Jun 98 Updates

June 1, 1998

We left Townsville yesterday at 4:00 pm en route to Dunk Island. Spent longer in Townsville than anticipated and could not dive the Yongala due to poor conditions.  Are bypassing (as we speak) Palm Island to make up for some lost time and expect to be in Dunk at day break.
Current conditions: 20-25 knots true just off the stbd qtr.  Bt spd 6-7 kts. COG 330 degrees. 6-8 ft seas making for a rolly ride. Main only w/2 reefs (jib will not hold), which is OK because we don't want to hit dunk in the dark.
Position:  Lat 18.41.56 S  Lon 146.43.89 E

June 2, 1998

Beautiful sailing on the way to Cairns!  Not much of a swell and the boat is gliding along effortlessly at between 8 and 9 knots. Should be in Cairns in about 7 or 8 hours if the wind holds.

Did some exploring at Dunk Island. It is a lush rain forest type island with a beautiful beach ringing the island.  We also had a chance to play a few games of pool and darts at a small pub not far from the beach.  Left Brammo Bay about 2 hours ago after the morning dose of Alex’s special coffee/go-go juice.

June 5, 1998

Getting ready to leave Cairns and push North towards Port Douglas. Be sure to read Bill’s POV, or as he calls it “Officially Speaking”.  Bill looks back on the trip across the Pacific from Bora Bora to Australia.

June 8, 1998

The best laid plans... We’re still in Cairns even though we thought we were going to be leaving. Miranda took a job on a crewed yacht that will be traveling to Indonesia and then up the Red Sea to the Med. Alex wanted to spend a little more time with Miranda, so he’s flying back to Thursday Island before Miranda takes off.

The itinerary has changed a bit as we will now wait for Alex to return to the boat on Thursday, June 11th.  Then, a sail to Lizard Island and then on to Cape York.

June 11, 1998

Yup, you guessed it, still in Cairns.  The weather is not cooperating and to top things off, our scanner quit.  So, the updated photos for the site will be a bit delayed. Sorry. But on a brighter note, we’ve rewritten some of the journals that the hard drive ate when it crashed.  Check out the Marquesas Land Adventures and Tuamotus journals. Coming later tonight/tomorrow, the Fiji and Vanuatu journals.

June 14, 1998

Pretty hairy passage at this moment. We’re just about to pass through a small channel that cuts through Endeavor Reef. This is the same place where, in the 1700’s, the greatest captain of all time lost his ship as it hit the reef and sank.  Captain Cook’s ship, Endeavor, sank after he thought that they were headed away from one reef but hit another.  Only about one half mile clearance off port and starboard for about 1/8 of a mile in the middle of the night.

In other news, we’ll be adding a crew member in Darwin on July 1st.  Meet Mark Vernon.  He saw the web site and we started exchanging Email.  We’re glad to have him join us from Darwin across the Indian Ocean to Mauritius. Check out his company on the web, VTC Inc.

We’ve been asked by a good number of people over the course of our journey if we have any boat T-shirts available. We had some handmade in the Galapagos, but only a few left. If there’s enough interest, we’ll get some new ones made and offer them to anyone that would like one.  Send a quick email to Jeff at jeff@outofbounds.com if you might like one so we can get a feel for how many to make up.


Jon Henjum, a graphic designer, sent us this cool logo.  We’ll be looking to add some of his graphics to the site in the future.  Thanks, Jon!

June 16, 1998

We arrived at Lizard Island and anchored in Watson’s Bay.  This has to be one of the most beautiful islands we’ve seen since Bora Bora in French Polynesia. Crystal clear water, great snorkeling, and incredible landscapes.  Today, we’re going to do some hiking and explore about the island.  Our first stop will be the top of the mountain that Captain Cook used to chart his way out of the reefs. 

Seems that Cook’s ship, Endeavor, didn’t actually sink when it hit the reef, but got stuck pretty well. After tossing over a good amount of the ship’s supplies and cannons, he was able to pull her off and continue. To map out his route, he tromped to the top of Lizard Island. From his vantage point, he was able to see the different reefs and plot his exit from the area.

We’ll stay here for another night and then head the last 330 miles or so to the Northern most tip of Australia, Cape York. Should take us about two or three days.  After a brief stop and perhaps a tour of some of the Aboriginal lands, we’ll head to Thursday Island. After provisioning, we’ll make a dash for Darwin, about 900 miles and around 7 days away.

During the next two weeks, we won’t have the cellular coverage we’ve had along the prior sections of the trip up the coast. We’ll be using our high frequency single sideband radio patched through Sydney Radio for the RealAudio updates.  Propagation (radio interference) may or may not be a factor, but we’ll give it our best shot. The good news is that we’ll be installing a SSB Email system in Darwin and should be able to update everyone while we’re sailing across the Indian Ocean. Mark Vernon, our new crew member, will be bringing along a digital video camera, so we should get some new video to post. Our trusty Ricoh 8 mm has finally bitten the dust (unless you like fuzzy video).

June 23, 1998

We made Thursday Island early this morning after passing by the tip of Cape York.  About a three day sail all in.  Have to get some sleep and then we’ll update with more details.

June 24, 1998

You know those days when you’re just too tired to do anything? Well yesterday was one of those days. Sorry about the pathetically short update. We got to Thursday Island after a very lumpy passage and we all didn’t sleep that much.  Poor Lucy, slipping and sliding across the cabin floor!  She finally wedged herself in tight by the salon table and didn’t move...at all.

One high point, Alex thought he saw a salt water crocodile when we were closer in to shore. Plenty of dolphins and little islands up this way. The shallow water and coral heads try the nerves sometimes.  Our charts were all in huge scale.  It’s a tiny passage to get into Thursday Island through this one channel. Tons of shipping as it’s the main route through from the Coral Sea to the Indian Ocean.  Some big freighters choose to go all the down under Australia and back up to miss these narrow straights, we’ve been told.

We’re going to reprovision here for the 6 to 8 day passage to Darwin.  We’ll be meeting up with Jamie Noble (visiting) and Mark Vernon (new crew) when we get to Darwin. We’ll try for one more update before we shove off. See the update from the 16th of June to read about how we’ll be updating the site for the next 10 days or so.

June 28, 1998

Note:  I talked to the crew over a very garbled SSB link through Sydney Radio. All is well and they are about 2 days and 300 miles or so from Darwin.

Mark Vernon has just left California on his way to join the crew.  He should meet up with them around July 1st.  Jamie Noble leaves from New York this Monday.

Should be more of an update when the crew gets to Darwin and can access a reliable Internet connection.  Stay tuned!

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