Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bye Bye Bribie

We've been waiting for favourable weather at Pumicestone Passage, Bribie Island and made the most of this great spot.
The Seaside Museum was under construction when we were last anchored in the passage and we were lucky enough to be able to visit it this time. Some fab exhibits, unfortunately only since Mathew Flinders visited! Hopefully this will be rectified with some of the temporary exhibits.
Heaps of information about 'Mr Fairweather', a very talented artist who lived on the island in a grass hut in the 70's and completed amazing paintings. Quite inspirational.
We walked heaps and chilled in the relaxed atmosphere of the island where everyone has time for a gidday and a chat. Came across Jacki & Barry Moore who were on a sail-away with members of the Slocum Spray Society, great to catch up, but unfortunately no sprays stayed.
We upped anchor early in the week to head for Moreton Island only to have our chart plotter lifeless....and then all our electrics dropped out. Bugger!!! Back to Bribie where we spent a few days trouble shooting and rectifying. Nothing major but time consuming. Then the weather took a turn for the worse. We choose to think Manatee was looking out for us as the winds are howling from the south/s-east at 30kts. It would have been nasty at Moreton Island.
As disappointing as it is as we are eager to head north, we have moved to our favourite pond at Newport to seek shelter. We had water over our bow coming across the bay and it was a good sea test. so...still waiting
PS. Must have been' sundowner time'-the last post informed you that we visited the 'Wineglass Mountains', they are,of course, the Glasshouse Mountains!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What on earth have you been doing?

So you may ask! Not really cruising, hence our blog has not been updated.
Since leaving the Brisbane River (around August 2010) we headed to Southport to take care of some business with our unit prior to heading out of the area and up North. Marg was still recovering from her car accident and still not 100% fit, so we were in no hurry and we all love Southport.
Our stay was longer than we originally intended, but work was plentiful (we both completed certificates to work as AIN's, a booming area of employment with jobs readily available) and the lifestyle was great. The girls loved being surrounded by a beach at Marine Stadium and having the run of an island while anchored off Wavebreak.
Upon arrival at Marine Stadium (known as Bum's Bay) we were hailed by Rachel and Steve from SV Lifeline, neighbours from Brisbane who gave us the rundown on 'remaining legal' in the area. This area of the Broadwater has zones and boats are required to move between zones every 7 days and not return for 60ish days. The 'authorities' turn a blind eye if boats anchor at Bum's Bay for 6 days and then anchor off Wavebreak Island for 24hrs and then return to Bum's. Easily complied with!
Manatee snug at Bum's Bay
The community at Bum's Bay was great, sun downers on the beach on Sunday afternoons and folk looking out for each other. Great company in an idyllic location. Sue and Greg from SV Lupari, neighbours from Brisbane were also there. It was great to be able to call on them when we arrived at the jetty late at night after work to find our outboard stolen. Thanks guys!
The public jetty at Marine Stadium
While we were there we had visits from 'the twins', Victoria and Phil along with Marion and Ipona came up for Vic's birthday, Peter and Michael dropped in and Steph came for the day. It's great to catch up! We also headed south to the Lismore area to celebrate another of Jan's significant birthdays.
Celebrating Jan's birthday in style
We were safely snug in Bum's Bay when the floods hit, luckily our friends still on the river were safe, none remaining on the pile berths, although Michael and Ex lost their mooring. It was amazing to see the community spirit of Queenslanders with a daily shuttle bus leaving Southport for Brisbane filled with clean-up volunteers. Thanks to everyone who rang/text to check on our safety and offer accommodation etc if needed. What great friends we have!
Early in the year we became restless and Manatee needed a tart up so we upped anchor and headed for Monty's which is at Beachmere, North of Brisbane on the Caboolture river. We had a fantastic time heading up to Moreton Bay, this time through Canaipa passage, which runs along South and North Stradbroke Islands. We were on holiday again!
Bushwalking on South Stradbroke Island
Picture perfect South Stradbroke
We spent a few days around South Stradbroke walking, relaxing and enjoying the scenery and........ changing fuel filters (we topped up our fuel at the Gold Coast) after we broke down in the channel to Tipplers on our first night. Not the best place to break down but easily fixed!
Checking out Jumpin Pin - the channel between
North & South Stradbroke
We anchored in some fantastic spots, 'Shifting Sands' on North Stradbroke a favourite, although we probably wouldn't have done so much swimming if we'd known it was a favourite spots for sharks!
'Shifting Sands'-wonder how it got that name!
We had to work the tides travelling through Canaipa, it is very shallow in spots, although we only kissed the bottom a few times! We found another great anchorage off Russell Island where Marg did a bit of fishing and we found a sandy spot of North Stradbroke where we could walk the girls at low tide. No swimming here as the sharks were obvious!
anchored near Russell Island
Once in Moreton Bay we headed for Horseshoe Bay at Peel Island which has crystal clear water and is a turtle breeding ground. The weather report was for light NE winds so we anchored and cracked open a champers on deck. Thinking the other boats were filled with workers, hence pulling up anchor for work the next day, we toasted our good fortune. After dark, a massive storm front moved in unexpectedly from the south, creating a lee shore and a swell that would make a surfer very happy. Not so us. We were smashed and struggled to remain upright on deck. Our dinghy with new outboard broke free after gouging Manatee's sides and all we could do was remain below to keep dry. Needless to say we didn't get much sleep.....we rang the water police to report the footloose dinghy in case she was spotted with crew missing and a search instigated........lucky we weren't ringing for assistance as the call went to message bank! They did ring back a few days later. Speaks volumes for being self-sufficient and checking BOM more than once per day!
At daylight AK jumped in the kayak and found the dinghy high and dry on Peel. Yay!
Sue and Greg on SV Lupari experienced a similar storm about a month later in the same location, their dinghy 'Puff' ended up much further afield. The story of Puff's adventure is on their blog -
After securing the dinghy to Manatee we headed further North where we were joined by some of Ruby the dolphin caller's friends.
The dolphin on the left is eyeballing Ruby
In March we were lifted onto the hard at Mont's where we scraped and sanded and painted the topsides. She looks gorgeous red! We then headed on a road trip south for cousin Denise's significant birthday party where we caught up with Marg's family. On our way back North we stopped to see Aunty Joan before heading back to the hard slog of Manatee's tart up.
With Aunt Beryl at Denise's party
Marg worked for a nursing agency to keep some cash flowing while AK continued working on Manatee. The diesel generator was removed to make working on the Perkins motor easier as neither of us are into extreme yoga. Thanks Tony for showing us how to use a block & tackle to move machinery. The saloon windows were replaced and portvisors placed over the opening portholes in the galley and head to stop water ingress (it doesn't just rain up here it pours). Water damaged lining in the saloon was replaced. Marg sanded and varnished the bow sprit to a beautiful finish. Solar panels were repositioned on the davitts as they were getting damaged due to our low freeboard. Things were varnished and painted. The head was re-done. Boo to Jabsco as we put in our third electric toilet...the first two died just after warranty so we are trying a TMC. Rigging was checked. We had new covers made for the wheelhouse. Rust work was done which was thankfully minor. We now have new solid rails which replace stanchions with rigging wire. Thanks SV Najac for the idea! It is great. The bilge was cleaned and a holding tank installed. We had a new hatch made for the front deck along with a storage box. We re-built the aft cabin hatch. Most of the work we did ourselves. 4 months went very quickly. Yep 4 months and we worked 6 days per week, but we found the longer the projects went on the less energy we had. We still have projects to complete!
On our days off we toured the country side.......the Wineglass Mountains, Woodford, Eumundi markets...there are some beautiful spots up here.
Sadly on May 21st Captain Idgi died, and we all greatly mourned her passing. She was over 18 and lost some of her strength after her fight with the tomcat at Monty's 2 years earlier. She still ruled the roost on Manatee but would not venture far from the boat. She is sadly missed by us all.
Vale Captain Idgi
We are back in the water and awaiting favourable winds for Moreton Island. Stay tuned.