Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Relaxing at Bowling Green

Our next stop was the anchorage at Cape Bowling Green so we headed off in E-NE 10-15kts at 0715 and saw our first whale at 0730. What a great start to the morning.

National Parks state on their website that Cape Bowling Green lighthouse was built in 1874 to assist vessels passing through the Great Barrier Reef inner route. Cape Bowling Green is a low sandy spit 70km south of Townsville where many ships had run aground. The lighthouse has since been dismantled (1987) and has been re-erected at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

Aerial photo of Cape Bowling Green courtesy of SLSA

One ship that wasn't saved by the lighthouse was SS Yongala. The Queensland Tourism site states that the wreck of the SS Yongala off Cape Bowling green near Townsville is one of the best wreck dive sites on the Great Barrier Reef. The passenger ship sank in 1911 after becoming trapped in a cyclone while on its way from Melbourne to Cairns. The ship lay undiscovered for more than half a century until it was found in 1958 by two skindivers. At 110 metres long she is one of the largest, most intact historic shipwrecks and has become an artificial reef housing a diversity of marine life that includes eagle rays, turtles, giant gropers, schooling barracuda and sea snakes. In the last few years the wreck became infamous for the murder of an American woman by her husband while diving.. 

We set our anchor at 1445 at this beautiful windswept beach that was littered with driftwood. There was only one other boat in the anchorage and a few locals were camping and fishing from the beach. Very relaxing.

Beautiful anchorage at Cape Bowling Green