Monday, 15 August 2016

Back underway North - Gloucester Passage

August 1-2, 2016

Having waved goodbye to the last of Karen’s birthday guests it was time for us to get back underway along the Queensland coast towards our disembarkation port of Townsville. There we will complete final provisioning, and clear customs. We will also be joined by our crew, friends Anthony and Lynda who will be doing the crossing to the Louisiade Islands in Papua New Guinea with us.

Goodbye Airlie Beach. It was a lot of fun.

Not sure the Birthday Girl was happy about leaving the party behind.
Our next move north from Airlie Beach was a relatively short, 23 nautical mile hop to Gloucester Passage. It was almost Midday by the time we finally got away from Abell Point Marina and set sail in a modest southerly breeze. It was a very relaxing four hours cruising past Grimstone Point Woodwark Bay, Armit Islands before turning around George Point and Saddleback Island to make our way to our planned anchorage off Monte’s Resort in Cloucester Point.

Armit Islands
Saddle Back Island.

At anchor in Gloucester Passage.
Abell Point to Gloucester Passage – 23.1 Nautical Miles – 4 Hours 17 Minutes
Average Speed 5.1 Knots – Max Speed 7.1 Knots

The anchorage off Monte's Resort in Gloucester Passage is quite shallow but provides good protection from most wind directions. Shag Islet lies just off the beaches.
Tuesday’s wind was predicted to be very light and variable including some north-easterly in the middle of the day so it was a very easy decision to spend the day at anchor and enjoy our beautiful surroundings rather than motor further north burning diesel. We went ashore after lunch and had a stroll around the beaches of Cape Gloucester before making the obligatory stop for a cold beer from the bar at Monte’s Resort.
Rob on Pizza duty on the BBQ for lunch.

The beach at Monte's Resort. Visiting cruisers are welcomed.

Time for some beach combing.

Our Dreamtime sits calmly at anchor while we enjoy a cold one at Monte's Resort.
Shag Islet is the spiritual home to one of Australia's largest cruising clubs.
This is the home of the famous Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club Rendezvous which would be happening a few weeks after our visit. Hundreds of boats converge on Gloucester Passage for the annual event packed with fun while raising funds for the Prostate Cancer Research. To learn more check out SICYC  

We really enjoyed our stay in Gloucester Passage and hope the timing works for us to take in a Rendezvous one year but it wasn't to be this time. The forecast held a brisk southerly wind for the following day and we would be moving on. We activated our new Predict Wind tracker at Airlie Beach. It operates through our Iridium Go Satellite Communications and updates every hour. The link to see our track is on the right hand side of the blog homepage. We hope you use it to sail along with us. Cheers!

Goodnight from Gloucester Passage.
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