Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Magnetic Island to Cairns

25-27 May Cairns
Reprovisioned with fresh fruit and vegetables and eggs. Anki and Dieter arrived back from the Sanctuary Cove Boat show and we collected the mail they had recieved for us. We pick them up from Port Douglas and sail with them aboard to Cooktown.

David and Vicky Henderson (SA) were in Cairns and we got to go out for dinner. It was great to see them again.

We had a stand at the show to sell Strayalert man over board system and the Instant Clamp tool. We shared a stand with Coppershield anitfoul (Simon and Deb from WA). Show was busy but the spot we were in was out of the way. We stayed at Robert and Elsa for a few days, one night in a hotel with Sam (who came up to Brisbane to help us out at the show and to see us before she goes to Darwin). It was great she could help us out -she made two sales - and to spend time with her as we may not get to for a while as she goes aboard a ship at Darwin and heads out to sea.

The weather in Brisbane was good, fine but cold in the am and pm. Headed back to Cairns after the show tired and worn out.

19 May
Car sold during the week. So we rushed around getting fuel, and provisions before it was collected. Shouted ourselves a morning at the movies-Iron Man. Wandered back to the boat.

We have decised to hire a car for a few days to see the Tablelands (funny we just sold the car and have to hire one) and collect mail from Innisfail and Anki and Dieter. Drove the waterfall route, saw many beautiful waterfalls, the scenery up here is amazing. Lots of police on the road. Stayed overnight at Anki and Dieters, lovely evening and a great nights sleep-of course a long hot shower was luxury. Headed back along the highway and stopped off at Josephine Falls.

Back aboard rested, was invited for a BBQ ashore but declined as we have been driving most of the day.

Rang the girls, Sam is doing 12 hour shifts but enjoying the work and challenges, Tamara is busy with assignments and Danielle and Chris are paving thier backyard, he is going to have another op on his leg in due course.

Weather fine and we are now preparing and packing to leave on Wednesday moring for Sanctuary Cove Boat Show.
11 May
Mothers Day
Cuppa in bed, phone call from kids. Felt loved and it reminded me how much I miss thier company. Paul did work on Freebird's computer, dropped Scrimshaw at airport and then finished putting cork onto fridge. Mary Eliza did not leave as thier GPS was not working. Paul went over and bypassed a switch and it works now. So they will leave tomorrow.

10 May 2008
BBQ tea at park with Pelikaan, Freebird, Mary Eliza and Scrimshaw. Police came by and said that we could be fined $450 dollars for each drink open when drinking in a public space. So BBQ dinner with no drinks. We were farewelling Mary Eliza who are departing tomorrow.

Spent the day washing car, putting cork onto engel fridge to improve insulation.

Samantha graduates today. Tamara has moved into new house and Danielle is painting the kitchen and doing the backyard.

8 May 2008
Paul fixed Pelikaan's alternator.

7 May 2008
Anki and Dieter are staying at the Reef Casino -we are calling in for a look at the Casino and for a drink this afternoon with them both before they return to Flying Fish Point.

Mary Eliza have borrowed the car to do some running around. I am going to get my hair cut and have a look at the art gallery and library.

Anki and Dieter at Kent Island

6 May 2008
Drove to find a replacement tyres and parts for the car. The speedo dial sticks so Paul went to find a replacement finding out that new ones cost $85!!! Calling into the wreckers he found them for $5.00!! What a saving.

We also looked at the Cairns Cruising Yacht Squadron booking in to pull out and redo the antifoul on the hull. Unfortunately the paint will not arrive on time so we have to cancel the booking.

5 May 2008
Drove with Robert and Jacki to Chillagoe. It was a long drive and the last part was on gravel. We stopped off at Kuranda, waterfall where the skyrail passes over, drove through Mereeba passing through rainforest to the savannah country. We did have a flat tyre which Paul changed expertly. We did a Limestone cave tour returning and having drinks back aboard Mary-Eliza.

4 May 2008
Went to check the markets out and found lots of fresh fruit at great prices. Puchased tomatoes ($2.00 kilo) and pineapples ($1.00 each). The rest of the day was relaxing. The anchorage here is good as it has been very windy.

3 May 2008
Tracy at Petronella Park

After breakfast we drove the cane cutter route stoppin goff at Paronella Park and ended up at Mission Beach where we could see Dunk Island.

2 May 2008
Caught the bus to Innisfail and Anki and Dieter picked us up from the bus station and drove us to thier home in Flying Fish Point. We stayed overnight at thier home overlooking the ocean and near the rainforest. It is a lovely place, very quiet. Anki and I went for a walk along the beach and then through the forest. Paul did computer work for Anki and Dieter and I also did three loads of washing. We picked out car up and thank Anki and Dieter for having us and looking after our car.

1 May 2008
Fitzroy Island to Cairns 16nm

Very uncomfortable night, the anchor had wrapped around a bombie and the anchor chain was rumbling and snapping and the swell was making us jump about. Half way through the night the anchor alarm sounded so we decided to pull anchor as we were no longer on the bombie and picked up a mooring.

Early morning the anchor alarm sounded - we had swung around -so we decided to get going to Cairns after a few more hours kip and wait util the sun was up. At first light we headed off passing a defence force barge anchored off the island. We looked at staying at Mission Bay, it was calm and protected but not very attractive or very exciting so decided to head off to Cairns.

We motor sailed and entered the channel into the city. There were lots of large cats and tourist boats going out to the reef and to Green island. We have anchored in the river opposite Marlin Marina. There is a dingy jetty where we lock up the dingy and can walk right into the city-a five minute walk.

29 April 2008
Mourilyan Harbour to Fitzroy Island 42.4 nm

Motored out of the harbour, it is chilly and the water calm. Outside the hills of the harbour the sun warmed us up and the wind came in E-SE 10-20kts. We sailed passed Flying Fish Point and Anki called us up on the 2-way but we were unable to speak to each other on the radio.

We sailed with the A-symetric getting a good 4-5 knots of speed. We passed some lovely islands but decided not to stay as the wind was only to increase to 25 knots, and the anchorages would be very swelly in these little islands. Along the way Paul caught a large barracuda.

Arriving at Fitzroy Island, Mary Eliza coming in behind us we anchored. There is a lot of building construction going on the island, they are rebuilding the resort after cyclone Larry two years ago.

The next day we walked with Robert and Jacki to the summit and the lighthouse.

Later that afternoon the swell came in making the anchorage very uncomfortable. We moved to a more protected anchorage, but the swell was still wrapping around the island.

27 April 2008
Reef to Outer reef near Hall Thompson Reef then back to Mourilyan Harbour 26.5nm

Motored to outer reef where we could see the waves breaking over the reef. What a sight, the ground is shallow and the colours amazing. I can imagine Captain Cook and how he was unable to see the reef and hitting it. We anchored off the outside of the reef in the drop off. Took the dingy and snorkled-not many fish but the coral was good. Tried fishing-nothing.

Put the A-symetric up on the return journey to Mourilyan Harbour. Halfway back Dieter caught 2 tuna. Pulling into the harbour we saw Mary Eliza fishing off the channel and waved. Dropping Anki and Dieter off at the jetty we anchored the yacht in the harbour hitting bottom in the shallows. Mary-Eliza invited us over for dinner and a game of "Mexican Train", a dominoe game.

It was calm and quite in the harbour which is surrounded by tall hills and rainforest. It is a sugar loading wharf and there is not much else here. We will stay here until Tuesday when the wind comes in again.

26 April 2008
Kent Island to reef 18nm

No wind, making the anchorage at the reef a good choice. We anchored in the channel surrounded by reef. The reef one could not see if sailing, could only see dark shapes in the water. Dieter caught a fish which got off just before landing in the net.

The anchor had not really grabbed and we could hear it rumbling but with no wind we were okay. In the far distance we could see the outer reef breaking, waves breaking and lots of boats fishing further out. Boys busy fishing but not much biting.

25 April 2008 ANZAC DAY
Dunk Island to Kent Island-North Barnard Islands 26.9nm

No wind, motored all the way to Mourilyan Harbour, just outside recieved a call from the Coast Guard. It was Anki and Dieter finding out our ETA. Paul picked them up in the dingy while I idled just off the jetty and then we headed out of the harbour and back to Kent Island. Beautiful Islands but a good anchorage in light winds. The beach was broken coral and there were good shells to be found. The island has a small beach but a tall green rainforest wooded hill. Dieter spent almost an hour snorkling.

22 April 2008 Scraggy Point to Dunk Island 24.4 nm
Motored and anchored off Cardwell, Mud bottom with good holding. Took dingy ashore as we had to collect mail from the PO, it had been forwarded from Halifax. It is a lovely little village with newsagent, backery, etc and a pub where we picked up a carton of beer (we had been a dry boat for a few days now).

Put up A-symetric and headed to Dunk Island, Winds were light and at one stage alsmost no exixtent then it steadied and we had a fantastic comfortable sail (no motor). Arriving we found MAry Eliza already there anchored off. It is a lovely island with white sand and a resort.

We are allowed to go ashore but not go into the resort although walking to the mountain 271mtrs-we did walk through the resort. Tropical forest with ferns and lots of green. There is also an Artist colony which we will explore soon. The island is busy with planes, ferries, boats coming and going. We are the only two yachts in the harbour. Lovely calm and protected anchorage.

We walked to the top of the summit-great view, the next day walked to the artists colony which was closed. We stopped off and had a drink at the resort.

21 April 2008
Mendel Creek to Scraggy Point-Hinchinbrook 9.1nm
Motor sailed with gonoa out. Pleasant trip, arriving at Scraggy point we could see the white marine Park bouys showing the no anchoring zone indicating where the ancient aboriginal fish traps are located. They are visible at low tide. There is a lovely white beach. The anchorage is a bit rolly and there is reef about. The water is murky green. We can see Cardwell and Oyster Point Marina from here on the other side of the channel. We went ashore and found a large cleared area fringed by palm trees and one follws the path to a beautiful fast flowing freshwater stream, crystal clear where we had a swim and wash.

18 April 2008 Haycock Island to Mendel Creek-Hinchinbrook 6nm
Lovely and calm here. Surrounded by mangroves-yes there are nasty mosquitoes and sand flies (call no see ums because you can not see them only feel them bit). Our screens are working well and we are safe from being eaten alive inside.

There are strong wind warnings out side but we are sfe and very well protected in the channel, there is no wind here, the water is glassy smooth.

Tried fishing but no luck. Lovely evening aboard Mary Eliza with Tonic where we got a bit tippsy but got back to our boat okay. Apparently crocs here but no sign so far thank goodness.

Call from Gary and Lynette they are in Mareeba, so close but so far, lovely to hear from them. They are flying out tomorrow so we will miss them.

The anchor has set well in fine black mud and there were creatures growing in the links of our chain when we raised it. We use our deck wash a lot to hose off the mud before it goes down the locker. We motored and did a bit of corrosion control (rust removal) as we travelled as the weather was warm and sunny.

The scenery is magnificent, pristine and green with huge mountains in the background. Chris's birthday today rang him he is doing the backyard with the bobcat today. We learnt a new card game with Mary Eliza and had dinner -sauerkraut. Paul serviced the watermaker and moved the guages to the new position which makes access better when underway. When the parts arrive we will get it going again.

17 April 2008 Little Pioneer Bay-Orpheus Island to Haycock Island-Hinchinbrook Island 18.9nm
Left just as sun appearing, we had an uncomfortable night last night, wind and swell came up and rain. We had sundowner aboard Tonic last night.

Departing just as the sun rose with genoa and main up, swell about 1.5 mtre. Mary Eliza and Tonic behind us. We are deeper in draft so we are going first and if we make it then they are fine. We travelled down near the main wharf rather than in the channel. The wind SE 20 knots giving us an average speed of about 6 knots. The tide is 3 mtres above low water so we had no problems with depth it going down to 1.7metres at one stage.

We anchored of Lucinda to collect our mail. Tying our dingy up on the wharf a fisherman said that the post office had closed recently and he would be happy to give us a lift to Halifax 9kms away inland. So we got a lift with him and his wife and picked up lots and lots of our mail. They also dropped us off at the bat ramp so we could load all the mail into the dingy. We thank them very much for helping us strangers out.

Arriving back on board we pulled anchor and headed off to where Tonic and Mary Eliza were anchored off Haycock Island in the Hinchin brook Channel. We motor sailed the current a strong 3 knots. The conditions are overcast but fine. Beautiful scenery here and we are very well protected. Mangroves all around and unable to go ashore. On our trip in we discovered an issue with the water maker -brushes. So we are now on water rations.

13 April 2008 Juno Bay-Fantome Island to Little Pioneer Bay-Orpheus Island 5.6nm
Went ashore and explored the old remains of the leper colony that was here and has now moved and then collected lots of large black lipped oysters. As the swell roll was very uncomfortable we pulled anchor and headed to Little Pioneer Bay on Orpheous Island passing the resort and the research station. Entering Pioneer Bay we had two dolphins rinding in our bow wake-something we had not experienced since NSW!!! They stayed for a short time before returning to foraging.
There are four bouys here, so picked one up, having difficulty lifting the huge rope attached. We are able to see Lucinda jetty and Hinchinbrook Island from here. Mum and Dad flight home back to WA tonight.

The bay has a small beach and lots of fringing reef. Weather is warm and sunny but not hummid. It is very pleasant out in the breeze. Mary Eliza arrived the next day. We explored the beach, the stone hut where settlers had tried to make a go of an enterprise here on the island. We also went for a tour of the Research Station and were told of the large clams that were bred here. They have bred them so successfully that they are overcrowded.

12 April 2008 Magnetic Island to Juno Bay Palm Island Group 37nm
After a lovely relaxing time (apart from chasing mail and finding props for the dingy) and a very social time where we met Robert and Jackie, Steve and Em, Linda and Jock and thier daughter Shanyna.

Yesterday we walked to the fort on Magnetic Island-a decent walk leaving me a bit sore but not too bad having a final sundowner BBQ dfinner ashore with everyone. Today we pulled anchor and set off in light winds SE 5-10knts putting up the asymetric sail. Conditions sunny with light winds passing through the fishing trawlers anchored off the coast we headed off to the Palm Islands which we could see in the dinstant.

We had a pleasant motor sail to keep up the 5 knots , passing Rattlesnake Island which the defence force use for bombing practice-the next scheduled bombing is on the 16 April.

Rang Sam and discovered theat she and her classmates graduate a month early, she is being sent to Sydney for one month and the to Darwin to board her ship-the Manoora (a LPA-Landing Platform Amphibious) on the 10th June where she will be heading overseas. She is the only one in her class to go offshore. Tamara is in the middle of essays at uni she got good marks for her oral presentations.

Anchored in Juno Bay, the bottom is very gravelly (coral??) and it has taken three attempts to anchor to get the anchor set. It is a lovely bay, white sand beach. But the bay has some bombies which are easy to see.

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