Saturday, November 27, 2010

Out into the big seas

We left Orpheus this morning and by the time we were clearing Palm Island we were in some decent swells. We decided that we would just make a straight line into the seas and wind and slowly make our way to Magnetic Island. Took us almost 9 hours to go 38 nautical miles. The seas finally flatten out a bit around 2 this afternoon.
Once anchored we went ashore for some horchattas and a plate of nachos. Also picked up some salad fixings. Coming back to the boat we noticed the cat Alexia (Ray), whom we met at Lizard. We stopped by for a little chat. Ray is alos leaving out tomorrow for Cape Upstart. By the time we left his boat Sea Piper anchored so we went over to say hello. They had a bit of a rough go at it today as they had stronger winds then we did and a bit more sea. They are happy to be here and look forward to exploring Maggie. they are only going as far as Townsville at the moment.
Early start to tomorrow with 71 nm to cover.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

rain clearing






Well the rain has finally let up enough for us to venture a shore for a walk. We didn't get a chance to walk up last time we stopped here earlier in the year due to weather conditions. The walk was something we both wanted and needed very much. It has been 2 weeks since we left the mainland, with only a small walk on Normanby a week ago we were quite ready for this walk.
I have to admit the first time last year we did this walk with Jerrica I huffed and puffed my way to the top. This time I was breathing a bit hard, but didn't find the need to stop and rest. We power on to the top. It was quite pleasant.
The photo of the group of rocks is one of my favorites I call them the 3 sisters and it always has a very spiritual feel to me. Like they are the guardians of the island.
Looking at the weather we have a few more days of strong winds before we can move on.
After our walk today we got some cleaning, and chores done to get the boat ready to go. transfered some fuel to the main tanks, finished the screens I made for the front windows, cleaning the cockpit. Now that our weather is drying we are drying the boat out as well.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Beaver reef






I noticed that I didn't post about my fish while on the way out to Beaver reef. I hooked up twice the first hit sang some line out, but the line broke. Figured it has been sitting on the back of the boat so it is getting sun damage. Bruce rigged the line for me, and out it went and wasn't very long before the line sang out again. It was quite a fight, and it didn't help the matter to see that somehow the line was caught around the eye of the rod, and there wasn't anything we could do about it until we finished bringing the fish in. I'm telling you this fish is huge, and it was wearing me out. I would be holding the line tight, and it would just bury further into the water. Until finally the fish tried out and came to the surface. It wasn't until I got the fish to the boat when I saw it wasn't because it was getting tired that it came to the surface it was because a shark took a big bite out of it. Bruce thinks I was fighting the shark for a while. we threw back the rest of the fish and I called it quits. What we caught wasn't good eating really. Tuna mac.
Here are some photos from Beaver reef.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

onwards

sunset from Orpheus Island

Stillness
moored @ Orpheus

We woke in the middle of the night to thunderstorms and a wind change while anchored at the reef. Have to admit the conditions of the night weren't very comfortable, but it was worth it to have the snorkel we had! With the winds that blew in at 2:30 am we thought the predicted change had arrived early. Once up and about around 6:30 am we decided to get a move on it before she blows in harder. As the winds are predicted to reach 25kts.
We made our way under sail from Beaver reef to Orpheus Island. Conditions were a bit confused as to expected with winds going from NE to SE. Winds were from the ESE 15 to 18 kts. to start and then changed more from the SE and then going more South before dropping away. By the time we were close to Orpheus the winds were very light, and since we knew we would arrive before dark we just played in the light winds. Something we don't get to do often as we are usually pushing along trying to make the next anchorage. We got in around 15:15 and were greeted by the stillness you see above in the photos. Quite amazing really. One of the prettiest sunsets I've seen in a while.
We will stay here until we get a break in the weather and then move on. Hopefully out t the reef again from here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

from Franklands to family Islands

Bedarra
Normanby
We left Normanby Island this morning. Winds were 10 kts SSW, which made the anchorage a bit rollie. The sun was out today which made it a contrast to yesterdays heavy cloudy rainy day! We went all the to Wheeler Island, but had trouble with the anchor. We anchored in 12 ft of water, but found it strange that we couldn't see the bottom. It was about 4:15 this afternoon with the sun going behind storm clouds. We dropped the anchor and was going about getting settled in when we heard a big popping/banging noise. When Bruce went to check it out our bridle was stuck on something underwater. Most likely a big rock. We decided we didn't like this so I drove us off the rock while Bruce pulled up the bridle then the anchor. We moved over to Bedarra, and dropped the pick here. It is a glass out right now. Not a breath of wind.
On our travels today we were able to make water since we were motoring all day, and I did our laundry. Now boats all dry, & clean. feels good. Looks like 2 more days of light weather before a big SE change this weekend.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cloudy & raining

Well looks like we will have to come back and explore the Frankland Islands another time.
It has been a heavy cloudy & rainy day today. haven't gotten off the boat. Couldn't do my yoga this morning as the decks are too wet!
I'm getting ansey and want to move south with the calmer winds. The weather charts show showers over the coast for the next few days, so if we can't snorkel or walk I'd at least like to be moving on.
We will head down to the Family group tomorrow. See how we go.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Frankland Group

What a TOTAL CONTRAST to yesterday. Today should have been the day we went offshore to the reefs! Calm winds sunshine, and calm seas. More of that to come over the next few days with a change scheduled for Saturday. Not sure where we will end up for that. We may go off from here to explore the reef some more.
We met up with Sea Fox here at Normanby Island, and Catilac pulled in here today as well. We all met on our boat for a sundowner. Good times were had!! Catilac moves on Sea Fox stays one more day then moves on. We will probably stay one more night as well. I want to explore the islands.
Will get some photos tomorrow.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Out into the deep

We made it out to Flynn reef, but we didn't stay. The winds picked up to 18 kts, and so did the seas. We decided that it wasn't going to be very comfortable, with the swells and clouds it wouldn't have been snorkeling weather. We plotted a new course for Fitzroy Island. Not one of our favorite anchorages it was very uncomfortable last time we sat there, but it had to be better then where we were. By the time we came about and started heading in the winds picked up to 22/25kts, and the seas were a lumpy mess. Tropical Soul took a lot of water over the decks.

We are now inside the anchorage and it is Quite comfortable. We will move on tomorrow to Russell Island where Sea Fox is anchored and catch up with them for a night. They are making their way South as well, and we have been one anchorage behind them for a few days.
Well thats all for now. No photos today.

Oh yeah but I did have a couple of really exciting hits on my fishing rod, but the drag was messed up so I lost it but it made a really long run with the bait.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Green Island

We left Michaelmas reef today a bit after 10am waiting for the sun to be high enough to see the bommies (coral heads). We had a course plotted to Flynn reef, which is about a 5 hour run, but as we started to proceed the winds decided to pick up right on our nose. We went through a channel between Upola and Arlington reefs with wind against tide. We decided to make it an easier day and go to Green Island, and tomorrow from here we will have a couple of hours sail out to Flynn. There is only one mooring here at Green Island and we took it. The water isn't very clear at all, and there were lot's of people about on the island. Too busy for us. We took advantage of having a bit of time in the shade and resting. I'm fighting a little bout of something maybe sinus infection, and Bruce has been a bit under the weather lately as well. We both just had a read and a rest.

Tonight it is turned quite pleasant with calm winds and half moon. Before dark we could see bat fish, & Trevally playing on the stern.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Michaelmas Cay






We finally received the what we were waiting on in the post. Our new booster for the internet. Which means we can now be on our way. With a good weather forecast for the next several days maybe even a week we have decided to go out to the reefs off of Cairns before heading South. First stop Michaelmas Reef. We found a mooring available here. Had a lovely snorkel, and a swim under the boat with lots of Bat fish, Trevally, and a Trigger fish too.
We had to motor out today as the wind was too light, but around sunset storms to the South of us had the winds picking up to 20 knots from the S/SW. We never did get any rain, and now the winds are calming again.
Michaelmas Cay is a bird sanctuary, and there are so many birds here that the Cay has a bit of an odor to it. Here are a few photos from our snorkel earlier today.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tablelands

Curtain Fig Tree
Valley Views
Lake Tinaroo
Vienna Inn

We rented a car again today. Took a drive from Cairns up to Kuranda, through to Mareeba, Atherton, Malanda, Yungaburra, Lake Tinaroo, and back down the mountain range on Gillies Range road. It was a breath taking drive down Gillies Range road. I must admit I was a bit white knuckled for some of it. Twisting winding and very very high up!
We stopped in at Yungaburra and had lunch at Vienna Inn. We met the owners Alexander, & Lubica, and daughter Sasha. The food was OUTSTANDING! See photo. A MUST if you find yourself in the area. This is why I LOVE what we are doing. Exploring different places and meeting different people. It is such a special time in our lives!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cairns Nov 4th






We had a lovely drive around on Tuesday. We went up to the rain forest for a look around Kuranda. Really beautiful up there! It was Melbourne Cup Tuesday, but we were too busy exploring to worry about the race.
Last 2 days we have been back to work on the boat. Well yesterday we still had the car, so we were doing a bit of running around between places, hardware, Whitworth's, Auto electriction, getting parts for the Hf radio, and trying to repair the microphone on our vhf. Today it has been all day at the boat working on the never ending list.
We've decided we would make our way South. We're just going to stock the boat for as long as we can, and make our way when we have the weather windows. see where we end up depending on those windows.