Friday, August 20, 2010

Settled in Mackay

Friday 20th August.
In a relaxing end to the cruise, we meandered down from Goldsmith Island to Brampton Island, where we enjoyed the lovely walks and amazing clouds of Blue Tiger butterflies.

Then on to the Mackay marina, where we spent a day reprovisioning and cleaning the boat before flying home.

Multis in the mist.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Music to charm whales

Monday 16th August

A gentle sail from Shaw Island to Goldsmith Island was enlivened by some close encounters with whales. We saw two pairs of mothers with their new babies.

It was very close to where we saw a mother and calf a few years ago.

Slideshow here.

We experimented with different music to attract them closer. Fat Freddy's Drop "Based on a True Story". Dire Straits "Communique", (perhaps suiting trans-species communication?) and Jan Garbaret.

None really conclusive!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Whitsunday relaxation

Saturday August 14th.

We are happily settled in the Whitsundays after some determined sailing. We did 70 nautical miles on Thursday on a tight reach in up to 30 knots of wind from Cape Bowling Green to Bowen . Two reefs at times. We caught a nice 5 kg Spanish Mackerel on the way.

Sunset in Bowling Green Bay, looking back to Cape Cleveland and Maggie Island.

Anchored off the beach at Bowen.

Then on Friday, another full day sailing through the Gloucester Passage to Blue Pearl Bay on Hayman Island. Some lovely snorkelling.

Blue Pearl Bay.

Today we called in to Hamilton Island to refuel and water, and are now near Lindeman Island.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Twas a dark and stormy night....

Saturday 7th August.

Anna flew home to Melbourne after a lovely cruise with us. She eventually found her sea-legs.

Nadine (George's step-daughter) and her eight-year-old son Leroy arrived, and we had a brisk sail out to Horseshoe Bay on Maggie Island.

We saw our friends Mal and Lucy blitzing the fleet in their cat 'Barbarella'.

Leroy is a very active boy, and we had a lot of fun practicing grand-parenting.

This is a photography lesson. Set the speed low and pan with a fast moving subject. 'How fast can you run?'

Tuesday 10th August.

Nadine and Leroy flew home, and we set off south to Cape Bowling Green. An easy trip, with a quiet anchorage, initially, but a front came through in the night with howling wind and rain, threatening to put us on a lee shore. We upped anchor and motored round to a safer place, but not before we copped a load of seawater through a hatch onto our bed. Bummer! So lots of stuff hanging out to dry today while we wait for the weather to pass through.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Maggie Island

One week gone, and the first leg has been achieved successfully.

We had a few of the usual dramas: Anna felt pretty queasy for a couple of days. The holding tank blocked up and was a smelly worry before resuming normal service. It seems that a sort of papier mache lining gets created inside the tank when it is allowed to settle for a couple of months.

But the good news is that our fish-drought got broken yesterday with a nice Mackeral Tuna.

We had a brisk sail through the Palm Islands and made it to Magnetic Island last night.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Beating south

We are back on Nimrod after a couple of months work and winter on the Gold Coast. This time Admiral George, Captain Dave, and Midship-person Anna.

We all flew to Townsville and rented a car to raid the deli and supermarket on the drive two hours north to Cardwell.

Nimrod seemed in good nick, thought there was a fair amount of swallow-poop to hose off before we left the Port Hinchinbrook. We had a slight 'contact' between one prop and a rock-wall when refuelling just as we left her in May. I had been worrying about this, so we sailed out to Goold Island and I went for a snorkel to check for any damage. All is fine, which is a big relief.

Next day, south a little to Hinchinbrook Island, where we did a 5 hour bush-walk on the Thorsborne Trail. Really lovely. Clouds of butterflies.

On the third day, Sunday 1st August, We sailed out to the Brook Islands where we had such a good snorkel in May, when Joan was with us. Even better this time, with lots of fish.

I saw one clam that was one metre wide. George cut her finger sticking it another one's mouth.

Brook Island turns out to be the site of a tragedy. In 1944 the Allies used it to test mustard gas in preparation for using it against the Japs. It successfully killed goats, so they tried it on volunteers, recruited from US jails. All fifty died.

A brisky, sunny sail down the outside of Hinchinbrook Island to a sheltered spot for the night.

Next morning we mosied round to the famous Zoe Bay, and walked up to the waterfall.