Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Our last Whitsundays tour and the end of our journey(for now)

13th October 2012

With the weather changing into spring conditions, the northerlies come and go and the days become a little more uncertain. We had lapsed into that expectation of blue, cloudless, trade wind days. Tony and Rosemary arrived from Tasmania via Mackay to be greeted by Lindsay and Josh who were on their way home. They had arrived late so we introduced them to Mr Bones, our favourite cafe in Airlie, for a late dinner. We headed back to the boat and set out the next morning on our final trip around the Whitsunday Islands. Tony and Rosemary had only a week so time was precious. We headed to Cid Harbour where we were to meet Roy(who we have introduced you to in a previous post) a long standing family friend who hadn't seen Tony since 1957! Well, they established that they both hadn't changed a great deal and picked up where they had left off! It was a fun night aboard the charter cat that Roy was on with his son and partner and we left them with no doubt that we would see them somewhere again soon.

Tony Roy Miff Rosemary and John on board 'Psycho Puss'(charter boat with a terrible name!)

Rosemary providing onboard entertainment

Luncheon Bay

John Miff Rosemary and Tony in Luncheon Bay

Luncheon Bay

Tony about to check out the local marine inhabitants

Friendly fish in Luncheon Bay

Beautiful clam mantle-these came in all sorts of colours

Solway Lass in South Molle Island main Bay-charter boat in the Whitsunday area

Oyster catchers

Evening drinks in Butterfly Bay

Beach detail-Butterfly Bay

Warm evening in Butterfly Bay

Tony and Rosemary en route back to Airlie Beach

An un-identified sea creature-looks can deceive

 I was busy photographing this beautiful marine centipede-y-type creature from the marina pontoon in Mackay when a fisherman came alongside and told me not to touch it. He said that he had had them in his nets before, they are carnivorous and they have very fine hair-thin needles which can hospitalise you if you touch them at certain times of the year. This one was covered in fantastic intricate patterns of blue, purple, pink and black.

My last sunrise(sailing that is!) en route to Bundaberg
 We had a bit of a deadline to get to Bundaberg for the big tides so Sorcerer could make it up into the cradle. We had timed it perfectly we thought. It was not to be. The tide we wanted just wasn't quite high enough(the joys of having a deep draft). With an appointment in Brisbane looming and a lot of driving ahead we had to leave Sorcerer in the Burnett River in the expert hands of the boys at the slipway. A week or so later, out she came and is now hopefully drying out nicely (photos were sent by Lorraine at the slipway). We bought some moisture absorbing crystals to leave in strategic places in the V-berth and saloon and also installed solar extraction fans in the forward and saloon hatches. This we hope will eliminate some if not all mould while Sorcerer is standing.

Nestling into the cradle

Our beautiful home of six years comes out of the water for a rest

Her spot for the next six months-we hope the waters of the Burnett River stay lower than her waterline!

The contents of the boat...including one husband... fitted(just) into a twelve year old Rav4-another chapter begins

We left Bundaberg a bit sad about leaving Sorcerer but at least we will be back in six months. We travelled south and have settled in Narrawallee, next to Ulladulla, three and a bit hours south of Sydney. Here we hope to find some nursing work and see a bit more of Johns family who come down this way regularly and we are within easy distance of travelling up to see them in the big smoke. We also want to fund our next trip further north next year before heading back to Tasmania.

Thanks everyone for your support with this blog-we hope you enjoyed it. We are looking forward to continuing on next year.
"There are none happy in the world but beings who enjoy freely a vast horizon"
ಳ್  Slainte ಳ್ 

Saturday, 27 October 2012

...more Whitsundays but this time with the kids!!

Low blood pressure and steady pulses in holiday mode!

 22nd Sept.

Headed into Hamilton Island to drop off Mel and Ahmet who were flying south after their time with us. Made our way to Grassy Island towards Gloucester Passage en route to Bowen to pick up Martyn Lindsay and Josh who would be tackling the gruelling 10 hour bus ride from Cairns to Bowen having flown from Auckland NZ. They arrived hot, hungover from bad sleep and ready for a cruise! Unfortunately Martyn was only with us for a week so we set off quickly to show him around as much as possible in the short time. Most of these following photos have been taken by Josh, Lindsay and Martyn.

Mum, Dad and the kids together at last L-R John Martyn Lindsay Miff and Josh is behind the camera.

First thing Martyn bought was a machete for the coconuts but it spreads butter too!

On the way from Bowen

Crab pot after Woodwark Bay

Our first night after leaving Bowen was at Woodwark Bay just north of Airlie Beach. Josh and Martyn headed out in the dinghy to set the pot in the mangroves. They collected it the next morning and found it completely twisted and bent. We discussed very large crabs, sharks and human interference but were not really convinced that it was anything like that that did the damage. Our friend Roy who knows a lot about things pertaining to water came up with the possibility that it may have been a croc that wrecked our pot...consequently the pot has stayed securely tied on the boat and we haven't ventured out with it since!

Dinner coming on board

This tuna fed 5 people for 4 meals.

John and I had tried fishing on several occasions on our journey when we thought we might like fresh fish for tea always without much luck. Martyn was on the boat for just a few hours and caught this tuna. He says you've got to get inside their heads and learn how they think...yeah...right! I have a feeling our friend Ahmet is of the same opinion!

This one was kissed and returned

A bit of discussion under the dodger in a deluge.

Time for contemplation while it rains(how did that body fit up there!)

Rain over...John about to take the plunge

Langford Island at high tide
Langford Island is a beautiful sand island that is mostly exposed at low tide. The snorkeling was fantastic and it is a favourite place for people to be dropped by chopper and left for the day. There is a sand spit that is cut off from the rest of the island at high tide by shallow water...your classic Whitsunday island (no palm trees though!).

Martyn enjoying Langford Island after the snows of New Zealand!

Martyn got this shot of a Green Turtle showing Lindsay how to swim while Josh watches closely-Langford Island

Martyn doesn't do anything 'normally'...

...neither does Lindsay!

Go pro shot! Martyn heading into the fish world.

Time to rest

Sorcerer from the mast.
Martyn had a great time putting the GoPro in all sorts of places. Putting it up the mast was something John and I had been thinking about doing but hadn't got around to yet. Extending it on the boat hook off the bow while sailing was great too.

Sorcerer with a reef in the genoa

Martyn relaxing at the helm

Lindsay catching up on some podcasts.

Lindsay posing...Martyn wondering

A good bed on a hot night

Lindsay, Martyn and Josh

Happy after our tummies are full of pikelets!

Josh at the top of the hill-Border Island looking south

Fish whisperer...think like a fish...think like a fish...

Josh engrossed in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo!

Josh Martyn and Lindsay heading to shore

This little shark was not kissed but returned anyway

Josh with another 2 days worth of meals for 4 people. Spotted Mackerel.

Rainbow over Cid Harbour

Machete was put to use by Martyn but alarm bells were ringing! He did take it ashore in the end!

Josh found a beautiful vine on the walk up Whitsunday Peak

Lindsay and Josh on summit of Whitsunday Peak

John, Lindsay and Miff-Whitsunday Peak summit

Lindsay in a fern and...

...Josh up a tree

On board entertainment

A balmy evening in the Whitsundays

Map of Whitsundays
After picking up the kids in Bowen, we headed through Gloucester Passage to Woodwark Bay in the Dryander National Park. We then headed north to Hayman Island then turned south to Hook Island, down the eastern side of Whitsunday Island to Shaw Island and back into Airlie Beach. Martyns trip was a little shorter without the Shaw Island section. This we did with Josh and Lindsay.

Hill Inlet-Whitehaven Beach


It doesn't get much better than this...L-R Martyn Josh Lindsay Miff John Black Island (Bali Hai) Whitsundays having a beer brewed by John on the boat.