Slow Sailing

25 February 2020
29 November 2019 | Vero Beach
09 October 2019 | Washington, NC
27 September 2019
06 September 2019 | Norfolk, VA
07 August 2019 | Washington, NC
07 July 2019 | Washington
10 June 2019 | Washington, NC
15 May 2019 | St Augustine
30 April 2019 | Black Point, Exuma
16 April 2019 | Bahamas
02 April 2019 | Washington, NC
15 March 2019 | Washington, NC
10 February 2019 | Washington, NC
22 January 2019 | Washington, NC
07 January 2019 | Washington, NC
15 December 2018 | Washington, NC
03 November 2018 | Thetford, VT
21 September 2018 | Bradford, VT
13 August 2018 | Thetford, VT

Sand & Sun

21 October 2014 | Fraser Island, Queensland
Heather
From Australia

We've been soaking up the sun in Queensland which makes up for all the clouds that hung over us in New Cal. Great weather on the Sunshine Coast! Thanks for all the emails when we arrived here, it's so nice to be in touch since it makes us feel not quite so far away. We've been spending our time trying to get to know Australia and doing things for the boat in between.

From Australia

We ended up spending a week in Bundaberg since it was a nice spot and the weekly berth rate made it worth it. It gave us a chance to take a couple of long bike rides, to do a couple of lovely boat projects like sevice the head and clean out the chain locker, to get together with Jan & Rich for a great dinner and to rent a car for the day to explore inland. There's a seafood market right next to Bundaberg Port Marina and they had a "dinner for two" special going on where you get 2 spanner crabs, 2 lobsters, a pile of shrimp and a slab of smoked fish all cooked and presented to you on a platter. So we ordered up dinner for an evening with Jan & Rich and I made Jon a chocolate orange cake for his belated birthday, as promised. I've been craving a repeat ever since.
From Australia

On the day we rented the car, we headed west to the tallest hill we could find in the area- Mt Walsh National Park. These can be compared to state parks in the USA. Mt Walsh is a big granite rock with a trail to the top. The park sign said to allow 5 hrs return and we were up there in 40 minutes. It was pretty at the top in that dry sort of way. My favorite part was the bathroom wall. For some reason, it was full of inspirational information and sayings on how to live a fuller, better life. The take home lesson (Jon really embraced this) were the words: Winners make it happen; losers let it happen". It seems to be his mantra ever since. Another one went something like "we are born with two ends, the thinking end and the sitting end. Our success in life depends on which end we choose to use most". I'm all for not sitting....
From Australia

After the warm up walk on the hill, we headed back to the coast to another park -Burrum Heads and explored the trails & beach there. Late in the day, we saw a scrub turkey and an echidna, also known as a spiny anteater, a common creature in Australia and cute as ever! They have spines sort of like a porcupine and as soon as they sense danger, they just stop and sort of sink into the ground, hiding their face, letting their spines protect them. This makes picture taking nearly impossible- we only get a rounded pile of spines to view. We had to look at Wikepedia to see what we were missing. They are one of the few egg laying mammals in the group monotremes. The platypus is another and we hope to see one soon. Both are really odd looking.

After all that walking & a 300km mileage limit on the car rental, we couldn't stop at the store to reprovision and pick out some "Cleanskin" Australian wine. Jan & Rich discovered that Australian wineries started branding Cleanskin wine to deal with over production or price drops. You know what type of grape & bottle year but not the winery itself. And you get to pay a lower price in return. You could be getting something really top notch, or not! In fact, we learned that with all the wineries here, we should have no lack of choice & price range anyway, if we decided that that we couldn't get past the name "clean skin" for our wine. Not that we drink a lot, but we will be stocking up on everything before we leave Australia since I can't see where we would be getting anything really good again!

As part of staying at the marina, they run a shuttle to the Sunday market which was fun. A combination produce & flea market, there was a good vibe there and we got a lot of great produce, some fried chicken wings and some time to look at locally made items. No boomerangs. It reminded us of the Whangarei market but bigger.
From Australia

It was really exciting to leave the marina bound for Fraser Island, a big, long island of sand set aside as a world heritage area. On the way over to Platypus Bay- famous for not platypus but whales this time of year, we anchored in beautifully clear green water off a truly endless sand beach with wild dingoes running along the shore at sunset playing with a coconut. We couldn't wait to get in there the next day and hike our brains out. We did have a nice long hike the next day but those sand 4x4 roads are a challenge to walk on and in order to get anywhere, you need to really cover some distance. We got to the other side of the island- Orchid Beach which is so flat & long you can drive on it for miles. This is great for Aussies because we've learned that they love 4 wheeling and most of their cars are set up to do so. But being the have-nots since we were there on our boat, we found it difficult over subsequent days to get to the island's highlights since we simply couldn't hike a marathon day ofter day. And we considered renting a 4x4 of our own until we found out it was $300AU/day. But we moved around to 3 anchorages and saw everything within reach. Our humpback whale sightings weren't anything like swimming with them in Tonga, but we did see a lot of breaching in the distance and a couple of them fairly close up doing that "looking around" behavior. We also saw lots of dugongs which were unexpected. They're like a manatee but smaller, more agile and with a tail like a dolphin. On Orchid Beach I found a freshly washed up vacant helmet shell and thought of you Anne, which proves there are good shells here too!
From Australia

From Australia

One of the walks we did was to Lake McKenzie, a very popular perched lake (Fraser island is full of lakes) which I think I read is entirely rainwater. A layer of old plant debris has formed a pan of sorts on the bottom which is what keeps the water from sinking into the sandy ground. It has a pure white sand beach of silica. The path continued on to Central Station which was a logging center that started in the mid 1800's and continued until 1991 when there were grumblings about saving something for a park. Some of the logs harvested from here were used in the building of the Suez canal. There were still plenty of beautiful woods left to see & this area was our favorite on Fraser. We saw lots more interesting birds, Jon stepped over a small snake by accident scaring it to death, and although we wanted to see more dingoes, we only saw them on signs while ashore.
From Australia

We shared the anchorage at Kingfisher Bay on Fraser with Jan & Rich from Slip Away and met their friends Kathy & Neil on the boat Attitude one night over happy hour. We're pretty sure we spoke with Neil briefly back many years ago in the Bahamas because Jon was really interested in their boat! It's funny how that happens.

So we are sort of done with sand for now and are looking forward to getting to Brisbane for some civilized culture & city stuff. The problem is our slo-mo form of transportation and the fact that we are tied to the weather. We got up at 4:50 today to catch the tide for the Great Sandy Straits which has several shallow spots to slip over. It reminded us of the intracoastal waterway in the US. Now the wind will be blowing too strong for the next 2 days to get over the bar that lets us out into open ocean so we have to sit tight and wait. So we're anchored in Tin Can Bay, (don't ask me about the name) and we'll probably take the bikes out tomorrow for some exploration. We hear there are dolphins here to hand feed. That would be interesting if it pans out.

Comments
Vessel Name: EVERGREEN
Vessel Make/Model: Tashiba 40 Hull #158
Hailing Port: E. Thetford Vermont
Crew: Heather and Jon Turgeon
Extra:
Hello! We are Heather & Jon Turgeon of S/V Evergreen. We started sailing in 1994 on our first boat, a Cape Dory 31, then sought out a Tashiba 40 that could take us around the globe. It has been our home for 19 years. We've thoroughly cruised the East coast and Caribbean and just completed our [...]
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