Guinevere.net.au
Paul's Around Australia Trip 2011

Leg 6 Cairns to Darwin

Crew

Bernard Wilderink

Cam McDonald

Pascal Gerarty

Day 1 24/6/11

Left Cairns at 7am after checking out Massive cruising yachts and motor luxury yachts . Short trip down river to see Endeavour replica then out to sea via 5 mile fairleads.  Winds from SE at 20 then 25 and hitting 30later.  Cam seasick for awhile. Bee and Paul landed 4-5 kg spotted mackerel. Now resting at Low Isles mooring for a few hours.   Aim to leave midnight for an evening and a sail to Lizard Island.

Day 2

Left Low Islets at 1-30am after Paul and Bee had a bit of a sleep in as we meant to leave at midnight.

Underway in very dark and confusing conditions as there were no stars or lights apart from the lighthouse directly behind us.

Big ZZZ’s coming from the cabin as Cam and Pascal rested while Paul and Bee battled the seas and conditions.  We stuffed up a gybe as the first mate of that watch got disoriented which in turn was the perfect alarm clock for the “B” crew.

The seas and winds increased to 2m and 30 – 35knot winds which were quite trying at times however they were from behind us so at least we were not battling into the wind.

Passed Cape Tribulation, Cooktown, Cape Bedford, Cape Flattery with a small parcel of time where we did manage to get a couple of lures out however we were very restricted by the green zones ever present in the Queensland waters.

Lizard Island came into view some 30miles away and we finally arrived at 4-30pm after 15 hrs of sailing, 108 nautical miles, average speed of 7.2 knots with a total of 2 gybes for the whole journey.  

Day 3

Howling winds all night thinking we were in a protected anchorage at Lady Watsons Bay where Mrs Watson in the 1860s floated away in an iron tub with her Chinese servant and young baby, later dying of thirst on what is now Watson’s Island.  Really interesting.  Climbed Cooks mountain being 360 m high, 2.5hr return trip.  This hill was where Captain Cook climbed so he could find a passage through the reef.  The gap he found is now called Cooks Passage, 10 miles from Lizard Island and visible from the top.  In the photos you will see Paul pointing to where the passage is.

Had a couple of swims with a magnificent snorkel around a reef with giant clams, very colourful fish and Bee even spotted a shark which looked about 2m long but was probably only 1m.

Absolutely magnificent scenery that you would only expect to see in the travel agents glossy brochures....these places really do exist!

Very weary chappies this evening and we are heading off at 5am in the morning to Flinders Islands some 85 miles away expecting to get there around 5pm.  Expecting 30 knot winds again!!  Very little chance of fishing in those seas.

Day 4

Big day today.  Up at 3-45am expecting 30 knot winds and 2m seas which turned out to be occasional 30 knot winds and probably about a maximum of 1.5m seas.  First cab off the rank was to get the anchor up after starting the motor, getting underway followed by a cuppa then into the routine of naps, sails, food, snacks etc. 

Today our route consisted of passing through the Howick Group of islands, Barrow Point,  around Cape Melville dodging shipping traffic as the channel was quite narrow and a 42 foot yacht was quite insignificant when you have a 760 foot container ship passing near you.  Something you really need to keep your eyes on!

As the winds were not as bad as expected we managed to crack the Spinnaker out to give us a bit of speed downwind (all that we are doing on this journey), with Cam and Paul discussing the ropes, sails, colours and styles needed to gain us an extra half a knot.  Pascal and Bee just suggested to start the motor and we would be there in no time.

Highlights of the day were bacon and egg sandwich for lunch, a 5kg tuna caught by Bee, a bigger one caught by Pascal all on Pauls favourite lure.  Tonight we had the tuna for dinner after debating on mince spuds and salad or sashimi, Cajun style tuna, oven baked potatoes diced finely with garlic and salt and a delectable salad of a variety of greens that were to die for!!  Who needs a resort when you have Guinevere and a gun team of cooks and fishermen!!

At the moment we are at the Flinders Group of Islands North West of Cape Melville.  We are the only boat in a small anchorage and arrived here at around 4-30pm.  Went for a walk on the beach and suggested our wives and partners would absolutely love this location but would not love getting here!!  Once again picture perfect.

Paul also managed to catch a shark this evening which was a massive 30cm long and according to Pascal only about a week old.  We did release it as we did the Tuna Pascal caught as we still have a full meal of fish for ourselves tomorrow.  Either that or we are going to use it on the crab traps as the shore is littered with Mangroves with a muddy bottom being a potential habitat for Mud Crabs.  Also around this area is a Dugong sanctuary and as Paul was catching his miniature shark actually saw two of them not far from the boat.

Day 5

Today we just chilled out in Owen Channel anchored next to Flinders Island.....well we chilled out as much as we could with a multitude of options available to us. 

Had a great nights sleep with a lot less wind howling around us than the previous couple of nights.  After breakfast we headed to the Island to go in search of the water holes with fresh water for a wash and to do some washing....well Paul did and Julie you would be very proud of him.  There is a sign on the Island which talked about the ‘Dart Walk’ and water holes which were used initially by aborigines for their main water supply on the island...of course there were no directions whatsoever of how to get to them.  So off we traipsed through the grasses and trees looking for potential sites where there would be fresh water.  After about an hour and a half of this Pascal and Bee decided the water holes were all dry but Cam and Paul (well mainly Paul) were persistent to find this hole.  Paul was carrying 2 buckets, a load of washing, shampoo, soap, washing powder etc so was not prepared to give up on this.  Cam had his backpack full of wool wash, soap, shaving gear, wash cloth and towel.  Finally, after heading in the opposite direction to where we had been, we came across a huge rock with the inscription ‘HMS DART 1899’ chiselled into the rock.  Amazing to think this was done way back then and here we were looking at the endeavours of a seaman on the Dart which was a vessel charting the waters in this area.  It stopped in this bay to take on water from Pauls water hole, filled the barrels, cleared a path through the mangroves to roll them into the water then onto the ship.  So here were these 4 blokes standing in the bush gently filling buckets of water (the hole was not all that big) to wash ourselves and then the clothes where aborigines had once stood hundreds of years ago!!  Bee had walked through a tree of green ants so had to try and get rid of all those stinging blighters.

On the way back to the dinghy we spotted a myriad of birds from Oriental Cookoo, oyster catchers, stilts (we think) sea eagles (Cam calls them Raptors!)  and a few others which Cam is now researching.

Pascal and Bee set the crab pots earlier in the day using tuna as bait but they certainly did not appreciate as we did not catch one.

After lunch Paul and Bee went across the channel where we managed to get a couple of dozen oysters and had a bit of a troll on the way back.  We trolled up and down the mangroves (catching the bottom a few times) with Paul getting a couple of hits. Another vessel arrived in the area and came and saw us after which we went to their boat for drinks and snacks.  Bee was in heaven as it was a 48’ Selene trawler style with a 330hp Cummins diesel and all the mod cons you could imagine.  Brian, the owner, travelled from Seattle to Australia in it and picks up crew whenever he needs them and is on the way to Indonesia for a rally.  He doesn’t have a home, well he does, his boat!  Way to go!  We will probably keep in touch with him tomorrow as he travels north which will be quite neat.  After drinks and snacks on the Selene we came home to a meal of tacos prepared by Cam, a nice drop of cask wine and are about to set course for tomorrows journey which will be Morris Island about 60 miles away, a coral cay where at some stage we might be able to catch a coral trout as Paul says he has the best recipe for this type of fish.

We are not posting photos as we are still using the Satellite phone for communication.

Day 6

The day started with Pauls phone going off to the soothing tone of a harp which is a rather pleasant but annoying sound at 3-30 in the morning however we had a plan, a route and a mission to get to Morris Island in time to do a bit of walking, fishing and sightseeing.  We had a wonderful day with calm seas, very little wind which tested Cam’s and Pauls sailing ability. A lot of discussion on what sail to use, what pole, rope, luff or fluff which was quite confusing for Bee and Pascal!!! Cam could not help himself and had to tinker which was a non stop process to tweak the little bit extra out of the fickle wind.  We had a barber hauler on the spinnaker sheet, managed to wineglass the spinnaker in the jibe, put a red rope to the front which was a kicker and had to be swapped to the other side and turned out to be both Barbers haulers anyway.  The sailors in this environment are saying we managed to get 5 knots out of 8 knots of wind coming up on the breeze and I am getting totally confused writing this as I think the sailors (Paul and Cam) really have no idea what they are talking about and Pascal and Bee think why don’t we just start the bloody engine!   It is really hard to comprehend the amount of reef up here and how much navigation is actually required to get to where we want to be, looking for lighthouses, boats on the AIS which does not seem to be working properly, and generally getting your orientation of where we actually need to be with wind , tide and current all either working for you or against you.

We naturally had a couple of rods with lures out and naturally they got hit big time.  We had no idea what the fish were but Bee’s new reel got burnt and nearly spooled with 300m of line on.  Unfortunately Guinevere is not a fishing boat and takes time to slow down which meant we did not manage to land the double strike.  It certainly woke everyone up!!

Morris Island is only 60 miles from our last overnight however with the calm seas and little winds it took us 10.75 hrs to get here so our average was pretty low based on our previous excursions up this coast.

The island is quite distinctive in that it has a single palm tree on this coral cay with the island being only about 500m long however at low tide the reef extends for at least another 2 miles or so.  When it is full there is only the little island above sea level.  We were fortunate enough to arrive close enough to low tide so launched the rubber ducky and headed to shore.  Paul and Bee had our spinning fishing rods and lures, Pascal and Cam with their masks, snorkels and flippers and off we went to explore this little island. Bee immediately went fishing, Paul hopped on a walk, Pascal had to retrieve Bee’s first cast from the coral and Cam had a wander around the island also. Bee was in heaven again as he was on this sandy beach casting lures to fish jumping all around him.  Managed to land a lovely Queenfish about 800mm long.  Walking along the beach a couple of sharks happened to cruise by toward Paul who was also casting lures but I think they were more afraid of us than us of them.  Pascal and Cam had a snorkel around the reef and had a wander around the island.  On the way back to the dinghy Paul just happened to catch a large squid which did not want to let go of his lure. 

So, once again we had fresh fish, calamari and our oysters from yesterday for a delectable feast on Guinevere.  Anyone who says Queenfish are not a nice eating fish need to have their heads read as we just cooked it in chunks on the BBQ and it was delectable.  Once again wine from our wonderful range of casks helped us to digest this meal and are all happily satiated.

Day 7

Last night Paul managed to catch a couple of Remora which are the sucker

fish you see attached to large fish.  These remora were about 60cm long so

you can imagine the size of fish they were attached to!!  Ensures you keep

your feet out of the water as we go into shore on the rubber ducky!!  Pascal

informed us (after we had let them go) that they are a really nice eating

fish.

This morning we had a sleep in till about 7am which was quite a change.

After breakfast the order of the day was some more fishing. Paul, Pascal and

Bee started off the back of the boat with lures, bait and soft plastics.

Bee caught a spotted mackerel about 600mm long which was cleaned and placed

in the fridge straight away.  The head was put onto a huge shark rig and

within 10 minutes we had a 1.5m shark stripping line of Pauls rod.  Paul

managed to get it close enough to the boat to cut the wire trace and let it

swim off to live another day.  We then headed once again onto Morris Island

for a bit more fishing with Pascal catching a trevally and Bee a long tom

which was another first for him.  What a beautiful spot to wander along the

beach throwing lures into the beautiful clear water.  Paul spotted a turtle

while Pascal got smashed by a fish he did not even get a chance to see.

Around midday we headed back to the boat and were greeted by these wonderful

smells of freshly baked bread.  Cam had stayed behind, and as our stores of

bread were either finished or were going mouldy, he decided to make a couple

of loaves.  A little bit of fighting over who got the crust, Paul had his

trademark Vegemite and Peanut Butter mixed together on the bread, Bee just

had butter as did Cam and Pascal just Peanut butter.  I know I rave on a bit

about this however the smells and tastes to have this cooked on a remote

island where the only steps in the sand are yours is very indescribable.

We pulled anchor and headed for our next destination being Night Island.  A

short hop of 24.4 miles and arrived at 4-30pm.  Pleasant sailing day with

the rods out once again.  Unfortunately for a Black Booby(bird) which

decided to dive on the lure this was the only catch of the day.  It was

released in due course.

Tonight is a seafood pasta variation (somewhere from Jamie Oliver) which

Paul is cooking with his own modifications which I am sure will still be

terrific as the fish is fresh and the blokes are hungry.

Early start of about 2am tomorrow as we have a fair bit of ground to cover

(around 80 miles) which means we should be there around 3 or 4 in the

afternoon depending on winds, current etc.

 

Day 8

Day 8 kicked-off with yet another 2am start, a trademark of the

Cairns-Darwin crew. As Pascal slept blissfully, 'Herring Balls' Westcott,

Cameron 'Capt Bligh' MacDonold and 'Mr Queenfish' Wilderink weighed anchor and negotiated our way through the disorienting darkness into deeper waters.

Persistent 25-30kt tailwinds, junky seas, tidal currents and cargo vessels

kept Team Guinevere on their toes for the best part of 12hours. Amid the

rocking and rolling the crew practised their rope-skills and have now become

somewhat of a touring rope-tying troupe. You name it, we can tie it, from

blood-knots, to sheep-shanks, bowlines and double-grinners. Paul pulled a

hamstring attempting a Bimini Twist, whilst Cam has taken to using the

Monkey Fist to wake-up the crew for the next watch.

With Cape York now in spitting distance, Day 8 has marked a dramatic and

welcome change of scenery, from deserted coral cays to the snaking,

mangrove-fringed Escape River, where Guinevere now lays at anchor.

Meandering our way through chocolate coloured water, trying to avoid shallow

mudbanks and submerged rocks to the safe anchorage 3 nautical miles

up-stream took all the navigational prowess we could muster. Escape River is

a dreamy, far-flung, Amazonesque location, touched only by the occasional

buoys and rafts of a cultured pearling operation.

With the pick sunk firmly in the mud, Paul hit the sack for a power nap, Cam

donned the bakers hat and floured the galley for another round of

fresh-bread making, while Bee and Pascal dived into the rubber-ducky with

fishing rods and lures in hand. Trolling close to the mangrove bank it

wasn't long before rods were bending. Half an hour and 2 queenfish, 2 giant

trevally, a threadfin salmon and a spotted mackerel later, the fellas were

giggling like little school girls. Their excitement clouded their judgement

somewhat when they decided to go ashore on the nearby muddy bank to clean

fish and re-organise the boat in murky water, especially since they had

their first official croc sighting of the trip 10mins earlier.

Once back to the boat, Paul and Cam pointed out another resident crocodile

sunbaking in the mud on the bank in front of the boat, before clocking on

for their afternoon fishing session, highlighted by a titanic battle between

Paul and a bull shark. With sharks, crocodiles and many fish species roaming

below the boat, to birds and pigs living amongst the twisted, dense

mangroves, Escape River's given us a real sense of where we are and our

isolation.

Today's been yet another amazing day on a dream trip. With Cape York just

around the corner, all there is left to do is decide what to eat for dinner:

crispy skin threadfin salmon, or bbq'd queenfish steaks, because Team

Guinevere eats nothing but the freshest, locally-sourced seasonal produce.

 

Day 9

Well what team Guinevere had for dinner last night was the crispy skin

Cooktown Salmon together with some BBQ Queenfish, crispy finely chopped

potatoes, baked pumpkin and carrots and once again wine from the goon bag.

Ho hum live is good!!

We all managed to have a bit of a 'sleep in' this morning due to tide

planning by Paul and Cam as we needed to access Albany Passage on the

incoming tide as it can run up to 4 knots which we wanted to scoot up rather

than battle against.

Overnight one of the crab pots Paul set the night before got decimated by

either a shark or crocodile as the bottom was  ripped out for the fish

carcass tied to the base.  Paul needed to justify the amount of fishing

lures, lines, rods, reels he has on the boat therefore was the first up with

a line in the water trying to emulate the fishing prowess of Bee and Pascal

from the previous evening.

Underway just after 7am the boat was on auto pilot following the track we

had made coming in the previous afternoon.  Still quite hairy as the depth

under the keel was just over a metre in one spot but once again electronics

prevailed and Paul did not have to relive a previous experience he has had!

The seas were a bit calmer today so first cab off the rank was to set the

Halco lure out the back of the boat as Cam had not caught a fish of

considerable size on this trip.  Half an hour later the reel was singing and

the boat went into fish mode where the rod was taken out of the rod holder

by Pascal, Paul took the wheel, Bee reeled in the sail with Paul, the boat

was put upwind, the testicle saver was placed around Cam and the fight

begun.  10 minutes later we had an 8kg Tuna in the boat.  10 minutes after

that we were eating sashimi!  Does it get any better??

Managed to get through the Albany Passage and what a great run that was! It

probably doesn't mean much to most people but the boat speed was 5 knots yet

our course over ground was 9 knots, coupled with spectacular scenery and

Cape York around the corner we were quite excited to be in this part of the

world.

With the most northern part of the Australian continent off our Port bow it

looked like Pitt street!  There was a massive amount of people at the 'Tip'.

It was unbelievable especially since we had been travelling seeing no

people, boats or vehicles for an extended period of time.  Managed to get a

safe anchorage, once again discussing the tidal variations of this part of

Australia, decided it was OK partly due to the fact there were 3 other boats

here and a chat to one of them on the radio.  As we were anchoring, a couple

from a catamaran anchored here  who we had seen at Lizard Island, invited us

over for 'happy hour'.

Off to shore, did the walk to the point, photographs taken, chats with the

aborigine locals with pig dogs and rifles, massive falling tide and back

home late afternoon.  Off to 'Cop Out' for drinkies where we took some

sashimi, soy and wasabi, a few beers and interesting stories from these

cruising couples that in one case had been on their boat for 11 years!!

Really nice experience to chat to these people, where they have been, what

they have done and how they do it.

Tuna for dinner tonight together with Korma curry, rice and some other

concoctions Pascal and Cam are devising!

 

Day 10

This morning we had a really nice sleep in which we all felt was well deserved.  After a leisurely breakfast we started up for our short trip to Horn Island.

One of the things we do each evening is plan and plot our route for the next day which last night was done by one of the crew.  It is quite a process as we need to ensure we are avoiding any hidden obstructions, wrecks, shoals etc.

Well this morning we just happened to run aground in a sandy area about 200m from where we had anchored overnight.  After about 20 minutes of getting the sail up, leaning over the side to get the boat tipping to the side we eventually managed to get moving again.  Quite a sobering experience however we all know Paul has been through this a few times before but the expletive still came out of his mouth!!

Happily sailing along we had to put the lure out and after an hour or so another Tuna decided it was lunch time.  Paul’s turn this time so once again the boat went into fish mode!  Pull the sail in, rod was taken out of the rod holder by Bee as he was steering upwind,  Pascal and Cam reeled in the sail, the testicle saver was placed around Paul and the fight begun.  Only about 6kg this time but still made lovely sashimi this evening

Got to Horn Island around lunchtime and after a quick bite to eat headed to shore for a rubbish dump and to scope out the land. Cam looked after the boat while Paul, Bee and Pascal found the pub where we had a beer and bought some takeaways! Quick trip to the supermarket which was stocked a lot better than we had thought and bought some basics like bread, lettuce, avocado etc to get us through the next day or so.

Tomorrow Paul is heading to Brisbane so we have a couple of days to get re-victualled and ready for our 3 day journey across the Gulf of Carpentaria.  We are in full phone and internet reception for the next 2 days so feel free to give us a call. Cam and Pascal will be going to shore and heading to Thursday Island for a bigger supermarket and to restock all the sweets and chocolate Pascal has been devouring whilst on this boat.

Crocodile on the land beside the boat, not very big but still there.  The rubber ducky is pulled up out of the water as it has been known for them to chomp into them more so than aluminium tenders etc.

There will be no report tomorrow as we are in Port with no travelling.

 

Wessels Island

At 11-30am on Thursday we left Horn Island for the Wessel Island group.

Approximately 48 hours from departing we sighted land which was a welcoming

sight as it is quite eerie being out in the middle of nowhere with no

contact from anyone, no land in sight, 20 - 30 knot winds and up to 3m seas!

We managed to do a roster system for the night journey being 2hrs shift for

all on board starting at 6pm and finishing at 8am which worked really

well...that is if you managed to get 6hrs sleep with the boat rocking and

rolling, creaks and groans coming from her structure, shudders when the big

gusts blew and hanging on in your bed in case you rolled all the way to the

other side!!

At one stage yesterday we had the customs plane fly over (quite low) and a

couple of minutes later were calling us on the radio asking our Port of

origin, last port of call and next port which in a way was quite comforting

to know they are patrolling the area.  We passed!  Just outside Australian

waters (we did travel through Indonesian waters) there was a boat anchored

in about 60m of water.  It had all the marks of a foreign vessel, about 150

foot long, rust stains down the sides, superstructure at the rear which told

us it was possibly some sort of fishing vessel.  Quite funny it was just

outside Australian waters.

Last night and today (Saturday) were probably the windiest with the sails

reefed in to pocket handerchief sizes and still managing to do an average of

8 knots over a couple of hours.

At some ungodly hour Cam was sleeping on the lounge next to the table when a

flying fish decided to visit him.  This little creature had flown through

the hatch and was flapping beside his face.  What do you do in a situation

like that when you have come off watch and need some sleep?  Throw it in the

sink and concentrate on getting some more ZZZZ's.  Cam should have know that

was not the end as Pascal was the captain of the ship at that stage and a

few minutes later a bucket of water comes in through the hatch which

thoroughly saturated him....plus another flying fish. As the seas were

getting larger it was inevitable for some to come over the top of the boat.

This, of course, ensured Cam got up to dry himself out and was most

disconcerting for others on the boat to be greeted by Cam in his budgie

smugglers and jacket.  The flying fish however were put to good use and so

far have caught 2 bronze whaler sharks (we think) one of which we will be

trying as a quick fry up tomorrow for lunch as tonight is roast chicken,

baked potatoes, carrots and pumpkin coupled with greens which, I have been

told, you must always have to balance your meal.

All in all it was quite an experience to travel 350 nautical miles in one

hit in a confined space and come out the other end still enjoying and loving

what we are all doing...especially since we are anchored off a little sandy

beach with no other boats or habitation around us and the only signs being

the flotsam that seems to have washed in from Indonesia or surrounding

areas.

We have not made plans as yet for the next day or so but overall we need to

be in Darwin on the 15th and realise we have another run of about 250 miles

to do over the next few days.  We hope the weather will be a bit calmer so

we can do a bit more fishing.  There are some fish that are still needed to

be caught on this trip being Coral trout and a red emperor or similar.  That

would round it off nicely.

 

Almost There

Albeit sleep-deprived and sore, we now lay at anchor with smiles from ear to

ear at Popham Bay on the Cobourg Peninsula. Our 300 nautical mile passage

from the Wessel Islands saw us negotiate another 48 hours of 20-30 knot

winds and up to 3m seas. In between holding on for dear life and being

drenched by the odd wave breaking against the side of the boat, in daylight

hours we were visited by a playful pod of dolphins and we also spotted 3

seasnakes floating on the surface of the ocean, in the middle of absolutely

nowhere. What on earth are they doing out there? Sleep has definitely been

at a premium for Team Guinevere, especially for Bee who now hasn't slept for

5 days. Together with the constant clanking of bottles and pots and pans

throughout the night, the boat rolling and cork-screwing makes staying in

your bed a difficult enough task, let alone getting any decent shut-eye at

all.

Thing is, it's these testing conditions that make our arrival at

picture-perfect places like Popham Bay just that much sweeter. Pulling into

the deserted bay we were greeted with an idyllic sand island with a few

trees on top and a fringing coral reef to one side, and dense, green,

mangrove-covered land as a backdrop. The boys promptly went ashore on the

island where they spotted small sharks in the crystal-clear shallows and two

unmistakeable crocodile tracks heading up the beach. Paul and Bee then set

off in the rubber-ducky to try their luck with rod and reel. A close

encounter with a monster crocodile and a large golden trevally later, deftly

wrestled from the reef Andrew Ettingshausens-style by Capt Westcott, the

boys drifted back to Guinevere in time for sunset. As we now kick back on

the deck of the boat, with the sun setting across the flat water, we can't

help but be satisfied with what we've achieved and the distance we've

travelled. This perfect, tranquil spot is definitely our reward for some

hardyards.

The plan from here is to rest-up and soak-in the tranquility for another

day, before closing in on Darwin.

 

Last Day

Our day of rest at Popham Bay was exactly that. We managed to have a great nights sleep with Paul and Cam discussing and pointing out stars in the crystal clear sky prior to bedtime.  Of course Paul was up early the next morning just to check if the stars were still there...which they were but in a different location.

Fishing was on the agenda today so after breakfast Paul and Bee went trolling and got smashed a couple of times where the fish triumphed and dashed off with our lures.  Did a walk around the island again with lures and more crocodile tracks leading up the beach, with Paul catching a small shark.  Pascal relaxed and took photos while Cam stayed on the boat and once again provisioned us with bread.

Bee off for another troll after lunch got smashed again and managed to keep the lure with no fish landed!  Back to boat then to island for a quick swim, Paul and Bee set crab pots and more trolling, only one lure lost, no fish!  No crabs however great to be in amongst the mangroves thinking there are probably some crocs in here somewhere!  No fish on the menu tonight apart from some of the trevally from the previous day, meatpies, spuds peas and corn.  Not a bad last night meal!

Up at 2am for the trip to Darwin being 110nm however needing to catch the tides to get a slingshot into our destination.  Boat actually hit over 11knots being tide assisted.

Very peaceful trip with very little wind in the latter half of the journey so the motor got a real workout for about 5 hours of the travel.  

Got to the lock at Cullen Bay just in time to get in, tied up to the berth we were allocated and for once we had no tide running along the boat, no wind through the rigging and just the sounds of being back in civilisation.

As a summary, I can say what a journey!  It has certainly been a wonderful experience and would I do it again if I got offered...YES.  On behalf of Cam and Pascal and myself we would like to thank Paul and Guinevere for this journey and wish you and her safe sailing for the rest of your trip around Australia.

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