Monday, September 23, 2013

Islands: Newry, Goldsmith, Thomas

We had heard about the fascinating Outer Newry Island. Decades ago it was a thriving resort. Now it is a national park. We anchored in the shadow of this island for a still night and good sleep. The remains of the resort that flourished in the 1940's onwards are now preserved. It makes for fascinating viewing.
Room with a view.

The main hub of entertainment used to be under a large concrete dome. Remains of the "club" still exist. We spent our time walking around the island and then waiting for the tide to return. We enjoyed the club's relaxed service. Not a beverage in site.

"The pub with no beer"

When the evening approached we found that our dinghy was still stranded. Luckily the crew of Ocean Child were on hand to help drag our dinghy into deeper water. The tidal extremes still take us by surprise.

We went ashore with substantial water under the keel.

Jen's new camera is getting a work-out. This is a "rainbow bee-eater" and it has a red eye. When it flies the under wings are seen: bright orange.

No bees seen for this bee-eater.

The weather is changing. We are starting to see clouds again. It's been months since we've experienced any rain, and the clear skies have been dazzling.

Change is in the air.

The season for safe cruising in these waters is coming to an end. Many cruisers are heading south, sailing with the northerly winds. We hope for a few more weeks of southerly trade winds: great for our sailing.

Someone else ending a perfect day and going south.

Goldsmith Island: We just had to stop here: it's Greg and Annie's name sake. I know that we have said it before but the water colour is unreal. As a bonus we had a fantastic smooth sail to get here. Non existent swell ....a pond of aqua.

Just enjoying blue.

For our blog followers who have not seen the water of the tropics, we try to convey our impressions. The photo below is truly as we saw it. No colour alteration. We just keep saying to each other " look at the colour of the water".

What can I say?

Another example.

A new camera for Jen. She was previously using the iphone. We both became aware that we haven't seen butterflies for many years. It's the sort of thing that seems to be a childhood memory. Now Jen is obsessed with photographing them. The trouble is that she is still fumbling with the controls, and the butterflies won't wait.

At last, a stationary butterfly, and it's spotted!

Thomas Island: just a few nautical miles from Goldsmith Island. We try to find out what makes each island special. We certainly weren't prepared for this!

"No way, not today"! Jen

Creative visitors have made low impact sculptures with bleached coral pieces. We found figurines and little characters in rock cavities.

Tom and also Tim.

Mr Snowman on summer holidays.

This shell, pictured below was buried in the sand and although no longer perfect is still considered a real find. And being law abiding citizens, we left it there for others to enjoy. ( also because it stinks!)

A natural treasure.
We have been sailing in the southern region of the Whitsunday islands. We are enjoying this area for many reasons, but mainly because it is rarely visited by the "tourist charter boats". Most of our anchorages have been deserted, but tomorrow we head into the Whitsundays Proper.We are expecting it to be busy. Strangely the activity is not far away; just over the other side of Shaw Island, which is close by.
By Jen: Meanwhile back at home:
We were sailing in the big aqua calm from Newry to Goldsmith Island when I received a Skype call from my daughter Brenna. After finishing her double degree at uni with distinctions, she been travelling for almost three years, self funded!! I last saw her when we lived in a house at Clifton Beach in Tasmania. Brenna and Joe are travelling from Vancouver to Mexico via the west coast, CYCLING. She was just north of San Fran, and have covered over 2000 ks. in a few weeks: 100 to 120ks a day. As a mother I was reassured to be told that they eat almost hourly where possible. Vegan and Vegetarians can find their nutrition a huge challenge when exercising so strenuously. Brenna is a resourceful and charming young woman, and has received so much kindness from Canadians and Americans. A big thank you from this humbled mother, to all of the wonderful people out there who lend a hand to young adventurous travellers.









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