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Showing posts from August, 2016

A Tale of a Whale

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We left Tangalooma at about 9am yesterday morning in a strong breeze. Decided two reefs were called for and it turned out to be a good decision as we still managed to average 6knots without even putting our headsail up. 
The highlight of the trip was a whale which half breached within 200m of us. Sadly no-one got a photo but it was a great thing for us all to remember. 
We saw several other whales but those were mostly further away. It is definitely whale-spotting season here!
We motored into Mooloolaba marina without any trouble just before high tide at about 4pm and have tied up in the marina.  Those very welcome showers were great!
Jonny and Alice will be leaving us tomorrow but we will be here for 3 weeks to get the boat surveyed for insurance purposes and because we will be returning home for 11 days to attend to a few things. Certainly not a bad place for a rest!  




Chilling out at Tangalooma, Moreton Island

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We arrived at Tangalooma on the west side of Moreton Island on Saturday morning after an overnight passage from the Gold Coast around Cape Moreton. The area where we anchored for the first night was behind some old barges, which had been scuttled in the 1960's to provide some shelter from west winds. This wasn't particularly effective but we were sheltered enough from south east winds. 
On Saturday evening we had dinner onboard Nirvana with Julian and Julia, which was very pleasant on their spacious catamaran.
For the second two nights we anchored a bit further south just off the beach. Jonny enjoyed the fishing, catching lots of flatheads but none of them big enough to keep. We also got the dinghy out and went ashore for some nice walks on the beach. There is a resort at Tangalooma but they were thoroughly unhelpful when we attempted to spend our money there, insisting that we had to book at least one day before. Their loss!














The one that got away

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We are anchored at Dux Anchorage off south Stradbrooke island. It was tight navigationally getting here as it is so shallow with lots of sandbanks but, so far, we have managed not to run aground. Great excitement this morning when Jonny caught a fish!  Unfortunately it was a Ringed Pufferfish which is highly poisonous so we had oats for breakfast after all.  Planning to set off this afternoon on an overnight sail to Flinders Reef. 


Off again!

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And we're off again. After a very welcome rest at the Southport marina, several very welcome showers and g&ts later, we are heading down the channel a little way to South Stradbrooke island. The wind is not good for us to sail north today so we thought this would be a nice gentle introduction to cruising for Jonny and Alice.   Tomorrow we are hoping to do an overnight sail up the outside of Morton island to Flinders Reef. 

Houston we have a problem...

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Today we discovered why our vhf radio was not working properly. After the electrician had spent ages trying to find a fault he finally went up our mast to check the antenna only to discover that it wasn't there!  We think the previous electrician, while fixing our anemometer, had removed it as it was looking a bit dodgy, and then forgot to replace it!  Certainly explains why nobody could hear us.  Fortunately a relatively easy problem to resolve. 
We're enjoying our time off here in southport marina. Alice and Debi went for a run on the beautiful beach down the road and then we all walked into the town to buy a few odds and ends. Then it was time for sundowners on the deck watching a beautiful sunset.  Tough life this!  
It's looking like we will set off again for a short motor along the inside of the seaway on Thursday. 



Sundowners

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The first bottle of gin has been consumed!

We've Arrived!

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Coming on deck to see the high rise buildings of the Gold Coast gleaming on the horizon was great. I guess that must be how ancient sailors felt when they sighted land after a long passage at sea.
We were both tired after our unfamiliar  4 hour watch system but was amazing how quickly we adapted and, although sailing through squalls, in pouring rain and messy seas is not the idyllic experience many people associate with the experience, it has its own charm and there is a definite sense of achievement when the difficulty has passed. 
Fortunately the tide was in when we arrived and we entered the Gold Coast seaway with no difficulty at all. Jonny and Alice, armed with a welcome bottle of bubbles, were waiting to greet us on the pontoon. 
The new life has begun!







Cape Byron

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Now we can another one to our list of "capes that we have sailed around". This is Cape Byron the most easterly point on the Australian mainland. I'm not sure that my photo does it justice! We can see the glow of the Gold Coast on the horizon now. 46 miles to go.

Are we nearly there?

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Currently 12 miles NE of Coffs Harbour. Things have been fairly full on most of the way but died off last night and we are now sailing north in steady conditions. Despite all the hard work Debi is still finding time for social calls!