2014 March – Whitsundays continued

Posted by on April 7, 2014


Total Days Sailed : 9
Total Sailing time : 29h56m (1796 minutes)
Travelled distance : 265.291 km (143.245 nm)
Average Speed : 8.86 km/h (4.78 knots)
Peak Speed : 18.87 km/h (10.19 knots) on 2014/03/19

Still biding our time in the Whitsundays region waiting for the cyclone season to peter out. Gillian, Luci, and Hadi were all named cyclonic events over the course of the month, with Hadi being the one causing the most concern here locally. Happily it did not develop enough strength to actually cross the coast, however we did get a lot of rain for a few days.

Although the last couple of events here (Hadi, and Dylan in late January) have turned out to be pretty tame, each has resulted in the closure of the port, with massive cost to the local tourism industry. Each time, the vast majority of pleasure boats have rushed into the marina, and all commercial traffic such as ferries and sailing cruises have had to shut their doors. A lot of this panic is due to insurance issues, as the insurance companies sometimes will not cover boats unless they are in the marina during named storm events.

So anyway, we have had a few trips out to the islands this month, spending lazy days and nights just hanging out. Thanks to Cyclone Gillian we spent a stretch of 10 days inside the marina, but apart from that we have been hanging on a mooring or an anchor.

2014-03-01 - FROM Airlie Beach TO Butterfly Bay

Trip start* : 2014/03/01 08:46:08 (*2014-02-28T22:46:08Z)
Trip end : 2014/03/01 13:04:11
Travelling Time : 3h44m (224 minutes)
Trip Duration : 4h18m (258 minutes)
Start Point : 148.706573,-20.262250
End Point : 148.930343,-20.072359
Straight-line Distance : 31.485 km (17.001 nm)
Travelled distance : 38.105 km (20.575 nm)
Average Speed : 10.20 km/h (5.51 knots)
Peak Speed : 15.26 km/h (8.24 knots)

David had a small job to do underneath the boat re-attaching a couple of splash shields, and it would have been very difficult to do that on the water so we decided to travel to Hill Inlet to put XTsea on the sand.

With a nice brisk breeze on the Saturday we sailed across the passage to overnight at Butterfly Bay. A rather bumpy night, but nothing unusual for the level of overnight wind and with a mooring buoy that was keen to keep close to the boat. For whatever reason, Colleen did feel the urge to go out on to the foredeck overnight and check on things sometime during the night but saw nothing unusual.

Upon waking, the boat was liberally sprayed with ink. The starboard transom had the most ink, but it was also on the tender, above the starboard mid-hull, along the starboard side, and as later discovered, underneath the boat! There was a small dead squid on the starboard trampoline.




2014-03-02 - FROM Butterfly Bay TO Esk Island VIA Hill Inlet

Trip start* : 2014/03/02 08:20:00 (*2014-03-01T22:20:00Z)
Trip end : 2014/03/02 22:56:12
Travelling Time : 4h43m (283 minutes)
Trip Duration : 14h36m (876 minutes)
Start Point : 148.930511,-20.072410
End Point : 149.038574,-20.233940
Straight-line Distance : 21.209 km (11.452 nm)
Travelled distance : 43.880 km (23.693 nm)
Average Speed : 9.30 km/h (5.02 knots)
Peak Speed : 17.98 km/h (9.71 knots)

After a clean-up, we ditched the mooring and headed off towards Hill Inlet. Colleen had the helm, and managed the sails in strong winds and quite large swell by herself until we were approaching our last tack to make our destination when we noticed the velcro pocket on our number two batten had loosened (again!). We dropped the main to pull out the batten, put the main up again, only to drop it down again when the number one pocket also appeared to let go. We will change the pockets to lace-ups!

So with the main down we motored to Hill Inlet, then slowly worked our way in until we hit the sand. The tide quickly dropped away and we were soon high and dry.



The job was soon completed, and David then spent a couple of hours checking out and cleaning the hull. All good.

In order to get in and out of the inlet as safely as possible, XTsea was beached a couple of hours after high tide. That meant that as we left there should be no issues with depth. Unfortunately that also meant that we would be departing around 11:30pm in total darkness!

Although we had a bumpy launch as the swell was significant, once free of the sand we quickly made our way across to a mooring at Esk Island about a mile away. With only a couple of distant beacon lights to orientate to, we had to trust to the guidance of our Raymarine C80 chartplotter.

It only took a few seconds to spot the mooring in the beam of a Dolphin torch, and we were soon secure and back in our bed after our first night trip.

2014-03-03 - FROM Esk Island TO Airlie Beach

Trip start* : 2014/03/03 09:50:27 (*2014-03-02T23:50:27Z)
Trip end : 2014/03/03 14:45:40
Trip Duration : 4h55m (295 minutes)
Start Point : 149.038223,-20.234220
End Point : 148.706512,-20.262329
Straight-line Distance : 34.746 km (18.761 nm)
Travelled distance : 43.677 km (23.584 nm)
Average Speed : 8.88 km/h (4.79 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.44 km/h (6.72 knots)

2014-03-04 - FROM Airlie Beach TO Airlie Beach Marina

Trip start* : 2014/03/04 11:38:57 (*2014-03-04T01:38:57Z)
Trip end : 2014/03/04 11:56:00
Trip Duration : 0h17m (17 minutes)
Start Point : 148.705200,-20.263679
End Point : 148.708053,-20.268470
Straight-line Distance : 0.610 km (0.329 nm)
Travelled distance : 1.737 km (0.938 nm)
Average Speed : 6.13 km/h (3.31 knots)
Peak Speed : 10.40 km/h (5.61 knots)

In to the marina thanks to the cyclone warning.

2014-03-14 - FROM Airlie Beach TO Henning Island

Trip start* : 2014/03/14 10:48:01 (*2014-03-14T00:48:01Z)
Trip end : 2014/03/14 17:20:00
Trip Duration : 6h31m (391 minutes)
Start Point : 148.707901,-20.268249
End Point : 148.926040,-20.311239
Straight-line Distance : 23.247 km (12.552 nm)
Travelled distance : 49.308 km (26.624 nm)
Average Speed : 7.56 km/h (4.08 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.97 km/h (7.00 knots)

2014-03-16 - FROM Henning Island TO Whitehaven Beach

Trip start* : 2014/03/16 09:19:26 (*2014-03-15T23:19:26Z)
Trip end : 2014/03/16 11:16:56
Trip Duration : 1h57m (117 minutes)
Start Point : 148.926086,-20.311580
End Point : 149.051513,-20.292320
Straight-line Distance : 13.254 km (7.156 nm)
Travelled distance : 19.160 km (10.346 nm)
Average Speed : 9.82 km/h (5.30 knots)
Peak Speed : 18.28 km/h (9.87 knots)

2014-03-19 - FROM Whitehaven Beach TO Border Island

Trip start* : 2014/03/19 09:10:58 (*2014-03-18T23:10:58Z)
Trip end : 2014/03/19 12:00:00
Trip Duration : 2h49m (169 minutes)
Start Point : 149.051284,-20.291669
End Point : 149.032836,-20.156570
Straight-line Distance : 15.145 km (8.177 nm)
Travelled distance : 28.318 km (15.290 nm)
Average Speed : 10.05 km/h (5.42 knots)
Peak Speed : 18.87 km/h (10.19 knots)

We left Whitehaven with the intention of heading south. The wind was strong, and as we poked our nose out from the lee of Haslewood it looked pretty ugly, even though the boat felt up to the task. We decided to run for shelter.

2014-03-20 - FROM Border Island TO Airlie Beach

Trip start* : 2014/03/20 09:20:57 (*2014-03-19T23:20:57Z)
Trip end : 2014/03/20 13:45:53
Trip Duration : 4h24m (264 minutes)
Start Point : 149.028747,-20.156190
End Point : 148.706283,-20.262880
Straight-line Distance : 35.678 km (19.265 nm)
Travelled distance : 39.117 km (21.122 nm)
Average Speed : 8.89 km/h (4.80 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.19 km/h (6.58 knots)

2014-03-29 - FROM Airlie Beach TO Airlie Beach

Trip start* : 2014/03/29 09:42:07 (*2014-03-28T23:42:07Z)
Trip end : 2014/03/29 10:54:55
Travelling Time : 0h36m (36 minutes)
Trip Duration : 1h12m (72 minutes)
Start Point : 148.706405,-20.263099
End Point : 148.706314,-20.262479
Straight-line Distance : 0.069 km (0.037 nm)
Travelled distance : 1.984 km (1.071 nm)
Average Speed : 3.30 km/h (1.78 knots)
Peak Speed : 8.64 km/h (4.66 knots)

We found one of our windows was leaking so that had to be pulled out and resealed which meant a quick trip into the public jetty for the glaziers to do he work. Our new lash-up battens on the main are now tried and tested and have not given us any trouble at all. Solar panels are now fully secured on custom mounts I made up, and we see between 2 and 3 kiloWattHours produced each day when the sun is out.

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