Day 9 Gladstone – Townsville

Asimina jumping from the ship

Latitude; 20°17.4’S

Longitude; 149°03.2 E

Distance run in the last 3.5hrs; 36.7NM

Average speed; 10.4KN

After our long walk most of us soak in the sunshine for a couple of hours and lie in the sand to rest our weary legs. After midday you can really feel the intense heat, so some of the crew go for a swim to cool off. The rescue boat starts rallying people back to the boat at 1400, as it is going to take some time to get everyone back onboard. Once everyone is back it is time
to have a swim off the ship. Everyone lines up along the channels and then as Dirk shouts to indicate it is safe, everyone starts jumping in, it doesn’t take long for the decks to clear.

Mizzen watch start to heave up the anchor at 1640, as the plan is to spend the night at Whitehaven.  We head south and go through Hunt channel, then as the daylight fades we start
progressing through the very narrow Fitzalan channel and then through Solway passage. Both Fitzalan channel and Solway passage have very strong tides running through them, it is hard to navigate and keep course in the day light and so to go through in the dark it takes a great deal of concentration and good ship handling.

You could hear the roar of the eddies and whirlpools running either side of the ship all officers are on deck with our local knowledge Mark our engineer ensuring we are on course… was an intense 2 hours at the helm.

Panoramic view from Whitsunday peak

The anchor is dropped at 2010 and then we resume the anchor watches. There are several yachts anchored in the Bay as it is quite a popular tourist destination. At 2300 Darbey notices that one of the yachts nearby has entered what we call our exclusion zone. Our exclusion zone is 1/10 of a mile, which is the area in which Endeavour could swing around in with the amount of cable we have out. This can occur if the wind or current direction changes. After notifying Captain Ross, Ross advices to keep a watchful eye on it but it could be due to the fact that all the yachts seem to be swinging around quite a bit in the anchorage. 30 minutes pass and the yacht has got even closer to us so which means that the yacht is dragging off its anchor and slowly drifting towards us. John, Sarah, Nat and Ross lower the safety boat to the water and Mischa and Ally go to wake the crew of the yacht to make them aware they are drifting. Ally and Mischa give the yacht a hand to heave up their anchor and go to a safer distance anchorage.

For the first time of this voyage we awake to grey and overcast skies, but we still make the most of the beautiful beach with a game of cricket in the rain.

Cook named the Whitsundays as he arrived here on the day that the church commemorates the festival Whitsunday. A lot of the surrounding Islands were also named after people known to Cook such as; Cape Palmerston (Henry Viscount Palmerston was a lord of the Admiralty, 1766 to 1778,) Cape Hillsborough (Earl of Hillsborough was the first Secretary of State for the
colonies, and president of the board of trade when Endeavour sailed) and Cape Conway (General H.S. Conway was secretary of state 1765 to 1768.)

All’s well

Victoria and the local wildlife


2 thoughts on “Day 9 Gladstone – Townsville

  1. Yep, I can see Ally, cutlass between teeth, leading a boarding party.
    See you in T/ville.
    Cheers. Bob

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