Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Thursday 11th:

Since Tuesday it has been cold with poor visibility due low cloud and persistent heavy rain, consequently no photos to post today. However, there has been time to sit and talk to other boaties and here is what I have heard.

How many boaties does it take to change a lightbulb?
None, because the right size bulb is not on board, the local chandlery doesn't carry that brand and the mail order service where you purchased the light has them on back order.

Some definitions:

Anchor light - a small light used to discharge the battery before daylight.

Current - a tidal flow that carries a boat away from its desired destination, or towards a hazard.

Schooner - a yacht with a fully stocked beer frig.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rain at the Low Isles

Monday 8th September:

Woke at 7 am to a temperature of 26, humidity at 80% and a forecast of rain with strong SW winds for Tuesday and the following few days so the skipper made the decision to head back to Cairns today rather than beat into the wind later in the week. 8 octas of dark heavy cloud, indigo seas and 0.0 knots of wind all the way back to Cairns. As we headed down the leads into the marina the sky really opened up and the rain continued pouring down until we were tied up. It was fine for the rest of the day.
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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Low Isles

Friday 5 September:

Perfect weather arrived for sailing further north so after a quick dash to the markets for their fabulous fresh fruit and veg we set sail and arrived at the Low Isles about 2.30 pm. The island with the lighthouse is a sandy cay thought to have begun to form about 5000 years ago and now, although tiny, it supports about 50 species of plants and the birds include mangrove kingfishers, honeyeaters and a large colony of pied imperial pigeons. At waters edge are sooty oystercatchers and out on the reef as it dries are the reef egrets. We have neap tides at present so only one high and one low per 24 hours of about 1 metre and great for snorkelling which is excellent here. The coral reef is right at the beach and extends as far as we have the energy to swim. The colours are magnificent in both the coral and the fish of which there are many shapes, sizes and colours. Angel fish swim around the boat constantly and we have also seen reef sharks, trevally and some of those curiously shaped longtoms. Green turtles are quite numerous too and because the water is so clear we can follow them for quite some time as they forage on the sea grass. Fascinating. Still watching out for a dugong.

Sunday, 7th September:

These isles are convenient for boats from Port Douglas and yesterday and today it has been as busy as Pittwater and Refuge Bay on a beautiful weekend. It is now late on Sunday afternoon and all of the day trippers and most of the boats have now gone. Time to open the red wine and have a drink - for health purposes of course. Cheers.
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Monday, September 1, 2008

A very blue day

Monday 1 September: The SE trades are still too strong for Breakaway to venture out to the reef so we went in a very fast catamaran to a pontoon anchored at Moore Reef. Everywhere you looked was blue; the sky, the sea, a lot of the coral and many of the fish. WOW. A number of the giant clams were also into the blue theme. Very hard to get out of the water with such wonders all around. We were also privileged to see a mother humpback and her calf frolicking about and having a very splashy time. The whales are definitely heading south now with no need to worry about the wind.
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Saturday, August 30, 2008

30 August 2008

Dinner for four at 2 Fish, Port Douglas where you can have whatever you like so long as it is fish. The crews from Tezelia and Breakaway enjoyed the warm, balmy evening and the coral trout.
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Port. Douglas I mean.

Saturday, 30th August:

A day away from the marina in Cairns where the wind continues to howl. We visit Marina Mirage and catch up with Terry and Lilia from Tezelia.

I believe Sydney is 2000 kilometres that way.

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Wednesday 27th: Breakout from Mourilyan and sailing again. Heading for Welcome Bay at Fitzroy Island.
We have just witnessed a wonderful display of a mother whale teaching her calf whale play - breaching, fin slapping and tail waving - as they were drifting south.
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What can I say?

Monday, 25 August:

Mourilyan Harbour as it has been for three days, wet and windy.
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Wet and wild

Thursday, 21 August.
Brammo Bay, Dunk Island.
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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Crocs, midges and Greek heroes

Friday 15th: Running off the main channel is Gayundah Creek recommended by Alan Lucas as an excellent anchorage so we headed up said creek. Hemmed in by mangroves with a 7ft croc sunning itself on a mud bank did nothing for my equanimity and then the midges arrived. They ignored Carr completely and feasted on me while I was getting the anchor down. So up anchor quick smart as crocs and midges do not make comfortable sleeping companions and back to the main channel to anchor in the midstream breeze. Infinitely better as it was away from all categories of biting creature.

Saturday 16th: It was still dark as the anchor came up at 0600 and we headed for Port Hinchinbrook Marina. As the sun came up, the only ripples on the glassy water were in our wake and the sky gradually busied with shearwaters and darters looking for breakfast. At the shoreline, a few egrets and white faced herons were intent on the same task. Further along we spotted a sea eagle. As planned, we arrived at the pylons marking the entrance channel for the marina almost on high tide but just as we went to turn in, a supply barge came out and commenced a water ballet routine around the pylons. We could not work out what was happening so radioed to the skipper who explained that he was inspecting the pylons and moorings but was happy to move aside so we could enter. Thank you Perseverance II. Love the names of these supply barges, Hercules and Samson in the Whitsundays and we've seen Ajax and Hector (plus Perseverance) around here. Perhaps Jason and Achilles are further north. Amazon and Penthesileia would round out this genre of names nicely.
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