Catchup Instalment 2 Goldsmith, Thomas and Shaw Islands 14th September to 19th September 2021

To ensure a hearty start to the day we enjoyed a tropical fruit salad including tamarillos, bananas, kiwifruit, and strawberries and Greek yoghurt (made in the Yo-mix kit).

We allowed the wind to determine whether we’d go to Goldsmith or Scawfell and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, nor any wind!    However, once we were past Slade Point, we were able to hoist sails and give Grumble a rest and spied other vessels heading both northbound and south. 

Goldsmith Island

As is often the case, during mid-morning, Huey took a break, so a bit of motor assisted sailing for a short time until the south easterly finally arrived, allowing us to pass Brampton and Carlisle on our starboard and eventually against the tidal flow, to slowly slip between Goldsmith and Linne Islands and anchor at 3pm and enjoy watching the romantic dugongs at play.

The next few days at Goldsmith were delightful watching the mother dugong who safely tucked her baby in close to the rocky shore each day, while she ventured around our boat and further to feed on the seagrass bed.  Geoff also spotted a shark fishing the area and we hoped our favourite dugongs were safely out of reach.  A trip ashore and a swim was a welcome treat.  As usual we scout for rubbish and broken glass to take with us to our next port, and shells for me to collect.  Almost no rubbish here which is a lovely surprise, and we spied a beautiful yellow bird that was totally unafraid. 

Thomas Island

Restless nights and broken sleep seem to be a recipe for all imaginings and worries, thus leading to heightened anxiety for Geoff. He battles these fears and blames himself citing a lack of experience. It is a learning curve certainly, and while I try to reassure him that learning by doing is what works for many sailors, it is concerning that he feels it is his shortcoming. Geoff is very accomplished, excels at rising to challenges and his attention to detail make him a very quick learner. I’m quite saddened that he sells himself so short. He hadn’t expected quite as much work to be done on this boat and as more issues emerge at different intervals, spikes the rising anxieties and dulls his enjoyment of this experience. It also means he overthinks at times and I understand that all too well, but in a different context.

Departing Goldsmith earlier than planned because of forecast high winds, we ended up motor sailing to Thomas Island and anchored with 3 other vessels off this small beach, just east of Fairlight Rock.  Geoff launched Grum and we took a spin around the 3 beaches planning for a day ashore tomorrow. All the other vessels left and we were alone for a short period until “Final Fling” – a catamaran arrived in the late afternoon.

Geoff is not well and although I blamed the eggs I cooked the day before, it is more likely again his anxiety. He wakes too early and is left alone to think too much, worrying about possible problems and trying to come up with contingency plans. The fridge is sucking too much power, and after our experience at Hexham Island, it is apparent that Geoff is fearful of potential anchor foul or drag. Feeling under the weather is never pleasant especially on a boat, so I encouraged him to catchup on some sleep and rest and I read or spent time in the galley. Our night was a bit rolly on the high tide but comfortable enough for us and protected from the E/SE winds.

As the forecast predicts strong winds for Monday night, we needed to find safe anchorage from the NW.

We left a bit too early to enjoy the late breeze for sailing, so we motored to Shaw Island and once we anchored, we were well sheltered from the windy conditions that followed. 

A famous vessel from Moreton Bay was spied at anchor – “Rous Explorer” has been sighted by us in Rosslyn Bay, and now Shaw Island.

We were alerted to a medi-vac operation that was imminent – someone was unlucky enough to catch a stingray barb and was helicoptered from the island.  A very quiet anchorage here tonight.

The plan for tomorrow’s safe anchorage is Turtle Bay on the south eastern end of Whitsunday Island.


  1. Good to hear you are getting some sailing in. Grumble, good choice of name. I like that. As to boat projects, these are what keep you mind alive. You could be mowing grass, digging gardens, mending fences, repairing roofs,,,and,. Keep smiling. I think that Nutshell is in your area. Keep an eye out for Magnus and Wendy. They are surely good for a few beers.


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