Cruising Log - June 2006 to .......

Preparation - 7th June 2006

Finally we are packed - the waterline is substantially lower despite the fact that we removed a lot of gear that was not being used, such as Emelder's shoes. I am really glad that our catamaran design has very buoyant hulls. We also take on 400 L of fresh water (our tanks hold 520 L but we dont need that much for this part of the trip so we will save the weight).

For those who don't know the wife of Manilla's dictator was reported to have shoes worth millions

We (Liz and Ray) depart from outside our house at St Huberts Island (Gosford) at 22:30. We need a lowish tide to fit under the Rip Bridge. At about 23:00 we motor close to the bridge, but the ebb tide is still too strong so we wait. At 24:00 we try again. This time the ebb flow is substantially less so we slowly drift up to the bridge with motors in slow reverse (and at the ready). Now we see the masthead navigation lights are lighting up under the bridge span, so we know we will fit under the bridge so under we go. A quick check with the spotlight shows we have enough clearance that the aerial is not toughing this time.

Safely on the ocean side of the bridge, we anchor. In the morning I change the engine oil and filters on both engines. We then refuel the tanks, fill the reserve containers, and dispose of the old oil. We reset all the trip meters and take readings of all our tanks and engine hours.

Broken Bay to Laurieton - 8th June 2006

All done, and we finally depart Booker Bay Marina for the sea at 13:30. A little later than we hoped but we are away.

The seas are a little confused but moderate. However, it seems we have lost our "sea legs" as we have been ashore for three months because we both feel a little "seedy". Should have remembered to take the Quells for the first day of a new trip. Later in the day Liz screams ralph over the transom. We are blessed with a nice 15 knot southerly which is a 3/4 run under sail (jib and main).

We reach Laurieton and drop anchor just past and opposite the RSL club at 1900. After dinner we decide to move to the RSL Jetty for the night.

Laurieton to Coffs Harbour - 10 June 2006

Our departure is at 0700 and we are motoring with no wind. By 0900 we have sails up with a light NW at 5 knots. The motors are both still on as we want to make Coffs this evening. The sails are up and down a few times during the day. Finally we arrive at Coffs Harbour Marina at 2000.

We are met at the jetty by our friends Glenda & Warren from "Catamaran Imagine" and Lyndall & Mike from "Montage". Glenda has prepared snacks followed by home cooked soup for us - thanks Glenda.

The weather for the next four days is not the best - strong winds and High seas so we spend 4 nights at the marina. Liz & I do some shopping buying a couple more plastic storage boxes for the boat. We also catch up with Colin (my brother) and Linda, and Malcolm.

Coffs Harbour to Gold Coast (14-15 June 2006)

We departed Coffs Harbour for Southport at 0700 with friends Glenda & Warren on “Catamaran Imagine” and Lyndall & Mike on “Montage”. We motor-sailed most of the way, resorting to engines only for some of the trip. The wind was mainly E 5-7 knots.

Arriving at the seaway at 1000 the next morning, we were anchored in Marine Stadium by 1100.

The ensuing week proved to be “WET”. Remember the saying “beautiful one day, brilliant the next”. Well, all I can say I hope they received the rain in the catchment areas.

We had organised to do some maintenance jobs while back on the coast, but this was delayed because of the wet weather. Later we moved “Blue Magic” to our friends Russell and Mary’s pontoon at Sovereign Island. I picked up our car from my brothers and we were able to start the maintenance.

Also, I fitted the ‘big’ inverter – a Prosine 1800W. Now we can use the George Foreman grill and microwave, albeit with an engine running.

Gold Coast to Fraser Island (1-2 July 2006)

We left the Gold Coast on Saturday afternoon and headed for Fraser Island – an overnight trip so we would arrive at the Wide Bay Bar on the latter part of the flood tide and during daytime. This meant that we needed to arrive between 1000 and 1300 on Sunday.

The weather for the trip was with us and we had favourable NW to SW winds of between 6-12 knots. Once we reached Double Island Point the wind dropped away to virtually nothing on the nose. We ditched the sails for a pleasant motor across the bar and up the inside of Fraser Island to a pleasant little anchorage known as “Garry’s Anchorage”. There were about 8 other yachts and cats here.

Our trip took 25 hours and we covered 150M (by GPS). As usual, the VMR and Coast Guard did a magnificent job in tracking our progress.

We saw a whale at Jumpinpin and another later in the afternoon. There were also a few dolphins.