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

Sailing from Townsville to Hinchinbrook Island with Sara and Brent


Military Bombing, Tuna, Sushi and Birthday Cake


Today our friends Sara and Brent are coming to join us for a few days. We took a course NE to Rattlesnake Island. I’m not participating in sailing and instead sitting inside the boat and studying something particularly annoying about interest rate swaps. It is rough and this makes the whole studying thing a lot worse – what I’m reading doesn’t want to settle into my memory.


Getting close to Rattlesnake Island we heard a warning on channel 16 that there are military firing planned for Rattlesnake this evening. No wonder this island is so red and bald without many trees left :).  We called back to confirm and definitely it was no anchoring there. RAAF Base Townsville (No. 323 Combat Support Squadron RAAF) conducts live firing with military aircraft on a regular basis.


So we had to go 7 miles further and anchor by Hawannah Island. And of course, this worked out for the best. About 1.8 miles from the island Gonzalo was about to bring the fishing lines in to pack away for the day before we anchored, at which point Brent said: "Leave the line a little longer since its almost sunset and we might catch something" Gonzalo eager to get ready to anchor had no choice but to agree as Brent was indeed correct. No more than 10 minutes later the Tuna struck and 60 minutes of fighting with this monster, Team Tuna Catchers (Brent, Sara, and Gonzalo) brought in a nice yellow fin Tuna. And yet for the second time the first day we have the guests we catch a big fish.


Sara asked us in her shopping list earlier to buy stuff for making sushi, like she knew we would catch one. So we made sushi for dinner. The sushi came out nicer than you would get in the average Japanese restaurants, and we were surprised how little tuna it is actually required to make a roll.


We are also celebrating Gonzie’s birthday today. Sara baked a cake (in Sydney) and brought decoration materials. She normally makes wonderful painted cakes for friends’ birthdays, so she covered the cake with aquamarine topping and painted our Empede on in with red colour and tuna fish in yellow.


Orpheus Island


The wind changed to SE and this gave us opportunity to move under sails without the engine. After lunch we anchored near Orpheus Island. The military boats are everywhere around the area, feels like we are in a war zone :).

We took a dinghy ride to the beach and climbed the hill in the island from which opened a nice 360 degrees view. 


Had tuna stakes for dinner with mango salsa sauce.


Hinchinbrook Island


By midday we arrived to Hinchinbrook Island. The easterly swell didn’t allow us to anchor in Zoe Bay (apparently there is a place there where you can sit in salt water and have fresh water from waterfall running on you). We anchored in Ramsay Bay near Agnes Island. We had tuna steaks for lunch again and went for a snorkel, which wasn’t too great as the visibility was very poor.

At sunset we went to the beach to deep-fry fish (coral trout and sweetlip) caught earlier by Gonzie and Brent.

At night we took the computer out to the deck, connected it to the speakers and watched a movie.

The night was beautiful with lots of stars in the sky. However, we were not completely protected from the swell here and the night was rolly, especially at high tide.


Goold Island


Today we anchored at Goold Island (north of Hinchinbrook) and took a dinghy ride to the beach. The water is murky and there are croc warning signs on the island.

This place is also known for dugongs (or also known as sea cows as they feed on sea grass). Dugongs are vulnerable species and are very rare, if you spot one you’re damn lucky. 

There used to be plenty of dugongs only half a century ago, but being very tasty and so easy to catch, they started to disappear very quickly and only when almost none left, they became protected species.



At lunch time we arrived at Port Hinchinbrook (Cardwell town), where Brent & Sara took a bus back to Townsville to catch a flight home. They could only get 3 days off work (plus the week-end).

Team Tuna Catchers

Sara making sushi

Sara made birthday cake for Gonzie

Brent cutting sushi

Sailing to Hinchinbrook Island


Cooking fish on the beach

Deep-fried fish is good!

Hinchinbrook Island in twighlight

Me, Brent & Sara at sunset near Goold Island

Hinchinbrook Island

Military boats are everywhere around the area

Port Hinchinbrook

Port Hinchinbrook (Cardwell)

Butterfly inside the boat

Sunset over Hinchinbrook Island

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