The last post...☹️☹️☹️
15 October 2017
They say all good things come to an end, and after 105 days of our first venture north on Tropicali, we are now back in Tin Can Bay wondering where the last few months have gone and how the trip has affected us.
Usually, the emotions after a big holiday are a gladness to be home, so we are a bit perplexed by the fact that we don't feel that way. However, we feel content in knowing that we achieved what we set out to do. We will definitely do this again, and we will go further north, probably to Townsville, Hinchinbrook and Dunk Island after hearing reports from fellow sailors.
Everybody asks what was the favourite place we encountered, and that is hard to answer, although anyone who has not been to Whitehaven Beach should go there, just do it!
We have learned a lot about seamanship and our own ability to raise the bar of tolerance when times get a bit uncomfortable, about self reliance and a new understanding and bonding in our relationship from living together in a very small space 24/7 for a long time.
Thanks to all who have followed our exploits, we hope you enjoyed being onboard and that you will join us on future adventures.
For those thinking of buying their own boat, see the handy decision making tool above.
Home waters again !
12 October 2017
Over the last two days, we have milked the continuing run of northerlies from Bundaberg to our home port of Tin Can Bay. We have been incredibly lucky to have ridden this northerly flow from the Whitsundays all the way home over a two week run.
From Bundaberg, an early 5.45am start gave rise to a steadily building nor'easter which was greater than 15 knots by the time we anchored up at Moon Point on Fraser Island. The wind settled overnight for a great sleep after some awesome views of the lights of Hervey Bay and the crystal clear night sky.
Leaving Moon Point at 7am, we caught the incoming tide all the way past Kingfisher Bay resort, through Sheridan Flats. At times we were pushing 7 knots in a 12 to 15 knot breeze and flat water, it doesn't get better than than that.
So after an 8 hour sail, we are anchored up in Pelican Bay in a group of 9 yachts, just 7.6 nautical miles to get home to Snapper Creek where our trusty ship lives.
At about 6pm, the Inskip barge decided to " barge" through our mooring area to get back to his overnight refuge. I'm guessing this Manta Ray barge came within 25 metres or less, while we took the picture above.
Tomorrow is day 105, the final day of this season's Adventures of Tropicali. Proud but sad.....time to plan for next year.
1770 to Bundaberg
09 October 2017
Just love 1770, it's on the must do again list. Yes, it's shallow, but it is a pretty place to sit in Round Hill Creek, especially at night. No wonder Captain Cook took the Endeavour in there. It must have been a LOT deeper in 1770!
Managed to get out at 7am, about 2 hours after low tide, following several fishos heading offshore in their tinnies.
Light wind from the north, only about 6 knots made for slow progress at first. Later in the morning, we got tidal assistance and a freshening breeze saw us achieving an average 7 knots. This helped get the trip time down to 9 hours, and is the longest leg of the journey.
To say we've seen some marine wildlife would be an understatement, but today we were treated to a pod of 6 dolphins playing around the boat while we were doing 7 to 8 knots, they were swimming alongside, less than 1 metre away, then diving underneath the boat, surfacing up between the hulls, then going round behind us and sticking their heads above water looking at us in the cockpit with their heads about a foot off the rear stairs. You cannot imagine better than this at any SeaWorld show.
Next, Dianne spotted a flying fish, flying above the water.....damn, the skipper missed that one!
Well, we have ended up at Bundaberg Marina for the next two nights, now getting so close to home, we have mixed emotions. Looks like we will be back in Poona in the next week or so.
Picture shows a portion of a packed marina with the "no vacancy" sign out!
Day 100 - Town of 1770
08 October 2017
Hard to believe, but it is 100 days since we left Poona, and sadly, we are rapidly heading back home, with a stop in Bundaberg likely for the next two days.
Champagne is on ice for tonight for the 100 day celebration! When Dianne started writing her analogue blog "Diary of a Virgin Sailor" and the skipper writing this blog, we were unsure if we would make the first few weeks without turning around. How pessimistic that seems now, with both skipper and first mate quite reluctant to go home!
Alas, the lawns are growing, the pile of unopened mail is growing, and there are visions of spiders having taken over our house. Not sure if the cars will start, or how the motivation to sort out the garden will be. Furthermore, Christmas is looming fast and it won't be long before we head off to Sydney, where every Christmas with aging parents is like winning lotto.
We are currently in Round Hill Creek at 1770, the historic place where Captain Cook went ashore in Australia for the second time in May 1770.
We will certainly return here, it is very pretty and would be a great place to do a short trip from home and spend a lazy week just fishing and relaxing.
To all the readers of this blog, have a drink with us! 🍾🥂🍾🥂🍻
Back through the Narrows again
06 October 2017
It seems like only 2 weeks ago we were travelling north through the Narrows, but as we are now at day 98 of the trip, I guess it was quite some time ago.
This time we left from Fishermans Beach on GKI in company with "Charm" and headed for Maria Inlet, the first Creek after Sea Hill Creek when heading south into the Narrows
Wind on our beam all the way, and strengthening as we went, it was a brisk sail, reaching 8knots plus in fairly smooth water.
Moon at 98%, very warm and humid, the only problem was the sandflies....damn.
Day two, we time our departure time superbly to ride the last 2 hours of the rising tide to the "cattle crossing" then the outgoing tide down past Gladstone Port. After thoughts of continuing further on to Pancake Creek, we decide to drop anchor at the bottom of Facing Island. It is a place opposite the Boyne Island smelter, where you can watch the huge ships pass by in and out of this very busy port.
Back to sea again
04 October 2017
After having Tropicali at Rosslyn Bay Harbour for 9 days, 4 of which were while we travelled to Sydney to farewell son Chris off to the UK, and 2 more waiting for the soggy weather to clear, we made a break today for Great Keppel.
For the first time, we are anchored at Fishermans Beach on the south western side where the old resort is. After finding a good spot to drop anchor among the 24 boats, we looked up to see that the boat immediately ahead of us is "Charm" owned by Ken and Bev Hollingworth from Tin Can Bay. Ken and Bev are also making for home after having travelled much further north than us.
Dinghy down after last using it at Airlie Beach, we motored ashore to explore the remaining operable bits of the resort, pub, shop and private rental houses that keep the tourists coming out to the island. A beer at the pub, we check out the brekky menu for tomorrow and decide we might go ashore for the Eggs Benedict!
With the sun out this afternoon, the renowned beautiful clear aqua waters of Keppel Bay make swimming look so desirable. It's on the list for tomorrow if the sun's out.
One more day here and we will make our way further south on Friday.