After reading all the guides, we decided that waiting out the gale in Curlew was safe enough, plus we would save money avoiding sitting in Mackay Harbour. We were a little sad when Curlew emptied out as everyone headed for Mackay and we were the only boat in the bay – had we made the right decision?
Now too late to change our mind, we anchored in 3m of water as close to the bay as we could get, let out 55m of chain, dug our anchor in well, attached a heavy duty snubber, tied everything down, doubled the tender lines, set the anchor alarm and settled down to enjoy the ride.
And it blew! The worst of it lasted for 2 days… 2 long days. While we were safe it was scary stepping out of the cockpit and feeling the full force of the wind hit you. While we don’t have an anemometer on board we guess it was about 40knots (about 80km/hr).
We were grateful for the radio calls from “Easy Rider” who had stayed behind at Middle Percy being a catamaran and able to enter the shallow harbour. No doubt our conversations over the repeater channel 81 provided some humour for other boats waiting out the weather – particularly the discussion of Theo our cat who decided at 2am in the height of the gale to throw up in my face while I was sleeping! A memory I’m still trying to erase.
Only a little damage was sustained, with the nose cone and paint being blown off our wind generator and our dinghy cover getting torn. On the bright side, before the wind hit we made the most of the rain and gave Thyme it’s first fresh water wash in a long time. The sun eventually came out for some exploring before we headed further north.