We woke early this morning... 2am in conjunction with Elora's feed, and we were on our way by 2:45am. It was 47nm from Kent Island to Fitzroy and we wanted to allow for some beach time after nap time.
Ameliana woke and we put her in our aft cabin so she could go back to sleep while the Engine was on and Nicole laid out the anchor chain ( meaning while we are pulling up the anchor with the hydraulic winch, Grant is on deck hosing the mud off and Nicole is in the anchor locker laying it out nicely as it feeds in so it doesn't get tangled in a heap while we sail) which is in the bow in the girls cabin (Elora didn't wake at all). So we got under way, sails up and turned off the engine. It was much less than the 15-20 knots of wind forecast, but we were still averaging about 4.5 knots for the 1st hour. Nicole went back to sleep until the girls woke at 5:15- they have an uncanny ability to wake at the same time even when they aren't in the same cabin! The second hour we avaeraged 5 knots and this kept increasing until we were averaging 6.5 knots by the time we arrived at 11.30am! So we had a very pleasant sail.
Everyone is adapting to the boat movement, although Ameliana has told the boat to " stop rocking" a few times if she is trying to move around with her hands full and nothing to hold on to. We try to fit in some arts and craft time and do ALOT of reading and singing in the cockpit!
Grant is getting a bit of a sore back , likely from sitting/ standing at the helm , pulling up the sails etc, instead of just sitting in a car driving all day, which his job in Mackay consisted of....too bad he doesn't know a good massage therapist.. ( FYI Nicole IS a massage therapist.. grant is just a soft whiner who " doesn't want any more pain"... wimp!
Fitzory Island is a nice little spot, it has a "affordable" type resort, nice sandy coral beach. it also has a general store that sells ice cream, but has sort of "flexible" operating hours and we got there when they were locking up at 3;55pm. and when we asked the woman what the opening hours were she told us 9;30-4:30pm on weekdays???? it's TUESDAY! must be island time! thank god we have a rather agreeable toddler cause we had to tell her that she wasn't getting any ice cream today instead she got rice cakes and vegemite on the beach. We promised ice cream tomorrow in Cairns for sure! I think Grant is far more concerned than Ameliana about the availability of ice cream though!
We are planning on taking a quick trip to the beach in the morning before we leave for some rock climbing for Ameliana and a quick snorkel for us.
Its about 16nm to Cairns. We are going into a Marina which always puts us on edge but apparently we have a berth that is "easy" to get into and someone is also supposed to be around to help us get in. oh for the days of so so helpful hamilton island marina staff ( except we did pay more than double the cost for a night there!)
14/05/2012, kent island
Left hinchinbrook at 7 motored for 45mins til wind picked up then averaged 5kts til 12ish when dropped right off so motored last 12miles. Then once anchored, in our slightly rolly anchorage, the wind started blowing 20 odd. Typical. kent is quite nice, very green and tropical. the beach is very corally, not much sand at all, but the girls loved going to shore for the first time in a few days. Must be the impact of watching something on the TV, because Ame watched an episode of dora, then was a complete whiner for rest of afternoon til beachtime. Elora was good as usual apart from missing poopy time and filling a nappy with brown glue! damn that was hard to get off.
12/05/2012, kirkland hills
so here we are. we did 173.9 nautical miles(1.8k to the nm) in 34hours and 10minutes. it went really quite well. we left at 2am friday morning with the intention of sailing to orpheous island, but after playing around with the sails we had up, hanking on the larger headsail, furling the inner staysail and reefing the main, we ended up averaging about 5.5kts instead of our guesstimated 4. that meant we would've arrived at the anchorage at around 3.30am , which is still dark! we definately do not want to anchor near coral or rocks in the dark, so we decided to keep going north. the sail was very nice though the seas were a little sloppy, ameliana woke up around 9pm last night shouting 'too rolly daddy, too rolly!" so she slept the rest of the night in our cabin. elora was fantastic of course, we think the boats movement actually kept her amused while in her chair. Ameliana had some issues yesterday afternoon most likely because we decided to let her watch the entire dvd of "in the night garden" before lunch and then the wiggles dvd after her nap! bad idea daddy, bad, especially for a kid who doesn't watch tv, unless she sees it on land. on the subject of repairs the fridge started running continuously yesterday morning. it has done this before and it turned out to be a loose connection but not this time so i spent a very awkward hour rewiring the fridge, works perfectly now. i also realised that the temporary anchor light doesn;t actually HAVE a fault....when i had it working yesterday during daylight, it was cause i had my finger over the light sensor...duhhhh stupid technologically advanced light!
And don't let anyone ever tell you that you can't lose things in small living spaces, nicole has "lost" a huge container of dried chickpeas and i can't for the life of me remember where i " safely" hid Nicole's mothers day gift AND her anniversary gift....
09/05/2012, Gloucester island
It's a rest day today. Elora was up a few times last night so we decided to stay here and leave tomorrow morning all going well. Grant repaired the broken top cap with a piece of 3mm stainless wire, some epoxy resin and some electrical tape. It seems to be back in action but we'll wait and see before we celebrate. Grant & Ame went to shore and played on the beach for a couple of hours while Nicole & Elora washed up & did the laundry. All in all a pleasant day
Well, our string of 4 days with nothing breaking has sadly come to an end... the anchor-tri light combo at the mast head has stopped working, the new,shiny oh-so-bright and economical spare anchor light has an intermittant fault in the sealed unit, the foredeck winch top cap broke today ( FYI, the top cap is essential for proper use) and to top it all off, while struggling to use said winch, the halyard for our HUGE, new, multi-purpose sail got flicked out of the jamcleat, which resulted in the sail going overboard while we were clicking along at 5.5 knots!
Needless to say, we came to a stop and grant struggled to pull all that sail back onto the deck before it got sucked under the keel. Thank god for adrenline! Miraculously, an hour later Grant discovered that his phone was still in his shirt pocket after all that ( normally he only has to think about bending over and the phone will fall out into the water/bilge/toilet)!
Its all sorted now- except for the winch, which the guys at Marlin Marine in Airlie Beach are chasing up for us.
We are now safely anchored at Gloucester Island. The anchorage is notorious for wind bullets - when we were coming around the head of the Island we had a couple of 32knot gusts. But it is a very secure anchorage despite the gusts.
We are hoping to attempt 130NM non stop to Orpheus Island ( in the Palm Group) tomorrow, which will take approximately 34 hours. However, it depends on Elora's sleep/eating plans tonight as we are pretty sure another tooth is coming. The alternate options are doing 48NM to Cape Upstart, or wait and have a rest day before we do the 130.
We have posted signs for crew in Airlie Beach to help us make it to Darwin for the end of June. We have had a couple of inquiries, so we'll see what pans out.
08/05/2012, Airlie Beach Anchorage
Firstly, the name of our blog stems from the old adage that cruising is " doing maintenance in exotic locations" , but as we cruise with young children, one of whom is in nappies, that has changed!
We arrived in Airlie Beach today, 4 days after leaving Mackay Harbour... which is considerably faster than the last time we made the trip, which took about 9 weeks!
We stopped at Shaw Island on saturday. we took a quick trip to the beach after nap time to stretch our legs and relish the real-life freedom of not being tethered to a marina. In the morning we went to the beach again at high tide and Ameliana had a good run around before we weighed anchor and went to Stonehaven anchorage at Hook Is. We had a very pleasant sail downwind, sans motor. Oh, we have missed being on the water!
We arrived at Stonehaven in mid afternoon and picked up one of the courtesy moorings. We enjoyed a quick dip while Elora had a late afternoon nap. It was a relief that Ameliana was so keen to jump in for a swim after we spent the last 6 months regaining her swimming confidence after a winter of sailing and little swimming took it away.
In the morning we went across to Black Is for a swim, snorkel and play on the beach. We spent a few days around Black Is. and Stonehaven last September and really enjoyed it , so it was nice to revisit.
This morning we motored across to Airlie Beach to pick up a couple of items from the Chandlery that were supposed to have been ordered for today.. of course they weren't there. We aren't going to wait for them, just get them to send the stuff to Cairns.
We are off to Gloucester Is. tomorrow morn.
We are very happy that Ameliana has not forgotten her sea legs and it seems Elora is quite the happy little sailing bub as well, nothing seems to phase them so far!