration : 0h54m (54 minutes)
Start Point : 148.706451,-20.265329
End Point : 148.707305,-20.264629
Travelled distance : 2.03 km (1.10 nm)
Average Speed : 5.55 km/h (2.99 knots)
Peak Speed : 16.60 km/h (8.96 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 0.118 km (0.064 nm)

Just a trip into the fuel dock at Abel Point Marina to top up fuel and water.

2019-06-20 - FROM Airlie Beach TO Blue Pearl Bay

Trip start : 2019/06/20 09:39:53 (Adjusted Local) (2019-06-19T23:39:53Z UTC)
Trip end : 2019/06/20 12:09:02
Trip Duration : 2h29m (149 minutes)
Start Point : 148.707199,-20.264780
End Point : 148.880874,-20.042829
Travelled distance : 32.02 km (17.29 nm)
Average Speed : 12.89 km/h (6.96 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.01 km/h (7.56 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 30.623 km (16.535 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 12.33 km/h (6.66 knots)

We needed to work out how long a trip across to the islands would take us so that we could start sorting out arrangements for our chartering operations, so we planned to be at sea for a couple of days.

We joined Chris and Wade on Anui for lunch at Blue Pearl Bay, and although we didn’t pop in for a swim, we did spot a large manta ray gliding around. David took Wade out in the tender for him to jump in and try to get some photos.

Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah Batfish!

Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah Batfish!

A few batfish popped by for a visit. Cheeky buggers. 

2019-06-21 - FROM Blue Pearl Bay TO Stonehaven

Trip start : 2019/06/21 09:12:33 (Adjusted Local) (2019-06-20T23:12:33Z UTC)
Trip end : 2019/06/21 10:03:27
Trip Duration : 0h50m (50 minutes)
Start Point : 148.880828,-20.042659
End Point : 148.902404,-20.104539
Travelled distance : 10.32 km (5.57 nm)
Average Speed : 12.39 km/h (6.69 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.64 km/h (7.91 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 7.240 km (3.909 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 8.69 km/h (4.69 knots)

Next morning we took a quick trip around to Stonehaven and tucked in to one of the moorings the bareboat fleet avoids. David tried out the clear-bottomed kayak, and gave the scuba gear a bit of a test run. The kayak was genius, however getting into it without adding a lot of water was a bit of an effort. The scuba gear was ok, however a couple of valves had seized up and the knob on Colleens tank was not turning so he has some work to do.

Clear-bottomed kayak getting it's first run

Clear-bottomed kayak getting it’s first run!

2019-06-22 - FROM Stonehaven TO Airlie Beach

Trip start : 2019/06/22 09:23:42 (Adjusted Local) (2019-06-21T23:23:42Z UTC)
Trip end : 2019/06/22 11:38:43
Trip Duration : 2h15m (135 minutes)
Start Point : 148.902389,-20.104450
End Point : 148.701446,-20.267539
Travelled distance : 28.43 km (15.35 nm)
Average Speed : 12.63 km/h (6.82 knots)
Peak Speed : 16.16 km/h (8.73 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 27.725 km (14.970 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 12.32 km/h (6.65 knots)

2019-06-25 - FROM Airlie Beach TO Tongue Island VIA Fueldock and Hamilton Island

Trip start : 2019/06/25 09:31:14 (Adjusted Local) (2019-06-24T23:31:14Z UTC)
Trip end : 2019/06/25 16:28:01
Travelling Time : 6h29m (389 minutes)
Trip Duration : 6h56m (416 minutes)
Start Point : 148.701553,-20.267700
End Point : 149.018676,-20.238069
Travelled distance : 67.98 km (36.70 nm)
Average Speed : 10.48 km/h (5.66 knots)
Peak Speed : 16.52 km/h (8.92 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 33.246 km (17.951 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 5.13 km/h (2.77 knots)

We hosted friends David and Lucy for a couple of nights aboard. After motoring all the way to Hammo against the winds, we picked our guests up from the fuel dock and bashed our way around to Solway Passage. That stretch of water certainly gets messy in developed trade winds! Once in Whitehaven Bay we popped up the spinnaker and enjoyed a run to Tongue Bay.

Looking down towards Whitehaven Beach.

Looking down towards Whitehaven Beach.

After visiting the lookout ashore we stayed on a mooring overnight.

2019-06-26 - FROM Tongue Bay to Whitehaven VIA Peter Bay

Trip start : 2019/06/26 09:55:51 (Adjusted Local) (2019-06-25T23:55:51Z UTC)
Trip end : 2019/06/26 16:26:18
Travelling Time : 2h13m (133 minutes)
Trip Duration : 6h30m (390 minutes)
Start Point : 149.018722,-20.238119
End Point : 149.055541,-20.293510
Travelled distance : 22.74 km (12.28 nm)
Average Speed : 10.26 km/h (5.54 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.21 km/h (7.67 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 7.259 km (3.919 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 3.27 km/h (1.77 knots)

Next morning we popped the spinnaker up again for a quick run to Peter Bay. We carefully made our way past some fringing reef and anchored in a spot offering a bit of protection from the wind. A quick dip to rescue Lucy’s sunglasses saw our David already wet so he swum over to check out the snorkelling. The water was lovely but it was a bit nippy when the wind hit.

We dropped down the swim mat and our guests went for a snorkel, enjoyed a picnic on the mat, and then later went for a picnic ashore. The kayak also got another run, and our David found that by launching from the swim mat, it was possible to get moving without any water in the bottom!

We motored back to Whitehaven and anchored for the evening.

2019-06-27 - FROM Whitehaven TO Airlie Beach VIA Hamilton Island

Trip start : 2019/06/27 09:43:59 (Adjusted Local) (2019-06-26T23:43:59Z UTC)
Trip end : 2019/06/27 14:08:03
Trip Duration : 4h24m (264 minutes)
Start Point : 149.055358,-20.293470
End Point : 148.701934,-20.267879
Travelled distance : 50.90 km (27.48 nm)
Average Speed : 11.57 km/h (6.25 knots)
Peak Speed : 18.45 km/h (9.96 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 36.972 km (19.963 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 8.40 km/h (4.54 knots)

We dropped our guests back to Hammo, then returned to Airlie with the wind at our backs.

Categories: Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2019 June – Bundaberg to Airlie Beach