Even though we had to wait a few extra days for “The Beast” ( Maggie, our new dinghy) to arrive, Cairns kept us busy before we started sailing north. We took our time with things and didn’t mind the wait too much, we made sure we had plenty of time to lounge by the public lagoon and watch the backpackers wonder around. With a few last minute tasks, our spirits were high and we craved the taste of the ocean on our lips.We were ready to start sailing north.
Karin and I made a trip to the fruit and vegetable market that Sunday and loaded up bags overflowing with fresh goodness. Our shoulders were a little sore the next day from carrying those bags around in that hectic market and back to the boat. That next day we stopped off at the local brewing and distilling store… Hmm we had thought about our options and it seemed the cheapest idea was to buy our own still to brew our own liquor. It was a decent purchase but we figured it would pay for itself after the first 10 bottles. (We’ve already made 4 and have the 5th filtering as I type..) Turns out its not too difficult and we’re pretty excited about it! Our beer will be ready to drink in a few days too. Talk about being self sufficient, true sailors!
So with one shopping trolley full of liquor equipment and some non slip matt for the new dinghy, we managed to fill an extra three trolleys with food from the supermarket. With a full trolley each, we finally got back to the boat and organised all the food in the newly organised cupboards. It was a good feeling and we were ready. A quick last minute trip to the shore meant some new fins for me, some more non slip matt, a big bag full of milk chocolate and a kilo bag of jerky, the really important things ;). After checking the weather we were ready! We took the anchor up and started sailing north, leaving Cairns fading in the sunset.
After a really good and steady sail downwind, we arrived at Lizard Island at first light. I watched the sun come up and imagined him like a face, watching his forehead until too much of his brightness showed I had to squint and look away.
It was the morning of the 4th of the July! America Day!! So after we anchored I put on my American themed bikini and started making foccacia bread. By the time the others were up, we were all well dressed up and ready for an interesting day of drinking and being loud. The things that Americans do really well.. haha . We were unsure where to start but we thought bacon and eggs and gin and tonic’s was a good way to start. After a slight buzz and full belly by mid afternoon we decided to start on our boat tour video that is currently in progress (Keep an eye out). The sun was noticeably warmer than Cairns so we spent the rest of the day relaxing and eventually ended up on the beach for a sundowner with some other cruisers. After drinking even more goon on the beach things got a bit hazy but somehow, in true American fashion, Brady was able to grill up some delicious steaks! It was definitely a successful America day.
Feeling slightly hung over the next day we still got our walking shoes on and climbed to the summit, a really beautiful walk called Cooks Look. Captain Cook hiked up the rocky and steep terrain in 1770 to look for a pass out of the reef, hence the name. It was very beautiful; views all around and we could look down and see little Delos anchored in the crystal clear waters. We felt satisfied and pretty proud of ourselves for doing such activity while being hung over. We decided that was enough for the day and layzed around on the beach.
We spent another five days anchored at Lizard Island under grey and gloomy weather. It was pretty shit. It rained a bit and the wind was constantly blowing 30-35 knots. We took the opportunity and got some projects done while waiting out the bad weather. We managed to make a cover for the BBQ tank outside and Karin finished the new bow seat. Occasionally the sun would peak through the clouds and we got a chance to do some diving and snorkeling (giant clams!). We even ventured to shore and flew or 2.8 meter stunt kite. Unfortunately the 35 knot breeze was a bit to strong for our kite (ooops).
That Sunday we headed over to the Marlin Bar with a bunch of the other cruisers. It’s a decent sandy and open bar for the staff of the resort on the Island. It’s tucked away on one side of the beach and turns out it was the evening of the talent show. While our liquor was still brewing at this stage, we opted for a delicious bag of red wine and proceeded to fill up our empty cups after one purchase at the bar. Nobody seemed to notice and if they did, they didn’t mind. As the evening rolled on, the other cruisers headed back to their boats and the bar was now full with staff all in for a good time. The people were awesome, it was a good find and we were entertained with singing, guitar playing, fire poi dancing and some rapping. As the bar closed down, we continued the evening sitting on a new friend’s balcony drinking more red wine after a quick and sneaky stop at the staff kitchen for some supplies (!) Delos will never pay for sauces again.
-Unfortunately this was the only picture we got that night… But it shows a product of a good night out-
We found out the weather was going to stay the same for another week, so we decided to suck it up and head out, it was time. Delos did awesome in the 30-35 knot winds and we had another beautiful sail covering 210NM in just under 30 hours. We pulled into Margaret Bay, a nice little secluded anchorage which kept the swell out and the breeze cool. We did a huge load of laundry which was well overdue and hung it up to dry all over the deck. The boys distilled some more liquor while Karin and I did some drawing. A dinghy adventure to shore at low tide meant some oyster hunting. We brought a bucket back to the boat, unfortunately only four wanted to budge open so we sadly brought the rest back to the rocks. They were a good little appetizer before another delicious dinner which definitely involved couscous, our new favourite food staple we are adding to almost everything.
After hearing about the ‘blue trail’ from some other cruisers we met at Lizard Island, we decided to search for it, the only information given was that lots of blue washed up debris were tied up along the trail as markings to the other side of the Island. This trail has been used by the indigenous people for centuries and is now a “secret trail” used by cruisers. Sounding like something right up our alley, we took the dinghy along the shore until Brian spotted a blue rope hanging from one of the mangroves. A row of blue tinged wine bottles, a big blue crate and some worn out looking blue shoes marked the start of the trail into the bushy and muddy land. Turns out the shoes were a perfect fit for Brady so he put them on and decided it was fate that someone had left them there for him to wear instead of his jandals (kiwi for flip-flops). The trail meandered through mangroves and forest for about an hour, until we reached the windward side of the island where there was heaps of washed up debris. It was sad to see all this plastic rubbish pollute the otherwise pristine coast but in a way it was kind of cool that someone had decided to do something creative with it long ago and it has stuck ever since. So we all picked up a couple of blue looking things each and added it along the trail wherever we saw fit.
That evening, we picked up the anchor and set our sights on Cape York. We sailed through some pretty rough seas, 3 meter swells and gusts up to 40 knots. None of us got much sleep that night but at least we were going downwind making it a little more comfortable. I woke Brian up at about 6am as we were about to Jibe and turn to Port around the Cape, we looked around and then at each other, taking in the moment of reaching the Cape. It was official, we were at the top, now sailing West, it sort of felt like we had climbed a mountain. All salty and tired we dropped the anchor at Seisia bay and slept well into the after noon.
This place reminds of us a south pacific village. From the boat the shore looks long and sandy; a village not too far from the beach but when we went ashore, the dust was red, kangaroos jumped about during the day and the dinghos lurked at night.. Just kidding, I only wish it was like that, but the dirt is red alright!
We stayed there for a few nights until a good weather window came around for our sail across the Gulf of Carpenteria and into Darwin by the end of the month.