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South Passage Daily Report

CLIENT: Delivery Voyage

VOYAGE NUMBER:  20220602

FROM: Mackay to Airlie Beach

DATE: 2 June 2022

POSITION: Goldsmith Is

REPORT BY: White Watch

After another evening enjoying happy hour drinks, great cuisine and lively conversations at the Mackay Harbour pub, the crew were all fully ‘recharged’ and ready for a sail. We cast off at 08:30 following a welcome aboard by skipper Phill and safety briefing from sailing master Neil.

With only 12 PAB, including passengers Lib and Ferg on their third consecutive leg of the voyage, it was all hands-on deck to hoist the sails as we headed out of the marina into a steady 10-15 knots SE breeze. The exercise warmed us up after the cool start to the morning.

The winds freshened to 15-20 knots, which ensured a wonderful day under sail the whole way and justified skipper Phill’s decision to leave one reef in the mainsail. Most people took the opportunity to helm down wind and making 7-8 knots, with Ferg stating: “this what sailing on South Passage is all about!”

Things of note were a school of mackerel stirring up the water and attracting seabird activity and passing rugged islands, including Keswick (where we were 2 days ago), Brampton and Goldsmith islands. Once again attempts to hook a fish on the long line were singularly unsuccessful. Mal helpfully offered to buy a real lure in Airlie Beach and donate it to “South Passage”!

We anchored in sheltered bay on the west side of Goldsmith Island by 14:30. An enthusiastic shore party (Heather, Mick, Lib and Ferg) were taken to within 100m of shore when it became too shallow to take the tender any further. That was a tell-tale for what lay ahead: shallow muddy bay, no coral, no colourful fish, several small rays skittering away and aggressive mozzies for those who ventured into the thick vegetation behind the beach. By the time we called for the tender an hour later, the shoreline had retreated another 50m. The place was given a general ‘thumbs down’!

Late afternoon the crew held a toolbox safety briefing led by Neil. This included getting all the first aid equipment on board laid out on the main saloon table. The comprehensive equipment includes a ‘smart” defibrillator (it talks you through the steps) and oxygen cylinder.

By now our top-class chef, Hugh, was calling for White Watch to load up with slow-cooked drumsticks, rice and veggies. The fact that they were all eaten was testament to their tastiness, not Hugh’s under catering! With sated appetites, we settled down to an evening of story telling, skilled uke playing by Phil accompanied by Mick on the harmonica.

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