Hi Guys, as you know last year was an absolute write off for a lot of us. So this post will be quite lenghty! We didn’t get out of NSW all year, we ended up spending nine months in the Clarence River including Christmas and New Year.
Liz got a casual job in the Ilkua Bakery, she learn’t to paddleboard and took up watercolour painting. Tim did all sorts of jobs on Freya and we tried to keep fit by riding our bikes, walking, swimming and paddleboarding. We are still overweight but happy!
At the end of February 2021 we finally left the Clarence and set sail for the Gold Coast. We booked Freya into a marina, and promptly booked tickets to Tasmania. We spent a week organising boat work then headed to Brisbane for our flight home. Liz managed to have her birthday with her twin, we spent time with our parents and families and finally got to hug our kids. It was lovely but over all too soon and we flew back to Brisbane ready to get stuck into some work.
Freya got a new windlass and anchor chain, her mattresses renewed and new stern cleats among a mountain of other stuff. After being in the marina for a month we were finally free to start cruising at last.
April saw us motoring up through the Broadwater where we spent a wet and windy Easter anchored up some mosquito infested creek. We met up with friends and family while exploring Morton Bay with visits to Peel Island, Morton Island, Raby Bay, Redcliffe, Clontarf and the Brisbane River (hire a scooter, brilliant fun!). All too soon it was time to move on so we got Freya ready for a big sail and turned left again.
We arrived at Double Island Point just after dark and anchored out for the night. The next morning we moved into the lagoon ready for the peace and quiet of a National Park which is only accessible by boat or 4×4. Bloody hell, we didn’t realise Qld has a public holiday for Anzac Day and the place was packed. 4x4s as far as the eye could see, jetskis, boats and people. Beautiful place though. A Tassie mate was extending his holiday in Noosa to drive up to Tin Can Bay to catch up with us so we quite happily upped anchor and headed for the treacherous Wide Bay Bar at the bottom of Fraser Island. The events of the next day are slightly blurred but I’m sure we had a great time and lots of laughs with our mate! Another friend from the Sunshine Coast drove up in his campervan and we had a bit of a tour round Rainbow Beach and Cooloola Cove.
The weather decided to pack it in again so off we went to explore the inside of Fraser Island. The first night at Stewart Island provided a spectacular sunset. We stayed the night then made for Yankee Jack Creek. This is more like it, turtles, stingrays, fish and birds to entertain us. The next day we got caught up in the annual Bay to Bay yacht race for trailer sailors. The weather was still miserable but the sun did manage to come out so the sight was pretty awesome. Onwards to Kingfisher Resort, pub lunch, swimming pools, hot showers and a couple of geocaches.
Some fellow yachties had said we went up the Mary River for a couple of days and stayed a few weeks, we loved it that much, you should go. So we did. Maryborough has a huge railroad history and it is the birthplace of Pamela Travers who wrote Marry Poppins. The Wharf marina was one of the friendliest places we had ever been to thanks to both management and marina guests. Do yourself a favour and visit. The Anzac memorial in Queens Park is the best I have ever seen. I also got a commuter scooter so getting about was much quicker! We stayed a week then sadly cast off on the outgoing tide to continue our cruise north.
Back to Fraser Island but further up for a night before a 15hour overnight sail to Seventeen Seventy.
1770 is where Captain Cook first landed in Australia on 24th May 1770. There is a festival happening here this weekend with reenactents of the landing, street parade, markets and lots of other activities. Last Saturday we were invited to attend a Singing in the Whales ceremony up on the headland. The First Nations people all along the coast would perform this ceremony to welcome the whales (their ancestors) on their yearly migration. The ceremony has been revived in recent years with a few other places doing the songs and dance. We recieved a blessing from the elders and learnt quite a lot about the culture here. We are spending some time swimming, paddleboarding and walking with another sailing couple who we spent most of last year with.
We are not exactly sure where to next but hoping to stop at Yellow Patch on Curtis Island before heading to the Keppels. We promise to update our adventures more often now we are knee deep in the water again.
Tim, Liz and Freya xo