Sunday, August 30, 2009

today 30/08

We had one more dive before we left today. we had to go earlier because of how long it is back into the island. Left the boat around 9:30, and found it difficult to find our way around with the angel of the sun. Once again we spent  a couple of hours in the water. This is what we love to do!! It was hard to leave, but there is some weather do in on Tuesday, and an expected wind direction change tomorrow. We will be back for sure this was just the BEST!!! Another beautiful sunset. that was tonight's. We got into the anchorage around 7:00 P.M. and it was quite dark already. Navigated with moonlight and electronic instruments. That next pic is a giant trevally that was hanging out under our boat with about 4 others, on the next photo of the coral and if you look close there are some black & white fish they are called Black tail humbug, & the last is called a breaksea cod. well thats all for now folks. I'm quite tried and I am ready for a good sleep!  Hope you enjoy!

Day two on the reef

The next day we went for a longer dive & snorkel. We once again went around 11:30 for the angle of the sun. I took so many photos but not all turned out. This is actually a SUNRISE picture ;o), the little fish above the coral are called long spine cardinal fish, next photo are damsel fish,  you have to look hard at the 4th photo there is a group of fish hanging vertical in the middle to right in front of the coral, they are called coral shrimpfish, and the last one is a banded maori.

more photos

Sunset in the Coral sea, a yellow boxfish & a view of what the reef looks like.

more photos

here are some more photos from our first day on the outside reef. 1 some pretty coral, another view of the humphead parrot fish, 3 clarks Anemonfish, 4 yellow butterfly fish , & 5 Bruce again.

30/08 We are back in Whitsundays

We had a FANTASTIC time out on the reef. You couldn't have asked for more perfect conditions. We arrived Friday at around 10:30 right on the low tide, which was good to see the reef and surrounding bommies (coral heads).  It was also a good time because any earlier and it would have been hard to read the reef with the angle of the sun. We had a snorkel around 11:30. The visibility was good. Here are some photos. There were 2 other boats with us during the day, but left which left us totally alone that night. I woke in the middle of the night and went up top to check our direction and it was so dark  no lights around anywhere) I couldn't make out which way we were facing.  The first photo is a humphead parrotfish, 2 is a giant clam, 3 is a Clark's Anemonefish, 4 is a BRUCE fish (hahaha), &  5 is green pullers.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Heading for the reef!

We've decided as we sit here in beautiful Macona Inlet that we are heading offshore tomorrow to the outer reefs. It's situated about 16 nautical miles from the Whitsundays. It is a reef in the Coral Sea. We have a weather window as the winds have been on the light side 10 to 15 knots Ne and tomorrow expected to be 10/15 NE/SE. Saturday the same and Sunday variable 5 to 10 knots. Not sure how long we will stay out there, but we are going out to check it out. We will be up tomorrow around 4:30 to be ready to up anchor at 5 am, so we can give ourselves plenty of time to go out and come back if it doesn't feel right. I get a bit scared thinking about being anchored out in the middle of a reef in the middle of the sea. That's all part of the adventure. I bought a book yesterday about whales, dolphins & porpoises and I am looking forward to having a read about them. I'm hoping to see some more whales tomorrow! will write more when we return. ;o)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 26th

We are still anchored in Muddy Bay. We will head out tomorrow. Was a busy day of laundry and grocery shopping. Good to have that all done. Looks like we are in for some good weather for a few more days. Will probably head out for some more snorkeling. It was very hot & humid here today. real summertime weather. before we left the boat this morning we had a mother & baby Dugong ( that's a Manatee for our American followers) swim behind the boat! So sweet to see!! I think that is one of my favorite parts of this adventure is the wildlife we get to see. I told Kendra I would post a picture of the grasshopper I learned to make using a palm frond, so here they are. I'm going to play with another hat tomorrow on our way out.. The plan is to start to think about making our way to Mackay. We have a date to haul her up on Sept 11th to do some work on the bottom, and I have to fly to Sydney for my Dru yoga assessment in 2 weeks time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August 25th

We moved on today, but before we did we went to the other anchorage in our dingy to check it out. There is a few coral heads over there so we wanted to see how tricky it is getting in. We will have to really pay attention getting into this anchorage. While there we went to talk to a boat called Fayse 2, Fud & Fay from West Australia. They said there was some outstanding coral there. Next time we will check it out. We decided we would head to Airlie to do a bit of provisioning. It is another smooth calm day here, so we motored into Muddy bay. On the way I had a go at making a hat and was able to kind of put one together. Not bad for my first attempt by myself. Bruce is my model. I made it for him. Isn't he the lucky one!!!  Here in Muddy bay we see a few boats we know from Mooloolaba. We stopped by one on the way back from taking some rubbish ashore. Duet II, Linda & Phil. We went aboard for  a drink and a chat. Tomorrow we will do our shop and treat ourself to a dinner out. Might even get a few of the Mooloolaba gang together for a dinner out. we will probably be here for a couple of days.

August 23rd & 24th

We moved on to Waite bay. It is surrounded in coral. There was so much fish around the boat the first night making such a noise jumping in the water. Mike & Sue said there were whales in this anchorage the day before. We spent the afternoon catching up with Mike & Sue. the next morning we went for a snorkel. I found this heart shaped coral, and another turtle. This one was resting on the bottom. While we were snorkeling Euphoria & Hurtle Turtle came into the anchorage. We were invited over along with Mike & Sue to learn how to make a hat, and basket. I had a couple of attempts, that evening but none successful. We met the couple from Hurtle Turtle, Merv & Rosie. We had another good night with great company!

August 21st

We were going to go into Airlie beach fro some provisions, but thought that with the winds from the NE we should take advantage of  this and explore some of the Whitsundays you don't get to see often. Left Cid Harbor for Waite Bay, but as we passed Chance Bay we decided we would go in as it wasn't very crowded. It was in Chance bay that we introduced our selfs to a boat name Euphoria, owners Lance & Trish, and Jossie their dog. We went aboard their boat for sundowners and met another friend of theirs in the anchorage as well on Kiamar, Alan. We had a nice evening of conversation. The next day we went for a fish and they were ashore in the next bay getting some palm fronds for making hats and baskets. We went with them a got one for ourselves so I can have a play at weaving. The first thing I learned how to make was a grass hopper. We invited Euphoria, and Kiamar aboard our boat for sundowners that evening. Another great night. We let them know we were leaving in the morning for Waite bay, as we have some friends there waiting to see us. (the Wanderers are back). Lance & Trish just has some friends pull in that day aboard Hurtle Turtle so they said they would catch up with us in waite bay. Does this rock point look as if it is an animal face smiling?

Bruce's Birthday!

We were in Cid harbor for Bruce's birthday. The weather is starting to calm down now. we will move on tomorrow. Had a quiet day of all days for the sat phone to go down as all the girls were planning on phoning Bruce for his birthday. Apparently the company in America was having problems. Bruce and I did the walk from Sawmill beach on his birthday. I was surprised to find such a nice walk. It was meant to be a 1 km walk along the coast, but it went quite far up and a round before arriving at Dugong beach. We say a high Monitor lizard before we started the walk. There was some beautiful palm tree rain forest there. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday August 18th

Sunday we sailed around between Hook Island and Hayman Island to take a mooring at Butterfly Bay anchorage #1. We met some friends from Mooloolaba there. Did a bit of snorkeling there, but weren't impressed with the reef. This anchorage wasn't as rollie as the previous one in Butterfly. From Butterfly Bay we left on Monday to sail on the outside of Hook Island down to Border Island. It got pretty rough coming around Pinnacle point. Must have been the winds against the current! Got to Border Island (Cateran Bay) and there weren't any moorings available. We circled around a couple of times and decided we didn't want to anchor here as the depth is deep. We were just about to leave when Bruce noticed a Lagoon 420 leaving the mooring. We pulled up to it and it was the closest one to the reef! Which was good as we just got on our gear and swam from the boat!! This was by far the BEST snorkeling we have done yet! It was beautiful with live corals and lot's of fish. Here are a few photo's. Check out the one with all the bait fish. As Bruce and I swam into this spot we got surrounded by bait fish. Kind of a eerie feeling as you wonder what's around that wants to eat these fish. Sure enough there were a couple of big fish there. Bruce pointed one out to me and I said through my snorkel "Oh MY GOD". You can see it in the back ground behind the bait fish. I think it is a Giant Trevally. There was one more fish (actually two together) that I haven't been able to identify in the 4 fish books I have on board!!! They were big as well. Tomorrow we will go over to Margaret and Peter's a couple we know from Mooloolaba and have a look in their book. We are in the same anchorage ( Cid Harbor) along with about 100 other boats. Seeking shelter from the strong wind warnings predicted for tonight and tomorrow! On Friday we will sail over to the main land for the Saturday markets there in Airlie. To all our daughters who may be reading this we will call you over the weekend.  We haven't had reception for over a week.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

More NE winds to come

The weather is calling for  N to NE winds 15 to 20 knots. Okay so out comes the 100 magic miles book to find anchorages for N Ne protection. We decide we would go over to the other side of Whitsunday Island. There are a few spots over there we can check out. It was a nice day and we decided to stop at Hill Inlet on the way as the conditions were good for this. We anchored up made sure the boat was secure and headed to the beach in the dingy. We decided we would do the walk to the lookout. A very nice change as we  got to walk in the bush. There are a couple of photo's from the lookout. Then we moved on through the Soleway passage into the first choice which was chance bay anchorage #2, but we went into the anchorage. not a lot of room, too many boats, so we had to continue on. Checked out Chance bay #1 too deep! The day was getting late so we decide we would head for Turtle bay. Dropped anchor in one spot, but didn't like where it put us. this was a crowded anchorage due to the upcoming conditions. We picked up and moved in closer. Was better but not our preferred spot. We stayed put, and about 11:30 pm the winds came howling in. We didn't sleep much until they laid down a few hours later. Up in the morning excited to have an explore in this anchorage as we liked it, but the winds shifted and started to blow into the anchorage. We decided we best move on. Went back through the Soleway passage stopped once again at the beach for a walk (Whitehaven). Then we put up the kite (our big head sail) and headed down towards the Hook passage. We decide to see if we could grab a mooring at Border Island ,but there weren't any available and it was to deep for us to anchor. We did see one of our mates from Mooloolaba inside the anchorage. We had a small chat with him as he was leaving as well under sail. As we were heading back to Hook passage we saw some whales behind us. We pointed them out to Jason, and they decide they would stay behind to watch and go back to Cateran Bay at Border Island. We continued on to Hook and decide we would go into Cid Harbor. Sailed for some of the way, but due to the time decided we should crank up the engines. As we were almost in the sun going down we spotted more whales! In these photos you will see a whale's tail, and a whales spout. Was also blessed with another beautiful sunset!!

Stonehaven to Butterfly bay

Started out the morning with another snorkel while at Stonehaven. This time we got out our wetsuits, but it was still cold!! brrr, but the sun warmed us up afterward.
Went out the passage between Hayman and Hook to go into Butterfly bay. We choose the anchorage which is the smaller of the two cause we like the privacy. The day was good with light winds on the nose (NE), which caused a little swell. We were sitting on a mooring.  I said that must be the rock as I was pointing out towards Maureen's cove and Bruce said that's not a rock that's a whale. "Come on he said let's go" WHAT you want to go in the dingy to have a closer look. BUT I"M SCARED!!! That hasn't stopped you before. We jumped in the dingy and raced off with camera in hand. I shot this photo. It was a mother and calve and the calve was very young as it wasn't much bigger then a big dolphin. We kept our distance as we didn't want to upset the mother or ME! We watched for about 10 minutes then went back to the boat.  Once back at the boat we decided to get out our power dive and clean the bottom of the boat. Once again in our wetsuits, but this time not as cold as it was later in the day. We nearly finished the whole boat. I didn't stay in as long as Bruce as I started to feel dizzy and a bit quizzy. Apparently my inner ear got a bit off when I worked upside down under the boat. Yuk The winds dropped off to nothing which wasn't so good as it put us sideways into the swell which rocked the boat all night. We didn't get much sleep. In the morning we went to the other anchorage to check it out, and it turned out it would have been more comfortable cause it was out of the swell. Well we know now. This is how you learn!! ;o)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Airlie beach to stonehaven

We left Airlie Beach this morning. passed at lot of boats going in for race week. We made our way out to Langford reef. Had a snorkel for about 45 mins, before we were chattering with the cold. The water sure did cool down in the two weeks we've been away. Next dive we will have to put on our wetsuits. After our snorkel we headed for stonehaven. We picked up the last mooring buoy available. Aren't we lucky!!! It is a beautiful calm night here and the sky is full of bright shinning stars. Not sure where we are off to tomorrow probably around the outside to butterfly bay. It is strange to have a signal here, but the atmosphere is being weird today we were picking up radio calls from Round hill down by Bundaberg and up north from Cairns. One of those things they call skipping frequencies. Going back out to enjoy the evening sky and eat some chocolate. :o)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Airlie beach party town!!

WE stayed anchored in Cid harbor as we were planning to see our friends on Wanderer. They came through on their way to laguna Quay marina as they are taking some friends back to Brisbane. They will be up here towards the end of the month so we will catch up with them again!!
WE moved on today. Left Cid Harbor for Airlie beach. We met up with some friends who are traveling in their caravan and were passing through the area. Was really good to see them!! Race week starts here on Friday, so we won't be hanging around!! Not sure yet but think we are going to head up to Butterfly bay tomorrow. This is a photo of Airlie and the next one I named the GREY nomads. Our friend Don LOVES that saying!! ;o)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Back in Cid Harbor

Was another magic day today! Left out of the marina on an incoming tide. Winds were light on the nose as we headed towards the Whitsunday passage. Once in the passage the winds remained light, but now were coming off the starboard quarter. We put up the spinnaker and had a nice run up the passage. We had the current with us as well which added another 3 knots to our speed. With out the current we probably wouldn't have been able to sail like this. Sailed all the way up to just abeam of Cid Harbor. On the way we were blessed to see dolphins in Repulse bay, and whales in the passage (a mother and her calve) just before we were abeam of Dent Island. There is a photo here. In the top photo if you look in the middle of the picture you can see it's fin. The bottom picture the mother whale is breaking the surface on the right hand side of the picture. After the two were behind us quite a ways back I saw a hugh splash. I had looked away to Dent Island and when I looked back the splash was there next thing the small whale was jumping out of the water.