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Sailing around Australian East Coast  Sydney — Cairns — Sydney , July-December 2007

On the way to Whitsundays


Corio Bay



The wind eased to 15-20 knots but the waves are still 2-3 meters and it feels very rough.

Today is my birthday, and I want sunshine, calm seas and beautiful islands. Instead I got the sky dense with dark gray clouds and rough lumps of water, but at least it is not raining. The water which in tropics supposed to be clear and turquoise is brow-green and murky.

I’m studying for my CPA exams and Gonzie is at the helm almost all day.

For the night we stopped in Corio Bay. This anchorage is not recommended for rough weather, but we have little choice. We had the most dangerous bar crossing here with the waves breaking on both sides of the entrance, but made it through. Inside the bay it is quite protected, but so many mosquitoes! I read somewhere there are crocs in the mangroves, but we didn’t see any.

The phone reception is also out, a couple of friends tried to call me to wish happy birthday, but I could barely here them. At least the Internet is working and I can check my e-mail and Facebook.

Gonzie cooked the most delicious salmon & chilli pasta for me. It was funny how he was wearing a dive mask trying to protect his eyes while chopping onions J.


Pearl Bay



The wind eased off a bit more, but the seas are still brown-green and around 2 meters high. The weather forecast said it should clear up soon. I’m trying to study and that makes me feel queasy.

We dropped the anchor for the night in Pearl Bay.


Hexham Island and the Whales



In the morning the sun came out, promising a good weather. The sea is flat and wind is 10-15 knots. We are out for a perfect sail. The scenery is beautiful: little islands covered with trees emerge out of the water everywhere, like pyramids. The water is smooth, blue and clear as we are sailing between those tropical islands.

To make the day even brighter we finally saw whales. It was mother and calf flopping tails on the water. Although it looks like a great deal of fun, play is also an important part of the calf's natural learning process. We are moving slowly towards them under sails with no engine. We got close enough to take a photo and a video.


Before the sunset we anchored near Hexham Island and enjoyed a beautiful red sunset over the rocks.


Curlew Island



It was another beautiful day. The sea is flat and the wind died to 3 knots.

I was trying my best to study, but found hard to concentrate. How can you possible think about director’s duties and Trade Practices Act when you are out at sea in such a beautiful place?


Anchored for the night at Curlew Island.


Scawfell Island



The weather was almost the same as yesterday, with calm seas and light  winds.

Having anchored near Scawfell Island, we watched very colourful red sunset, sipping Baileys cocktails. The sun looked like it was on fire.

We were not alone here any more, there was a cruising boat similar to ours and 2 catamarans.  

This is where Whitsundays start – the Mecca of most sailors in Australia.


Morning swim, Thomas Island and Another Endurance 35



In the morning I decided to go for a swim near the boat. The weather was nice and blue. I fixed up a mermaid line: Empede’s life ring tied to the rope with bowline just in case the current is too strong. In fact it was too strong, after I jumped into the water I could only grab the ring – the speed of the current was around 2 knots and even that the boat was at anchor it felt like it is sailing away from me. I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to fall overboard.

In the evening we anchored near Thomas Island. There were quite a few boats here, including some charter boats. Near the beach there was a huge old catamaran with the wide wooden board leading directly to the beach. This “cat” surely had a character and we thought of Plucky who would love to have one like this. We donned our snorkel gear and went for a swim to cool off after a hot day.

In the next morning Gonzalo decided to change oil filter since we’ve done around 300 hours already (150 hours since last change). He drained the oil and then trying to take off the filter he found that the tool he bought was a bit bigger than needed. So he took a dinghy ride to other boats asking if they have the tool. There was another Endurance 35 there (same make as ours) and they did have the right tool. They also invited us on board and later on we invited them to see our boat. These two Endurances 35 being the same make and size looked completely different inside. Brian and Gill, the owners, are from Brisbane, they rented out their house and took off sailing and Destiny III is their home now. Their boat is not a ketch, therefore has only one mast, which allows having a cockpit tent. Instead of 4 bunks it has a double bed. Our table and couches also turn into double-bed, but it is in the saloon, the table is always in use and we rarely use it as a bed and sleep on the bunks instead.  Their boat has more spacious saloon, but ours has more sleeping spaces and a bigger dining table.

We have to navigate carefully between little islands and rocks

Humpback whales near Hexham Island

Cliffs with trees on top—this is how most of the islands in the area look like

Sunset over the cliffs near Hexham Island

Sunset at Scawfell Island


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