25/05/2012, lizard island
So we decided to stay anchored at lizard to wait for more favorable winds. we could've left yesterday and made it to the Flinders group before the stronger winds arrived but the beach there is quite small, you can't swim because of crocodiles and there is nowhere to walk to. pretty much the opposite of lizard. We had a nice easy day today. the littles and I dropped the girls off at the reef by dinghy so they could snorkel and we went to the beach. Once we were all set up with beach toys and food and rug all out Ameliana sat down to play, dug one shovel full of sand and said "go home?" so i packed it all up distracted her by letting her drive the dinghy over to mummy and kelly where she went for a swim wih her lifejacket on and off. then we went to beach for the rest of the morning. not done much for the rest of the day, i installed the new fuse for the fridge, made a few more routes on the gps, read a bit, lifted the dinghy out of the water after ame said she didn't want to go to the beach this afternoon and thats about it. kelly read all afternoon and nicole fed elora and after ame woke up, played with them on the floor. We plan on doing another walk tomorrow to the lagoon on the other side of lizard.
24/05/2012, lizard island
Yesterday we had a very nice and productive day. We tried to get an earlier start so we could tackle the 2.25km/2-3 hr return walk to Cook's Lookout (359m up)with the girls and Kelly. Elora went to sleep on me in the Ergo carrier almost immediately on me and Grant was helping Ameliana negotiate the "path" or carrying her in the other Ergo carrier.
Kelly was leading the charge up the rather rocky and sometimes percarious path on the side of the hill over-looking the anchorage . We had great views and many stops to take photos, have snacks and either put Ameliana in or take her out of the carrier ( thats what bush walking with a toddler boils down to in our experience). Ameliana had had it after a bit less than an hour of walking so grant turned around with her and managed to make it back down the steep parts to the beach for a play while they waited for us.
Kelly, Elora ( when she woke at the Lookout) and I were treated to beautiful views of the islands , the reef and Wando anchored way down below. We signed the visitors book and took the obligatory photos next to the rock cairn.
Elora then fell asleep on the way back down- oh how i wish travelling with them stayed this easy!
When we got back down Grant filled up 2 20ltr and 2 15 ltr water drums from the bore water hand pump 250m inland, which is a bit of a walk on a sand path. Although i helped a small amount with the carrying, i am surprised that Grants arms aren't 1 inch longer today ( in total he hauled 4x 20L and 6x15L jugs yesterday!)
Afert that, we all went back for Ame's lunch and naptime. While she was down, Grant and Kelly got the dive machine set up and went over and scrubbed the bottom of Wandoo lightly. Although Grant scrubbed the bottom just before we left the marina in Mackay, we already have slimey growth. They had a bit of help from Lucas, a Dutch backpacker who is crewing on a catamaran heading to Darwin for the indonesian rally as well.
While Grant and I relaxed on board, Kelly headed to the Lizard Island Resort's staff bar to partake in a very "aussie" tradition. The 1st game of the State of Origin Rugby league between Queensland and NSW .For those of you not aware of this great Aussie( well at least 2 of the sates in Oz) rivarly, i believe that QLD has won 6 years in a row. She went with Lucas and Matt, the catamaran crew. She had a great time, but was a bit in awe of the lack of head protection gear , the impact of the hits and the non-chalance First aid care to the bloody wounded ( ie, tape it up and get back into the game!)
I was a bit concerned wehn i did not hear Kelly come home- I woke at 12:30am very concerned that the howling wind might have taken the dinghy they were rowing out to sea... when Elora woke for a feed at 1:30, it occured to me to check Kelly's cabin, and sure enough she was tucked in safely... i muct have been in a deep sleep earlier! I guess that can be consisdered good training for when the girls are older....
All in all we had a very nice day
Today Grant , myself and the girls went to shore for a play and let Kelly have a bit of kid free time on board. Grant played with the girls while i took the opportunity to snorkel in the "clam garden" reef area. I swam out to the reef protection area through very clear water and finally came to a large area filled with fish of different sizes and colours, giant clams with flashes of brillant colour on them and various other marine life. Kelly and Grant had a snorkel in the same area during nap time while i stayed aboard and they saw an octopus and a small black tipped reef shark. I took some photos, but kelly got some great ones on her camera. We will definately have another look tomorrow.
Grant filled up some more water jugs before we headed back for lunch.
I spent the afternoon making pizza for dinner and chocolate chip cookies while Ameliana and Elora ( on me) napped.
We all enjoyed the pizza and i even managed to give Kelly a massage before Elora decided to wake for an early night feed. I think Kelly will enjoy helping me keep my massage skills "refined"!
So far , the plan is still to depart friday evening after dinner to do the 87nm to Flinders Group. However , winds are forcasted to increas to 25-30knots the way we are headed on satrurday. So we will make the final decision at 3 pm tomorrow when we get the updated weather report.
Till next time.
We spent the morning at the beach, very nice, after Grant finally woke up. He slept til 8! He woke with Ameliana, started to read books to her and fell back asleep in the middle of Richard Scarrys Big Book of Air. We didn't get on the walk today because of late start but we are all doing the climb to cooks lookout tomorrow. The three adults did some snorkelling there were lots of fish almost as many as at blue pearl bay on hayman island in the whitsundays. Elora is rapidly expanding her tastebuds to include sand! We are looking forward to snorkelling over the "clam garden" reef that is between us and the resort. At the moment the weather does not look good for us to leave on friday for points north but we will continue to check it twice a day and make the decision depending.
so here we are in mucho nice lizard island! had a vey nice sail up. We left at 1.30am had the motor for half hour, just enough for us to get clear of the coral and head into the wind to put up the 1st reefed main, then switched off for 12hours of sailing! just bliss! had just main and hanked on headsail till daylight averging just under 5knots, the when the sun came up the inner staysail came out and we sped up to under 6. a few times we were steady on 7+ for 10-20 mins at a time. Wind was a bit erratic today, a few times it overrode the autopilot then dropped right off. It was also pretty much an easterly wind once we were north of the 3 sister islands. Kelly went well today on her 1st solo watch, all went swimmingly. We ended up doing 67.64nm to a 65.34nm route so all in all good. Once we anchored in meters of water, made the log off phone call, Grant got the dinghy down and took Ameliana and Kelly to the beach. Nicole and Elora stayed onboard to nap and make dinner. Just after we got here a cat named masquerade came in. They left cairns2 days before us! they are also on their way to darwin for the rally. We'll be here til wednesday at least so unfortunately that means walks for grant!
We decided to leave Low Islets this morning and head to Hope Islets so we would break up the longer trip to Lizard island. Also the wind is suppose to pick up to 30 knots on Tuesday and last for at least a couple of days so we want to be tucked in somewhere. We planned to spend a few days at lizard island cause it is supposed to be fantastic on land and sea So it seems to work out well.
We left at 5:35am today in lighter winds and motor sailed for the first hour. The winds then picked up so we shut the motor off and had a nice sail from there. It was a bit choppy , but nothing that we haven't already experienced. We pulled into Hope Islets around 2pm. We were a bit nervous coming in because there are lots of coral bommies around , but we came in slow and all is well. As at low Islets, it is quite a bouncy and windy anchorage. We didn't go to shore cause the wind was picking up and we would have be saturated in the dinghy.
In addition , we are planning on leaving at 1 am to do the 67 nm to lizard. It should take us about 14 hrs.
Kelly , the Canadian crew seems to be catching on quick. Grant and her spent most of the day at the helm and we let her do it alone for a while so grant could have a play with Ameliana while I nursed Elora ( who had a very " hungry" day today !)
I am trying to get into the groove of not helping with the sailing. I am trying to plan arts and crafts the night before a sail so I don't have to dig out the materials while under way. We always have books ,toys and playdough as staples and we have a daily sing song session for Elora and Amelianas dolls, which is very popular. As we travel I hope to establish a more structured day for Ameliana when we are under sail especially since she is almost 3 and wants that. For desperate times we can start the generator and put on a kids show for 30min-1hr , but I feel guilty doing that now that we have crew and I'm on FT mom & galley wench duties !besides , we discovered that too much wiggles or in the night garden makes for a cranky kid !
Must be off to bed as I am sure someone will be wanting the milk bar to open soon and we have a long day ahead
19/05/2012, Low islets
We left the marina at 6.45 motored out the long channel and hung a left. Was a nice sail the winds were a bit variable but ok. Kelly our new crew member seemed to go ok, see how she goes tonight, the anchorage is a little rolly. At the mo we are planning to go to hope islands which is about 42 nm the other option is go straight through to Lizard island, which is around 107nm from here. We'll see what happens with the weather. We went to shore this afternoon so Ameliana could run around like a lunatic for a while. A fun time was had by all.