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We finally made it to the Percy Group of Islands, yesterday morning after leaving the lovely Lady Musgrave some twenty two hours ago for the quick 182nm run north.
Before I get on to Middle Percy it is worth noting that the entrance to Lady Musgrave, whilst lovely, is not what one would call overly large. We estimate the width of the entrance at about 50ft and with Pendana’s beam at just under 20ft there was no room for error and every chance of coming to an unfortunate end with razor sharp coral sides just … waiting … Mark even made mention that indeed the entrance was a wee bit tricky, saying that while not as bad Marina Hemingway in Havana, Cuba, where he used to take his goliath, 164ft “Happy Days”, it certainly was not without challenge.
Once clear of the entrance and after a huge sigh of relief and a few cigarettes to calm the nerves we headed north to the Percy Islands in what can only be described as perfect weather conditions. Once underway and heading north we were greeted with calm seas and light winds which allowed us to just relax and soak it up! That being said, there were the whales to watch out for on their migration north and a few severe course changes were required to avoid these mammoths of the ocean as they swam on past.
On arrival yesterday morning to Middle Percy Island we were amazed; it is in a word, sensational and certainly a must-stop for all who find themselves in this area! First charted by Matthew Flinders, and named after the Duke of Northumberland, Middle Percy is the quintessential tropical island. Palm trees (complete with coconuts) white sand, crystal clear blue water, butterflies, starfish, seals and dolphins to boot.
Pendana arrives at Middle Percy Island
Middle Percy was the last remaining leasehold islands off the Queensland coast. However, this is no longer the case with a Queensland government department now managing the island and ensuring it is kept in its pristine state. The island, thankfully, is still bound to a tradition of providing fresh water and supplies to passing seafarers. Past leaseholders have always helped mariners in trouble and assisted with emergency repairs over the many years and as such seafarers feel a real sense of home when stepping ashore.
The Percy Group of Islands above which are part of the Northumberland Group of Islands.
Middle Percy also holds the tradition where seafarers young and old leave memorabilia from their boats under an old rustic A-Frame set just back from the beach. It is absolutely incredible to look at the variety of items left over the years by visitors to Middle Percy, anything from messages in bottles, oars, clothing, barometres, flags, life buoys, engravings on wood, and more, abound with vessel and crew names and years of those lucky enough to have spent time on this lovely island. We did hear talk of a prosthetic limb but were unable to find such an item among the plethora of goods on display – although that is not to say it wasn’t there and we challenge anyone else to find it!
The A-Frame at Middle Percy Island.
Pendana resting at Middle Percy.
More Middle Percy.
Last night we set off from Middle Percy and set course for the Whitsunday Group of Islands approximately 160 nm north. Having just arrived some fifteen hours later in what were again the most wonderful sea conditions we are now anchored up in Cid Harbour on the island of Whitsunday, which lies south of Hook and Hayman Islands in the Whitsunday Group of Islands. It’s a beautiful day with clear blue skies, 24C (77F), 10 knts wind from south east, that stunning turquoise blue water that the Whitsundays are famous for and and lunch beckons.
View from Pilothouse anchored in Cid Harbour.
That’s all for now.