Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Perth WA to Magnetic Island QLD March 2008

7 April 2008
Still at Magnetic Island, have put in the anchor chain counter. Paul is descaling the watermaker and has ordered new prop for the dingy. He has sold Solan's windgenerator on ebay and they have a new quieter one to replace it. We are enjoying the scenery and the peace and quiet of Horseshoe Bay and have nothing much to report to date. The end of the week we do hope to head of to the Palm Island group and Hinchinbrook. I have only half done the hull-must do it before we hit croc country. Paul wanted to dive down and put the new annodes on the hull, the water is a bit murk so will wait until we get to the Palm Island group where we hope it will be clearer.

30 March 2008
Markets ashore today, lots of jewellry on sale, very quiet and we had a nice morning ashore. I purchased two sarongs, one for Paul and one for me. Yesterday I polished the stainless steel and washed the deck. Still have to do the hull. Will attempt in tomorrow-can't do to much you know.

28 March 2008
Townsville to Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island
Today we all drove up Castle Hill lookout (great view) nearly overheating the car and then went and picked up some fishing gear as someone stole our fishing rod at Magnetic Island off the side of our boat. Mum and Dad dropped us back to the dingy and headed off. They are driving the car up to Cairns for us and then flying home to WA. We are missing their company and hope they enjoyed themselves.

We pulled anchor-lots of black silty mud coating chain and anchor-it took a bit to bring the anchor up it had dug in very well. It was hot, humid and muggy-33 degrees. Nice on the water though and we motored back as there was very little wind and what there was was directly on the nose.

Passing Nellie Bay, Paul dingied in to the Post Office to check mail while I stayed aboard and drifted until he returned. Collected the mail and returned to Horseshoe Bay and anchored next to Solan.

27 March 2008
Horseshoe Bay to Townsville
Anchored out of the marina in the breakwater in mud. It is shallow but the tides gave us enough clearance. We stayed two days. Getting the car we drove to the shops and reprovisioned, filled the jerry cans with fuel and had a lovely chicken dinner with wine with mum and dad. Thier last night aboard.

23 March 2008
Cape Bowling Green to Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island
Awoke early. Conditions are overcast with little wind making the sea/swell more comfortable. We put up A-symetric up again and passed Cape Cleveland with its tall lighthouse and viewed Townsville in the distance. Heading towards Magnetic Island we had a lovely sail rounding the point into the beautiful Horseshoe Bay, a lovely protected bay with a long beach, palm trees and views to die for.

The Bay was full of boats as it was Easter. We anchored out from the crowd. Dad inadvertently had let the toilet flush on and the baot was full of grey water, flooding the floors. Thankfully it did not go too far, we wiped out the bilges and then headed ashore.

Weather was hot and muggy although lovely in the breeze on the back deck. There is a red tiger moth in the bay (tourist rides) called the Red Baron which takes off on the water over us.

We headed ashore for a drink in the pub to celebrate our arrival as we had drunk our last beer 2 nights ago.

Mum and Dad and us caught the bus around the island and saw the sights, having lunch at Picnic Bay and returning to the boat in the afternoon. We rang Lynne from Solan and asked if she would drive our car up from Bowen to Townsville. They agreed and Lynne drove and Craig sailed single handed up arriving in 2 days. Lynne stayed aboard overnight.

22 March 2008
Shark Bay-Cape Upstart to Cape Bowling Green
Strange name I know -it is the lowest cape on the coast consisting of a low sand spit out and shallow water surrounds. It is halway between Upstart and Townsville (35m from each). Sandbars, beaches and mangroves, not very enticing. The water is very muddy and stirred up, we anchored well inot the bay with the hills of Townsville in the distance. It is a hazy day, very warm.

We sailed with the A-symetric up av 5-6 knots. It was an uncomfortable swell, a bit confused. It was a long day sailing taking about 8.30 hours, mum and dad had a seasickness pill just incase. We anchored well into Cape Bowling Green Bay, quite shallow in mud. Water slapping on the hull with the short swell as the wind picked up overnight.

20 March 2008
Nobbies Inlet to Shark Bay-Cape Upstart 5 nm
Motored up towards Cape Upstart and anchored off beach. Lots of oysters ashore. Slight swell but otherwise very pleasant and the sun is out sparkling on the water. It is cool on the boat but very hot on the sandy beach.

We stayed here for two days and went ashore for a walk every afternoon. Last afternoon one of the locals told us that there is a hughe fresh water stream just up a bit further from the beach where one can swim. Wish we had known of it earlier would have had a picnic lunch ashore near the water and swam. It is still stinger season here (until May) so we are very wary of exposing ourselves in open water.

19 March 2008
Slept in, Paul cooked Eggs Benedit for breakfast them he and dad went off fishing and came back with five gigantic crabs. Will have to find a pot large enought to cook them in. Guess what we are having for dinner tonight.

18 March 2008 Gray's Bay to Cape Upstart 40nm
Helen dropped Paul back to Gray's Bay after Paul took the car back to the Harbour, we pulled anchor and headed north. The wind were 15-20 knots -predicted 20-30 knots SE. Mizzen and genoa out we made a good 5-6 knots reaching 7 knots at times. Pleasant sail with consistent winds and swell not too bad at about 1.5 mtrs. Passing Abbot Point we decided to continue on and head to Cape Upstart. There was one ship loading at the wharf and one out at anchor. The sun was out it was warm when one was out of the wind. Cape Upstart is a huge mountain one can see quite a way in the distance, the consitions were hazy but still it was very impressive, we passed close to the headland rounding Bun rock we continued deep into the bay anchoring at Nobbies Inlet. The coastline in was dotted with houses, mostly holiday shacks with lovely beaches. Nobbies Inlet has mangroves and due to the shallow nature of the bay we are anchored a far way of the shore. We are well protected from the winds and swell here. It is overcast but warm, the winds are still consistent making one feel very tired with the continual noise through the rigging. We will stay here a while before heading to the next bay (35nm north) Cape Bowling Green.

17 March 2008
Drove to Airlie Beach, I was having dizzy spells and my blood pressure was very low. Got into doctors and of course all was okay-I would live. We dropped brochures off at stores, Paul picked up parts for the emergency hydraulic ram and we had lunch with Graham and Merredith at the Sailing Club before returning to Bowen (picking up more food), checking the mail and back to the boat. We touched bottom last night bouncing for at least half hour before the tide changed. Mud bottom so just cleaned the barnacles of the keel.

16 March 2008
Decided to go to the Sunday markets but it was quite windy and the swell was up, we got saturated going along the shore to the markets, turning back when the waves were breaking where we wanted to land. Turning back we landed and waited for a lift to take us to our car (back at the Harbour) and then we went to the Bowen markets. Markets consisted of about 6 stalls but the day was pleasant, cool and we were protected from the wind under huge Banyan trees.

14 March 2008 Bowen Harbour to Gray's Bay 6nm
About 8am we dropped the mooring lines and tied up to the public jetty to refill with fresh water. We had a cold shower before heading out of the harbour. Swell was about one metre but it was uncomfortable going out directly into the wind (still 20 - 30 knots) up the channel, not too bad once we turned and put the genoa out, sailing with no motor we had 5knots of speed. Upon reaching Gray's Bay we winched the genoa in and motored into the Bay. It was protected from the winds (still blowing consistently-but over the top of us) but there was a swell wrapping around the coast, giving us a bit of a roll at anchor.

We took the dingy ashore and walked the tiny beach which consited of broken coral, shells and rocks. We will wait here for mail to arrived on Monday-the last of the mail re directed to Bowen.

10 -13 March 2008
AN uncomfortable flight back but we arrived in Townsville at 10am collecting the car and driving another two hours to Bowen. Mum and Dad are helping us sail the boat to Townsville and hopefully further. Arriving Lee and Sandra had aired the boat for us making our arrival more enjoyable. We still had to repair the belt on the washing machine and fix the bed for Mum and Dad. Washing machine fixed and V-berth ready for Mum and Dad we had a drink on the deck. Lee and Sandra kindly cooked us dinner-Laksa which finished off a long day. It was so good not to cook and we have a lovely relaxing evening.

It had been blowing at least 20-30knots since we left. The wind is a consistent blow from the SE, not gusty like the west. The constant noise in the rigging is tiring. We had lost one front rope due to chaffing but all the others were fine.

This week we provisioned, Paul had a few items welded and a bit a maintenance (always on going) was completed. The winds were still a consistent 20-30 knots but we decided it was a good wind to head north and as payment was due on the poles at the Harbour where were were staying we decided to go around the corner to Gray's Bay where it was more protected.

Bowen Boat Harbour

26 February - 10 March 2008 Perth WA
Good to be here with the kids. Saw Danielle and Chris in morning before they went to work, we drove to Perth and saw Tamara in the morning-she has taken up a new job whcich started at 1pm so she was free most mornings. We caught up with a lot of people in Perth.
Fremantle Sailing Club-Jos and Terri, Luukie and Tony, Helen and Mike, Jim and Margaret, Kim and a few others. We had dinner with Tony and Jenny Sinagra and family, Lynette, Gary and kids, Mark and Neta Johnson, Mike and Helen, Joy and Gary Kalenberg, Leslie and Hans, Joy and Kevin O'Hara. We also caught up with Liz and Lee and family and Ken at here home. We caught up with the Mandurah Library and saw the new Falcon Library, Andrew Quinn and Seaville staff and had a coffee with Terry and Lin Clinch and Pat Gallaher. Also it was perfect timing with Graham and Michelle arriving from the USA and we caught up with them and had dinner with all the boys at the East Fremantle Sailing CLub.

The final weekend in Perth we had a stall at the Summer Baot Show at McCallum Park selling our Strayalert Man Overboard System and Instantclamp tools. Danielle was also at the show for BLA and we saw a bit of her there. Chris helped us on the stall one day and did a fabulous job.

Mum and Dad arrived in Perth from thier eastern states tour and we held an engagement dinner for Chris and Danielle at the Stage Door in Mandurah which Graham and Michelle, Ken, Tamara and Lyndon, Joy and Kevin, Sean, Mum and Dad and us. At 9.30 we left with Ken driving Mum and Dad and us to the airport to catch the 12 midnight flight to Brisbane and then Townsville.

25 February 2008
Pick up Zena and drive to Townsville (2 hours). We leave the car at Blue Collins home and get a lift to the airport ready to catch plane to Brisbane and WA. It is a hot humid day and we are glad to be in airconditioning. There is water around and lots of water running of the hills on the way up. A lovely drive.

Catching the plane we have one bag overweight so we repack and board the plane. Had a good trip catching the connecting flight to WA. We flew Virgin. Arriving at 12.05am Tamara and Lyndon were waiting for us at the airport. We stayed at Tamara's place overnight in one boys bed (he was kicked out for us -thanks mate). We slept well. Tamara had her first day at university that morning so she was keen to hit the sack. We commandeered her car-I dropped Paul off at Chris's and drove Tamara to University. We stopped in to see Gary Kalenberg and he had a spare car -thanks so we dropped Tamara's car off back at her house and drove down to Mandurah to Danielle's house. This will be our home base whicle we are in Perth. It was great to see Danielle and Chris, especially Chris Walking.

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