The next morning the rain continued, not too cold though, was warm enough to have a shower on the front deck. Two little birds landed on the life lines and pointed themselves into the wind and held on tight as the wind tried to remove them. After the rain settled and the wind calmed enough for the guys to raise the anchor it was time to head North out of the bay and onward to Cairns, a 2 and a half day 2 night sail away.

 

The route took us through the Whitsundays out into the shipping channels of the Great Barrier Reef. There were many yachts and power boats in the islands moving from anchorage to anchorage. Only a few of these crossed our path and only one of those required us to alter our track for their right of way.

The forecast was for South Easterly winds 14-18 knots decreasing, seas 1.5 to 2 metre decreasing. We were actually receiving winds in the high 20 knot range gusting to 30 knots and seas were well over 3 metres at stages. The cargo ships were smashing into the waves and every now and then one would go higher than the superstructure, unfortunately it was a bit hard to catch it as we pitched around on deck. At the worst of it we had the Genoa, Main and Mizzen sails up and it would overwork the autopilot and it would quit working. We had to first reef the main and mizzen then drop the main all together and furl the Genoa in a little before it would settle down. Dropping all that sail area only slowed the boat 1 knot. We continued on and into Cairns where we anchored in Trinity Inlet until after breakfast and moved onto Smiths Creek and the Cairns Cruising Yacht Squadron.

 

Cairns Naval Base

Cairns Naval Base

Cairns Naval Base

Cairns Naval Base

 

The marine industry is huge with super yachts regular visitors, HMAS Cairns Naval Base, many 24 hour ship yards and supply bases for off shore industry and the island trade. We managed to get a berth at the Cairns Cruising Yacht Squadron marina, lucky as they only have a few spots. The only problem is that it is in the middle of a 24/7 heavy industrial area.