Tuesday, October 6, 2015

WEEK 8 : Magnetic Island to Cairns

Sat 26 Sept - Magnetic Island to Orpheous
We took Rosie ashore then left at 7am. We motorsailed in rough seas. Rosie put her head down and went to sleep. It wasnt a bad day and the weather was good. Went past Palm Island and the seas started to get a bit better then the fishing line took off. The line kept going out and the skipper couldnt hold it so I turned the boat and pulled in the sail and he played it for quite some time. He got it close to the boat and it was a pretty big fish! We were hoping to get it up for a photo and to retrieve the lure (favourite) then let it go as it was too big. But it went under the boat and snapped the line (50lb breaking strain) and it got away. Unfortunately (for the fish) it still had the lure but it was gone. Skipper left with sore arms. We both agree that it was a very big fish but the skipper's arms are longer than mine!!! Had a lovely motor sail up past Orpheus. Passed a yank boat at Yankee Jetty! Passed the resort where cousin Philip had done some work and came round into Little Orpheous Bay at the same time as another yacht. We could see a mooring buoy so gunned it and so did he but he got there first! Then we spied another buoy on the other side which he had already gone past. So we picked that one up and are in a perfect spot. He obviously didnt like the first buoy as he ended up anchoring. It was low tide and they do look really close to the reef but that is why they are there. It is really calm in here and now we just have to wait for high tide to get to the beach over the rocks and reef.
Miles: 39 TTT : 749

Sun 27 Sept - Orpheous - Goold Island
Took Rosie ashore and she did her coffee table run. We met a fellow ashore who was crew on a large motor cruiser which also had a game fishing boat travelling with it. He told us that they take 21,000 litres - 1,000 litres a day!! and then we dropped the mooring and had a good sail over towards Zoe Bay on Hinchinbrook Island. Once again it was too swelly to go in. We hope to get in there one day! The skipper hooked another huge fish here and the same thing happened - another lure gone! We then just slowly motor sailed up Hinchinbrook and around the top and continued on to Goold Island. It was low tide (springs) so we anchored in 2.4m (1m water under the keel). There was a lovely long sandspit with a lovely beach and very tropical looking. It was a bit far away so we took note of where the rocks were on the little closer beaches (and looked for crocodile slides!) and when the tide came in we took Rosie ashore to a lovely little beach with rocks each end of it. Explored for a little while then the midgies came out so we returned to the boat. It was the full moon so it was bright as day. Had a very comfortable night.
Miles : 36 TTT : 785

Mon 28 Sept - Goold - Mourilyan Harbour
We decided to go to the long beach with the lovely sandspit as we thought it would be nice to walk along it. It was 1 - 1 1/2 km away. We read the signs when we got in and it said crocodiles are in these waters (which we knew) but then it said - do not swim, stay away from waters edge, be excessively careful launching boats and do not camp too close to the water with a big Achtung on it. Why do they always think the Germans may be the foolhardy ones! Anyway there is a campsite there with bbq, water tank, picnic tables etc and as it was at the end of the point with water both sides of it - one side being near mangroves we wondered who on earth would stay there and why!!! Anyway it curtailed our walk along the beach and we came back to the boat - exercising great caution where we launched Bob. We had discovered yesterday that our mainsail had inexplicably torn in two places. It had no pressure on it yesterday so we have no idea why. The skipper patched it this morning, then we had a shower at the back of the boat and left for an easy day - motoring. No wind, water almost oily. We are wanting to get out to the reef and today might have been good but the wind is due to come up a bit tonight. We motor sailed towards Kent Island, one of our favourites. We could see a big warship ahead with helicopters and landing craft. It was HMS Canberra and as we got closer they called us up (must have amazing binoculars) and told us we must stay 1,000 yards away. So we changed course. Saw a helicopter land on the deck and two landing craft go into the back of the ship and two more come out. Incredibly interesting. We came round Kent Island and it was too swelly to anchor. And also a batch of canoists had landed and were obviously going to spend the night. We kept going and went into Mourilyan Harbour which is a small gap on the mainland which opens into a large harbour (big enough to turn a ship in). This is where all the sugar trucks bring the sugar to be shipped out. The ship in there was out of Hong Kong. We had to anchor behind the turning point and it really was quite shallow. We took Rosie to the jetty - another crocodile warning sign. At slack tide around 9pm the tug pulled the ship away from the dock and the ship motored out - amazing to see. I could just imagine a first time captain coming in to the harbour say - you want me to go where! Heaps of mosquitoes. Had the net on the front hatch but not the second one so by the time we closed it we had heaps of mossies. Think we got most of them with tea towels!
Miles : 36 TTT : 821

Tues 29 - Mourilyan - Russell Island
We had a grand sail for a while today. Left at 7 but then had to motor sail then just motor to Russel Island. Arrived at 11.45 and picked up a mooring buoy which was for a 10 m boat and there is a huge bommy quite close.. The other two buoys were taken. We went ashore and then took the bathoscope in to look at the reef. It is really good. Saw a giant clam and it was so pretty with irridescent spots of emerald green around it. Beautiful. Thought about snorkeling but the skipper wasnt keen so I made do with the bathoscope. We found out later that a boy had been bitten by a shark here yesterday! The tide went out and a lot of the reef was exposed. It is a beautiful part of the world. We went ashore again in the afternoon and walked around the island. On the other side there was a channel with hundreds of sea slugs (black ones). Never seen so many. Then we sat on the beach and had sundowners. A really lovely stay.
Miles: 24 TTT : 845

Wed 30 - Russel Island - Cairns
Through the night the wind came up from the South West which turned us quite close to the bommy out the back!!! Who would have thought. Anyway took Rosie ashore and left early and motor sailed to Cairns as we knew the wind was going to blow up strong. We dropped the anchor up Trinity Inlet just in front of Braveheart and across from Little Blue (who used to have Single Malt). We managed to find a public boat ramp a bit further up another inlet where we could take Rosie ashore. We all met on Little Blue for sundowners and it was lovely to catch up after all this time.
Miles : 36 TTT: 881

Thurs 1 Oct - Cairns
Went to the boat ramp and had a bit of a walk around and then took the tender up as far as the Yacht Club and then came back to the boat. The wind was starting to blow up. We took Rosie ashore and got soaked and then had sundowners on Braveheart. Little Blue didnt come across as it was too rough.

Fri 2 Oct - Cairns
Well we are truly stuck here now as the winds have set in for the next week. We took Rosie in this morning and had a bit of a walk but could not get her ashore in the evening as it was too rough.
Stuck in Cairns!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

WEEK 7 : May's Bay to Magnetic Island

Sat 19 Sept - Mays Bay - Cape Gloucester
We left at 6.45am and motor sailed trough the Gloucester Passage round past Montes resort and anchored at 12.15. We walked along the lovely long beach to Montes resort and couldnt believe the number of people there. Lunch was booked out!! It seemed little bit more upmarket than when we were last here. It has been well and truly discovered and lots of people drive up from Airlie. We checked out the Cape Gloucester resort next door. It used to be the Eco Lodge and was quite upmarket but now it has a nice easy going feel to it. We walked along the beach a couple of times and had a quiet night. Could hear the band from the wedding at the resort.
Miles: 32 TTT: 662

Sun 20 Sept - Cape Gloucester
We moved on to a red mooring buoy which it turned out are owned by the Resort and are $25 a night but if you have a meal there its free. We had the loveliest lunch and then entertainment from 1 til 4 which was really good and such a lovely setting. Met a few of the crews from other boats. Rosie came too and nobody minded. In fact there were a few small dogs in there. This was the day we decided to go to Cairns! We felt we had just been floating around the Whitsundays filling in time - now our sails have a purpose!!!

Mon 21 Sept - Gloucester - Grey's Bay, Bowen
Left at 8 and motor sailed past Bowen and around into Gray's Bay which is really pretty. The skipper went off to get some fresh fruit and veg while I sat ashore with Rosie. I got so engrossed in my book that Bob almost floated away. I had to keep pulling him up as the tide came in. It was such a lovely calm morning. The skipper came back in a taxi and I spent the afternoon washing and stowing all our stores. There were a couple of wriggling little red worms came out of the bock choy when I washed it - yuk. Wind came up after we got back to the boat and blew fairly strongly. Comfortable night though. This bay is such a pretty bay with big boulders all round and people use it. There were people and children swimming in the morning and afternoon. The boulders are great for climbing or sunbaking on and there are some lovely walks. Really worth a visit and high on a rock overlooking the bay someone has painted a big stick figure like the Salisbury horse in England!
Miles 13 TTT: 675

Tues 22 Sept - Gray's Bay - Cape Upstart.
We took Rosie ashore and departed at 650. It was a beautiful day with calm seas and we motorsailed all the way to Cape Upstart. Just before we we got to Abbott Point we saw the flippers of a huge whale about 100m away. Huge flippers waving at us. Just before we got in the skipper caught a huge yellow fin tuna so he was really happy. He assured me it is the best eating tuna you can get. A couple of the boats we had met at Cape Gloucester were there and another one came in after us. We took Rosie ashore and explored a couple of beaches and then again in the afternoon.
Miles: 35 TTT : 710

Wed 23 Sept - Cape Upstart - Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island
We took Rosie ashore and motor sailed in flat seas beautiful conditions. We left at 6.30 and had intended to stop at Cape Bowling Green as we have never stopped there before. But we got there around 12 and we knew the seas would be up tomorrow and it was such a lovely day we kept going. We anchored at Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island at 5.15pm. There were around 40 boats in there. We threw the tender in and raced Rosie ashore, much to her relief!! A lovely evening.

Thurs 24 Sept - Magnetic Island
We went in early and had a walk. Nothing much had changed from the last time we were there. Rosie loved the smells and people and dogs. Then it was washing day on Pacific Express and bath day for Rosie. The skipper did a few trips ashore to replenish the water jerries and then we walked the foreshore. It is really busy here with school holidays - water sports, jetskis etc. Sat on the deck chairs on the deck in the evening but had a pretty rolly night with the swell coming into the bay.

Fri 25 Sept - Magnetic Island
Walked through the busy area and then walked the deserted beach. I went right to the end while the skipper and Rosie waited half way. We disturbed an eagle about 10 ft way from us killing its fish. Quite a sizeable fish and it had huge talons. It had a big nest a bit further down the beach and I could hear the chicks. While Rosie and the skipper were waiting the horses and riders went past twice and Rosie thought that was pretty interesting. As we walked back the riders had changed into their swimmers and all the horses went into the water and walked along in the sea up to their shoulders then they all faced the shore then turned and walked back again - quite an amazing sight! We had another rolly night so decided to leave tomorrow.

Cheers all. Sorry its so boring but there really is not much happening!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

WEEK 6 : Cid Harbour to May's Bay

Sat 12 Sept - Cid Harbour
We thought about moving but its still blowing and raining so we stayed put. Sundowners with Gill and Al on Sasu.

Sun 13 Sept - Cid Harbour - Nara Inlet
We left Cid at 8.00 and sailed to Nara Inlet in sloppy seas. Anchored at 10.45 at high tide. This is a fjord like inlet on Hook Island so we took Bob and motored all around the shore line - it was very pretty. We then went ashore and walked up to a cave with Aboriginal paintings. After that we found a tiny bit of beach around the corner where we could take Rosie ashore. A good anchorage and there were heaps of boats in there but most didnt come down as far as we were.
Miles : 9 TTT : 586

Mon 14 Sept - Nara Inlet - Stonehaven
Left Nara at 9.30 and had a lovely little sail to Stonehaven - all still on Hook Island. We tied up to a mooring buoy on the north side of the bay and there was a litle beach there we could get to. We took the bathoscope and had a look at the coral. It was surprisingly good though in places a little sandy/muddy looking. Saw a giant clam. Didnt think they had them here and also lots of antler coral. Sasu came for sundowners.
Miles : 10 TTT : 596

Tues 15 Sept - Stonehaven
Well the wind absolutely howled last night. The boat was steady on the mooring but the noise of the wind was horrible so we left our mooring and headed out to Langord Island but conditions were not nice so we returned and took up another mooring. We decided to go to the south side of Stonehaven where there were two moorings in amongst the reef so when we saw then become available we headed over. Unfortunately a cat had come around the corner with the same intention so we gunned the motor and went for it and so did he! We beat him by about 30 seconds and we got the inner mooring and he got the outer one. We were greeted by the most beautiful turtle who came over to say hullo and swam around the boat and around and under Bob and came right up to us at the back of the boat as if he wanted to come aboard. He stayed for quite some time and allowed us to pat him on the back. So gorgeous. I actually donned the wet suit and went for a quick snorkel but the coral wasnt as good as the other side and yes I did keep looking behind me despite the fact that the skipper and Rosie were in the tender right beside me! There was a lovely little beach to take Rosie so we went in there a couple of times and the view from the other side of the rocks was lovely. Sasu came over to tell us they were heading to Airlie as Gill had to go home for a few days. What a difference a day makes. The weather was beautiful. A lovely calm night. A magic spot!
Miles : 4 TTT : 590

Wed 16 Sept - Stonehaven - Maureen's Cove
We left at 8am and as we motored past Langford Island which was a place we really wanted to go a mooring buoy suddenly became available but there were three large tourist boats there and people everywhere so we kept going. They even had the tourists snorkeling using noodles like in Asia! Another cat did an about turn and raced in to take it when we didnt. We thought later that the tour boats probably moved on to other places and we should have grabbed it but it will keep for another day! We motored around Hayman Island and got a mooring at Maureen's Cove. One of the mooring buoys had a red do not moor buoy on it and what we didnt know but soon found out was it was the Marine Parks boats mooring buoy! We looked at the coral through the bathoscope but werent encouraged to get in though we saw some lovely parrot fish. Took Bob around to Butterfly Bay and took Rosie ashore. Thought about moving round to there but thought if we gave up our mooring we might miss out on the other one. A small barge came in and picked up a couple of campers from the beach and dropped off another couple of campers and late in the afternoon the Marine Parks guys came back in and went ashore for the night. So Rosie didnt get off the boat!
Miles : 10 TTT : 600

Thurs 17 Sept - Maureen's - Whitehaven Beach
We motored to Whitehaven beach round Hook Island. Saw one place we would like to go back to named Peter Bay - looked interesting. It is forecast north west tonight so we are hoping the west part of it comes in or it could be a rolly night. On the way here we saw two dolphins - they are very small dolphins here and they had two little babies - they were only about 18 inches long -they were so cute. Have never seen anything like that before! Anchored off the beach. It is so lovely here - such a white beach. We went ashore for a swim. The water was really warm and so clear. It is really busy up the southern end though and there are two helicopters and three seaplanes coming and going. Very busy but we are further north and not much around - so lovely.

We have midgy bites on our midgy bites!!! Would love some calamine lotion. Skipper turned to brown vinegar. Apparently vinegar and brow paper can fix anything!
Miles: 16 TTT : 616

Fri 18 Sept - Whitehaven - May's Bay
It wasnt a rough night but somewhat disturbed. We think Rosie thought the boat was going along and kept looking up in the cockpit to see if we were there. We had a bit of banging and clashing with things we should have tightened (did in the middle of the night!) and didnt sleep terribly well. We went ashore and then sailed round the corner to a quiet peaceful little bay out of the wind. We took Bob and did the outline of the shore and on to another little beach. Midgies were terrible but it was a lovely peaceful night.
Miles : 14 TTT : 630

PS we have decided to go to Cairns!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

WEEK 5 - Mackay Marina to Whitsundays

Fri 4 Sept - Mackay Marina
The wind was still blowing so stayed another day and looked at a catamaran for sale in the afternoon.

Sat 5 Sept - Mackay - Newrys
We came out of our berth beautifully and headed around to get fuel. Left at 9.05am and then had to wait ten minutes for two tugs to bring a big ship in. It was a lovely day and we arrived at the Newrys at 2.15 and anchored with four other boats. There is a lovely sand beach with coconut palms on Newry Island. From around the 1930s to 1970s there was a resort here. National Parks took it over in the early 2000s. There are the remains of the beachcomber Bar and a few of the huts.
Miles : 27 TTT: 517

Sun 6 Sept - Newrys
Went ashore about 8.30 and did the 2.8km circuit walk around the island. The skipper fished while I made him some muffins for fathers day. A lovely day.

Mon 7 Sept - Newrys - Goldsmith
Started out heading for Brampton Island but it got really uncomfortable so we decided to head for Goldsmith Island which is one of our favourites. We had been seeing a few butterflies flying past but as we got closer to the island there were more. When we went ashore and walked to the end of the beach it was like walking through a field of butterflies. There were thousands - really amazing. Four other boats came in and anchored near us. A calm night.
Miles: 21 TTT: 538

Tues 8 Sept - Goldsmith - Lindeman
We left around 8am and had a lovely motor sail up the side of Shaw Island. The skipper caught a tuna just before we came around Shaw so he was happy. Especially since shortly before he had something big on the line but I forgot to stop the boat! It got off - probably just as well if it was that big! We came around Little Lindeman and anchored near Lindeman Island. We took Bob and visited a couple of the beaches. Another lovely comfortable evening.
Miles: 22 TTT: 560

Wed 9 Aug - Lindeman - Cid Harbour
We left at 9am - could see whales in the distance. Had a lovely sail between Dent and Hamilton Islands with just the headsail up. It was pretty breezy. We sailed around Cid Island and came into a flotilla of boats all anchored in Cid Harbour. There were about 74 boats by the evening. Sasu came for sundowners.

Thur 10 Aug - Cid Harbour
We met Sasu and Sea Fever on the beach and took the long climb up 443 metres to the top of Whitsunday Island. The last third of it is quite exhausting but the views from the top are amazing. Some other people arrived at the top while we were still there so we all had a bit of a chat. We got back down (hard on the knees!) and sat on the beach for a while. Then it being low tide everyone helped get all the tenders back in the water Trim, our friend's Bruce and Anne's boat finally came in so we had a catch up with Bruce and his friend Ian. Unfortunately Anne had had to fly home already. Had a lovely evening.

Fri 11 Sept - Cid Harbour
We took Rosie in to the beach then went to have a look at Trim - a Seawind 1160 catamaran - a truly beautiful boat. We came back for breakfast then Water Music showed up so we spent the morning chatting to them. It is still blowing like mad.

Friday, September 4, 2015

WEEK 4 : Great Keppel Island to Mackay Marina

Fri 28 Aug - Great Keppel Island to Pearl Bay
We took Rosie into the beach, said farewell to Sasu and headed out round Great Keppel at 6.20am - good sailing after 2pm and arrived at Pearl Bay at 3.35pm. A big 91ft motor boat (looked a bit like an icebreaker) passed us and they headed into Pearl. It was low tide and I was a bit worried there would not be enough room. We went down to .9 under the keel so that was good We went ashore and walked along the beach and Rosie had a run.
Total Miles : 51 TTT : 365

Sat 29 Aug - Pearl Bay
Decided to stay another day. Just relaxing walked along beach, reading etc. Met some people off the big boat. There were five couples who left Melbourne in April and are just making their way up the coast. What a great way to travel.

Sun 30 Aug - Pearl Bay - Hunter Island
We left in the dark at 4.30am to catch the current to Hunter Island. It was great. At one stage we had the motor off, headsail out in about 6 knots of wind and were doing 9.6 knots! That current was fair hiking! Just as we were coming into Hunter Island we saw a whale. We had to push some current past Marble Island and at one point we were down to 1.9 knots on 2,000 revs. Then we saw something on the surface of the water and we were both convinced it was a huge croc so we went over to take a closer look and all of a sudden two huge humps appeared heading for the boat. Whales - quick run!!! We made it up to Hunter Island and anchored at 12 noon. There is a 7 metre tide here so we had to anchor a long way out. We dropped in 8 metres on a dropping tide and went down to 2.6 metres at low. Took Rosie ashore and walked the beach. These islands which are part of the Duke Group used to be a cattle station and obviously there is still at least one cow there as there were cow prints on the beach! In the afternoon when we went ashore the tide had dropped so much we had to walk a few hundred metres over rubbly corrally rock to get to the beach. Walked to the end where the cattle run had been built. It was really interesting. We saw a huge spanish mackerel leap out of the water so I decided to try my hand at some fishing. I came very close to hooking the skipper then it all came to an end when I somehow broke the rod in two! We watched the most amazing sunset and saw green after it went down though we couldnt say it was a flash. But we did see lots of red flashes which was something we hadnt seen before. And then we watched the most amazing full moon come up shining a bridge across the water to the boat. Beautiful. This has been the most picturesque, idyllic little spot. So lovely.
Miles: 46 TTT : 411

Mon 31 Aug - Hunter Island to Curlew Island
We took Rosie ashore and had to walk the crazy rubbly walk again and then had a most exhilirating time. While we managed to ride the current to here, we had not considered it getting out of here. We left at 7am and came round the corner of the island into a narrow channel between Hunter and Marble and there were whirlpools and waves and mishmash of water. At one stage we were only doing 1.3 knots. Very picturesque though. It took us an hour to do two miles. We came out into a sloppy sea. Couldnt keep the sail out so it was a motor job today. Hint - do not put brampston pickle on your cheese and biccies when you are on a rolly boat! Saw a few whales today including a baby breaching. Came through another channel into Curlew Isand and shot out the other end and anchored at 1.45pm. The skipper worked out the tide range here is 6.5 metres so went around a bit till we found 6 metres and anchored there. We went down to 2.1 metres - .7 under the keel! One poor boat misjudged it and ended up on the ground and had to wait til dark and a high tide to get out. We shone the torch in the evening and all the long tom fish leapt out of the water. A really funny sight.
Miles: 35 TTT : 446

Tues 1 Sept - Curlew Island - Mackay Marina
Left Curlew at 7.45am and saw a whale and its calf about 50 metres away and the baby was breaching - so lovely. Arrived Mackay Marina at 3.30pm. We had a heavy landing in a very tight berth!! Lovely shower and hamburgers for dinner!
Miles : 44 TTT: 490

Wed / Thurs 2/3 Sept - Mackay Marina
We hired a car and did our resupply of fresh food and filled the water tank. Drove out to the end of the breakwater - its one heck of a wall. There is a 6.5 metre tide here so at low tide it is quite a climb to get up the ramp from the marina to the shore. Finally got some southerly winds but too strong and Rosie having an off day so stayed another day. Another boat headed south but is now back with a broken window (waves) and wet bedding Winds will drop a little tomorrow so we will try to get out then. Rosie much better by the way.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

WEEK 3 - Pancake Creek to Great Keppel Island

Sat 22 Aug - Great Keppel Island
We took Rosie ashore in the semi darkness at 5.45am. The other two boats left - we made the dash to the beach and back almost at low tide then stowed Bob and the outboard. Then the skipper freaked me out saying the others looked to be going very slowly and queried if it was deep enough. Anyway needless stress, there was plenty of water and we were out heading for Cape Capricorn - seas not great but not too bad. We put the main up and motor sailed in building seas. By the time we got to Cape Capricorn it was obvious it would be untenanble in the NE winds. The other two boats kept going and so did we. Seas 2 - 3 metres, rainy and the crew a little seedy. Rosie fine sleeping in her bed on the cockpit floor. We were heading around the corner of the island and then saw the cat head for a beach so we went there too and anchored at 5pm - another torrid eleven hour day. We took Rosie ashore and she really wanted to run but we just wanted to fall in a heap. Got wet getting Bob back out. Was a litle bit rolly but not too bad. Fell into bed wondering what the heck we are doing! Rained most of the night.
Miles: 68 TTT : 314

Sunday 23 - Great Keppel Island
Went for a walk along the very long beach called Long Beach (!) and walked over the headland to where the other boat anchored ni Monkey Bay. We went back and bought the boat around there too. Anchored in sight of the resort and can see Roslyn Bay across the way. There is a reef and its really quite nice. Quite a few boats in. Took the bathoscope and checked out the reef.

Monday 24 - Great Keppel Island
Took Bob around to the resort area. The colour of the water is beautiful. Had a walk around the big main resort which is still closed and fenced off. Saw the cyclone affected beach and a couple of cyclone affected houses. A tree snake was sunning itself near the boardwalk. Rosie gave us a scare today. She was walking through really soft sand and all of a sudden her hip just gave way and she couldnt walk. Carried her for a while then she seemed to come good. When we got back to the boat she seemed to be worrying her foot so I held her while the skipper cut out a huge burr. She screamed so loud the next boat thought we were murdering her! Had a late walk along the beach and she was fine.

Tuesday 25 - Great Keppel Island
A NW wind was forecast so we moved back around to Long Beach and walked to the end of the beach. Quite a few boats have come around and there were lots or people walking up and down the beach. Such a lovely beach, the water such a lovely colour and the sand so white. Rosie was exhausted after chasing her ball and socialising. Our internet hadnt been working well then Al off Sasu told us my smart phone could run the internet on the computer which was news to us but by jove he was right! We went in the late aternoon and met up with a few other boats for sundowners. There is a family of five on the biggest cat - it is huge. They took their kids out of school for a term so they can do this. We had a lovely evening and the kids built a fire so we sat around the fire.

Wednesday 26 - Great Keppel Island
Rosie had a terrible night vomiting and shivering and shaking. We thought we might lose her. She wouldnt drink so we went ashore with our chairs and her cushion for a few hours so she could have some off boat time. She slept for ages and then started to come good. We think she must have eaten something on the beach last night. It takes 35 minutes to walk from one end of Long Beach to the other - very pleasant. By the time we got back to the boat Rosie was fine. Glen off Seasalt (another Ganley) visited in the afternoon and then it was time for sundowners on the beach! Another lovely evening and a feed of garfish for dinner. There are 16 boats in and only two of them are cats which is unusual.

Thurday 27 - Great Keppel Island
Bit of a clean up then we went ashore to walk the 2km to the resort. Rosie went into her specially made backpack and was perfectly happy perched up there. It was a good walk. A few people took photos of Rosie in her backpack. We walked back a different way and then had a swim - it was a bit brisk! Tomorrow we are going o head up towards Pearl Bay. There's not any good winds forecast but it is time to move on. This has been an absolutely beautiful spot.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

WEEK 2 : Bundaberg to Pancake Creek

Sun 16 Aug - Bundaberg - Pancake Creek
We left at 5am in the dark but it is easy to get out of Bundaberg beause it is lit up like a runway. Motor sailed and when the sun came up put the mainsail up and had a great sail til about lunch time when the wind dropped out and then came strongly from behind. The seas built up to 2 - 3 metres and it got very rough. We came past 1770 and thats where we should have cut in to the coast but we stayed out to go around the big rocks and it was truly horrible. Took the main down - we should have left that till we got in but didnt! Anyway we finally got in at 4pm at high tide and took Rosie over to the sandspit. She was very relieved!
Miles : 64 TTT : 245

Mon 17 Aug - Pancake Creek
Took Rosie ashore and met a man who was camped on the beach and had been here for two weeks. He had rowed around from 1770 - took him 5 1/2 hours. He told us of the reef and where to catch fish and oysters. Didnt find the oysters! Had a walk along the sandspit in the afternoon. It is all under water at high tide and at low tide is completely exposed The skipper did some fishing and caught a small flathead and threw it back. Just on sunset he took Bob in a bit and caught two good bream so we had fish for dinner with the fresh bread he had baked today. There are about ten boats in here.

Tues 18 Aug - Pancake Creek
Went ashore and walked around the sand and rocks which Rosie really enjoyed. Then we went out and had a look at the reef. It was fairly clear and we also had the bathescope to look through. Then did some trolling out around the point. Took the parasol for Rosie!! Had a bit of a boat cleanup. Sasu visited for sundowners. Boats left and five stayed.

Wed 19 Aug - Pancake Creek
Took Rosie for her walk and it was very windy and forecast to get windier so we decided to move further into Pancake Creek. It is a narrow channel between the sandbanks. We followed the red and green buoys and the lead lines in and found a good spot to anchor. There are two trimerans which we thought Phil would have been iterested in. One had a carbon fibre sail with two men on each. Took a couple of walks along the beach then Rosie and I sat under the parasol on the shore while the skipper fished - tiddlers only! A lovely day.
Miles : 1.6 TTT 246

Thurs 20 Aug - Pancake Creek
Very windy. Had a couple of walks on the beach and a play on the sandspit. Rosie is very well. We have stopped giving her her medication and she has stopped yelping when we touch her. In fact, she gets passd between us quite a lot and doesnt mind at all. Loves going in the tender and has been running on the beach. Have set the saloon up so she can walk from our bed to the two saloon chairs and can jump down into her bed. She sleeps a lot when we get back but she is so much better than she was at home.

A couple of boats came in from out the front as it was very windy. Then the last one, a cat came in and promptly hit a sandbank and reversed off and nearly hit another yacht. Hit the sandbank on the other side and then almost ran over a trimeran. He came up beside the tri so the tri skipper jumped on board the cat and ran to the helm and motored it off. We can only think the cat skipper was inside trying to helm from there. The tri skipper tried to get all the seaweed off the anchor but ended up dipping the anchor and driving forward. Then he anchored the cat in a good spot and the cat skipper took the tri skipper back to his boat. It looked a pretty new cat!

Fri 21 Aug - Pancake Creek
Had the obligatory walk along the beach. Then it started raining and is overcast. Listened to the weather on the HF radio and tomorrow looks like being a reasonable day so we will get out of here on the high tide and move further out ready for an early start in the morning to try to reach Keppel Island. The cat skipper left his morning, the only boat to do so. Hope he had a good trip.

Currently at Great Keppell - more on that next week - internet connection is nor good - think its our dongle!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

WEEK 1 : Bribie to Bundaberg

WEEK 1 : Bribie to Bundaberg
Sat 8 Aug : Bribie - Mooloolaba
We left our new mooring buoy at Bribie Island at 6.40am. Motor sailed and arrived Mooloolaba at 12.45pm. There were a few shallow spots but we continued on down the river and finally found a place to anchor amongst a lot of other boats. We went ashore and walked down to the sea front. The place was buzzing and so busy. Rosie enjoyed seeing all the people. We went ashore again later in the evening and I took Rosie for a walk while the skipper got some tasty fish and chips. We put Bob and the outboard on board and had an early night. A very pleasant day.
Miles: 32

Sun 9 Aug : Mooloolaba - Inskip Point
We departed in the dark at 4.35am wending our way through unlit boats with the skiper at the front with a torch and the crew at the helm yelling I cant see! When we got into the river proper the crew went forward with the torch while the skipper took us out. It was really cold and I didnt take my beanie off til 2pm! Overcast, lumpy, sloppy seas - uncomfortable long day. Saw some whales further out breaching and some tail slaps then a whale about 50 metres away. Then one came up about 10 feet in front of us and swam in front of the boat. We had to take a sharp turn to port to avoid it! Saw some more breaching whales as we came round Double Island Point heading for the Wide Bay Bar We had the co-ordinants for the crossing but noticed on the chartplotter that other boats had gone further north. When we got to that point there was breaking surf where we were supposed to go so the skipper also took us about 200 metres north and then it was what they call the mad mile. A mile which goes on the inside of the surf breaking on a sandbar - much rocking from side to side! We were very happy to anchor at Inskip Point at 3.45pm.
Miles : 62 Total This Trip : 94 miles

Mon 10 Aug - Inskip Point
We went ashore and Rosie just ran and ran like the joyous little dog she was when she was young. It was so lovely to watch. We then walked long the sand flats where she kept her eye open for fish to catch. But we had to carry her back! Her enrfgy was spent! It was a lovely day - still a chill wind but sun shining and a lovely spot. Very different to how we felt the last time we were here trying to get home! We went ashore again in the afternoon and had an early night. A strong wind warning has been issued for Wednesday so we will have to move.

Tues 11 Aug - Inskip Point - Gary's Anchorage
We left Inskip at 6.30am in a pea soup fog. Couldnt see a thing. The beanies came out again! We followed our track from our previous trip and motored against the current to Gary's Achorage. It was a falling tide but the lowest we went down to on the way in was about 1.3 metres under the keel so all good. There were quite a few other boats in so we anchored in the middle of the channel. We went ashore and met a few other boat crews, one of whom also had a small friend like Rosie. We walked along the shore. Such a lovely day. Interesting to see a few people have little friends. In the afternoon it came up very windy and with wind agains tide boats were going every which way. A couple had to reanchor and a couple left to find a better spot. We are now tucked away here awaiting the big blow. Hopefully it wll be strong enough to keep us all facing the same way.
Miles : 13 TTT : 107

Wed 12 Aug - Gary's Anchorage
It was like a millpond this morning so we took Rosie ashore. The strong wind warning is still current for tonight. Wind came up around 10am and blew quite strongly. Had a reading day. We took Rosie ashore and got soaked on the way back. Lightning all around us in the evening an then it rained. Very blowy but ok. A good night.

Thurs 13 Aug - Gary's Anchorage
Still a strong wind warning but like a millpond. We went with Sasu to Water Music (a most beautiful Catelina 44) for morning tea and good company. Saw a dingo on the beach where we have been taking Rosie in so took her further up below the cliffs. No wind at all. Quiet night, very cold.

Fri 14 Aug - Garys Anchorage - Kingfisher Resort
Took Rosie ashore at 6.30am and we left at 7am and followed our track out. Came through the Great Sandy Straits and our previous track (on the chart plotter) was very useful. Came through the shallowest spot at full tide and continued down past the resort and anchored. A dugong dived in front of the boat and we had heaps of large turtles surfacing. Took Rosie ashore and played ball till we wore her out. Back to the boat and sat on the deck reading in the sunshine. Such a beautiful day. The dugong surfaced and we saw its head and whole body - amazing! Another boat took their friend ashore and then we could hear a dingo howling. They came back to their boat an we saw the (vey well fed looking) dingo walk along the beach to where they had been and it just lay there howling for a bit. It is very cold when the sun goes down and we can still hear the dingo howling.
Miles : 21 TTT : 128

Sat 15 Aug - Kingfisher Resort - Bundaberg
It was very cold when we left at 6.30am thinking we would have enough wind to blow us to Bundaberg but it dropped out after a couple of hours and it was a motor job after that. However, a beautiful day and flat seas. The sea was sparkling on the water like thousands of little diamonds. We have discovered that we have lost all our tracks for our travels further north from here so will have to make new tracks!!! by the way, no fish yet!!! Arrived Bundaberg Burnett River at 4pm and took a desperate Rosie ashore Currently sitting peacefully in the river as the sun goes down.
Miles: 53 TTT : 181

To follow us check out www.skipr.net and look for boat Pacific Express

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Almost ready

Well it is finally starting to come together. We were supposed to leave on 11 July to head north up the Queensland coast. Things transpired against us but at last things are starting to come together. We are currently on the hard at Scarborough antifouling. On Saturday we will have our mooring buoy put in at Bongaree on Bribie Island and on Monday the rigger is finally coming to start to redo our rigging. All this means that we may be able to finally set sail in a northerly direction next weekend!!! Yaaaaay!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Home and back again!!??

Well we have been home for six months now and its great - we really love it BUT..... we may take Pacific Express back to Langkawi in a couple of years and cruise Thailand again!!! Anyone interested???!!!! We miss the warmth (although I know I complained bitterly about the heat) and the roti telur with curry for breakfast and the fantastic fruit. The fruit here just isn't as tasty as the wonderful fruit up there. If we can do six months on the boat and six months at home life would be perfect!!!! And our family and friends could come to visit!!! How wonderful!!


Dell and Peter