Tuesday, 23 August 2011


Racing around Hamilton Island.
Hundreds of racing yachts are calling Hamilton Island marina home this week and into next - not the best time to calling in for a visitor pick-up, especially right on the end of a race.
However, after much manoeuvring around the 100 or so racers we managed to gain entry to the marina yesterday but the spot we were to tie up to was already home to a big cruiser.
What to do? What to do?
Mog and Kal had landed (after a Jetstar cancellation and a diversion through Sydney) and were waiting around the marina for directions on where to go to get on to Sea Piper.
To the rescue came the beaut, cool and calm marina staff.
The bloke in the tiny runabout that races around getting everyone safely `housed' in their spots came up alongside to see what he could do to help then motored over to where Mog and Kal were, loaded up their back packs then got them to stand on the bow hanging onto the console while he ducked and weaved amongst the incoming racers to deliver our guests over to Sea Piper.
Classic! We haven't had visitors arrive like that before.
Personal water taxi.
We headed out of the marina as quickly as we could in the wake of the ferry. We figured everyone would get out of its way - we figured right.
With a 25 knot blow on our tail we threw out the Code Zero and within the hour we were back, safely anchored in Gulnare Inlet (Whitsunday Island).
We'd arrived there from Goldsmith Island on Sunday following a change of weather forecast of strong wind warnings from Monday to Wednesday. We figured if we got within cooee of Hamilton, we had the best chance of getting Mog and Kal on board.
We'd had a beaut sail from Mackay to Goldsmith on Saturday with wind and waves going with us. Ditto for Sunday's sail.
A highlight just out of Mackay was whales breaching about a kilometre away then later in the day a whale swam past us (probably only 100 metres away) headed in the opposite direction.
On Sunday it was the turn of the dolphins with two separate schools making an appearance as we sailed along.
Prior to that our week in Melbourne, Rochy and Benalla went all too fast but it was great to catch up with everyone.
Our plane trip back north had a couple of hiccups however with the late departure from Melbourne leading to missing the connecting flight to Mackay on Friday evening.
Virgin put us up in a nice motel with (a very late) dinner and breakfast, so it wasn't too bad to bear.
In the end we got to Mackay around 10.30am Saturday, did a quick fruit and vege shop on the way to the marina, unpacked, cast off and were away by 12.30pm - not much later than we'd planned in the first place, given the tides.
At the moment we are firmly anchored in the Gulnare Inlet mud and will probably stay here another night while this front blows itself out.
The forecast for the days following looks good so we should get some snorkelling and exploring in.
Right now, we're waiting for the fish to start biting but they seem to have ducked for cover out of the weather as well.


  1. Glad to here never a dull moment on the Sea Piper.
    We are having very strong gusty winds here at the moment, not what the keen fishing people need.
    Every thing has settled down after the big 60's bash.
    We are planning the Jan trip to Bali, and thought you may want to come along?, let us know.
    Love to you both from Wiligi

  2. Ooooo Dawn, that sounds tempting. Janty