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.