2014 January – Shakedown cruise

Posted by on January 28, 2014


Total Days Sailed : 5
Total Sailing time : 15h29m (929 minutes)
Travelled distance : 136.421 km (73.661 nm)
Average Speed : 8.81 km/h (4.75 knots)
Peak Speed : 19.79 km/h (10.68 knots) on 2014/01/26

2014-01-23 - FROM Airlie Beach TO Nara Inlet

Trip start* : 2014/01/23 10:10:37 (*2014-01-23T00:10:37Z)
Trip end : 2014/01/23 13:32:03
Trip Duration : 3h21m (201 minutes)
Start Point : 148.712402,-20.263629
End Point : 148.910324,-20.136049
Straight-line Distance : 25.056 km (13.529 nm)
Travelled distance : 30.569 km (16.506 nm)
Average Speed : 9.12 km/h (4.92 knots)
Peak Speed : 16.01 km/h (8.64 knots)

We left the safety of Abell Point Marina on Thursday. To quote the great James Tiberius Kirk, to go “Out there”. Once we had the sails up and the feel of the wind we decided to head for the idyllic anchorage of Nara Inlet – part of Hook Island in the chain of islands in the Whitsundays.

We arrived at Nara Inlet around 2pm after a very pleasant sail across firstly Pioneer Bay and then the Whitsunday Passage. We watched other boats tucking into both the mainland and Long Island with mystification and not a little mirth. While we thought that it is general held that if you have two boats out on the water you have a race, I don’t think these boats knew that they were in one. After anchoring we had a lovely lunch of cold meat and salad wraps. We then though we might need a bit more water (at high tide we only had 3 metres) so moved to a bit deeper water (around 5 metres) further into the inlet. After anchoring, again, we went for a swim. Molly even joined in!! Although I think the lure of the shore (and somewhere solid to poop) was a motivating factor as she made a beeline for it several times before finally making it – with David in tow. We have had issues in the past with anchoring in this inlet (drifting after not anchoring properly) but our new anchor held fabulously and we had a very restful nights sleep.

We woke this morning to a very calm inlet and have decided to stay another night. This has given me the opportunity to do some writing and David some time to install a few things. He installed the iPod dock and remote (in galley) as well as the wrap dispenser.

2014-01-25 - FROM Nara Inlet TO Whitehaven Beach

Trip start* : 2014/01/25 09:56:07 (*2014-01-24T23:56:07Z)
Trip end : 2014/01/25 14:57:09
Trip Duration : 5h01m (301 minutes)
Start Point : 148.912826,-20.132570
End Point : 149.052017,-20.292980
Straight-line Distance : 23.002 km (12.420 nm)
Travelled distance : 36.790 km (19.865 nm)
Average Speed : 7.33 km/h (3.95 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.51 km/h (6.75 knots)

On Saturday we decided to head to Whitehaven Beach. We had the sails up and were scooting along until we came to the passage between Hook and Whitsunday Islands where the wind disappeared and after persevering for around 10 minutes we decided to put a motor on and came through the passage and headed south to Whitehaven under sail. There were many types of boats at the beach from small to medium fishing boats, luxury cruisers, commercial boats and private and bare boats of various configurations. We found a spot close into the beach (benefit of a Cat with small draft), dropped our anchor and jumped in for a swim. David took Molly to the beach. She had a quick sniff and found some solid ground to pee on. We have been trying to retrain her to go on the boat with some success.

The great thing about being on a cat is that I can go for a swim in the middle of the day. I have never been able to do much daytime swimming outside as I am very fair skinned and burn on an overcast day (recently a couple of hours out on Brian’s boat is a perfect example) so being able to swim in the ocean during the day is fantastic.  You might wonder how I achieved this miraculous feat; our boat is made up of two hulls and a bridge deck joining the two which is a perfect place to swim out of the sun!!

After a lovely afternoon and leisurely dinner we settled in for the night. WOW what a difference a few hours make. Our depth sounder seems to be out a bit and where we thought we had plenty of water for the night was put to the test. We woke to a loud banging noise and found that our keels were hitting the sand. We moved the boat – no small feat in the dark and settled back in. Unfortunately we did not move far enough and an hour or so later we had the same thing happening – another move and back to bed. While David fell fast asleep I was awake until around 1:30am when I knew we had reached low tide.

Australia day saw us flying our flag proudly off the mast and again watching the many, many people arrive for a day at the beach. Unfortunately their day was marred by a few showers but they made the best of it. The afternoon started much better and once again we found ourselves swimming to the beach to give Molly a walk. As the current was a bit stronger we decided to break out the flippers which turned out to be a great choice. On the way back to the boat, David with Molly on the boogy board was photographed by tourists from Europe while I was struggling to put my flippers back on.


2014-01-26 - FROM Whitehaven Beach TO Tongue Bay

Trip start* : 2014/01/26 14:27:29 (*2014-01-26T04:27:29Z)
Trip end : 2014/01/26 17:40:00
Travelling Time : 1h15m (75 minutes)
Trip Duration : 3h12m (192 minutes)
Start Point : 149.053436,-20.291719
End Point : 149.017654,-20.238389
Straight-line Distance : 7.006 km (3.783 nm)
Travelled distance : 11.525 km (6.223 nm)
Average Speed : 9.22 km/h (4.97 knots)
Peak Speed : 19.79 km/h (10.68 knots)

Back on the boat, a great lunch and a couple of hours relaxing. The weather took a turn for the worse and we decided to find a more sheltered anchorage. We made our way to Chalkie’s Beach on Haslewood Island which is supposed to be a good anchorage under the conditions. While we anchored quite easily we still found it very rough so decided to make for Tongue Bay at the northern end of Whitsunday Island where we picked up a public mooring for the night. While the night was not without strong winds and rain we felt secure on our mooring (which we found on the opposite side of the bay to the charts).

2014-01-27 - FROM Tongue Bay TO Nara Inlet

Trip start* : 2014/01/27 08:50:00 (*2014-01-26T22:50:00Z)
Trip end : 2014/01/27 13:40:00
Travelling Time : 2h50m (170 minutes)
Trip Duration : 4h50m (290 minutes)
Start Point : 149.018005,-20.238000
End Point : 148.911544,-20.132490
Straight-line Distance : 16.158 km (8.724 nm)
Travelled distance : 28.729 km (15.512 nm)
Average Speed : 10.13 km/h (5.47 knots)
Peak Speed : 19.57 km/h (10.57 knots)

On Monday we woke to a gloomy morning and decided we would make our way towards the mainland. David wanted to try and sail north with the wind behind us. After a valiant effort in very strong winds and 4 metre seas, he decided to start the engines and motor around the top end and through the passage. We decided to go into Nara Inlet and check out the conditions and found them favourable. We went to the bottom end of the inlet however this was too deep so after several attempts we dropped anchor and decided to stay for the day.

2014-01-28 - FROM Nara Inlet TO Airlie Beach

Trip start* : 2014/01/28 09:41:26 (*2014-01-27T23:41:26Z)
Trip end : 2014/01/28 12:43:47
Trip Duration : 3h02m (182 minutes)
Start Point : 148.909103,-20.133020
End Point : 148.705734,-20.262609
Straight-line Distance : 25.652 km (13.851 nm)
Travelled distance : 28.807 km (15.554 nm)
Average Speed : 9.49 km/h (5.12 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.75 km/h (7.96 knots)

The weather report on Tuesday indicated that conditions look to be getting worse so we decided to head for the mainland where we could shelter. We also needed to make some repairs as our port head (toilet) motor had died and we had also lost a couple of mainsail battens. Not to mention make contact with the outside world again!!

We battled up to 40 knot winds across the Whitsunday passage to arrive safely into Pioneer Bay. After contacting Cumberland they graciously allowed us the use one of their moorings for the night. I think with the cyclone warning for Thursday this will be our last night outside the marina for a few days anyway. We made our way into the marina on the tender to organise the repairs. Back on board and it is a leisurely afternoon catching up with emails and seeing what has been happening.


The cyclone warning did in fact eventuate so with discretion being the better part of valour, we scurried back into the marina for 10 days. That’ll give David the chance to install more stuff.

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