We motored out of Mackay Harbour this morning at 6.30am – we left early to get as much assistance from the ebbing tide as we could. The winds were so light to start with that we motor-sailed for the first hour – quite a change from yesterday’s winds. Our track took us parallel to the coast passing Slade Pt, Dolphin Heads, Cape Hillsborough, Smally’s Beach, Seaforth. These are all locations we know well from our years living in Mackay and camping with the children.
The wind eventually settled into a gentle 10kn southeasterly accompanied by a 1/2 to 1 metre swell. The sailing was quite comfortable despite the occasional annoying jibe caused by the following wind. We breakfasted and snacked as we sailed, finally dropping anchor in a nice protected bay on the western side of Outer Newry Island. The 26nm trip took us 7 hours averaging 3.6kn. Two dolphins met us at the entrance to the bay and followed us to our anchorage – a lovely welcome after a long day.
We went ashore in the tender to do the walk to the other side of the island. Outer Newry Island is one of 9 islands in this National Park. As with most of the National Parks we’ve visited the facilities, while basic, are very good. The walk was only 400m one way and led us first to a picnic area with a fisherman’s hut that has been there for 30-odd years, in good repair and still well used. From there it led through eucalypts and flowering grass trees to a stony-beach bay on the ocean side.
A nearly full water tank beside the fisherman’s hut was cause for celebration! Fresh water is very precious when sailing so Steve returned after our walk to fill the solar shower for a nice hot, fresh-water shower tomorrow.
The forecast for tonight is calm – as I write this the boat is gently rocking. I’m anticipating an excellent night’s sleep.
To view the photos from today CLICK HERE.