Sunday, 25 June 2017

26th June 2017 - Hamilton Island - Thomas family on board - Nara Inlet - hawser horrors

Monday 26th June 2017

On land (Hook Island)
The Thomases are here!

On board
We took them out for their first Whitsunday jaunt yesterday morning.  A bright and sunny day, perfect weather, neither hot nor cold.

It took a few hours to get to Nara Inlet.

Everyone relaxed.

Or were they bored…

Or seasick?

Leo through the hatch
As soon as we dropped anchor we all plunged into the beautiful blue sea and the general energy level rose.

Katy and Rose under the boat
I hadn’t ever walked up to the Aboriginal cave, which is now curated to a high degree, with interpretation signs, steps, fences.

Rose pausing
Pete says back in the day you could just wander around and clamber into the cave…

We left around four, expecting to be back in the marina before dark.

Boat names etched into the rocks in nada Inlet - nowadays this is GRAFFITI and not allowed
But…this was not to be…

We had a slight altercation with some unexpected coral outcrops and had to sit there for many hours until the tide came up and released us.

Pete and Rose
The Thomases are very resourceful and always make the best of things.  Coral?? they cried, Bring out the snorkelling gear!

Leo and Jeff
I had VERY fortunately made a large lasagne, which kept the wolves from the door.  And Katy had VERY providently packed a USB with a few movies on it.

Still light...
We fed the children and then pacified them with Disney and Pixar.

Very dark 

Today is once again bright sunny and warm and…we are not going out on the boat until tomorrow.  Poor Pete is a bit crushed by the fact that the brand new anchor chain hasn’t solved the anchor problem.  The chain itself is gorgeous and shiny but…the hawser is old and shabby and maybe a bit askew so it takes a very very long time to get the anchor up from the sea floor.  

This is not fun…I have to hang into the anchor locker ready to knock it down so it doesn’t jam.  My role, while not particularly fun, is OK, but Pete’s is hideous.  He has to wrestle and wrangle the chain and encourage it to go down the hawser.  So I think that today I will be having a nice time chatting and playing with family while Pete tries to patch the problem until the new hawser arrives from Muirs in Tasmania…

Our Disney Princess #1

Friday, 23 June 2017

24th June 2017 - Townsville to Cape Upstart to Blue Pearl Bay to Hamilton Island (brrr!)

Saturday 24th June 2017

Hamilton Island marina
Whitsundays Queensland
20 degrees 21.291S
148 degrees 57.229E

2XS safely tied up behind the speedboats
Yes!  We got here!

We left Townsville very early in the morning, after a great evening out with three McHenrys – Lindy, John, Sharon. 

A memorable evening at a normal-looking restaurant in the city centre.  It wasn’t very normal at all…

It seemed to be run by children; mummy and daddy nowhere to be seen.  There was red wine on the menu but…they only had one bottle, which we got at a discounted price.  The food was very nice but it arrived at a glacial pace.

Mary and Carlotta
Everyone was totally cheerful and delightful and it didn’t really matter that they didn’t really know what they were doing.  Lindy had a discount voucher book, and when she went to pay, dear Mary, aged 12, discounted $45 from the bill.  Lindy, who is an honest and honourable person, pointed out that the maximum discount is $25 and Mary looked a bit crestfallen…”I have been doing it wrong for weeks!” she said.  Not everyone is honest and honourable…

2XS was waiting on the fuel dock, full to the brim with diesel, and looking very fetching in the light of the McHenry car.

So…off we went, battling grimly against wind and wave.  We arrived at Cape Upstart with just enough light to see, more or less, where we were dropping the anchor.  Up again at 4.30 to head towards the Whitsundays. 

It was very cold…

Pete at sunset
We wore all of our warmest clothing.

Plus I had my mohair blanket wrapped around my legs.

We arrived – well done Captain Pete – at sunset with enough light to snag a mooring at Blue Pearl Bay (Hayman Island.)  I have never tried to hook a mooring in the dark but I am sure it would be very difficult and very frustrating so I was extremely thankful.

Another Colleen & Tom photo from the Philippines - I don't think there are seahorses in Blue Pearl Bay...
We thought it would take us five hours to get to Hamilton Island because all the rest of the trip had been such a slog but somehow we caught a benign current and we rocketed along at 8 knots and arrived in a bit over two hours.  Once again #grateful!!

I have had a shower, which has improved my health and temper.  Pete has been fixing one of the nets which was flapping gaily in the breeze while I have been…lying on the couch sipping tea and Aspro Clear…

Hamilton Island looks a bit better than when we were here 14 weeks ago.  A bit more greenery, not such a post-napalm look.  But it is quite cold!  I talked to one of the bakery staff in the ablutions block and she said this is the coldest June they have ever known.  When I say “cold” … it is 22, not freezing.  But definitely jeans and long sleeves weather.  Six Thomases are arriving at midday, from Hobart.  I have warned them to wear warm clothes, and to bring wetsuits!!

On their way!!