Sunday, 7 July 2013


Southern Belle in her berth - she's the lovely cream and red boat just below the curve of the palm tree.
It is Sunday morning, we're in our berth in the Mackay Marina and continuing to enjoy the ease of marina life... 
  • The boat is sitting flat - no rolling or bobbing;
  • We don't have to worry about the batteries because we're plugged into shore power;
  • The showers have great hot water, and you don't feel like the contents in a milk shake container standing in the boat's cubicle; 
  • There is solid land, with palm trees and birdsong, just a short ramp away!
Sorry, that sounds like I'm complaining.  I'm not.  But it is very comfortable here.  

The Captain and I rented a little car yesterday and we've done a bit of looking around the town of Mackay as well as touring the local coastal communities.  We found a great place for fresh seafood yesterday which meant we had a big bowl of fresh prawn pasta for dinner last night.  Yum.

The other element we have enjoyed a great deal over the last few days is being with the other members of the RPAYC Coral Coast Cruise currently at the marina.  We've had lots of opportunities to share stories, visit and enjoy afternoon drinks with the crews of Bogart, Whimaway and StressFree.  The social part of cruising is certainly the most enjoyable for me.  Last night we had drinks on Bogart - thank you Ian and Sharon - and tonight we're meeting at 1700 (5pm) for drinks at the pub.  Tomorrow night is the official rendezvous dinner at the local Thai...I'm sure it will be a great night like all the rest.

So, with all this relaxing and not doing very much, I thought I'd post a few more pictures from the trip so far....

The Lovely Miss Southern Belle at anchor around dusk just off Great Keppel Island

This is the large yacht we spotted jammed into the mangrove on Great Keppel Island.  As I mentioned in one of my past blogs, we couldn't understand how it was even brought into this area of marsh land much less how they got it propped up in the mud and trees.  We landed our dingy well up the bay from this and walked down to it.  I couldn't walk that far yet so the Captain went on ahead .. and then turned a corner and disappeared from my sight.  While I was standing on the beach - a good piece away - I heard a truck driving down the deserted beach towards me.  As he passed I could see it was an old beat up truck with a dog and - what seemed like at the time - a rough looking man at the wheel.  Then - as you do - I started to worry that the Captain could have stumbled on something that someone may not want seen.  I know, I've seen way too many TV shows and movies!  It was a good while before my Captain came back around the corner proving all was good - including my imagination!
The captain off to set his new crab traps!  He didn't get anything that day except bug bites!  But the time is a coming'!
The first mate in "watch" position.

The Captain in Navigator mode under way.   One thing I can say about him - without reservation - is he's been a terrific navigator during the trip.  He's very careful to put is on a paper chart every hour.  We've made it to every destination well within our ETA without fail!

 The marina walkway and the top of our area's ramp.  The figure in blue is the captain pushing the grocery cart headed down to the boat.

That's it for now.  The Bureau of Meteorology has posted a strong wind warning for this part of the reef for the next two days so we'll be here until Wednesday it looks like.  There's a big national park not far from here and if we get the chance we thought we'd go and have a look at that - about an hour or so drive - in the next day or two.

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