Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Back on boat & Blowing like Hell!!

"The Captain" walking away for his flight to Yeppoon! 
He refused to turn around to have his photo taken ... so here is his contrary backside.
I haven't blogged for a week - sorry.  Mainly because I was too lazy and just a little bit busy around the house and with friends.  This part of summer - most of January - seems to suck almost all energy out of  me and, I expect, a lot of Australians.  The weather is HOT.  The beaches beckon and its really hard to break the food and alcohol habits entrenched throughout December.  My BFF, Jae, in Atlanta sent me a short email this morning asking, "what happened to your blog?"; so here goes.

Much has happened since New Year's eve.  George, who left last Monday to travel back up to the boat for the sail down to Manly (near Brisbane, Queensland) had a good - and extreme mixed bag of conditions on the journey.  He was joined by Brett who we met on the Louisiades Rally - from the boat 'Winds of Change' or "Windy".  Brett is a very good sailor and was perfect company in the sometimes screaming winds.  They left Yeppoon with well over 30 knots resulting in 2 reefs in the main and only the small staysail out.  They loved it!  Exactly why I was happy to be at home with my dog!!

In order to get the best angle to the wind, George and Brett tacked right out to Lady Musgrave Island.  A spectacular island and one of the most southerly islands of the Barrier Reef.
The highlight of their trip was the day/night they spent in the lagoon of Lady Musgrave Island.  In contrast to the conditions they had leaving Yeppoon the wind died down to almost nothing & with a forecast of a breezy southerly change the next day they decided to take refuge in the lagoon.  Of course George took delight in telling me about the huge sea turtles, crystal clear waters and big fish  they saw there.  Although enduring the rough conditions is something I missed with much pleasure, I would have loved being back on Lady Musgrave.  Way back in 1980, just after we were married, George and I spent 2 fantastic weeks on a camping and scuba diving eco tour there.  Those 2 weeks are amongst my ultimate first rate - mind blowing - memories.
Of course Mother Ocean happily throws everything at you!  After the good time they had in the LM lagoon the remainder of the trip was frustrating and hard from motoring over 9 hours in a flat calm sea to entering the shipping channel in Morton Bay in steady 42 knots of wind with gusts of 60 knots!  Not my cup of tea.  But they made it back with themselves and 'Southern Belle' in perfect condition. 
Brett's brother, Daron, invited George back to his house to stay while he waited for me to get here.  His house is Amazing! ... right on one of the canals, huge and luxurious.   The friends we made on the rally continue to be such special people in our lives.
And here I am back on the boat and, of course, the wind is howling outside!  I wonder if it's me?  I flew up yesterday to join George, to see friends and to sail the short distance down to Southport with him before the next long - and challenging - voyage down to Sydney.  Again, I'll miss that bit ... happily.
Yesterday we had a terrific lunch with Pip, Kate, the spectacular little Lilli and Pip's dad Brian.  It was good seeing Brian who is recovering as well as can be expected after his bad accident. 
Kate and the beautiful little Lilli and they dog Kloppie. 
After lunch we went back to where Pip and Kate are staying for drinks, pizza, laughs and a good bit of wine - for everyone except Kate who is a wonderful mother and didn't imbibe.  I certainly felt like I made up for anything she may have missed when I woke up this morning.
Unfortunately Pip and Kate have been staying on the mainland since being evacuated from Stradbroke Island, where they live.  Straddie - as the locals call it - has been burning.  On last count over 60% of the island was devastated by bush fires caused by lighting strikes and fanned by the extreme heat and high winds of last week.  There was an almighty storm last night with lots of rain which helped put out the fires.  They went back home on the ferry today and we're hoping to go over on Thursday for more good times.  Like I said in a previous post, I'm soooo in love with Little Lilli.  She is a doll.
In the morning George and I are driving up the coast - about 2 hours from the marina here - to the little town of Eumundi.  Eumundi is famous for its craft and alternative culture market and I can't wait to wander.  George isn't that happy about the thought of a morning in hippy heaven but I'm sure he'll be able to endure it. 

1 comment:

  1. It was 5 degrees F here this morning. I will be happy to trade for some HOT! Never fear, though, if we don't freeze to death in the next two days we'll be happy when it's back up to 65 on Saturday. I envision shorts, bare feet, frozen drinks...