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Sailng on Windwanderer.
10th Jul 2014
Thursday 10th July 2014

Thursday 10th July 2014

Banjo land here we are.

Man what a day, we are anchored, I'd like to say safely anchored, but am not real sure at all, in Cooktown.
This is the last place to provision for at least two weeks, and am I going to provision?
NO, this place sucks, the area is seedy and the locals are all playing banjos and there is no way I'm getting off this vessel of ours to let the locals take it over.

Seriously what is with Australia lately we go from Ukelele playing to now Banjo land.
I guess that's not fair We really enjoyed the Ukelele thingy, well kinda, at least it was entertaining. 

Let me go back to yesterday, when all was right in the world, and we were feeling like the two most luckiest people in the world.

With no wind once again we sailed into a little place called Hope Islands.
What a pretty place although it was quite hairy getting in there with so much coral around, but we made it fine and picked up a marine buoy.
These buoy's are dotted around here and there and it's always nice to see a free one, it's so easier than anchoring.
We were just off what they call a coral cays, and we had the whole place to ourselves, our own little deserted island.

Talk about a pretty place we dropped the dingy and went to shore for a walk around, there is something so special when you are the only ones around with the water so clear you can see all the Coral and fish even in meters and meters of water.

We had a cocktail on deck and just took it all in.
In the morning I decided to do stone much needed laundry, and have a quick fish.

The Captain even got in on the game and we both fished, we ended up catching four in around 20 minutes with only keeping two to eat.
The first one I caught was a Sharksucker, I had no idea what it was, it actually looked like a small shark, but google to the rescue, when we got here to banjo land told us what it was.
Am glad we did not keep it, as we never know which are ok to eat or not, so any thing that looks a bit strange goes back over.
But we had to leave to get to Cooktown, it was only four hours away and we wanted to get there in time to grocery shop.

So the usual tide checks water depths, weather checks, all looking ok off we go.
I had all my washing out on deck hoping the wind that was suppose to blow would dry it. Guess what? No wind, we just motored all the way, we didn't even bother putting the sails out.

So we get to the harbour entrance and start looking for the Buoys red and green that will show us the correct path to take.
There is two way off coarse to what the chart platter is saying and then one lonely little green with no red in sight.
The way you get into and out of places is by following these Buoys.
So we decide to go for the red and green as often the sand banks move so we thought that was why they were so far off track.
Well our decision was the wrong one, we were heading to it when bam, we ran aground, far out here we go again.

We eventually get off that sand bank, radio the coast guard and they say, oh yeah those ones are in the wrong position, are they kidding us, how stupid is that, having two leading markers in the wrong spot, as you can imagine The Captain was not such a happy chappy about this at all, yeah there was a lot of pirate language going on.

So we are told just to head to the yellow markers, that's where the deep water is, and yeap bam again right on another sand bank.
There was a dredger near by and one of their  guys comes over in his boat and says just go to the right some more and than you are in plenty of deep water.
So we eventually get moving again take the guys advise and bam straight on another sandbank.
I won't even mention how The Captain was feeling at this moment.
To make matters worse there was a boat pulling in a fishing trawler, and bearing down on us real quick.
We were stuck dead smack in the channel, they actually had to push the dredger over so they could get past.
After what felt like hours we eventually got off that sand bank dodging the dredger by a few feet and make our way in, we are looking at good old Lucas"s book and he tells us where to anchor. Apparently he has no idea what he is on about, we go to the spot and bam onto yet another sand bank.

By this time I am in tears and way beyond any sane reasoning all I wanted was to get off the sandbank turn around and get the hell out of there.
But the worse was yet to come, the trawler that passed us going in, well they decided to get two small boats one to pull and one to push them into a better position, all was fine until the boat pushing lost it's  engine and the boat In front had not enough power to control it, and it come bearing down on us at an alarming rate, I was so stressed. I actually could not watch and dived down the stairs but just could not help myself and came back up pretty quick.

They eventually get an anchor out on the trawler, and stop it but not before the guy onboard has a mental break down and went off his head at us, as if we could do anything about it, we were stuck hard.

Now things got a bit hard we were very close to shore, had a yacht off our back corner and a trawler stopping us going the other way.
We radio Coast Guard again they were hopeless, but eventually the tide came in and we  started to float we back up just miss the yacht behind us by inches skim past the trawler, give the jerk a death stare, and made it back into the main channel, and here we are anchored in the only deep area here which is lucky to be 4meters, and tomorrow on high tide which is first light thank god we can get out of here.

Well tomorrow is another day.



Next: Friday 11th July 2014
Previous: Wednesday 9th July 2014


Diary Photos
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A Croc?

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Wind Wanderer in the sunset.

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Birds on Hope Island.

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