We have left the marina and are back at sea at last.
Following a longer-than-anticipated stay down south (a wedding, catching up with family and friends, meetings, house repairs and, most importantly, grandchildren cuddles) we flew back to Townsville last Sunday night and have spent the past few days getting ready to set sail for the season - and of course catching up with Townsville family, friends and fellow sailors.
This time we decided to head north (with the wind and general swell direction) and worry about coming back south against the elements later in the year.
Good plan? We'll let you know in December.
After a couple of minor glitches this morning, we got underway around 10am and headed towards the Palm Islands.
A 10 to 15 knot breeze pushed us along helped by a run-out tide and a friendly swell. At times the breeze almost disappeared but freshend again as we got up into the Palms. We made excellent time arriving at Little Pioneer Bay (Orpheus Island) just before a patchy rainstorm that we could see coming from the direction of Hinchinbrook Island, which was obliterated by rain cloud.
There is no other boat here and we saw only one other and the Palm Island ferry, all day.
Pioneer Bay boasts some magnificent (and unusual) coral and is home to a research station . It is also a no-fishing zone so the fish are inclined to jump up all around the boat in a teasing fashion, just as they did when we last visited here in late 2010.
The weather is supposed to kick up tomorrow afternoon but we are planning an early morning start over to the Hinchinbrook Channel where we will tuck up for a day or two (fishing) before resuming our journey to Cairns to meet our first visitors for the season.