Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Paradise - Too Good To Be True

Yesterday we left Cape Bowling Green as the sun rose and proceeded to sail-drift our way towards Cape Cleveland in very light winds. Rene hauled up the Spinnaker for the first time. I think our maximum speed was 2.5knots (slow!) but we had fun anyway as you can see from the photos. 
Sailing under Spinnaker.

Ren takes a dip as we sail along.

Reading Lucas' guidebook.

Hot but happy on our way to Paradise...

Our sail turned out to be so slow that we changed our plan and headed in to anchor at Paradise Bay. It looked surreal - steep, rocky mountains reaching up out of the sea with a long orange beach below. Paradise Bay isn't marked as an anchorage and isn't mentioned in Alan Lucas' Cruising The Coral Coast (the guidebook everyone relies upon) but we decided to go ahead anyway because the winds are so light.
Proof that we anchored in paradise from Open CPN our free open source chart-plotting software.
Unknown footprints on the isolated beach..
We love exploring isolated beaches - this was no exception. There was an element of risk involved due to the evidence of wildlife that had been in the area. Covering the beach were dingo/dog prints and some tracks that we couldn't identify. Rene came upon a black snake and we saw a mangrove swamp that probably held crocodiles waiting for their next meal.

Paradise turned out to be too good to be true. The anchorage - though safe - was plagued with rolling swell all night. Neither of us slept well as the boat pitched about tossing us around. 

So we are now motoring onwards towards Magnetic Island which is just off Townsville where it will hopefully be more comfortable.

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