Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The latest from Pacific Express‏

Hi all

Well the trip from Butterfly Bay to the mainland was a little hairy but we made it and the next place of interest was a little place called Montes Resort just south of Gloucester Island. Its a very laid back restaurant right on the beach with about eight cottages. Had a marvellous couple of days there. Then on to Bowen – we went around the point at Bowen and found that it actually had some beautiful beaches – we were quite amazed!! Had a lovely sail and then a sail we wont talk about getting to beautiful Horseshoe Bay at Magnetic Island. What a wonderful place! We had some great walks including one to where the gun placements for the second world war were and laughed when it said they had never been fired in anger but in absolute astonishment when an unannounced US boat came in to view. I actually popped home for a couple of days here and left Peter to care for the boat and catch a giant trevally while I was gone. Next was the Palm Islands and then into the Hinchinbrook Channel where we spent a few days. Early one morning heard some speed boats going at a great rate of knots and they were towing water skiers. Racing from Lucinda to Cardwell and back again – I guess with all the crocs around they had good reason to stay on their skis!!!

We got the news we had to go home for the funeral of my brother in law so put the boat into Hinchinbrook Marina which is lovely but as they have trouble getting permission to dredge it we had to wait for high tide to get the boat in and out. Little bit hairy (and totally ridiculous!). It was pouring rain for a few days before we left and there was a gale while we were away. Left the cushions out (soaked) and discovered a leak topside on the boat (we think it is the breather for the head!) – a lot of water came out of the sky.

We drove back in a huyundi getz with the two dogs. Drove all day in the rain and made Mackay well after dark only to find there was a mining expo on and the inns were full!!! We slept the night in the car outside a petrol station. Surprisingly we didn’t wake up till 7am! Stayed with a friend in Townsville who offered wonderful hospitality and then drove us to Cardwell and stayed the night with us.

We left the marina at 4.30pm on a high tide and stayed the night at Scraggy Point off Hinchinbrook Island and could see the crocodile eyes shining in the torchlight!

The Family Group of Islands were absolutely beautiful – rainforest. Stopped at Bowden Island for a few hours then on to Bedarra where their jetty is all destroyed presumably from the cyclone. Had a couple of days at Dunk Island – walked to the top of the hill for wonderful views. Got the news that my dear old Aunt had died. Not a good month!

We stopped at Kent Island which was absolutely beautiful – rowed around the edges and explored the island and the next day when Peter was fishing he caught a tiger shark (twice!). then the mummy and daddy tiger sharks turned up - made it a bit hairy going out in the tender after that (and definitely stopped the fishing!).

Headed to Fitzroy Island which had a beach of coral so sharp you couldn’t walk on it and was a building site building a new resort. Visited another yacht 200 odd metres away and were watching the dogs, Jack and Rosie howl and carry on as they could see us. Next thing we notice Jack on the duckboard at the back of the boat (how he jumped down without falling in we do not know) and no Rosie. Couldnt see her on the boat or in the water – next thing we see her dog paddling madly out the back of the boat we were on in amongst the tenders. She was exhausted – don’t know how long she was there! Swam 200 metres in the current (thank goodness no sharks!!). We don’t think she actually jumped in – think she got up on the solar panel and slipped. Anyway when we leave the boat now they have to be left downstairs – something they are not too keen on!

So here we are at Yorkeys Knob which is about 15km north of Cairns. Had wonderful hospitality here also from friends though the stories of pythons in the house, under the house and in the yard were a little alarming!! We hired a car and drove to Kuranda, Mareeba, Yungaburra, Gordonvale round the Atherton tablelands. This area is a definite must revisit and take a couple of weeks next time.

Have been here almost a week – of course strong wind warnings north and then the skipper slipped and hurt his hip. Had xrays yesterday and it seems to be bad internal bruising which apparently will turn up in about five weeks, meanwhile he should be able to walk ok in a week! By which time the strong wind warnings may have abated and we can do our final leg to Lizard Island. Meanwhile tonight is curry night at the club and tomorrow is roast night (again!)

Hope life is treating you all well.

Much Love

Dell and Peter

Friday, August 1, 2008

Kent Island and tiger sharks!!!‏

Just arrived back from the Island. Went a bit earlier in today! The sharks were basking in the sun this morning when a tinnie hit them. Peter said it made quite a bang so they seem to have been frightened off for the time being. Forgot to tell you, we got pulled up by the police yesterday. Luckily we were under motor as there was no wind when they seemed to come out of nowhere. They checked our rego and knew who we were and checked all out safety gear! Were very polite and pleasant. Said they would probably see us on Lizard Island. We noticed that one small power boat got sent back to shore!!

We will head out of here around 6 - 7 in the morning and head a bit further north. Either Russell or High Islands depending how far we get.