Thursday, 31 October 2013

Making a mile southwards

Fitzroy Island
It's lucky Doug and Denise have visited Cairns before as we have whipped them out of there faster than expected.
They arrived Monday evening and, with a three day weather opportunity presenting itself, on Tuesday morning we untied the ropes and headed out of the marina southward bound.
The somewhat choppy conditions outside the leads (into the Moon River) put a question mark on the journey but we decided to head across to Trinity Inlet for lunch and see if the wind abated a bit as it was forecast to do.
And it did!
Under one motor and the with the sails up, we were across to Fitzroy Island by mid-afternoon, in time for a swim and a walk, then kicking back to enjoy millpond conditions and a beautiful sunset.
Looking towards Queensland's highest mountain - Bartle Frere
Yesterday brought more of the same as we headed off just after 5.30am aiming for Mourilyan Harbour, south of Innisfail.
The weather god was looking favourably upon us again with a light northerly freshening in the afternoon. Alternating between the head sail and Code Zero as the wind moved further north, we were opposite Mourilyan by 1pm and decided to make the most of the conditions to push on to Dunk Island.
The sea was seething with bird and fish life and we were lucky enough to score two big mackerel - enough fish to last a month!
As always, hauling them in was exciting as they have a habit of spitting the lure just as you go to bring them on board.

One happy camper!

Two happy campers

We anchored last night on the south side of Dunk Island and the sea this morning is again glassy with another light northerly forecast for the final leg to Hinchinbrook Island. Before we head off we intend to go to shore for a walk then take a leisurely sail across to the channel.
Royden surprised Denise and I with a gin and tonic on the deck as we got close to Dunk Island. It was lovely on the trampolines in the shade of the Code Zero.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Food fest - tick

Something low key and healthy for Mog - not. OK I'll admit that the other two plates belong to Royden and me.
Yesterday's food fest met all expectations - and Kal wasn't the only one with a larger-than-usual tummy by last night.
As Mog was still lamenting missing the waffles last year at the Cairns Botanic Gardens, we decided to start the day with morning tea / lunch at the Gardens cafĂ©.
Yum! I'll let the picture do the talking, although Kal's healthier ham and cheese croissant didn't make the snap.
The flower of the amazing cannonball tree. Like its name suggests, the `fruit' of this tree is the same shape and weight of a cannonball. Wouldn't want one to drop on your head. As well as seeing this in the Botanic Gardens, Royden also spotted one - full of cannonballs - along the foreshore walking path. Unsuspecting people were lying under the shady canopy. Worse than a coconut hitting you I reckon.
Another beautiful tree - others will probably know what sort.
Chilling out in the lagoon.
Afterwards we walked the gardens then swam off the kilos in the Cairns lagoon along with lots of other family groups. It is the most picturesque place and well used by tourists and locals alike.
Looking towards Yorkeys from Trinity Beach rocks
We followed up with a trip to Trinity Beach for a walk and to check out the Thai restaurants which resulted in a delicious feast that evening after we'd gone back to the marina to make ourselves beautiful!
And now looking back towards Palm Cove and Double Island.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Sea creatures - good and bad

It's hard to believe another month has flown past since my last blog update.
During this time we've been to Victoria for 10 days firstly catching up with Mog and Kal (and our first glimpse at Kal's bump!) ever so briefly as they flew out to Perth on the same afternoon we flew in, then heading up to Rochy to stay with Di and Don at our house and of course catch up with Rochy friends.
The Mawsons annual `do' at Lake Cooper was a ripper - great food, tours and people.
Leaving Royden in Rochy, I headed to Timboon for a brief visit with Jill to celebrate (early) her 70th birthday, then it was back to Melbourne to meet up with Royden again and visit Stu, Tina and the boys before flying back to Cairns last Sunday. Unfortunately the logistics didn't fit in a trip to Benalla - sorry Cris, Johnno and James.
Kitting up for a snorkel on the reef
On Tuesday, Mog and Kal joined us (direct from Perth) on the boat and we've managed to fit in a trip to Mossman Gorge as well as get a couple of days at sea and some beaut sails.
We headed out to Upolu reef with little wind and a light swell then with the afternoon sea breeze picking up to around 10 to 12 knots, we sailed back across to Trinity Inlet to anchor for the night.
Upolu Reef
Swimming off the boat

While swimming at the sand cay and reef was lovely, Mog got a fair few bites across his arms from either sea lice or a combination of sea lice and maybe a stinger. We doused his arms with vinegar which was immediately effective and later noticed a few jelly fish in the water so that took the edge of swimming!
It must have been the day for sea creatures because on the way out we spotted dolphins, flying fish, a sea snake and a turtle in the space of a couple of hours.
Yesterday we took advantage of another 10 to 15 knot breeze to just go sailing. Mog and Kal took turns at the helm, tweaking things to see who could get the most knots out of Sea Piper. Kal won at 7.0 knots in 12-14 knots of breeze.
We headed back into Bluewater marina in the afternoon then went swimming in the Cairns lagoon while Royden went to his chiropractor appointment to ease his sore back.
Today we're going to have a food fest around Cairns before Mog and Kal return to Melbourne tomorrow morning.
Our last visitors for the season arrive on Monday and the plan, weather willing, is to head off south to Hinchinbrook Island sometime in the next week then dropping Doug and Denise at Cardwell so they can bus it to Townsville to stay with David and Vikki for a few days.
Healthy cravings - heading into Trinity Inlet after a day on the reef.
This huge stick insect was pretty impressive (in the car park back at the marina).