Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Woolwich reunion. Airlie Beach is real tourism.

When we stayed in Sydney prior to our June escape north this year, we called Woolwich marina our home. During this time our neighbours for several months were the crew of Gidgee, Cheryl and Mike. They are unable to sail for extended periods due to family commitments . This past weekend was their wedding anniversary. Imagine our surprise when we motored into Macona Inlet to find them on the yacht just infront of us, waving frantically.

Sagittae is no ordinary yacht. Her crew Rob and Syl built her over a number of years. Her design is a Radford 55 ' , and her finish is superb. From our berth at Woolwich we could see Sagittae in the final stages of completion. Sagittae has been 'nearly meeting up' with us many times in recent months

A merry evening of sailing tales : ("Whale tales" : they grow bigger with each telling).

Cheryl spots us.
Mike looks stunned, clutching a support to stay upright.
Crazy things happen. The same day as the Woolwich connections anchored near us, we sailed past Southern Cloud. This mega yacht was moored at the historic Woolwich Dock, is just around the corner from where we were. In the evenings we would walk around to see Wild Oates 11 (Sydney to Hobart fame) on the hard stand. Southern Cloud was being refurbished at the same time and we watched the progress by peering into her lighted interior.
Can you see the crew member up front?
Chatter yachts gather together at night.
The channel markers are a sailors friend. This starboard marker is the perfect spot for this as yet unidentified bird's nest. ( Burnie can you help?) Being high above the water it has a good view of fish below.
I love my new camera: not fancy but gives quality pictures.

I think that we have already mentioned the tidal ranges in the Queensland waters. We are not sure if this charter yacht had navigational difficulties, or just miscalculated. Much later in the day she righted herself and they crew sailed her away. It doesn't appear to have sustained any damage, so we presume the tide ran out and left them 'high and dry'.

How embarrassing. No harm done.

On to Airlie Beach, on the mainland.

Airlie beach is a back-packers paradise, and tourist heaven. There are a series of artificial lagoons beside the beaches. From November onwards no one swims in the ocean unprotected because of the toxic stingers.
Water fun: sticky weather.
Glenn tests the safety of the wadding pool.

The next two photos are for nostalgic reasons: I associate cookaburras with my Nana. she was a nurturer of birds. They seem to enjoy life in the parks around here. (For my sisters and cousin in England.)

"Happy Jack"
We are staying at the Abell Point Marina. It has a new owner with big plans. The staff are very friendly and relaxed. The mega yachts are on other pontoons. People are casual around here. The winter weather is non existent. It's all loose shirts and floppy shoes. And there is obvious examples of extreme wealth. Rather than bore you with multiple photos of huge expensive yachts, I thought that the glimpse of this Buizen's hull would tell the story. The mirror reflection of the hull is just a taste of the quality on board.
Mirror finish.
Jen impressed. Glenn off to polish Sea Trek III.
The club beside the marina was rocking with a pirate theme on Sunday afternoon.

"Where's me wooden leg, Jack Sparrow?"

Finally hot chips for Glenn, .....the fish has yet to be found. We had a cool afternoon at the Whitsunday Sailing club. It is a low keyed place where we found genuine international Ukulele talent. This is Manitoba Hal, a Canadian who plays complex blues on his double Uke. Check him out on YouTube. Talented with a capital T.

A rare find: someone who plays a double Uke.

We are hoping that the predicted southerly winds, most favourable for visiting Blue Pearl Bay and Butterfly Bay eventuate by next week end. Then we will follow many other yachties and head south for the summer season. .....and employment.

Off to the shops by bus to reprovision for the coming weeks: bulk buys of essentials. We hope to avoid marinas on our return trip. I guess it all depends on required repairs.




  1. One of the reasons we wanted to be back in Brisbane by early Sep was so I could get to Spruke, the Brisbane ukulele festival. Manitoba Hal was the headline act, and he was fantastic. I was also lucky to get to one of his workshops. You were lucky to bump into him at Airlie!

    He must like it here, he's going to be in the country again in March next year.

    Chris (Allons-y)

  2. Hi Chris, I bet the workshop was great! What did you learn?



  3. It helped a few things make sense for me, like 2 different styles of shuffle in 12-bar blues, and the timing in the turnaround. I looked at some of this stuff a year or more ago (I bought one of Hal's PDF lesson books) but found a lot of it a bit difficult. Now I'm keen to get back into it.