14 May 2014 | Tipplers Resort, Sth Stradbroke Island
03 November 2013 | Whitsusndays
26 August 2013 | Hinchinbrook to Whitsundays
04 August 2013 | Orpheus Island
27 July 2013 | Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island
24 July 2013 | Enroute to Magnetic Island
13 July 2013 | Double Bay East
06 July 2013 | Stonehaven Beach
17 June 2013 | Stonehaven, The Whitsundays
11 June 2013 | Airlie Beach
06 June 2013 | Cid Harbour Whitsundays
24 May 2013 | Rosslyn Bay
20 May 2013 | Pancake Creek
15 May 2013 | Garry's Anchorage, Great Sandy Straits
13 May 2013 | Tangalooma Moreton Bay
05 May 2013 | Canaipa Passage
03 May 2013 | Tippler's Passage
On the Road Again ...
14 May 2014 | Tipplers Resort, Sth Stradbroke Island
We started our 2014 adventure nearly 4 weeks ago on Good Friday the 18th April when we departed Coasters Retreat in Pittwater for Lake Macquarie with the RMYC Sail Cruising division on their Easter cruise. An uneventful trip, Swansea bar crossing good and first night anchored at Rathmines near the Catalina flying base. We enjoyed happy hour ashore with RMYC members and departed for Bonnells Bay on Saturday morning to have lunch with Cheryl at her house on Dora Creek. As usual, lunch provided by Cheryl was monumental and it was wonderful to catch up and share all her news. We spent the night at Wangi Wangi, no dinner required!
On Sunday we spent some time at Toronto wandering around the Wooden Boat festival before anchoring off the LMYC to meet Ann and John Gilligan for dinner. We had a wonderful meal and evening together, always great to catch up with old sailing buddies.
Monday morning we booked a bridge opening for 10.00am and motor sailed to Broughton Island where we anchored at Coal Shaft Bay for the night. It was a very black night, a bit rolly and very lonely as we were the only boat there, our first open roadstead of the trip.
Tuesday was a pleasant trip to Camden Haven, departing BI at 2.00am and crossing the bar just before high tide.
En route, a suicidal black marlin chomped on our trolling line and was hastily retrieved, only to find we had no gear to finally land this magnificent fish. Not wanting to gaff and kill the marlin we reluctantly cut the line, losing a $30 lure. We managed to score a spot on the Serviceman's Club wharf, sharing it with a steel boat from Tasmania called Roseanne. Another boat was anchored, a 34ft Duncanson from Albany called Rene. We have caught up with Peter and Liz numerous times on our trip up the coast.
We had 2 lovely days and nights at Laurieton, washing and shopping done and a few happy hours thrown in. On Thursday 24th April we departed Camden Haven at 4.10am for Coffs Harbour (a day earlier than 2013). It was a very long day, current and some head winds making for a tedious trip. We spent the night in a berth at Coffs and departed at sunrise for Yamba. This was a brilliant leg, what a difference a day makes. After initially motor sailing, we had a good breeze of 20-30 knots from the SE with a top speed of 9.7 knots. We spent 2 nights in Yamba marina, again washing and shopping before anchoring at Iluka for 6 days. Rene and Roseanne arrived a few days later along with other friends, Sans Souci, Alexis and Camelot and once again a few happy hours were enjoyed. We enjoyed Iluka, had some lovely walks and motored over to Yamba in the dinghy for the markets and yet more shopping.
On Saturday 3rd May we crossed the Yamba bar (lovely and sedate again) at 7.00am with Alexis (a Leopard 38 catamaran) about 30 minutes ahead of us. A strong wind warning was issued for westerly winds 20-25 knots and it did blow. We stayed in close to shore but still had gusts of 32 knots; I find the noise in the sails quite disconcerting. We sailed with a reefed mainsail and full headsail all day without any problems, the captain revelling in the conditions. Alexis anchored behind Cape Bryon at 2.30pm while we continued towards Queensland arriving at the Gold Coast Seaway at 8.00pm and were anchored by 8.30pm just outside the Marine Stadium, aka Bums Bay.
Duet arrived the next day to say hello closely followed by Rene, Roseanne, Alexis, Camelot and Sans Souci. We certainly have made a lot of contacts and enjoying our cruising lifestyle to the max.
On Friday 9th May, after taking on some fuel and water in Southport, we headed to Paradise Point to meet Duet again. Paradise Point is about 1 hour north of Southport, behind the Sovereign Islands and is quite challenging to get to. We were on a rising tide, but the channel is SO narrow, the dredge is in the way and only having 1ft 2 inches under the keel is frightening. But Dave, the intrepid captain of Duet was there in his dinghy to lead the way. We spent 5 days anchored here in quite strong SE winds and had some lovely walks and a fabulous Mother's Day lunch at the Sandbar restaurant, thank you Mel, Das and Mop. Rick borrowed Dave's ute on Tuesday to drive to Tweed Heads to attend his uncle's funeral, the last of his uncles.
And that brings us up to date. Today we motored to Tipplers Resort, in the rain, and once again have our mates Sans Souci and Camelot anchored nearby ... I think I hear happy hour being mentioned!
The Long Way Home
17 November 2013
Val & Rick
After an early start from Port of Airlie Marina we had a fast trip south to Goldsmith Island, assisted by 3.5 knots of current. The northern side of this island is beautiful, a lovely sandy beach and clear water. We had a walk & swim with our travelling companions from Duet and Montage. The next morning we travelled 20nm to Port Newry, which is 20 miles north of Mackay and a very protected anchorage. Here we stayed for 4 nights until the southerly had passed through.
We enjoyed the sights of Pt Newry including the old resort which was closed many years ago and now managed by National Parks but not as a resort. It is still a great camping area for locals with the nearest town being Seaforth accessed via Victor Creek.
On the Sunday morning our fearless leader and travelling companion, David from Duet decided he needed a Sunday paper so we should make our way to Victor Creek and the general store to obtain same. After a 15 minute bash across Newry Harbour to Victor Creek we asked local fishermen "how far to the store?", the answer being about 2 km, not far at all. We can't give you a lift as the local coppers are around, 6 adults and 2 dogs wouldn't be a good look in the back of the ute. Off we trooped in the warm late morning sun. Another friendly local then advised of a short cut along the beach, unfortunately he neglected to inform us about the creek crossing the beach and with the incoming tide we had to wade through waist high water to get to the town.
Eventually we arrived at downtown Seaforth very hot and more than a little bothered. Newspapers were purchased along with several icecreams and the trek back to the dinghies started. The first sign out of town informed us it was only 4.2 km to the boat ramp! Never trust a local Queenslander with directions. The trip back to the boats in the dinghies resembled a surf lifesaving RIB carnival as the incoming tide against wind and swell proved to be an extremely rough passage, definitely exciting. One lunch time we had a lovely barbecue ashore in the remains of an old beachside bar.
Unfortunately our travelling companions were only travelling as far as the Sunshine Coast and were happy to cover 20-30 miles per leg, far too slow for us as we wanted to be back in Pittwater by December so regretfully we parted company. We left Pt Newry at 5am to travel to Rosslyn Bay Yeppoon a journey of 180 miles which took us 28 hours. We caught a northern blue fin tuna off Prudhoe Island, very exciting. We spent 3 days in the marina at Rosslyn Bay before departing to Fishermans Beach on Great Keppel Island, what a beautiful spot. We walked along the beach and checked out the now backpackers resort.
Next stop was Pancake Creek, a 9 hour trip and then on to Bundaberg in 10-15 knots of NE breeze, an 8 hour run. Next morning we departed Bundaberg at 6am for Hervey Bay, arriving at the marina in Urangan at 1pm. Here we stayed for 2 nights to sit out strong north westers followed by a huge southerly. Our next stop was South West Cliffs midway along Fraser Island. Another early start next day to negotiate Sheridan Flats on the high tide and the rest of the Great Sandy Straits with the intention of stopping at Snapper Creek in Tin Can Bay. There being no reasonable places to anchor, we moved back out to Pelican Bay at Inskip Point, the departure point for Wide Bay Bar. The following morning, Nov 2nd we crossed Wide Bay Bar on the high tide with 19 other boats on route to Mooloolaba. The bar was very well behaved.
Five nights were spent at the marina in Mooloolaba sitting out yet more SE winds. Mooloolaba is a lovely spot and on our last night we ate at a great restaurant called "Fish on Parkyn", the fish was superb.
Our next leg was another big one departing Mooloolaba at 6am and arriving at Yamba at 9am the following day. We enjoyed a few knots of current and consequently had to slow the boat down to enable us to arrive at Yamba on a rising tide with some light. We had good winds overnight and current, sailed through the night with a reefed main, the only complaint being it was an extremely dark night. The highlight of this leg was that we were joined by a pod of dolphins at 3am and the phosphorescents outlined the dolphins and their high speed antics beside the boat, truly an amazing sight.
Arkaydes has been antifouled in Yamba, had a new port prop installed, prop speed applied to legs and props and a new cover for the back wall of the cockpit made by Scooter Sails. We have found the marina staff and tradesmen of Yamba Marina to be extremely friendly and obliging and would recommend them to anyone.
We have been in Yamba 9 days and hope to have favourable weather to travel south in the next few days.
Where have we been?
03 November 2013 | Whitsusndays
It has been a LONG time since we have written a blog, I guess we have just settled into the cruising lifestyle and are getting lazier and lazier!
After KB and Carol departed in mid August we sailed back to Gloucester Passage for The Shaggers Reunion held over 4 days off Monte's Resort and adjacent to Shagg Islet. An incredible number of boats attended (about 150)and a lot of money was raised for prostrate cancer. Rick is now the Vice Commodore of Morning Bay and I am the Vice Commodore of Towlers Bay, both bays being in Pittwater, in fact everyone who joins becomes a Vice Commodore of a bay of their choice. Activities over the 4 days included lunch on Shagg Islet with valet dinghy parking, a champagne breakfast at Eco Resort, Reef and Beef dinner at Monte's Resort with an auction of goods with all funds to prostrate cancer.
We then headed back to the Whitsundays and floated around for a few weeks meeting other cruisers and enjoying the wonderful weather. In early September we accompanied "New Silver Gull" south to explore the southern islands of the Whitsundays. Thomas Island was our first overnight stop, a beautiful anchorage with sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. On our way to Brampton Island, we saw numerous whales and only just missed hitting one by metres. We enjoyed a lovely swim at Brampton and wandered around the now defunct resort. Overnight was spent on the southern side of the island, Dinghy Bay as the breeze turned northeasterly in the afternoon. The next day we enjoyed a barbecue on the beach with Jo & Hans from New Silver Gull before farewelling them as they continued their journey south and we meandered north again. We overnighted at Roberta Bay on Shaw Island and Plantation Bay on Lindeman Island where we met the crew of "Duet" also travelling on a catamaran. We spent 4 nights here, a very pretty spot. As the winds were northerly most of September we were able to explore these bays for the first time and Turtle Bay became a firm favourite.
Early October we had 2 delightful young women on board, Juliet from France and Kiko from Japan. Juliet worked for one of Rick's daughters as an au pair in Sydney earlier in the year and she had met Kiko during her travels. Both girls enjoyed the water and the boating lifestyle and even slept under the stars most nights on the trampoline! We were treated to delicious crepes suzette by Juliet, definitely a work of art and so delicious.
The girls were no sooner back on land than our next visitors arrived Mel, Aims and baby Jax. We hadn't seen Jax for 4 months, what an adorable little boy he is. He settled into life on the water extremely well, sleeping and eating very well and he certainly can eat. And a real little entertainer. Mel and Aims were happy to veg out which suited us just fine. After 5 days on the boat we booked into Port of Airlie marina for 2 days as the girls had an apartment in the resort there. Das arrived for a few days too, it was wonderful to see him looking relaxed and enjoying the Queensland sunshine.
We departed the marina early on Thursday 17th October to meet Duet and Montage at Goldsmith Island that afternoon, the trek south had begun.
Cruising with The Browns
26 August 2013 | Hinchinbrook to Whitsundays
The weather was just perfect for the whole 4 weeks Carol and Keith were on board, perfect blue skies, 27 degrees every day and very little wind. We travelled from Airlie Beach to Hinchinbrook and back in that time, approximately 500 nautical miles. We didn't manage to sail very much as even the day that had a strong wind warning never eventuated; in fact the breeze got down to only 2 knots that particular day.
Whales were everywhere, mostly mums with their calves and travelling slowly. We saw some spectacular breeching and pectoral fin slapping, and needed to slow down or stop on several occasions to keep out of their way. The area around the Palm Islands was particularly busy.
From Orpheus Island we headed to Hinchinbrook, first stop being Zoe Bay on the outside of Hinchinbrook Island. Zoe Bay is a spectacular bay with a lovely sweeping sandy beach with creeks at either end. The northern creek is a known habitat for crocodiles so we decided to walk to the waterfall from the southern end. Of course the tide was falling as we dinghied into the beach but soldiered on past the camping ground next to the creek and close to the beach. The campers advised they had heard crocs moving around during the night; why were they still camping there? We walked the 500 metre track with an experienced group of kayakers (much more suitable croc bait than us) and were in awe of the majestic waterfall and pool at the end of the track. A real oasis and just absolutely beautiful. Rick and Keith enjoyed a chilly swim before heading back to launch the dinghy which was now high and dry by about 100 metres.
We motored north on the outside of Hinchinbrook Island, enjoying the beautiful bays all along the island. Our anchorage for the night was at Cape Richards at the top of the island. We went ashore to explore the now derelict Wilderness Resort, such a pity as it is in the most glorious location. Next morning we departed for Cardwell, a town on the mainland and at the top of the Channel. The Hinchinbrook Marina was hit badly during Cyclone Yasi and has not been repaired so we anchored off Cardwell in the hope of buying bread and fresh vegies. Of course the tide was again falling and by the time we were ready to load the dinghy, you guessed it, it was high and dry again but this time in glutinous, filthy, smelly black mud. I voted we find the pub which was rumoured to have a great feed of fish and chips and wait a few hours for the tide to come up, but the captain disagreed. A video could not have done this performance justice; Keith and Rick dragging the dinghy through the mud, up to their knees in it, trying to keep their balance and avoid all the rubbish and oyster shells under their feet. Unfortunately Carol and I were told to follow and start pushing too! Just keeping our balance was a feat and the stench and horror at what was in the mud was just too much to think about. But the best part and I quote from the shopkeeper of a shop in Cardwell "You have a dog with you? Be very careful getting back in the dinghy as there is a large crocodile that cruises up and down this area regularly". Tiger was of course safe and sound in the dinghy, while his humans were in the mud waiting for "large croc" to make his appearance. Not one of our better decisions to go ashore at Cardwell and to make matters worse, the shops were woeful. With a 0.0 depth reading we ploughed our way back into the Channel, waving a fond farewell to Cardwell, not!
Hinchinbrook is just magnificent, words cannot describe the majestic scenery. Our anchorage for the night was Gunyandah Creek, so serene and scenic. We were anchored next to a large mud flat but did not see any crocodiles, I'm not sure if I was disappointed or not. We had a lovely peaceful night surrounded by heavily wooded towering hills and not a bug to be seen. The night was very still but with our newly acquired 12 volt Sterminio insect repeller, no horrible bities anywhere.
The next day we explored the channel and stopped for some fishing by an island and by mid afternoon attempted the exit route from the Channel at the southern end. Quite a difficult feat with a lot of shoals and yet again a falling tide, but we managed and anchored at Yanks Jetty on Orpheus Island for the night. This is a beautiful spot where you can handfeed the tropical fish from the jetty. We intended to visit the derelict Leper Colony hospital on Fantome Island the next day which has quite an interesting history but the breeze came up so we had a lovely motor sail back to "Maggie" with whales for company instead,
We spent 2 nights at Nelly Bay marina reprovisioning and refuelling and I managed a much needed visit to the hairdresser. Once again, KB and Carol dogsat while Ricko and I enjoyed a meal at 'Man Friday", a quirky little Mexican restaurant with resident curlews and possums.
We decided against an overnight sail from Maggie to the Whitsundays as the possibility of colliding with a whale seemed quite high. On the trip back we overnighted at Cape Upstart again and at Monte's Resort in Gloucester Passage where we had a lovely meal ashore at the resort. This is a delightful area, very picturesque and tropical.
After a night at Bali Hai Island in the Whitsundays, we motored 20 miles to Bait Reef as conditions were perfect for an overnight stay. The water here is so crystal clear you can see the mooring line right to the bottom in 40' of water. We had bat fish, giant trevallies and an enormous maori wrasse swimming around the boat and they loved being hand fed. Keith and Rick snorkelled around "The Stepping Stones" (KB in photo), and took some great videos. We had an incredible quiet night in the middle of the ocean surrounded by a reef that was underwater, quite amazing. It was quite alarming to see a yacht try to enter the lagoon early in the morning and not come in through the entrance. A kind yachtie got in his dinghy and escorted them in after they struck the reef twice. Rick recognised the boat as one he used to race on in Pittwater, a 49' Bavaria now with new owners.
On our way back to Cid Harbour we were escorted by pods of whales, again having to slow down to avoid colliding with them. The holiday was over and time to return to wintery Sydney, a wonderful 4 weeks of fun, camaraderie, excitement and new experiences. We hope Keith and Carol had as much fun as we did, a lot jammed into 4 weeks but great fun.
04 August 2013 | Orpheus Island
We had 5 wonderful nights in Horseshoe Bay before heading to the Breakwater Marina in Townsville for 2 nights. Because we only draw 1.15 metres we don't always take a lot of care when approaching marinas thinking they need to accommodate mono's so we will be fine. Both entering and departing this marina at low tide did have us travelling very slowly as we only had .2 of a foot underneath us for quite some way in the outer harbour.
Day one had us hiring a twin cab ute to enable us to transport the enormous amount of alcohol purchased from First Choice (hurray, at last a decent grog outlet) and supplies from the supermarket to last the next 10 days or so. We really did get excited having a choice of 3 Dan Murphy's and 1 First Choice and we kid ourselves that these supplies will last until Sydney!
KB and Carol dog sat one night and we had dinner out, a rare treat with Tiges on board. Townsville is a very pretty and tidy town and we are looking forward to another visit to explore more.
After a visit from "Grubb" to service both engines, we headed back to Maggie for another 2 nights and caught up with yet more Shaggers for drinks on the foreshore. KB and Carol only managed to sample 6 ice cream flavours so a return visit is required to sample the complete range.
We enjoyed an overnight stay at North East Bay at Great Palm Island with 3 cruisers for company. On arrival the constant swell was concerning, but to our great relief it completely disappeared in the evening and we all enjoyed a great night's sleep. Rick and I walked/jogged on the beach in the morning and could not believe just how beautiful it was. This beach rivals Whitehaven in the Whitsundays. We will return to this beautiful bay.
Today we motor sailed to Orpheus Island and are now on a mooring in Little Pioneer Bay. The tall ship "South Passage" has just anchored next to us; we were in the berth next to it at Rosslyn Bay. It is a sail training ship operated by the Qld Education dept. When we went aboard at Rosslyn Bay we were amazed at just how spartan it was - pipe cots, no privacy and very basic facilities.
Tomorrow we head towards Hinchinbrook, may stay at Zoe Bay or continue on to Dunk Island. At the moment we are having the most fantastic calm weather and will continue to push on to show KB and Carol as much as possible.
27 July 2013 | Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island
We arrived at Nelly Bay marina, Magnetic Island at 1730 hours on Wednesday 25th July after overnighting at Cape Upstart. The predicted 25-30 knots never arrived, so we motor sailed all day with a reefed main and the breeze dropping down to 2 knots. So much for the strong wind warning!
Nelly Bay is a lovely marina, very clean and tidy with a wonderfully clean and big washing machine and dryer. The boys managed to secure diesel in drums with the help of Kerry (marina manager) in his ute and of course the much needed slab of beer. We now feel a little more confident with the fuel situation as the tanks were running very low. The IGA store is a gem with great produce and deli sections and the freshly baked bread is delicious.
Saturday morning was a quick motor to Horseshoe Bay in quite lumpy conditions. There are about 25 boats anchored here and it is very sheltered. A lovely lazy lunch at the pub followed by sundowners on Arkaydes with the crew from Starship, Georgie and Ross with Tiger's mate Timmy. First Class passenger Carol produced one of her legendary nibble platters so as usual no dinner was required that night.
A lovely walk on the beach this morning followed by an ice cream, we intend trying every flavour before leaving the bay. Ricko is currently organising a baked lamb dinner for us, sorry Tom, Ricko does a mean baked dinner.
There are markets on the beach tomorrow morning followed by live music at the pub in the afternoon. The temperature will be 26-27 degrees for the rest of the week, what a great way to spend winter.
Gallery Error: Unknown Album [1:]:26336