CLIENT: Townsville Sail & Walk
VOYAGE NUMBER: 20230603
FROM: Townsville to Townsville
DATE: 5 June 2023
POSITION: Gould Is
REPORT: Blue Watch
Summoned from sleep by the bugle, we planned an earlier than usual departure, with sails prepped, anchor weighed, and sails hoisted for departure from Orpheus Island at 6.30 am. A beautiful morning, spent sailing to Hinchinbrook Island, concluded as we arrived at Banksia Bay, lowered the sails, and allowed ourselves to observe the beauty that surrounded us. Mount Bowen was concealed in low cloud, and the densely wooded shoreline and hills, presented an enticing opportunity for bushwalking along beaches, through the treescape to rockpools or up to lookouts.
All options were taken up and the tender worked quickly to ferry everyone ashore. A late change of plan by the Skipper, involving a rogue wave at landing, swamped the tender from behind! We had all been briefed about the fact that we were in crocodile country, so our heightened awareness led to Fergus reporting a large dark shape moving in the water as the second tender load headed into shore! But not a croc, perhaps a turtle?
One group headed to a beautiful rock pool, which provided a beautiful relaxing and refreshing swim. A further short walk to a nearby beach was also undertaken by some. Another group followed Roger to Nina Peak. This was an ambitious objective, given our departure time of 11.30 am. He set a steady pace over headlands and along beaches to the north, passing several hikers on the Thorsborne Trail. The group pressed on past the point of the return time in their quest to attain the summit, so were an hour late back at the pickup point, so were reprimanded by the Skipper.
Late in the afternoon, preparations were made for departure. When everyone had been ferried back to the ship, we sailed further north towards Gould Island, hoisting sails in the gathering dark and experiencing night sailing for the first time. Wearing our PFD’s and personal strobe lights combined with the visual limitations we all experienced, provided great insight into the skills of our crew. And now, here we are , sails and anchor down, at Gould Island.