Gladstone to Gold Coast

Last time we spoke we were in Gladstone. We had a look at the nearby dam and the botanic gardens. There were literally thousands of tiny cane toads at the botanic gardens which were about 1 centimeter in size. It was really hard not to tread on any! The marina was really pretty at night with the port behind it. The port in Gladstone is one of Australia’s largest also catering to the odd cruise ship.

We left Gladstone just over a week after arriving to head down the coast to Pancake Creek which is at Bustard Head just north of Seventeen Seventy which is where Captain Cook first landed on Queensland soil. Unfortunately the algal bloom was really bad in this area. Once it washes up onto the beach it smells like old prawn leavings. PONG. Tim walked up to the nearby lighthouse at Bustard Head to check out the views.

We stayed 3 nights and then headed to Port Bundaberg for fuel and one night anchored in the Burnett River. The Northerlies have really kicked in so we meandered our way down the inside of Fraser Island to River Heads just south of Hervey Bay for two nights.

We were watching the weather and tides to get a good crossing for the Wide Bay Bar. We stayed at Inskip Point for the night and left at 6am for the bar crossing along with a dozen other boats.

We had a great sail down to Mooloolaba where we anchored at Kawana Waters for two nights. We put the dinghy in the water for the first time since the Whitsundays and Liz went shopping!

We moved into the Mooloolaba Marina close to some friends that we hadn’t seen since early June. We hired a car and drove up to check out Noosa.

We did a drive around the area starting at Nambour. The visibility was terrible because of the smoke haze but we managed to get a few geocaches, visit the cheese farm and the Big Pineapple.

More friends arrived at the marina so we went out for dinner and sampled some gin from Four Pillars in the Yarra Valley. Mrs Stray Cats (Deb) took Liz to the Eumundi Markets which are great, a bit like Salamanca Markets.

There were a few big storms starting to roll through so we hightailed it to Brisbane for a few days with my sister (Karen) and her family. The East Coast Marina at Manly where we stayed was huge. It took us 6.48 minutes to walk from Freya to the marina gate.

We left yesterday and came down through the Broadwater from Moreton Bay to Paradise Point on the Gold Coast. Yet more friends were awaiting us here so a few quick sundowners were had. We’re off to dinner at the local Chinese tonight and are looking at crossing the Seaway Bar tomorrow afternoon for the 18hr run down to Yamba.

Tim is happy in his new sunsafe shirt doing what he loves best, sailing!

Freya is wishing you all are safe heading into the silly season xo

The Beautiful Whitsundays

After arriving back at Airlie Beach we spent a few days socializing and reprovisioning before Hamish’s arrival. Then we set off for Hook Island and Macona Inlet where Tim scrubbed the bottom of the boat to remove the build-up of crut. This took three 30 minute dives in gorgeous clear warm water. On our final morning there we saw a little shark swimming past us so we are now a little edgy about getting into deep water especially after this week’s shark attack which was just around the corner. It is breeding season for turtles so we were seeing plenty of them and some came pretty close to the boat. We snuck into the beach near the airport to collect Hamish from Hamilton Island. We got caught and spoken to fairly sternly! As Hamilton Island is privately owned you are supposed to arrange to go in at a cost so we spent a night in the marina there the might before Hamish’s departure. We showed Hamish the Whitsundays Freya style, we think he enjoyed it! Walks, climbs, snorkels, swims, spotting turtles and feeding Batfish. We had lots of laughs, drinks and good food.
We were sad to see him go but it was time to move on. We left Hamilton Island and did a 33 hour run down to Great Keppel Island. We stayed 4 nights but didn’t go ashore as it was pretty windy and rolly. We left GKI and headed for Gladstone via the narrows. The narrows are a stretch of water between Curtis Island and the mainland which is all mangrove trees and it dries out completely at low tide. They have a cattle crossing where they herd the cows to and fro when the tide is out. We were a teensy bit early with the incoming tide so we had a surprise stop to take photos!We managed to get through the rest and had a lovely still night at Targinie Creek before heading into the Gladstone marina. We have friends here who have been showing us around and they have lent us a little Dhiatsu Feroza to get about in. That’s part of the beauty of this lifestyle, the people you meet along the way.Last night we welcomed more friends into the marina and went for an all you can eat Chinese buffet.We are looking at leaving here on Monday to hopefully get another few days at Lady Musgrave Island. Turtle nesting season, very excited.Happy Halloween from Freya

We’ve turned back

After just over a month in Magnetic Island and surrounding islands, we have headed southish.

An 18 hour overnight sail took us from Maggie to Cape Gloucester and the Eco Resort. This is where we were for our Shaggers party so it was nice to go ashore and enjoy it while it was relatively quiet. We were treated to live music and a swim.

After one night we headed off for a quick swim and walk on Grassy Island before seeking shelter at Eastern Double Bay to sit out a SE blow.

This morning Liz got some work to do so we bashed our way into Airlie Beach in search of a decent internet service.

The things you do for $ eh!

Magnetic Island to Hinchinbrook

It’s been a little while since our last post because we have been having heaps of fun!

We spent a couple of weeks exploring the Whitsundays but we didn’t take many photos, we’ll get them on the way back south.

Catherine and David came aboard and we had 5 nights in the Whitsundays before heading to Gloucester Passage for the SICYC Vice Commodores Rendezvous. This is like schoolies for seniors! 4 wonderful days of nonstop partying and dressups of course. This year we raised just over 55k for prostate cancer research.

We headed north to Magnetic Island encountering many whales on thr way. This calf was having breaching lessons from mum.

The evening we arrived at Horseshoe Bay our dinghy either floated away or was stolen. After many kind lends of dinghys and uber dinghy rides we finally received our brand new aluminium bottom SKIP dinghy.

While we were waiting Catherine and David helped us explore Magnetic, Herald and Rattlesnake Islands. It really is beautiful up here. Ali arrived for a 3 week visit so we took her to Fantome, Orpheus and Hitchinbrook Islands. The waterfall at Zoe Bay on Hitchinbrook was gorgeous and swimming in fresh water with trout was amazing.

We are currently at the Breakwater Marina in Townsville doing boat jobs and will head back to Magnetic Island tomorrow for a while before heading south to pick Hamish up at Airlie Beach for a quick dash around the Whitsundays again.

Freya says stay tuned ⛵⚓🏝🍹

Island Hopping to Airlie Beach

The internet and phone service has been pretty poor while we were island hopping into the Whitsundays.The following video is a montage of shots from Great Keppel Island, Middle Percy Island, Curlew, Keswick, Brampton and Thomas Islands.The weather has been fantastic and we have been busy swimming, kayaking, walking and socializing with fellow cruisers.

Middle Percy Island has an aframe yacht club where you can leave your calling card. We had an onshore webber roast with 12 for dinner which was most successful.

There are little biting sandflies up here called midgies. Although they haven’t been biting Liz, Tim is miserably scratching away at all his bites. They are all over his body so he kinda looks like he has the pox!

Today we sailed into Airlie Beach where we will spend a few days doing the Shagger thing before heading out to more islands while we wait for our guests to arrive on the 15th. Freya says ‘party on folks’, until the next post xo

Lady Musgrave Island

Lady Musgrave Island is a coral cay in the Bunker Group at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. The island is in a lagoon on the inside of a 10k long reef.

Turtles nest on the island along with Noobys and Shearwaters. Every second shell is a cowrie so Liz was in heaven!

The coral bombies are really healthy and the fish species are numerous. It is a bit like snorkelling in an aquarium. The water is crystal clear and about 24 degrees celsius.

We have moved on to Great Keppel Island and are hoping to leave for the Percy Group tomorrow. Phone service will be dodgy!

Stay warm, Freya xo