The guide books (Alan Lucas) recommend the Percy Isles as a stopover on the passage to the Whitsundays and I reckoned it was sensible to go with Alan’s recommendations for my first passage up the coast. The Percy Isles certainly exceeded all our expectations!
We arrived at South Percy Island at midnight after a long day of trade wind sailing under spinnaker we eased into our anchorage for a peaceful night.
The following morning, in deference to the late night, I enjoyed a quiet morning on deck with coffee and my “Ouma” rusks while the crew slept peacefully. At about 9AM we set sail for Middle Percy Island and anchored West Bay for the day.
We spent a delightful day at Middle Percy. After cleaning the boat (great crew!) Sarah swam out to the beach while George and Vicky paddled out. They spent a lovely morning exploring the island and the shed on the beach (the “Hilton”!)that has the greatest collection of artifacts left by yachties over the years.
I, meanwhile, set about doing some essential repairs.
First on the list was the alternator… While it was still charging, more or less, it wouldn’t get over 12.6 Volts, and I suspected the engine electrical panel and alternator warning light/field circuit. When that checked out okay, I stuck my head into the engine room where the fault was immediately obvious: the earth wire to the alternator had broken off! This was easily fixed by crimping a new lug on the wire and. voila she was charging at 14 volts or better again!
My second task was to re-splice the anchor chain to rope connection. This had started to fray after a couple of trips through the windlass gypsy. Now it got jammed in the windlass every time and I was also worried about the strength of the splice. I soon had that spliced and was well chuffed with the appreciative comments from the crew!
Later that night, after a lovely beach barbeque, the crew took a (surplus to reqs) danbuoy back to the shed suitably inscribed it and left our token.
The crew decided that preparing food on dry land was a good idea and a barbeque was soon planned. While we swam and fished Sarah put everything together. George and Vicky were on the beach already, collecting firewood, and Sarah ferried me to the beach at sunset.
Having a barbeque on the beach was a lovely change of pace. We were treated to a stunning sunset, the food was great and the three trips back to the boat in the dinghy felt like just the right way to end the evening.