Finding time….

The thought of maintaining a blog is a great idea. It’s a good way of keeping a long term record of the journey for us and to let friends know where we are, what we’ve been doing and seeing and what our plans are.  At the start I didn’t realise how difficult it would be to find the time, or sometimes motivation, to keep up to date.

I had thought writing would be so much easier than trying to take hours of video and then edit all that into a 15 minute vlog and I guess in reality it certainly is. However, on board a sailing boat with limited 12volt power and with an old laptop the two of us share, make it hard to find/ make time to keep up the story with enough detail and still keep it interesting

We are again in Airlie Beach, but now on our way south and lots has happened since the last post from Mackay, almost two months ago. 

Sadly without a lot of detail and with few pictures our journey north in brief:-

In Mackay we restocked essential items like beer, rum & gin and also some food, topped up fresh water and fuel.  Got some repairs attended to and then continued our way north.

Goldsmith Island – for the three nights at anchor we were blessed with the spectacle of watching a dugong near the boat. Late afternoon she would stash her calf close to the shore then she would graze on the seagrass below. Regularly surfacing, taking a few breaths then diving raising her tail high as she went down.

Thomas Island – a two night stay but we didn’t go ashore. The ‘swelly’ anchorage was a little discouraging to lower the tender and go exploring.

Thomas Island anchorage

Whitehaven Beach. Despite the reputation of Whitehaven the number of other boats, tourists, helicopters put us off so we didn’t go ashore at all. We anchored well away from everyone and everything going on. Due to a forecast strong wind warning once we lifted the anchor we motored north along the eastern shore of Whitsunday Island, through Hook Passage and across to the Coral Sea Marina to seek shelter and restock the fridge and pantry.

Macona Inlet – once out of Airlie Beach we went to Hook Island and into Macona Inlet. The inlet is a long fjord type inlet providing good protection from most winds. It also gave us a chance to catch up with friends who took us on a day trip around the island in their power boat taking time to go snorkeling and take note of their vast knowledge of the Whitsundays.

Airlie Beach – there is always something. When doing regular pre-start engine checks I found a small fuel hose leaking. So an unplanned trip back to Airlie Beach for a new fuel line and make the most of the opportunity and stock up on food, fuel and ‘beverages’. we also noticed the high power consumption of our freezer. A call to a ‘fridge’ man and we are now waiting for new condenser for the freezer.

Instead of waiting in the marina for parts we went back out to the islands and anchored in Nara Inlet. Exploring there must include the first people’s art work. Sadly on our return to Airlie the new freezer has not arrived so we are heading north nursing a dodgy freezer.

With no new freezer it was time to keep going north for an overnight stop in Little Jonah Bay. Then after an early start just on sunrise I decided to put the lure out as we travelled north alongside Gloucester Island. It wasn’t long before I had a strike but try as I might couldn’t stop whatever it was from running out almost the entire spool of line before making away with lure, wire trace, heavy nylon leader and I have no idea of braided line.

Gloucester Island

No exploring along the way meant just overnight anchorages at Cape Upstart and then behind the ‘never ending’ Cape Bowling Green

Finally in Townsville it was time to catch up with family, take some day excursion in to town and around the region, shopping, repairs…..

Time gets away and it was quickly time to turn south. But not without a day or two looking around Magnetic Island. The northerly winds meant anchoring in Picnic Bay. As well as an excursion into Picnic Bay for a coffee and a swim on another day we took the bus around to Horseshoe and Nelly Bay.

The journey south takes us of course over much the same waters. Overnight stops at Cape Bowling Green then again at Cape Upstart before a new to us anchorage at Grassy Island.

At anchor Grassy Island

And back to Airlie Beach – with all the visits to the marina it is lucky we are ‘Shaggers’ or what the Marina now like to call ‘Friends of Coral Sea’ so we do get a discount. The big news is we got the new freezer compressor installed.

Today, Friday, we’ll continue our way south, still a little unsure of where we’re going next but we are making our way home.

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