There is a short cut in North Queensland
Oz that when ot works saves you 50 miles and when it doesn't it leaves you high and dry in a crocodile and sand fly infected mangrove. Curits Island is a large triangular shaped island with the point poking towrds the coast. Gladstone the largest town is on one side of the point and 20 miles on the other is the town of Rockhapmton & the bottom of the Whitsundays. Unfortunatlely the creek was silted up. In the depression and the legiosn og unemployed were used to dig it out - FUN JOB.
Coastal steamers used the passage
that flowed through the mangroves as a short cut rather than going down the long sides and base of the triangle. Unfortunately since the 30's it has silted up and in one section it dries 2.5 m at low tide. If you pick your tide right you can roller coaster through the passage
at speed as the tide flows at about 5 kts through a narrow mangrove lined passage. If you don't you are stuck. We had a number of good runs but dried out once.
We put out the anchor
- I set it myself in the mud & gravel bottom and tok the dogs
for a walk. It was interesting to see the furrows drilled by other sailors who missed the sighting triangles. In 1979 when I first did the transit the sights were actually tins cans on sticks.
Unfortuantely when the tide returns it does so with a rush. The wind
was howling through the mangroves from abeam at about 30 kts. The anchor
chian was too long and the baot proceeded to grind its way side ways on the daggers across the gravel and looked like it would be pushed into a high bank on the other side of the narrow channel.
Lesson learnt in that situation with the wind
abeam I would loop a line around a sturdy tree off the stern windward hull
to make sure that we stayed where we were till the boat was well and truly afloat.