New plan, crew and friends

New plan, crew and friends

With the new plan in place and signed up for the Sail Indonesia Rally, I eagerly did the last preparations for the adventure. I had trouble with my freezer not coping with the hot weather for some time, what one won’t do for ice cream. I had a succession of freezer guys try to get it up to speed and had a good chap in Airlie Beach install yet another Dan Foss Compressor, model 50 air cooled. This seemed to help but the box has always been too big and does not hold the cold well. I did a reinsultation and box reduction in Cairns, lost some volume by adding 4” of aluminum faced insulation. It did seem to help quite a bit.

I also had my water maker rebuilt and new membrane installed. I am trying to get everything I can done while still in civilization and had thought I had is done- ya I know, it is never done- when my already disappointing North Star batteries completely failed so I will be getting new batteries in Darwin.

Boat as ready as can be I had a whirl wind of crew changes. One gal decided she could not live with my no smoking policy and switched to a more tolerating boat. Sib, who had crewed on the boat already and had wanted to stay for six months got a job and a fiancé and headed back to Brazil, I wish her the best.

So crewless I dove into to find that two people in Cairns had recently contacted me. A fine young man, Troy from Colorado and a brilliant gal from Calgary; both experienced travelers but new to boating joined Furthur for the trip to Darwin and possible the rally. I also picked up a professional mega yacht chef for the first leg, a South African lady named Ingrid who hopes to join us again in Indonesia.

While waiting in Cairns I heard from my old friends on Steve and Trish on Curious, one of my favorite couples from our Pacific crossing gang. They had just come from New Zealand and were headed to the rally. Also we met three other boats in the marina from the rally so it was a flotilla that left Cairns, good to be cruising with friends again.

The gals set to provisioning and as I got the boat fueled and we left the wonders of Cairns to head to the remote northern tip of Australia. As we had an early departure our first leg was a short on to Port Douglas. This is a small and very quaint tourist town with a wonderful marina and easy entrance. We sat out a blow for two days and really enjoyed the runs on the long sandy beach and the night life.

The weather was blustery and not predicted to improve so we took off in 25 knots of following seas, a good test for the new crew. As we got a late start we entered the first anchorage after dark in howling winds, not my idea of fun but it was a large wide open bay with no obstacles. We rode out a howling night and did a pre dawn departure for the short trip to Lizard Island. We reached the protection of the lee side of the island to find even more yachts headed to Darwin hold up in the anchorage. We decided to stay an extra day, do some diving and let the wind blow out, a decision that paid off well.

Lizard Island is a remote place with a very nice resort and some amazing history. Captain Cook in desperation to get out of the throngs of the Great Barrier Reef climbed the hill in the island and discovered the one large opening in the reef that provided his escape. Mrs. Watson, for whom the anchorage is named, was later driven off the island by Aboriginals—who probably had centuries of claim to the land—and no one lived there until the resort was built much later.

We left the second day, again pre dawn, and joined by two boats, Cope Out and Atlantis, headed north. The wait paid off as we did the next long leg in ten knots of following see and increasingly warm sun that 14 degrees of latitude will always bring.

We made good time with the following seas and a favorable current and anchored between the Flinders Island group. We met yet another Darwin bound boat but other than them there were no people on the islands, the remoteness of Northern Queensland was starting to be apparent. We had passed Cookstown where the last bit of dirt road fell ended and so did any human contact.

We found the historical rock carvings done by a British ship in 1899 and had a pleasant sunset party with the other boat’s crew. Up before dawn again and up in the Coral Sea Reef system for two more long days of solitude. I was amazed to get an internet connection at one of the remote anchorages, no people but cell connection, that is why I am posting this now, will ad pictures later.

1 thought on “New plan, crew and friends”

  1. Kenda Machorro


    I really enjoy following the Further on her journey. I feel like I get to know you and the crew on each leg. Looking forward to pictures in the future! Safe travels my friend. Happy 4th of July to you. Kenda Machorro

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