Monthly Archives: May 2013
We stayed in Mackay marina for 4 nights. It was great to be able to catch up with washing and shopping as well as chatting to Norman and Sara about our adventures and theirs. It was strange meeting up in Mackay as it’s almost 3 years since our friends in the Blue Water rally checked into Australia here on their fateful journey home.
On Sunday the 5th we were ready to leave after Norman, Bill and I had had one last jog (bet you didn’t think you’d ever hear me say that!) Bill fired up the engine and I released the lines as we reversed out of our berth. Suddenly, without warning, we lost propulsion. It was a strange feeling, like sliding on ice out of control. I called to some passing yachties to take a line, which they were happy to do and bring us back onto the berth. Norman and Sara saw we were having problems and came running. Bill made a quick assessment and found the throttle cable had snapped, fortunately he had a spare. Bill and Norman set about stripping the old one out and replacing it with the spare so that within a couple of hours we were on our way. Norman and Sara were a bit apprehensive as they haven’t sailed for 7 months. They didn’t need to worry because it was a beautiful day, although there wasn’t any wind, and we motored to Brampton island some 20 miles north.
We dropped our anchor off Swordfish point alongside Norsa and Inspiration Lady.
On Monday the 6th the 6 of us went ashore for a walk around the island. It was a beautiful day and the walk led us up over the top of the island with wonderful views from the top. We came out on the beach in Oyster Bay where we sat and eat out picnic.
There was a lot of wildlife on the island; I spotted this kangaroo sitting below the path eating the foliage.
I think this is a Goanna, a type of lizard, we saw lots of them in the undergrowth. We continued on our circuit of the island until we came to overgrown resort. We had been hoping for a cold beer at the end of our 8km hike but the resort had closed down 2 years ago and now the only thing that inhabited it were more kangaroos. It was eerie walking among the empty resort buildings and past the deserted restaurants. The beachfront bar still had a price list up.
Sadly there were half a dozen sailing catamarans that could have been donated to a local sailing school for children to learn to sail in but they lay abandoned on the beach.
That evening we all boarded Norsa for a ‘pot luck’ supper followed by a game of cards; Jackie and Gary are teaching us.
Tuesday the 7th was wet and windy and we all stayed on our boats.
We left Brampton Island on the 8th to sail to the Whitsunday’s.
We sailed overnight from South Percy Island to Mackay arriving on Wednesday 1st May. Our friends Jackie and Gary on Inspiration Lady did the same. We arrived off of Mackay in the early morning to find lots of ships anchored in the approach. This is what the chartplotter looked like. Each of the grey arrows represents a ship and Camomile is the black arrow in the top right hand side of the photo.
Mackay is a big coal mining area and we assumed these ships were waiting to be loaded. Our main reason for coming to Mackay was to meet up with our cruising friends Norman and Sara on Norsa. They have been in the UK working for 7 months but they were now back in Australia and we plan to cruise together up the Australian coast. It was great to arrive in the marina and see them standing there waiting for us.
The next day was my birthday and I started the day with coffee in the hotel alongside the marina. I’ve been really good recently about eating cakes and other fattening things but as it was my birthday Bill bought me 2 little cakes with my morning coffee as a treat – mmmmm.
That evening Norman and Sara and Gary and Jackie joined us on Camomile for a celebration drink, then we all went to the Thai restaurant on the marina boardwalk for a delicious meal – another lovely treat.