It took forever to do the last 40 miles of the leg, during which time it felt like Scawfell and St Bees did not move. We could see the miles decreasing on our course and distance to waypoint, but those two islands just did not seem to move! Of course, when you are tired and looking forward to a break from the movement from the cross swell, everything seems to take longer!
We finally passed and started to leave St Bees and Scawfell behind, and approached Carlisle Island which we would round to find an anchorage sheltered from both wind and swell. As we approached, two Whales breached about 500 meters directly in front of us. No one had film gear ready, and of course as soon as we had all grabbed phones and cameras etc, they simply slid on through the water, spouting only!
Pete felt that the Carlisle anchorage would be quieter so intended to drop the hook there, especially when he saw about 6 yachts already at the Brampton anchorage. However, as we sought a spot to drop the hook, we found hefty bullets of wind sliding down the steeper and higher face of Carlisle. As we put the anchor down, I felt it sliding over rock, before catching, absolutely not ideal, so we decided to join the others at Brampton.
As the sun was setting, we anchored about 5:30pm and settled in to anchoring gin and tonics below decks. Despite the lovely warm afternoon we had had, the evening was cool with a sharp breeze, and so we sat below. As Snowy prepped a salad and the risotto warmed (this was the last of our prepared meals from Mooloolaba), I prepared the tuna ceviche. We had it with a little olive oil, lemon from Fran’s garden, lemon zest, salt and pepper and it was delicious. Washed down with a rather nice Californian Chardonnay, it was a very good dinner.
After dinner we took it in turns to fill out our census form, some of the questions causing heated debate as we were of course completing it for the residence of Wine -Dark Sea, at sea. Washing up done, agreement to rise at 6 for departure no later than 7 am to get Choppa to Hammo for his flight, we retired to bed for a well deserved full nights sleep at 9.
Morning dawned clear and cool and we set off at 6:30 am having coffee and breakfast on the way. It warmed up as the sun rose and we put out the headsail for the first section of the leg to Hamilton Island. The wind soon settled in true to form directly from behind, so we just motored, enjoying the island scenery as we passed. Checking in with the Marina a few miles south of Dent Passage, we discovered we would have to pay an $18 fee, for the privelege of dropping Choppa off! After a crew meeting we decided he was worth it, having done the hard yards with us all the way! We therefore pulled in to Hammo Marina, dropped our rubbish and farewelled Choppa, then headed off for Airlie.
We sent a couple of Tuna steaks home with Choppa so Fran could enjoy the feast of fish!