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Published: October 17th 2013
Wednesday we were all set to leave Cairns with a perfect 10-15 knots from the south east predicted. It was a damp morning but the light SE breeze was there as we lifted anchor and headed up to Marlin Marina fuel wharf to top up the tanks. We arrived early so topped up the water tanks too and moved again to the one fuel line when the pilot boat that had just filled up moved on.
Apparently the marina is state run and for this reason they charge a mooring fee when you tie up to collect fuel! This is unusual and pretty unfair if you're already paying them for a marina berth at the same time. Also unusual is that the fuel comes from a private company and they do not add on the road tax and add the usual 20% that most marinas charge for fuel above roadside bowsers, so ends up being cheaper than the usual service stations - even with the mooring charge which was only about $5.
With an extra 140 litres in the belly we headed out to the inlet to find then wind had changed to northeasterly so was right on the
Leaving Trinity Inlet
as a procession of warships pass
nose! We anchored back in the unsettling "skating rink" which was especially unpleasant with tide against wind to wait it out. The previous day the northerly had gone by noon so we hoped the same would happen.
Had morning tea followed by lunch and bobbed around until 2:30 pm. Watched some dinghies sailing nearby and then a big tanker sounding it horn several times as one of the dinghies wasn't moving out of its path. The tanker showed no sign of slowing down but fortunately the dinghy was dragged to one side by the rescue boat. Some medium sized sailboats were also having a race.
It was at around this time I realised the wind direction would have been OK for our further destination once we were out of the inlet but by now it was too late.
We decided to head back up the inlet to where we had anchored the night before as the wind showed no sign of dropping off and would be uncomfortable in the planned nearer destination of Double Island. As we motored up the waterway I noticed the racing boats sails were closer hauled than expected.... the wind had just changed
to the expected southeaster! Thought about turning around but were not sure we would get there before dark so dropped anchor in the same spot, probably aggravating the racing yachts as we were right next to one of the buoys they were using as a marker to turn around. This did however have the advantage of putting us right in the middle to watch the racing boats skim by.
That evening it rained... much to Naomi's excitement... and overnight lightly too. So Thursday morning's predicted weather was bright skies with southeasterly winds. It was wet with light showers and light winds from the south west. There was a surprising amount of waves from the east, so we had a lumpy sail away from Cairns for about an hour before the winds dropped out and we motored over to the west side of Double Island. Passed a massive cruise ship "Radiance of the Sea" that had reef boats running backwards and forwards from the Yorkeys Knob marina - I assume to run passengers ashore.
We anchored alone off the pretty palm tree lined resort beach of this private Island - keeping clear of the moorings and reefs at the edges. A swell worked its way around the north of the island which has had us rolling. We are right next to the mainland here too and can see cars traveling the coast road up to Port Douglas.
After lunch read some magazines, had a nap, then afternoon tea, and now the cloudy sky is darkening around us and the two other boats that have joined us. On land there are lights on the road, a few houses and the nearby pier, and further back coming from Cairns. On the horizon the cruise ship shines like a glimmering Christmas decoration.
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