Sailing,  Travels

A Little Bit of Hexham in My Life, A Little Bit of Percy By My Side | Let’s Go Sailing!

After a week of waiting for wind in Island Head Creek, two very well-fed sailors were itching to head off. We sat tight for a big southerly blow then took our chances on the tail end to shoot off towards Hexham Island.

Adios mainland! Muchas gracias for the many fish.

The southerly winds had brought in a thick layer of smoke so asphyxiation just gave us another reason to set off! The passage had an eerie start. There was meant to be at least 20 knots of wind that day but we had a very mild and smokey beginning. The conditions had us lulled into a false sense of security… Perhaps we got too comfortable cruising along……

Sure enough, in came the wind! It is so amazing to watch such a calm sea state build up in a matter of minutes right before your eyes. Actually.. I say amazing, but what I really mean is bloody intimidating! Luckily we were able to reef our sails before things got too hectic.

30 knots and 3-4 metre seas wasn’t what we signed up for!

I guess the 3-4 metre seas aren’t really that big for a seasoned cruiser. But it had been the biggest we had seen thus far and they were steep waves close enough together to make it feel like a washing machine.

Oh my gosh was Hexham Island a welcoming sight!

As knackered as we were from the day of sailing it was an unreal feeling to be anchored at such an untouched island. I think that is what made the whole day a little more intense. The conditions were the roughest we had been in and we were in pretty remote country.

No phone reception, just us, our VHF radio and the big blue.

There was another yacht anchored for the night, but after dawn we had the whole island to ourselves!

We hadn’t even gone ashore yet and could tell it was a magical place.

It was still a bit windy the next day but we wasted no time before going into the beach.

Oh my gosh.

We could see it was beautiful from the boat… but setting foot on a beach you know hasn’t been touched by many others is just awesome.

We spent the morning doing what any sane person would do…. fishing, swimming, rock climbing, beach exploring and lazing the day away.

I wonder if we could live here……

I think it was actually impossible to take a bad photo of the place. And when we thought it couldn’t get any better, the captain caught us lunch right off the back of the boat. Amazing!

I think we made a mistake and left this little slice of paradise a bit too soon… Guess we will just have to come back again! The much anticipated Percy Isles were calling our name and we had some good sailing wind!

Anchors away!

We shot over to South Percy Island in no time at all. The exposed side of the island had a roaring current against wind that we chose to steer clear of. This meant taking the scenic route around to find a protected anchorage.

Good things come to those who wait… Isn’t that what they say?

I think every Queensland cruiser has a story about the Percy Islands. Even after the stories, we really didn’t know what to expect. Of the two major islands, Middle Percy is where most of the action is but we were keen to see what the southern island had in store.

I think it safe to say it was NOTHING like we expected.

The southern island is what cops most of the weather so the landscape was absolutely insane!

Standing on the cliffs looking out to the pacific you could feel why it was so barren. I can’t even imagine the extremes of weather this side of the island endures.

I had never seen anywhere quite like it. Barren, red, rocky sections that looked like you could have been on Mars. Green forest-like areas surrounding sand dunes. All contrasted against gorgeous blue water. I couldn’t keep my jaw shut. It was so damn cool!

And now for the reality check…

What you can’t see in these pictures…. were the little black devils that stuck to us like glue. THE FLYS! They were soooo thick! I swear it wasn’t just us…. we showered sometimes… well enough to keep flies off I’m sure!

So our little hike was short lived. We climbed, we saw, we snapped some piccies then got the hell out of there!

South Percy was pretty spectacular to look at but we were heading over to Middle Island the next day for some more exploring. Stay tuned for when we visit the infamous A-frame, meet the locals, eat some coconuts, trek over the island and leave our little mark on this popular cruising spot.

Until next time.


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