Thursday, December 4, 2008

A busy month heading south

It has been a month since our last update. In that time we have gone from the Whitsundays to the Fraser Island/Sandy Straits and had 2 periods ashore off the boat.

The northerly winds didn't last long but made for good sailing south while they lasted. We had some long days (10 - 11 hours) from the Whitsundays to Yeppoon but they were very comfortable with just the spinnaker up and getting along at 5 - 7 kts. The last day with the spinnaker was from the Percys to Port Clinton when we had problems getting the spinnaker down at the end of the day. A pulley broke at the top of the spinnaker sock and jamed the rope that is used to lower the sock. That meant that we couldn't gather in the spinnaker before bringing it down which is a problem with such a big sail. It took us a while but we finally managed to get it down and stowed without any damage to the sail or injury to us.

We booked into the marina at Rosslyn Bay, Yeppoon as a strong southerly wind change came through. Here we caught up with people off 3 rally yachts (Eaglehawk, Hadja, and Querida) for sundowners on Eaglehawk. It was good to catch up everyones news since we were last together. We left the boat in the marina and caught the train to Brisbane for a week. As well as seeing Cran's family, the Rooneys were having a long weekend at Stradbroke Island to celerbrate Brian's 80th and Carmel's 40th. It was a great weekend catching up with everyone with the bonus of good weather.

After returning to the boat we had 4 relaxing days anchored at Long Beach, Great Keppel Island where we caught up with Mark & Susan off La Scandell again and met new cruising friends Mike & Lyndall off catamaran Montage who sailed with us down to Pancake Ck. We went on to Bundaberg while they sailed on further to Hervey Bay.

We were in Bundaberg for Patrick's birthday - yes another Rooney birthday. We also had a couple of days with Trevor, the previous owner of our boat, and his new partner Christine. They have a rural property at Mullet Ck north of Bundaberg. We had an evening at the Yandaran pub with Trevor, Christine and Trevor's neighbours Clive & Theresa. The pub was having a Rocky Horror theme night, a live band and a pig on a spit. A real country pub, it was a fun night for all. It was a relaxing weekend and good to see what Trevor is up to now that he is land based.

We are now in the Sandy Straits anchored off the Kingfisher Bay Resort. We have been here a couple of days. Unfortunately, Cran put his back out on the way down and was forced to have a rest day yesterday but he is improved enough to launch the dinghy and go ashore to the resort today. The resort has facilities for day visitors, including yachties, which has 2 swimming pools, a bar, bistro & showers. Tomorrow, we plan to go up the Mary River to Maryborough for a couple of days. We have friends there on the boat Vagabon from our marina at Newport. We have just missed them on the way north so it will be good to see them again.

The long range weather forecast looks like we will have favourable winds to cross the Wide Bay Bar and get to Bribie Is on Wednesday or Thursday next week. Then back into Newport and start the boat maintenance & business jobs as well as catching up with friends & family.