Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sailing south from Townsville to Brisbane

A few weeks slipped by as we enjoyed our visit to Townsville, a magical place with free public swimming pools and the entire shoreline of town a series of parks, with free electrical BBQ and clean beaches. While we were there the wind kicked up pretty good causing a few boats to drag anchor and "go walkabout", Arete held tight.... I made a few new friends in the "duck pond" and enjoyed a few sundowners on other yachts, sharing some Arete Super #1 Lager Beer...
We made plans to buddy sail to Zoe Bay a couple days before the full moon, at 10:oo pm the night before we were to leave, the toilet stopped flushing...I spent the next two days learning a great deal more about marine toilets in the process of replacing mine...$300 later we have a new electric toilet and the winds had changed to a Nor'easter...We missed our chance at Zoe Bay but sailed around Magnetic Island and through Halifax Bay back to Horseshoe Bay to meet up with Matt on Aventure. Matt sailed out from Seattle, we know each other from Brisbane and he's also lived in Japan for many years...The day after the full moon party on Arete we weighed anchor and pointed our catamaran south, heading back to Brisbane...We are now in Airlie Beach after a nights at Cape Bowling Green, Cape Upstart and Bowen...
Sailing south in the Nor'easterly winds is a lot different than going the other way in the SE trade winds, first of all they are lighter winds and they blow you onto the lee shore, so you are constantly tacking out around headlands...It makes 40 miles into a long, tiring day...One morning just an hour after sunrise, just coming out around the headland of Cape Upstart, with an incoming tide,...I had the main sail up and the motors running, sailing just off the wind trying to put some blue water between us and the giant rocky shore of Cape Upstart before turning the boat down wind for a broad reach south to Bowen.....Bang...ZZZZZZzzzzzz the Penn reel was screaming...I knew it was a good fish from the power it had in it's first run of the line....After a long fight I got the fish to the back steps of my catamaran and he spit the hook and swam away.....I was crushed, losing a fish like that, so close but no cigar....I put the lure back in and secured the rod and just as I walked away Bang again...This time I brought him aboard....It was 142 cm long or 4 feet 7 inches... Wahoo is a good eating game fish...That night anchored near the town of Bowen Triple J FM played the John Butler Trio concert live as we ate Wahoo cooked with garlic and butter. I really like his music, a bit like Jack Johnson with some hot guitar work...
Not a lot of other excitement, we did see another huge sea snake in Abbot's Bay, way offshore in just about the exact same place I saw one on the way North( the only ones I've seen , ever!)...We had a brown Boobie bird that would not leave us alone, he landed on Arete about ten times....as we sailed along 4 or 5 miles offshore. That is a big sea bird with a three foot wingspan and a powerful bill, I was not real crazy about cleaning up after that big beast and he was not wanting to leave the friendly confines of Arete so I'd shooo him off one side and he'd fly around to the other side...It was like a comedy routine...
Funny how things go... I don't troll lures when we have fish in the fridge and as soon as I caught that big Wahoo, I had yellowtail Tuna jumping next to Arete all day... just like seeing deer out of season....
The winds are forecast to change in a couple days and then we'll cruise through the Whitsunday Islands...

3 comments:

onsense said...

Jay, your such a WAHOO ! Now that's a real Whopper of a fish ! Keep some on ice for your arrival in Brisbane...must be tasty with the Ginger lager. Hope to catch up with you upon your arrival in Brisbane. Have a safe trip south. L8TR Dude - Rob

David said...

Hey Jay,
Good to talk to you today!!Nice picture of the wahoo!!
Looking forward to catching up in Brizzie with a few Ginger beers.
Safe sailing!!!

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