Have had a few issues logging on so apologies. So good news, the "yit site" will be able to be updated & accessed at least through early into the new year (maybe March)! After booking the car at the marina ($10 for 2hrs) Skipper has been quite busy with the replacement of 2 plastic skin fittings with bronze, also setting up new 4lb nylon anchor with CHAIN (see if that survives coral) I got some more olive clips which are the best thing on a boat used with bungee cord (adjustable). We had our friends over from Duet for a joint curry night onboard Double Bubble & a great night was enjoyed by all. I've since done a bit of gardening at Charlies & have continued on with rain/shade covers & we are now contemplating joining up with "Tramp II" shortly.
Had a fun few days at Horseshoe Bay, met a few more boat owners for sundowners in the park. Had a walk along the bay, check out the shops (not masses) lunch at the fish & chippery. Caught another shark & a double header of dodgy fish onboard so along with Sol we decided to go rock fishing, lost my trace immediately, so we tried our hand at beach fishing, lost another trace, then thought we'd go stooging in the tender, then snagged again this time it's our anchor with the coral making short work of the rode cutting the rope, losing a 4lb sand anchor! Undettered we lured all around the bay, just drifting, still to no avail, so we gave up & called it a day. We decided to drag out the drone yesterday & have some more practice runs on the beach so we pitched our sunshade & along with music, drinks & "The Tramps" we had a fun time trying to land the drone on it's "helipad" (think towel)! Woke this morning to a split skin fitting (plastic) just above waterline so have returned to the marina to get a new one, oh & a new dinghy anchor WITH chain!
After a lovely stop at Picnic Bay we have just moved up to Horeshoe Bay & "The Tramps" have just arrived for a long overdue (2 months) catch up. After a fun afternoon, we dinghied to shore to the local fish & chippery for dinner on the sea shore.
We have escaped the marina this morning for an hour's jaunt to Picnic Bay, Magnetic Island. Finally got in for a swim inside of stinger nets, & leisurely walk passed my favourite house & along jetty where lots of people appeared to be equally unsuccesful at catching a fish, so with rod's baited we will try our hand, stay overnight & move around tomorrow to Horseshoe Bay.
Just a little update, skipper working hard on maintenance jobs & connecting a new cable from our AIS to our repeater GPS screen so we will see how that works tomorrow when we head out to Orpheus Island or Maggie, wind direction to determine anchorage, where we may meet up with "the Tramps". I have been away gardening for a few days, up in Tully with my friend Michelle with a trip up to Mission Beach to suss out stinger nets & anchorages, stopping at lookout over Hinchinbrook Island (Bugsville island)! I have now started our count down on cyclone days, currently 177.
The weather has been too strong for us to sail over to Maggie Island & so we remained in the Duckpond. After the non stop 20-30kn constant winds & our mail waiting for us for 3 weeks at Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island I had a big day out & a trip on the ferry to collect the mail, the trip being rough as, 35kn plus, not pleasant. With no sign of the wind letting up anytime soon we have effectively cracked a sad and gone into The Breakwater Marina ahead of time for the cyclone season (Cat 5 rated for cyclones). There are some pretty impressive GT's (giant trevally) here in the marina, where of course you can't fish! We are super lucky to have several friends here with Charlie taking us out to Hermit Park, for stores, our old house, Rods servo at Shell Belgium Gardens & now a lovely visit with our friend Dave from Shell Hugh St, who arrived with supplies (read Skipper now happy with a beer)!!!
We we're up at 5.30 am and on our way by 6am & after a pleasant motor/sail on quite a lovely day (being entertained by F18's zipping around) we are now back in the duck pond outside of the Breakwater Marina, Townsville, Castle Hill hopefully being our protection through cyclone season. We will gather up supplies tomorrow & head off to Maggie Island Sunday.
Bye bye Hinchinbrook Island, and all of the bugs that hang out there - hello Orpheus Island, lovely clear blue water, happy turtles and no mangroves or midges!
We have finally moved from "bugsville" (think Aliens), Gayundah Channel back down Hinchinbrook channel to anchor overnight at Haycock Island prior to our departure tomorrow to Orpheus Island, assuming winds abate. We have left behind several traces & expensive lures thanks to the mangroves.Cockpit screen almost perfected, only have a few hours to sew daily between onslaught, all mangroves, no beaches, still all good! Have just learnt from our Bowen friends that midges are worse a couple of days either side of a full moon (which of course we've just had).
Happy birthday Aunty!
We have moved further up the channel to Gayundah Creek where apparently a 4mtr crocodile has been sighted. We have started getting more screens & netting in place to keep out the biting bugs of varying types that exist around here whilst keeping an eye out for sea snakes that can come up the anchor chain, (1 was spotted up on a spreader on someones boat up here, honestly, it never ceases)! We are about 5 miles south of Cardwell.
We have moved further up the channel to Gayundah Creek where apparently a 4mtr crocodile has been sighted. We have started getting more screens & netting in place to keep out the biting bugs of varying types that exist around here whilst keeping an eye out for sea snakes that can come up the anchor chain, (1 was spotted up on a spreader on someones boat up here, honestly, it never ceases)!
We went out in the dinghy this morning to explore the coral reefs, not willing to have my bites turn into tropical ulcers we will defer the snorkelling until our return. We then, way sailed over to Lucinda & the entrance to Hinchinbrook channel, it is quite tricky trying to spot the lead light on the 6 mile long loading wharf (predominantly sugar) with the light changing between red, white & green & steer accordingly to maintain a white light leading you in, the shallowest depth on an ever moving sea floor at low tide is 0.7m, so lots of concentration required. We are now up Sunday Creek, were you can apparently catch Barramundi, whilst avoiding the crocodiles that hang out here, can't wait to spot their beady red eyes tonight. This was just a quick overnight anchorage as too far to go up the channel today, obviously not a good choice as midges are PROLIFIC! We have everything burning at the moment & will obviously need to make more screens.
Well we left our anchorage in the duck pond at 6.30 this morning & had a nice cruisey sail through the Halifax Bay Bombing Range, Rattlesnake & Herald Island being dead centre ish up to Orpheus Island dropping anchor at 3pm. There are 4 free moorings here to pick up belonging to the James Cook Research Station & if the others further a field are like this then we're going to need a bigger hook on the boat hook! There is a private resort south of here, disallowing casual visitors & here it is a national park, too windy, too tired to get in dinghy. Hopefully we can see the giant clam 3' squirting at low tide in the morning (google it, it's awesome at Orpheus)! Off to Hinchinbrook Island/Channel in the morning (think Lucinda).
We have had a change of plans as we will be in Townsville for the next 6mths for cyclone season, we have moved over to Townsville's duck pond anchorage & we will whip into town to grab a few supplies before heading on up to Orpheus Island tomorrow & then on up to Hinchinbrook Island for the up coming blow later in the week.
We have had a change of plans as we will be in Townsville for the next 6mths for cyclone season, we have moved over to Townsville's duck pond anchorage & we will whip into town to grab a few supplies before heading on up to Orpheous Island tomorrow & then on up to Hinchinbrook Island for the up coming blow later in the week.
Well yea ha & woo hoo we have finally arrived at Townsville's, Horeshoe Bay, Magnetic Island (Maggie Is). 18 months after we departed from Adelaide we have achieved our main objective from the outset, taking our time along the way, enjoying the journey & leaving the destination to sort itself. We will hang here for a few days prior to heading to Towny!
Left bright an early this morning (5.45am is early) in case we went straight through to Maggie but as the day progressed the wind abated to 3-5kn so we decided to come on into Cape Bowling Green for the night (35nm from Maggie), kick back & tend to the 40 odd midge bites I got from Cape Upstart. We are in a pretty little spot, with long sandy beaches. Reception is reasonable here so should be ok for the game tonight. Oh & now the wind picks up, honestly!
Fairly uneventful cruise up to Cape Upstart past Abbot Point with it's open roaded coal loader, stretching 2.5km out to the ships, handling 50,000,000 tonnes of coal per annum. A fair amount of algae bloom sitting on the water pretty much most of the way here. We will stay here in Shark Bay for the night before departing tomorrow for Cape Bowling Green or go straight through to Magnetic Island.
Wind is finally settling down & we plan to depart in the morning for Cape Upstart (think Ayr) if weather stays as it currently appears! We have enjoyed our time here with various jobs completed & several outings with Ann & John who have taken us to the adorable Walter & Judy's farm w/ tomatoes & capsicum being grown along with hundreds of varieties of hibiscus ( unfortunately very close to pruning time)! They also have an amazing collection of "pretty much everything". It has been a top time in "blowin Bowen" meeting great people at the marina on the same sort of pitstop & tis now time to hopefully make Magnetic Island, Townsville Monday night, perhaps catching up with "the Tramps".
We have met lots of lovely people here in Bowen Marina, all going either north or south and all waiting for the wind to drop from the constant 20-30 knot blow. We ended up with 24 people on our table at the Nth Qld Cruising Yacht Club for tea the other night, a great night had by all. We also had a surprise knock on the boat by the lovely Ann introducing herself as Cam's mum (who travelled on Alcatraz with Sharne see April last year) when we were all stuck in Cleland Bight waiting for weather to pass. Ann & John have given us a tour of Bowen, driving around & even buying us lunch, a lovely couple who we will catch up again with soon. Possible departure mid next week! Click on pic for enlargements!
We enjoyed a lovely lunch with The Tramps at the Eco Resort, topped off with a cocktail each. Back to ready the boat & plot our course to Cape Upstart, hoping to make Magnetic Island by Monday ahead of the coming weeks weather. 2 hours out this morning with the wind upwards of 20knots & having a big bull whale broach directly ahead we decided to go into Bowen Marina and take some time out here instead & let the sea calm down.
We departed Double Bay East & have moved on up & through Gloucester Passage, past Shag Islet (infamous Shaggers Club annual haunt albeit cancelled this year due to Co-vid) & anchored out the front of the Eco Resort on Cape Gloucester just under Gloucester Island where there is currently a "Lagoon" event (a type of catamaran) so lots of boats on mooring bouys here. The wind is just ridiculous & constantly blowing, gusting to 30 plus so will wait to go ashore.
We've left Airlie Beach and moved 2hrs up & around the coast into Double Bay East & anchored for the night to escape the swell from the constant blow that is continuing.
We are still anchored at Airlie Beach & have had a couple of trips into town, collecting mail, restocking our stores, & being blown about. Much fun & frivolity was had catching up with "the Tramps" & additional birthday celebrations & we are now effectively boat bound as the wind generators cranks on up at 30 knots plus. This wind does not look like slowing down anytime soon so our time is spent concentrating on all things insurance & marina berths for all that is required for the cyclone season in Townsville to commence in 8 weeks.
Had a bit of a blowy night last night with a couple of boats dragging right across the inlet amazingly not hitting anyone & ended up on the rocks, re-floated with the tide in the morning, lucky! We have since departed Hook Island this afternoon for a 2 1/2hr sloppy, wind on tide journey part of the way & have now anchored at Airlie Beach ($138.00 for a marina berth for the night) that's not going to happen! Saw a huge Grandpa Groper at anchor in Nara Inlet he was at least 1.5mtr long cruising atop the water clear as a bell, had gloves on cleaning hatch's & missed the shot! We will attempt to retreive our mail from Airlie Beach post office tomorrow (after it got sent to Townsville instead of Mackay) and should be meeting up again with the Tramps.
After the skippers big day for his 60th yesterday we have done a 2 hour jaunt up to Hook Island and into Nara Inlet this morning, it's really quiet here, surrounded by large lush green hills with the occassional bird calling out & soon to be bacon sizzling for breakfast!
Hip hip hooray, we have arrived at The Whitsundays! We have anchored between Cid Island & Whitsunday Islands in Dugong Inlet, stunning day, beautiful clear blue water. Had a great day travelling at 7.5kn average with minimal wind & the tide ebbing north, perfect! So here at anchor we are warned by VMR Radio, people have been taken by sharks...& died. So the saying, "come to beautiful warm Qld, where the water is 24 deg, perfect for swimming", they just don't mention "with crocodiles & sharks for company"...I think not!
We have left Mackay & due to northerlies after a 25nm run, we have decided to anchor on the western side of Newry Island, (think on a parallel with Brampton Island), not too many alternatives with wind direction, plus there's also excellent reception so we can watch the footy. We had the company of 7 whales (that we saw) along the way, having to alter course around them at times. Warnings abound regarding getting in and out of tenders and paddleboarding etc due to apparent favourite habitat of crocodiles here so we have chosen to not go ashore! Tomorrow we plan to slog our way through more northerlies on the nose to Cid Harbour, Whitsunday Islands wohoo!
After the saga that is attaching existing cables with a mouse, removing & measuring old ones (obviously we replaced port & stbd) we were able to get cables delivered in a rush and genius skipper has just replaced & set them up on both engines. We will test drive them in the morning to the fuel berth and back to our berth & plan to leave for Shaw Island on Friday & Whitsunday Islands on Saturday to meet up with Tramp II for skippers 60th birthday on Sunday, with Ali's on Tuesday! However stupid northerlies abound & not to many safe/comfortable northerly anchorages, so here's hoping! Had a great night in the pub with Wayne & his brother Ken & crew, with Ken who was kind enough to take us into town for our supplies & brought us back again.
After a great night watching the Crows lose, we had a cruisy trip up to Mackay as the clouds rolled in with a bit of weather thats heading our way. As Mackay is a major port, (we passed 16 ships lined up to collect their cargo) there are no anchorages, so we are now tied up in the marina where we hope to be able to collect new Morse cables from the chandlery and replace existing broken one (should mention these are the original cables so 28 years old)! Our friend Wayne whom we met in Bundaberg, came in just ahead of us on "Celebrity" into the marina & we had catch up drinks with him before we head off for dinner at the hotel above the marina.
Just anchored at Curlew Island a part of the Guardfish Cluster after a very pleasant 5hr jaunt past various islands & greeted by lots of butterflies on approach. We can finally put the dinghy in the water and go walking on the beach as we are now free of "the military zone". Met up with Bonafide, Kathamaria & Aquavista on the beach for a natter as the tide went out (forgot wheels for dinghy), luckily there were 4 strong men to carry her back to water, note to self...don't forget dinghy wheels!
We have anchored at Hunter Island, rather swelly in parts along the way, tides can be up to 9 metres in spots along this coastline, and are some of the biggest in the country, whilst running in varying directions. Upon anchoring steering cable has broken again so not sure if this is a result of feathering props (a known problem with Yanmars) or the dog clutch, poor skipper back at it after having to change water pump on port engine along the way, not a particularly happy sailor!
Enroute to Hunter Island, eta 1730. I have barely had signal whilst at base of creek (though we got to sort of watch the football albeit moving modem or phone about so I quickly put this update in, just in case it got worse. So just thought I'd mention entry & exit into Island Head creek is a bit full on, use a full tide. It's about 1hr, 20min to bottom of creek with tide working with you.
We had a light sail a few hours up to Island head Creek (think kind of co-eee of Sarina) & waited for a few whales to pass before entry & have travelled down to the end of the creek in a lovely anchorage, assessed only by boat. We have intermittent phone coverage & upon firing up engine to run up fridge the gear selector cable has snapped on the port engine (think no forward or reverse) so skipper once again in the engine room hole, hopefully inventing a solution.
Does not get much better than this today, absolutely perfect, stunning anchorage right at the base of South Arm, Port Clinton, just shy of the boat ramp, just rembember to fire up mosquito coils at 4pm, in case (we only had a few). After what was pretty much our best weekend with perfect conditions, tucked in, catching fish and despite the Power losing, we have now moved back up the South Arm ready for departure to Island Head Creek in the morning...weather dependent.
After after a few days, a lot of wind & rain & interesting people "Kiknbak" with drinks at the Yacht Club, in a very large marina we departed Yeppoon this morning and we are now approaching Port Clinton, & will drop anchor in South Arm, we thought we'd lose coverage whilst there, and was doing a quick update but appears is all good at present. Have signal thanks to military reserve area.
It appears as though a blow is coming that unfortunately, with the swell coming with it makes for an uncomfortable anchorage & no other alternatives within co-eee, so after a lovely walk along Great Keppel Island this morning we have chosen to beat the crowds to a safe berth in Keppel Bay Marina, Yeppoon and wait it out until Friday.
After a stunning starry night under the Milky Way, with Curlews singing we were up at 6am & away by 7am. So we have now successfully traversed "The Narrows", between Curtis Island & the Mainland, via Ramsay's Crossing, with the lowest point of water being 0.5mtr under the keels. We decided to continue straight through to Great Keppel Island and dropped anchor at 2pm with good signal & champagne in hand to finish watching the footy!
We have left Gladstone Marina and anchored under Black Swan Island (not seen any though) beautiful spot so armed with our newly purchased "plastic lures" we will continue in our pursuit of catching actual fish as opposed to sharks and crocodiles (true) not getting on paddleboard here! Tomorrows the day we get to experience "The Narrows", Ramsays Crossing, spit out the other side & off to Great Keppel Islands after that.
All tied up, safe & sound in the Gladstone Marina, for a big Port it is surprising how little vessel activity there is, we have only seen 3 runabouts in 3 days, tis all very civilised.
We have left our lovely little anchorage at Turtle Island (excellent holding, lots of water & protected from most directions), the whole place to ourselves, so after swanning around in the sun doing a whole lot of not very much we have moved over to Witt Island on high tide to anchor overnight pre-departure in the morning to the marina to collect some new impellors for the Yanmar engine (they strip of the spindle, & overheat motor) & a bit more fuel etc.
Departed Bustard Bay at 7.30am & had a cruisee 7-9 knot sail to Gladstone with a few turtles spotted along the way. There are a multitude of anchorages to choose from depending on wind direction so we have opted for NE of Turtle Island & will try our hand at a spot of fishing. We intend to travel up the Narrows via Ramsay Crossing so it looks like Friday will be the earliest to be able to garner the necessary tides flowing half way up, then ebbing out the other end into Keppel Bay. As we are officially in the Great Barrier Reef, we will have to check where & if we can fish first!
Thanks to a friend in Adelaide, we made some new friends in Bundy who were kind enough to loan a car to us for supplies & invited us for a bbq & watch the footy, lovely people & great night. Due to the fog we departed late from Bundaberg for a 10 hr trip to Pancake Creek today, but as the weather was not what it was meant to be (there's a surprise) we were slowed down somewhat so we have decided to anchor in Bustard Bay for the night as the sun sets, just north of Seventeen Seventy & not chance navigating around rocky shoals & entering into the creek in the dark.
We have just tied up in the Bundaberg Marina for 2 nights (fingers crossed) as it's pretty hard to get fuel & fill gas bottles etc in Bundy, they have a pick up/drop off into town here or to Burnett Heads which we will do tomorrow whilst it blows 25kn plus from the SE (gusts twice the strength = 50kn, no thanks). Skipper not happy with sugar cane ashes being blown all over boat at anchor yesterday arvo, so is now happily hosing boat down whilst I wash sheets, towels etc in laundry here, quite nice facilities with lovely bbq area where for a $5 donation to local Sea rescue club you get & anchor to put up on the board with vessel name on it.
Have ended up changing my mobile service over so after a few lovely days anchored in the Burnett river, groaning at football, and catching fish (even keeping some whiting, we don't know what the others were so we let them go) we have had to travel another 9 miles upstream to Bundaberg Central to collect the mail (hopefully here today) with my new sim card, Optus only going to get worse. Apparently crocodiles have been sighted here so no paddle boarding for me today!
We have finally gone above 25 degrees South, our stop point until the end of cyclone season (30th April), then along came Co-vid 19 & no travelling, so 2 months later we are anchored up the Burnett River at Burnett Heads, the Port of Bundaberg just across from a field of sugar cane (which I just love)! We don't want to go further up the river to Bundy but rather head back out & further up to Agnes Waters/ Seventeen Seventy, seems to be an issue at present with the channel being silted up at 1770 so we will check up on local knowledge contact prior to making a decision, maybe go into Pancake Creek, rumour has it, quite pretty!
We departed Sth White Cliffs & decided that we should have anchored slightly further north where the wrecked ship & ruined pier is, would have been a more favourable anchorage in the Southerly away from tidal flow (hindsight) & now travelled further along Fraser Island & cut across the top of Big Woody Island (in 20kn winds) & have secured a berth in the Boat Club Marina at Urangan for 1 or 2 nights. Got a lift into town by a lovely couple travelling from the caravan park & so we have done our stores shopping & will collect fuel in the morning before heading on up. (I should mention this the famous Hervey Bay Boat Club where Rod's dog ate the inside of his car, whilst he played pool for shots)!
We have decided to stay here at SW Cliffs another night & bypass Kingfisher resort tomorrow as it's apparently a bit dodgy for holding, also wind on tide is not particularly pleasant at the best of times & appears to be better here than there !?! Have used this time completing covers & watching the footy (didn't want to lose reception) happy days, go "The Power"! Worse places to be & some awesome shots!
Lovey trip travelling through the Great Sandy Straits up to anchor for the night at South West Cliffs, just below Ungowa, Fraser Island on a parallel with Maryborough, Qld (recommended by Gypsy Lover, nice spot John, cheers). I've been making lots of mess in the cockpit since Newport, creating wet weather shades for back sides & back of verandah, whilst skipper is in charge of hunting flathead!
After an incredible, star filled sky under the Milky Way last night, we left Rainbow Beach at 8am & have successfully crossed Wide Bay Bar with under 0.5mtr swell, 15kn winds, the bar itself at 5.6mtr depth & arrived at Fraser Island. We have continued up to Garrys Anchorage & anchored at 1.30pm for the night a touch further north under Dream Island.
We departed Mooloolaba at 8am & have arrived at Double Island Point at 4.30 in very clear water. With a very non eventful cruise with winds swinging between 6-10kn NE to "on the nose", got excited when I saw a "puff" & thought a whale but alas, just a couple of dolphins (they breed them small up here). My tip for the day, amazing what happens when you clean the binocular lenses 😆 So anyway it will be up at 6.30 to go over to the Wide Bay Bar entrance & cross the 4 mile long bar, one of which is called the mad mile, so here's hoping it's happy!
Hip hip hooray, we have left Moreton Bay, back in the Coral Sea & arrived in the Sunshine Coasts' Mooloolaba Marina at 14.30 for the next 2 nights prior to heading up to Hervey Bay. Not a bad trip up despite BOM saying 10kn W, when in reality between 10 - 30k N! The entrance in to the river is a bit tricky & shallows out quite radically (1.3), take the western bank. We've said au revoir to some lovely people at Newport & wish them well in their travels.
Well like every other cruiser heading north we are all biding our time w/ jobs onboard waiting for the weather window to progress (currently 38kn at Double Island Point, does not make for a good bar crossing, big swell to be avoided at all cost)! Having spent a couple of days gardening at Shells, & with her assisting, we now have our new window shade cover press studs screwed in as well as the rope bags I whipped up. Skipper has expertly attached dinghy wheels to our tender at rear whilst I spliced up our floating painter on bow, with thanks to our new friends who helped lift "BB" onto marina for the job. We are contemplating heading 6 hours up to Mooloolaba tomorrow, & perhaps the 7.5hrs up to Double Is Point Sunday with the bar crossing on Monday, all dependent on wind, swell & tide!!
We have up anchored from Deception Bay, Scarborough (above Brisbane) & motored on up the channel into Newport marina to hide out for a few days & wait for a weather opportunity to progress further north.
We have left Tangalooma, Moreton Island (thank heavens) & gone over to anchor overnight at Deception Bay, Scarborough. Tangalooma is nothing like the pictures you see or on the wall at Boatworks anymore, most ships now almost total ruins offering no protection & awful sloppy/tidal waters especially when combined with all of the ...less than intelligent boat owners (as opposed to saying dickwads)! Tramp II have safely crossed the bar into Hervey Bay.
Well we have finally made it to the wrecks at Tangalooma, our 2nd time at Moreton Island (last time Feb 21)! Have cracked champagne & we will explore the rusted ships put in place as a buffer from a westerly (unsuccessfully)! Tramp II have decided to continue on up north.
Returned back to Raby Bay to do what we hoped was final stores & fuel up prior to departing either to Mooloolaba or straight through to Hervey Bay (inside of Fraser Island) but the weather has other ideas. Wide Bay bar goes for 4 miles one of which is called the "Mad Mile" with breaks on either side as you cross over, the idea is to wait for calm seas with little to no swell & light winds before you cross, which of course is not the case at the present other than a very small (& rushed) window for Sunday entry which we choose to ignore. Instead we have a fleeting easterly today & tomorrow to finally see the Tangalooma wrecks with departure shortly.
After having had Michelle stay a few days, skipper fitting hydrofoils to "Bigger Bit" (or BB for short) the adjustment of davit system to 2:1 pulley's, & version 18 of bow roller complete we now have the exceptional news that Qld has been opened earlier than June 12th & we are now finally able to proceed north (weather dependent, of course). Happy days, & now with today being the commencement of "Sol fest", (Sol's birthday on Tramp II) things are looking up as we have returned to Macleay Island for the next little blow & get to listen to the "Curlew's" nightsong once more!
After a fun night aboard Tramp II for dinner we left Macleay Island today to return to Raby Bay with "the Tramps" to collect new smaller fuel tank for our tender, a couple of AUS Charts we neglected to get previously along w/ various other bits & pieces, t'was quite a lovely little jaunt over with the sun shining brightly.
We left Raby Bay for Macleay Island yesterday to rendezvous finally w/ "the Tramps" after their jaunt on the slip. So with a catch up for morning tea the day spiralled into the wee small hours of this morning, with a great day had by all, & a little seedier today!! All sorts of cruddy weather abound at present & we are unable to progress north until the 12th June (without the possibility of being fined or turned back) so we will probably aim towards the Brisbane river some time next week where we are now allowed to go onshore to the gardens/shops etc.
Sorry folks, slight technical hitch with yit, but seems all good now. We have been get quite busy as we wait for the wind to change, pre our departure northward bound. We have purchased a nearly new Mercury 4 stroke 8hp outboard (thank you Bruce for delivering to VMR Raby Baby) & setting onboard. Next day back to collect brand new AB 9AL dinghy then attempt to winch outboard onto dinghy (had all the elements for a youtube disaster landing in the drink so we enlisted help from nearby Promise II & successfully achieved touchdown onto tender. Next day off to the beach with "little bit" our old tender, to send her off with her new owner Sarah in the back of her dads Corolla!
Been over at Raby Bay for the last week to collect various packages being sent, including window covers. Have just returned to Macleay Island for the expected northerly blow today/tonight & return to Raby tomorrow for appt on Monday. Skipper has been very busy perfecting bow roller system & installing new salt water deck wash pump we had sent in (no more fresh water wasted hosing off chain here at Macleay). He's changed over the pressure release valve on the hot water service & replaced the water Desalinator gauge, whilst finding time to catch a stingray (still no fish to eat)!
We have spent the last week or so going from Peel Island over to Raby Bay (for mail etc) back to Peel & now back at Macleay Island awaiting possible hail storm tonight. Today marks the end date for travelling north with Topsail Insurance & cyclone season so we are now effectively free to start cruising up towards The Whitsundays etc. Now all we need is for the Qld Medical Assoc to free up travel with all things Covid 19, possibly May 19th, here's hoping!
Perfectly lovely past couple of days, great anchorage, all to ourselves, unfortunately it takes near on 1/2 hr to pull up chain & hose down, metre by metre, as it's chokkers with thick mud! We only have a fresh water hose for cleaning down chain (& we we're coming here to make more clean water) so we used all of that, fired up the genny once we arrived back at Peel Island, started up watermaker, turned on ice machine, ran for 20mins then sucked up a pile of weed from s/fitting to 90% bend, so woo hoo. When you consider we've lost our entire paravane, (something big got that), then squid jag went flying, & lost & have caught lots of only just undersize squires (baby snapper) that we had to throw back, skipper not liking today terribly much.
Motored over to Macleay Island for protection from the upcoming 20+ overnight Sou Westerly, seems to be a turtle playground, very still at present, the calm before the storm.
Departed Newport marina at 8am arriving at 1pm Peel Island for upcoming NW winds, roughly 50 boats by end of day, at least we can still go to shore here and walk on the beach. We will depart Saturday noon for Macklay Island for the South westerly. It appears as though we are now forced to stay in the Moreton Bay area until travel restrictions are lifted so no moseying on up to Hervey Bay at present!
We departed Raby Bay 8.30am this morning & arrived at Newport Marina 13.15pm, with barely a 5kn breeze. We have come to collect our new invertor, end to end chain, tighten up our new trampoline, a few more odd jobs & gather up supplies over the next few days. All is well.
Motored from Horeshoe Bay, Peel Island over to Deanbilla, North Stradbroke Is, for 2 nights then back over yesterday to Raby Bay, Cleveland to collect a few more stores whilst we wait out this next little weather cycle as the seasons change & we ready ourselves to begin the course further north!
We have moved back over to Peel Island for the upcoming Northerly & now that all recreational boating has been ceased, there are but 4 boats here. We have just a few more weeks to go hiding out in Moreton Bay before proceeding north post cyclone season & have confirmed with Qld Safety Authority & the Health dept that we are currently able to do so. Just had a visit from Border Patrol who have confirmed we can exercise waliking on the beach & have a wee dip!
We have travelled across the bay (dodging ferries) and away from the crowd at Peel Island (30+ boats), and over to Deanbilla (2 boats)! We will hang here for a few days with our own private beach & await the next blow!
We've finally had a change in wind direction and have up anchored (with our new homemade bow roller working beautifully) & meandered over to Peel Island along with approximately 30 other boats with the same idea. We'll hang here for a couple of days, with walks on the beach, whilst maintaining our distance!
Still at anchor at Raby Bay, waiting for this little blow to pass & should be on our way somwhere new tomorrow as the weather dictates. This will give us the opportuniy to try out Version 4 of Rod's home made bow roller and see if it works. Pretty much all the boats that were here when we arrived are still here waiting for the weather to change. Skippers suceeded in catching snapper (squire), big fat catfish & a couple of 2 foot Hammerhead sharks all released. We have warily gone ashore for more stores & are quite disconcerted with all thats going on in the world. A very good analogy was put to me, that it's like Mother nature has sent us all to our rooms to have a good hard think about ourselves & the world! Very scary stuff!
It's exactly 1 year ago today, since we departed North Haven, SA at 00:01 17/01/2019 & despite all that is going on in the world, all is good here on Double Bubble. We finally ventured into town today in the dinghy as Cyclone Gretel had moved on & calm was being restored only to find the unrest going on "out there", (we left SA with 76 rolls of toilet paper back then & everyone laughed, now we actually need to re-stock, good luck with that)! Seems on our return Gretel decided to come back & we got a little wet in the dinghy as winds increased. Rod has completed his experimental bow roller set up & we will get to test it maybe later in the week...if this blow ever stops! Oh & Happy St Patrick's day!
Still no change in weather conditions with winds increasing to 35kn+ tomorrow, been pretty constant 20 knots for the past week, with showers on & off & will continue for the next week at least. Raby Bay is a good anchorage with strong holding so will just ride it out here for another week & work on rain covers for back deck.
With yet another change in wind direction & not too many protected anchorages in a South Easterly, with access to shops (& shore) we have moved back over to Raby Bay, Cleveland. We are going to be getting 20-30+knots of wind for at least the next 10 days so will ride it out here, keeping an eye on a possible cyclone brewing enroute towards Townsville. I will continue to spend my time chasing Daddy long legs that I have missed from the onslaught from The Boatworks that ultimately have continued to breed, whilst skipper flies his Flight Sim!
Chane in wind direction so up anchored from Dulwich after a quick jaunt into town, (given a lift by a lovely chap & his beautiful puppy), and a short trip over to Peel Island at midday to wait out the wind & make some water (400 litres in 3 hours).
Having collected our post, re-stocked with fuel & food, Alcatrac & the Tramps joined us for the same & we all toddled off together to Myora on Nth Straddie, dropped anchor & then changed our mind as there was nowhere to get off so went down to Dunwich to anchor. Have spent a few days with chores, making flyscreens (mosi's), made Sue a dress, skipper did some fishing & today 3rd March) we all took to shore for a big day out, bus trip to Point Lockout, Nth Stradbroke Island, hot chips, ice creams & great swim at the beach, fun day.
Have had a great, past few days, with get togethers & a long walk along the beach, through what appears to be a Stingray, Shovel nosed Skate & puffer fish nursery! It's not a particularly comfortable anchorage at Sandhills in a Southerly so we have left our friends & come over to Raby Bay (not a very nice trip, I should add) to collect a new thermostat for the fridge (which of course now appears to be working just fine)! It's exactly 1 year ago today that we first met Alcatraz on the slip in Adelaide.
After having all met up on Alcatraz on the 19th for a bbq & excellent lightning show, we had a day of chill waiting for the weather to mosey on down to Tangalooma Sth for my birthday & after a bit of a lumpy trip we had an excellent afternoon - evening onboard Double Bubble & a fab day had by all. We have now up anchored & moved further down to Sand Hills as a bit too tidal & swelly where we were.
Departed Newport @ 7.30 arrived at Bongaree, Bribie Island 10.30 w/ Tramp II, waiting on Alcatraz to join us. Tangalooma, Moreton Island is an easterly anchorage and with the current northerly no good for today, so will chill out here & enjoy the peace.
We have accomplished quite a bit in the last few days as planned, with Skipper completely re-doing the companion way (think hallway into Saloon) something we've wanted for a very long time & had hoped to achieve at The Boatworks! Been great having "the Tramps" within co-eee & catching up w/ Gypsy Lover John once again allowing us both the use of his car, very kind. We are now prepping/re-loading our vessels ready for departure on Wed to Tangalooma to meet up w/ "the Thieves" ergo Alcatraz ready to celebrate my birthday swimming & snorkelling w/ the turtles and having some very much needed rest & relaxation, yay!
Having all met up on Alcatraz on the 19th with bbq & incredible lightning show across the skies we all had a day of chill waiting for weather to move on down to Tangalooma Sth for my birthday & after a bumby trip there, we all enjoyed an excellent afternoon/evening & a great night had by all, cheers!
Had a great night onboard Alcatraz Sunday, with return dinner Monday night on Double Bubble & a great catch up. With the approaching Cyclone we decided Tuesday to mosey on up to Newport marina & finalise some jobs onboard & catch up with the "Tramps", we were greeted by Mandy & Paul, Ali & Sol & John who helped tie up as the skipper skillfully got pulled into last spot in the marina between to commercial whale watching vessels. We all went over to the BBQ area for drinks & a gasbag & a great evening.
After travelling on through Moreton bay we are now anchored at Dunwich and just seen the arrival of Alcatraz to join us for a long overdue catch up. It was the 18th Aug, (Ali's bday Tramp II) last we've seen them. Just need the rain to stop for dinghy ride over!
After saying our goodbyes to all at the yard we have finally departed from Coomera & travelled 20 nm upstream towards Moreton Bay having to anchor for the night due to non stop rain & poor visibility. There is so much rubbish, logs, branches etc floating along that we would prefer not to hit & take out a prop!! At last we're free!
Well woo hoo & "whoopty doo" finally ready to leave in the morning, 102 days later! 1st little man did a fab job on welding our gooseneck unfortunately welds brought tangs in too tight so had to find 2nd little man to adjust "uni joint", took all week! Now painted, greased, in place & working, with mainsail rolled up on boom & boom bag & lazyjacks in place. Massive weather system with lots of rain passing overhead & NO leaky windows - hooray! So we will depart back down the Coomera river & start making our way up north through The Broadwater to join up 1st with Alcatraz & then the "Tramps" yay.
All went according to plan, 25 mins from lift in the shed to drop in the water, hang around for crane at midday with Col - Quinrig doing an awesome job stepping mast in 35 mins & all new rigging & furler attached by 3pm in stinking hot temperature, then we uncovered a problem! Luckily (& I use the term loosely) we discovered 2 cracks in the gooseneck in the boom furler which connects to the mast (think universal joint). Imagine sail up, under load, & it breaks, it could've have taken off your head or smashed in the cockpit roof so have spent all day trying to come up with a solution, find a replacement part which are long since discontinued or find a little man to fix it, weld cast iron!! so we think we may have had a win, stay tuned!
Well that's it folks, we're done, 7.30am in the drink, 12pm for mast, let there be no kibosh on it! Michelle has come down bringing her awesome curry, to feed us & to assist with the stepping of the mast. The boom & furler being lifted this morning with the help of Jess & his mates, thank you. We had a great catch up with Liberty II, Darren & Tracey over the weekend & met up with Bruce from Astrid who we met through mutual friends on Australia day in Adelaide exactly 1 year ago to the day, amazing things happen!! Here's hoping we're floating..ha!
Had a lovely visit with Pa albeit too hot for him in the end with temp 28% & 84% humidity @ 21.31pm. We also had a return visit from 2nd cousin Kelly & a nice reprieve from work. The new trampoline is finished (my fingers will never recover I'm sure) & the final bastion on a slip has been reached with primer, tie coat & antifoul finished, props & anodes in place, all she needs now is propspeed painted on & we're good to go. The new furler has arrived & Col & Rod spent the day putting that together & connecting up all the stays "for deployment" when the mast goes in. Due to the long weekend it currently looks like Wed next week we finally get back in the water & the mast to go in an hour later, here's hoping!
Hallelujah, our girl is finally painted with non skid on deck (13th) so off to Tweed Heads for the night to see Aunty Eva & her kin, lovely, lovely people & a great night was had in NSW! So back to the boat in the morning to unwrap our girl which took all day, celebrating with champagne & bubble bath under the boat. We are now having our windows coved & setting up for our new trampoline, with our rigger Col- Quinrig ( our friend coming to set up the 29yr old Profurl thankfully discovering furler ready to die in months (which it seems parts are no longer able to be replaced) ergo $3600 for new furler! On a good note however I drove back to NSW today & collected Pa from the Coolangatta airport & he will be staying with us for a few days!
After 68 days in the shed we've reached the summit, Double Bubble has been hand sanded, hand washed, the shed cleared & hosed out & DB wrapped AGAIN & for the final time (locked in, with no hatch access, getting good at this).We are prepped & ready for the non skid paint to be sprayed on, assuming there's no rain in the morning (too much moisture in the air makes the paint de-laminate).! So with a bit of luck Aunty here we come for an overnight visit. Oh and apparently, red, is oh so nineties!
Monday saw the return of the Boatworks tradies & opening of The Galley for food & ice from Christmas break, much has been achieved. The hull has been sanded & wet rubbed ready for a few fills, primer & prep coat for different (warm water temperature) antifoul. Masking up of the boat has nearly been completed, working out the rounds & lay of non skid is time consuming & complicated. Lifelines are tied on & ferrules covered with amalgamating tape. The dolphin striker timbers are now coated (4) in DWD as is the repairs to winch & block bases (when you remove masking tape sometimes the coatings are damaged). So we wait now for Choice Stainless to measure & whip up inner railings for new trampoline hopefully today.
Well Happy New Year all, after approximately $1200 worth of Fixtech's been used the windows are now finally in & absolute huge thank you to Ally & Sol aka "The Tramps" for arriving in time as our spirits were waning & helping us to get them completed, as well as the deck & window hatches, painted. As usual we have had a couple of great days/nights together, & lots of fun & fireworks were had last night. Next we move onto antifoul whilst windows set for 7-10 days, pre having final coving applied.
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