Friday, 28 September 2012



We were up at 6.15am to another glorious day and flat seas. The birds were "whooopping" and all seemed right with the world.

another glorious morning. SILVER MINX  just over LAST WORD'S railing.

We were making passage to Abel Point Marina, Airlie Beach  today, approx 27 NM , and had a booking at the fuel wharf at 11.00am, so we were allowing 3 hours for a leisurely passage.

Capt Barry discovered three garfish on he rear boarding platform that had jumped out of the water during the night , so he collected them for bait , and then cleaned the rear admiral's sweetlip caught the night before.

NO..... they did not land on the deck like that............Capt Barry placed them like that so the next size to jump out was on notice.

We said our goodbyes to those on SILVER MINX and lifted anchor at 8.00am and got under way.

We motored along at 1055 rpm doing 9.2 knts and using 37 l/h total, on an absolutely calm sea with picturesque islands sliding by, as if it was a fairy tale.

On route Capt Barry responded to an email from  Hastings Deering , the Cat engines agent in Qld, and organised to have further warranty work carried out on LAST WORD  the following day , ie they had finally discussed the engine oil quantities that should be in LAST WORD'S  engines with WesTrac ( the NSW,  Cat engine agent ) and decided there was too much oil in each engine,  and to drain the oil ( again ) and replace the oil filters with new filters and add the correct amount of oil,  insert new dip sticks and mark them "add'  and "full" etc, and to reposition the liver oil sample ports.

We rounded Pioneer Point, into Pioneer Bay , and were surprised to see the cruise liner,  Princess Dawn, at anchor just a few miles north of Abel Point Marina. Until then Capt Barry was certain LAST WORD  was the largest motor yacht in the Whitsundays, but had to concede to the rear admiral,  that the Princess Dawn might be a bit bigger. When pressed by the rear admiral on this point,  Capt Barry made one of those snap decisions, and ruled out going along side to see if Princess Dawn was longer than LAST WORD, as he did not want to miss LAST WORD'S  appointment at the fuel dock.

We arrived at Abel Point Marina right on time and fueled up  (940 L at a  discount ) and were allocated berth N03,  another 30 m berth.

After berthing stern in , Capt Barry decided to turn LAST WORD  around so he could  hang the anchor near ( but not over ) the marina arm, so he could better inspect, and disassemble, the anchor cradle/guide  for repairs (remembering that it bent when Capt Barry tried to loose the anchor when it became stuck  at Whitehaven Beach ).

Capt Barry had just disassembled the anchor guide when Christian Pleydell, from Whitsunday Electronics, arrived to deliver the spare Ericsson internet router (  Capt Barry had ordered several days earlier ) and to install a connecting  antennae cable, so the external and internal antennae  cables to the Quantel booster could be joined direct, without going through the booster , which was not working AGAIN.

After fixing the router, Christian drove the rear admiral and Capt Barry to one of the local fishing gear  supply business where we  purchased some rods, reels , a filleting knife,  gaff (with a longer handle) , crab pot, lures , fishing belt ( to anchor the base of the rod when reeling in a big fish ) and other miscellaneous gear.

The crew of LAST WORD intended to look like professional fisher people , even if we were not.

After procuring fishing supplies we then went shopping for groceries and grog, and did not get back to LAST WORD until 9.00pm, and then restocked the boat , watched a DVD and fell into bed at about 11.30pm.

Due to the frenetic activity of buying fishing gear and restocking LAST WORD, Capt Barry had to cancel plans to meet up with Capt Gary ( and Michelle )  McLeod later that evening. Once again, sorry Gary and Michelle.

Capt Barry was up at 6.30am to greet the Hastings Deering service fellow , and assist with the oil changes etc and after a suitable bribe of an excellent  fruit salad breakfast ( made by the rear admiral ) and a bottle of wine , Phil, the service fellow, made a call to Whitsunday Cruises and organised the  use of their workshop  press to  straighten  LAST WORD'S  bent anchor cradle/guide and chain retainer.

Whilst the engine oil change was going on, the rear admiral slipped out to  Airlie Beach shopping centre in search of  strawberries and passionfruit ( as there was none to be found last night at Coles at Cannonvale). Alas strawberries or passionfruit could be located anywhere  in the  Airlie Beach region.

After the engine service /oil change ,Capt Barry reassembled the repaired anchor guide and whilst doing so had a conversation with the Capt ( Capt Ed ) of the Spirit of  Sovereign who wandered by and  said he also got Spirit of Sovereign's anchor stuck at Whitehaven Beach (in sand/clay) and bent the shaft on the Ultra Anchor in the process of working it loose. Spirit of Sovereign  now uses an different brand and style of anchor.

Maybe Ultra anchors overachieve.....?

 At about 11.30 am Phil, the owner of Whitsunday Electronics,  arrived and delivered  our THIRD REPLACEMENT  BOOSTER  ( which Capt Barry decided not to install until we lost the signal),  and  LAST WORD finally left Abel Point marina at 12.30pm on the first leg of her passage to Hinchinbrook Island.

The first anchorage is off Passage Islet ( often called Shag Islet ) just off the mainland  Echo resort ( which is next to Monty's resort ) on Cape Gloucester , about 25 NM north of Airlie Beach.

27 NM in 3 hours using  109 L total .  averaging approx. 36 L/H  and 9 kts per hour.

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