Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Away we go bye to Zoe bay





Sadly our time has come at Zoe bay. Winds are meant to start to blow from the Se for the next few days, which will make this an uncomfortable anchorage. We are leaving for Orpheus Island. making our way South gain slowly. There is meant to be some snorkeling spots and some beaches to explore. We arrived at Orpheus at around 1:30. Once we had some lunch making sure we were safely anchored we got our gear together to check out some of the reef. There are a few shots here for you to see. We had a snorkel for about 45 mins, and started to get chilly. Back to the boat and a hot shower for us all! Followed by some warm vegetable soup and corn bread! Yum.
I am writing this the next morning and the place is so peaceful. Winds are calm, and the birds are singing on the Island. We will go for an explore today in the dingy, and find some more dive spots. Perhaps another walk in the bush.
I am having thoughts of not continuing this blog as this is taking a lot of time to put together, and I'm not sure anyone is really keeping up with it all. If you are enjoying this blog can you please let me know by a comment or a email. Other wise I may let it go. Thanks

Another day @ Zoe bay




We decided that since we still have this wonderful weather window we will stay here another day. We started our day by Jer & I doing yoga on the beach while Bruce had a nice long walk on this magic beach. we met at the dingy when we were all done. Bruce told us he saw some shovel nose rays working along the beach catching fish. There is no fishing here as this is a World listed Heritage National Park! then back to the boat for a bite to eat, and to prepare for a dingy ride up the northern creek. You have to go in on the rising tide. We had another magic day! The creek seem to go on and on through mangroves, but as we started to get deeper up creek we noticed the vegetation started to change now we are seeing Gum trees along the creek. We followed the creek all the ay to the very end where we got out to have a little look around. You could hear the sounds of water falling, so we think we were close to the waterfall. We didn't walk this time. We sat in the dingy for a while had a little snack and watched the world around us. listening to the birds, and I saw the most beautiful butterfly I have ever seen. I tried to share it with the others, but no one could see it, so I just enjoyed it for as long as it was around.  Here are a few pictures, but they don't do the place justice! I feel so lucky to have experience this magical place!

where to from Dunk?






Well we had a look at the weather. Winds from the SW to SE. Looking at the cruising guides we have of the area. The weather now is so calm it is a good time to look at places you wouldn't normally get to enjoy due to prevailing winds and seas. we chose Zoe Bay. It is on Hinchbrook Island on the East side. Normally you have seas rolling into the anchorage, but these days coming up are meant to be low to no winds and from the west.  Were we in for a treat! We pulled into the anchorage around 2 ish, and we were not alone. 5 other boats all from the rally were there.  Once the boat was secure on its anchor we decided to head to the beach. What a BEAUTIFUL beach, long walking beach with white sand, and Palm trees! We had read there is a waterfall that runs all year, and since you are never really sure what the weather will do, we thought we should go there now, just incase we have to leave due to weather change. The walk is through the rain forest just a little track. we passed a few people on their way back from the falls. The time is getting late in the day as the sun sets early this time of year. You can see the sun shining down through the leaves of the trees of the rain forest. I scene I will not quickly forget!! we continue on not knowing how long the walk really is. We finally make it to a creek bed where we have to cross over some hugh rocks and some water. Another 10 minutes brings us to the most breath taking scene, and it is all ours no one else is left here for the day! We make our way quietly to the pool made by the waterfall. We're going in no matter how cold. this is a chance that neither of us will pass up! The rocks are very slippery, so we walk to in enough that we can swim of the rocks. It was a little bit spooky as well as the water was deep and dark. Then I hear wow look at the size of that fish. Yikes...., but they came right up to us to check us out. We swam across to the waterfall, and I had to take a few photos. You will see them here. The water was cold but not numbing cold as some can be. We were buzzing from the whole experience. I think this is the MOST BEAUTIFUL place on the East Coast of Australia, and only a handful of people do get to see it. The only way to get there is by boat as it is an Island!

Left Cardwell on Friday




We have taken off from Cardwell (Port Hinchinbrook). It is always a good feeling to leave port with a clean, full boat. meaning boat has been washed, laundry done, food restocked, water and fuel restocked. we thought we would go up to Dunk Island before making our way south. We are in company with Wanderlust from the rally. Bill & Inaka will continue north when we head south.
We ended up spending one night at Dunk as the winds turned more from the NW which made the anchorage rocky. It was also very busy with people. Jet skis tearing up the anchorage. Not what we want to be around. Off the boat after we knew she was secure on her anchor and we went for a walk. We walked for a long time before coming back to the jetty cafe for a latte, and chocolate milk. We ran into Inaka and invited them to com by the boat for a sundowner. It is our anniversary and we have a bottle of champagne to share.  Bill also wanted to have a look at the computer to see weather forecast because they heard rumors of the weather turning sour over the weekend. We all decided that this wasn't a good anchorage due to the wind direction, and we would move on in the morning. It is always kind of sad to depart with ones you have come to know and like. As you never know when we will meet again, but then again I'm sure when w do it will be extra special! here are a few shots of us walking the beach at Dunk. have to say this is my favorite so far as it has that tropical feel I like soso much!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

last day in port

We head out of here tomorrow. Most of the rally boats have left. We got Bruce's computer back today. (was the hard drive) yuck. we took a drive and spent most of the day exploring and shopping. we are all stocked up and ready to go. Just top up on our water tomorrow. we decided we would go back to Dunk Island as this will be the furthest north we will go this year. we will spend a day or two there and slowly make our way back to the Whitsundays. 

In Port

Well while we are here we sent Bruce's computer off to be fixed as he had a failure on the day we had all the rough weather. Going to get the boat cleaned up, laundry caught up, shopping ect. We got most of the boat stuff done today, so tomorrow we will rent a car and head up to Tully and Mission Beach for a bit of a look around and a shop while we have wheels!  Even found time for a little relax by the resort pool!

Luncheon

Today the winner will be announced! It s a luncheon here at the marina. We had a nice lunch and we were quite excited as we have a chance to win this rally! Finally we are to the announcements. race winners were announced first, and then the rally. Third place first, then second , and finally the winner is..... " Bluenose". darn it was so close! Steve even said this is where the target times become a serious part of the rally. Oh well it was a lot of fun. Would would do it all again, but not next year as we will be overseas for Kendra's graduation! 

The contest tonight




Well we are almost finished now. Can't get any more points. Last chance was a quiz they gave out at Dunk Island. 15 questions and we found out that we were tied at 3rd place in the quiz by answering 13 questions correctly. What I was sure we got them all right!! Oh well another bottle of wine was won. That makes it 6 bottles all up. Now for the contest there were 11 entries, Jerrica was our model, as there is no way I was getting into a bikini! Samantha & Kendra weren't here as they left today for the Sunshine Coast. When it was time for the contest Jerr and I left to go get changed. we were both a bit nervous. We were finally called up around the 8th boat. Jerrica did great she walked across the stage to the judges turned around so they could see the whole swimsuit and then walked back. the round of applause was so loud!  This was a judged event with 6 or 7 judges and one of them was a swimwear designer! The winner wins a $200.00 gift certificate. Turns out that Jerrica & I won! ( well I did design it!) Here are a few photo's.

Port Hinchinbrook


On to Port Hinchinbrook for the finish of the rally. The first day in was Sunday, and we had to wait outside the channel for the tide as it is very shallow. We are going into a marina here. Quite a site to see 42 boats entering into a small marina. As the tide reached enough draft for us to start to enter there was a lot of chatter on the radio, and one of the boats came on and said " Okay we got ourselves a convoy" in a real southern accent. It was quite funny. Nothing on tonight, but there was a lot of partying happening as the race was also finishing this night! We stayed in and I worked on Jerrica's  swimsuit as tomorrow night is a homemade (boat made) swimsuit contest. We are all pretty tired and it is good to be tied up to the marina, as we can rest easy knowing the boat is safe from wind, waves, and dragging anchors. I stayed up the latest to finish the swimsuit. 

Dunk Island





We sailed on (motored really no wind) to Dunk Island. About 4 hours from Cape Richard's. We wanted to get there early to go explore. The rally had a target time between 11 & 12 a secret time that if you arrived at that time or close to it you would be awarded points. We got in around 10:45. Got anchored up and went to the beach. This is one of the prettiest beaches yet! Tonight is a Hawaiian theme. We had a walk, swim, lunch and a ice cream! Once again we dressed for the occasion! Here are a few pictures from Dunk. Another fun night! The event is winding down now. we learned tonight that we were in the top 6, with a chance to win the rally!

Cape Richards

We left Palm Island for our next stop Cape Richard's. There is an Eco lodge here, or I should say was ( we were the last group of people to be served it has shut down). This was a fun night as it was karaoke and a talent night as well. We arrived in the anchorage around 3 and started to plan what we would do tonight. Sam and I  choreographed  a dance (belly dancing). Kendra was in charge of the music. Jerrica picked some music and wanted to do gymnastics. It was a really fun night. Jerrica did FANTASTIC at her gymnastics so much so that she won 2 place! I was amazed at how well she did, as it wasn't practiced at all made up on the spot! Sorry I don't have any photo's to share on this one.

Dunk Island

We left Magnetic Island for Palm Island. we stayed one night there, but we didn't go ashore. The wind was howling until dark, and we were quite cozy on the boat. It was the first night we just hung out. I made our favorite dish my dad's recipe for spaghetti & meatballs, and some homemade bread. Yum was a good night!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Magnetic Island




We all gathered at the Marlin Tavern for dinner and more prizes. We are not doing to bad with the point system! There was live music and more dancing. See photos. Samantha ( my oldest) joined us here to do the rest of the rally with us. We spoke to several others boats, who told us of there experience of the Cape Bowling Green anchorage, and their trip across to Magnetic Island.
Most weren't happy in the conditions, and had seasick crew. the 2 boats that did end up on the beach are now free, and one has joined us here at the anchorage. The other we heard went to Townsville to check for any damage. In hearing how many boats dragged their anchor I am glad we most always chose to anchor on or own away from most of the crowd, as some of the boats dragged across others. we are going ashore in a few hours to a resort that has a pool, and we will have a bbq there. More competions and more prizes, and more points to score. By the way we got points last night as Steve the director said the first person up here with red knickers and can show us will win 9 points. Guess who was the first up..... Bruce as he pulled his shotrs down on the side to show his red knickers! hahahaha we laughed so hard. Won a bottle of wine. Now we have won a bottle of red ( I won 1 of 5  best pirate costume), and a bottle of white. Bruce will update map later. More to follow. ;o)

Next Stop Cape Bowing Green




Cape Bowling Green was a our next stop for an anchorage. There is a picture of our follow companions at sunset. The day was magic a glass out (not good for a sail), but the seas were calm.
We met a couple of locals there fishing off the point, and they told us about the tiger shark, crocodiles, sea snakes, and we saw eels. Also were greeting with dolphins. The magic anchorage turned a bit hellish about 2:30 am in the morning. The winds turned from the south and were howling in. The anchorage is very shallow, so the waves didn't take long to build. We woke and stayed dozing on and  off as we were watching to make sure we didn't drag anchor. We finally left at 5 am. Still very dark, but the conditions were getting worse by the minute. As the tide was falling and we were only in 7 feet at 5 am. Later we were to hear how many boats had dragged anchor, and 2 ended up on the beach. We listened on the radio as the boats were being assisted by Coast Guard. The conditions are ones we would normally venture off in, but we had no choose. The winds were as strong  as 36 knots at times, but average was 25 to 30 knots. The boat handled quite well. We were taking the wind on the side and the waves on the side so we had a lot of water coming over the boat. We were very impressed to see how well she handled the conditions, and feel comfortable enough in her to know that we an handle those conditions rather well. There is a photo here of another boat as it was passing us you can see the conditions.

Cape Upstart next stop






We left Gloucster early in the morning to make our next stop Cape Upstart. There is a photo of sunrise as we are leaving the anchorage. It was a calm day so sailing wasn't much. The Cape was on fire and it was quite a sight to see as we arrived, and a bit erie to see at night. We anchored just behind the point as this was the place with the least amount of smoke, but we we still had ash falling on the boat.

Theme PIRATES @ Gloucster Eco Resort





We've been looking forward to this event. Everyone that knows me knows how much I LOVE the pirate theme. There were so many good costumes! I'm sorry I didn't get more photos. Here are a few photos from the night.

start of the rally




Well finally we have a lay day @ Magnetic Island. We are having such a good time. The race/rally started on Saturday the 13th of June.  Leaving out of Abel Point Marina. There are 42 yachts in the rally. First stop is Gloucster Eco Resort. A few photos of the start.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Abel Point Marina

Well not exactly where we would like to be sitting for a week, but we are taking advantage of it. The boat is now clean. We gave her a good washing and what I would call a spring clean inside and out. We are here to pick up 2 of our daughters, that are on their way tomorrow. They are on the Sunshine Coast presently visiting their older sister and their mates. Kendra & Jerrica flew in on Friday from Florida. The other reason we choose to come to this marina is it is the host of the rally called Dent to Dunk. We will all meet here on Friday for the start for the rally on Saturday. Saturday we sail around to Glouster passage. We are looking forward to this adventure!
Meanwhile today we will rent a car and head away from Airlie to do a bit of a restock on our fishing gear, and a few items for the boat. Along with more groceries. It will be a busy day.
Signing off for now.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Stonehaven





We moved from Nara Inlet yesterday. Made our way around to Stonehaven where we got in the water for a snorkel. Left there this morning on our way to Butterfly bay, but winds weren't favorable for that anchorage, so we came to Macona Inlet. Another beautiful spot! Haven't taken any pics here will do so tomorrow. We will stay here tomorrow night, and head to Airlie Beach on Friday morning. Time to refuel, restock, and give the girl a good clean! We will stay there for a 8 days. Two of my daughters are coming from Florida to join us for a couple of months! We pick them up on the 10th. So excited!!!!