Wednesday, 7 August 2013
Wednesday 31st July
An early run ashore on South Percy where we met up with Alan and Michele Larkin off the eye catching Schionning 15 Catamaran named ”Attitude” which had arrived just on dusk the night before. This triple spreader rigged cat with reverse rake bows did the Louisiades Rally two years ago. A number of these cats with lightweight fit out (6 tonne) are doing well in overseas regattas. Attitude has a full cruising fit out (9 tonne) but is still a very quick cat.
After our walk we had a leisurely sail under headsail to West Bay on Middle Percy, 10 miles to the North West. This famous anchorage is a “must stop” for most cruising yachts with most leaving some memento of their visit in the large A frame shed. There would be literally thousands of boat plaques here; anything from a signed thong to ornately carved timber boards
Our previous boat "Malew of Man" put there by the previous owners in the late 1980's
A bit hard to read but this typed linen plaque was done by past members John and Audrey Garwood in 1984 Some senior members will remember them well.
Apart from a walk over to the lagoon at low tide we spent a quiet day on board reading and fishing with a run ashore at 4.30 for the mandatory sundowners and BBQ with the other cruisers from the 4 cats anchored in the bay.
We ended up staying two nights and after a half day walk to the homestead enjoyed the company of Ernest "The goat man" at the BBQ on the second night . He spent some time telling us about the islands history. He lives full time on the island and is famous for his wild goat currys.
Tuesday 30th July
South Percy Island is not on most cruisers radar as an anchorage, most preferring to head straight to Middle Percy and we therefore had the island anchorage to ourselves and “Entice”. There are many rocky bays and coral shelves around the Island which don’t encourage anchoring. However there is a small deep anchorage on a sandy beach on the N East corner where we spent two nights.
A very interesting walk on the island to the Southern side revealed steep cliffs and when scrambling down one cleft we found a small entrance which opened up into a very large cave about 100 metres long but only a couple of metres wide which we spent some time exploring.
looking into the teeth of the trade winds
Further along the shore were a number of rocky inlets with much debris washed up. We were intrigued by the number of thongs….. Boat people?? and old fishing ropes and nets.
Monday 29th July
An early morning dog run then it was time to move on from Great Keppel Island, once again in loose company with the cat Entice.
The original plan was to head for Cheviot Island but the anchorage was not useable in the boisterous conditions. For the first part of the day we had a pleasant 15 knot wind from astern which slowly built to the forecast 25 to 30 knots and a steep short sea once the tide turned. The war games were interesting with a big USA hovercraft coming out from the shore and sliding into the back door of an aircraft carrier. (as there was an exclusion zone of 3 miles we called the carrier for his course and speed and he responded! , 3 knots 155 degrees).We ended up sailing to South Percy arriving at 1900. Greg arrived about an hour before us and his lights guided us into the anchorage. A wet, windy night followed