Guests on board soon!

With COVID travel restrictions and quarantine rules between states, we have had no guests on board for a year! We missed sharing our cruising adventures with friends and family, but this is about to change. Our cousins Grant and Debbie who are from Brisbane are joining us in a couple of days for two weeks of fun! They are flying up to meet us and we pick them up at Airlie Beach on Sunday.

Sunset at Airlie Beach

It goes without saying that we are getting ready for their arrival which means provisioning and some maintenance. Two tasks were on the to do list on the maintenance front: installation of a new electric winch for the davits as the old one was about to give up, and the repair of our Walker Bay Airis kayak.

First, the dinghy winch. We bring the dinghy up and down on davits at the back of Anui with an electric winch. For a while now it has been struggling and making «I am dying» sounds. Being very dependent on it and not wanting to get caught out, we ordered a new winch and it was delivered at the local chandlery. Wade has now removed the ailing beast and installed the new model. It took a day and a bit to complete but it sounds a hell of a lot better! Another string up our skipper’s bow and a great sense of accomplishment for sorting the winch out all by himself!

The old winch and dining table full of tools!
New winch installed and wired up!

Next, the kayak. You will recall we made the mistake of leaving them fully inflated on deck instead of letting them down a bit and one of the two split at the seam on the bow. We were warned that once the glue gives up in one place, it does not augur well. They tend to split somewhere else! We gave the wrecked one to Whitsunday Ocean Services and are hoping it will be fixed, but it is not done yet!

It is not only on the boating front that we have maintenance issues. Chris’ laptop does not want to fire up or charge anymore which is a huge hassle. It is going to the computer doctor today. Fingers crossed it can be fixed or it will make it difficult to edit photos, write stories, communicate with France about Papa’s estate and everything else we normally do on it! Life afloat is harsh on gear!

Escape to the reef

Before our guests’ arrival we have had a little escape to the outer reef to take advantage of the calm weather. This time we headed for Black Reef, to check out a new site and Little Black Reef where we had been before. It was so nice! The best was catching up with cruising friends we had not seen in ages on catamarans Bossa Nova and Skellum. Snorkeling was of course something we enjoyed together and the corals were particularly interesting; Wade was extremely successful at spearfishing, catching a coral trout, a spotted sweetlip, a morwong, and to top it off a giant trevally! More food than the freezer could handle, so we shared the catch with cruising friends. And the drone got an airing, launched from Anui’s deck for the first time ever while the weather was dead calm – nerve wracking! Here is a gallery of the highlights. Click on the first image to display the gallery in full screen slideshow.

Where to next?

We are peering obsessively at weather forecasts, not certain where we will sail to with our cousins but it is sure to involve something the guys have not done before. We have some strong SE to start with so will have to hide somewhere. Options then include a trip back to the Outer Reef if the wind calms down, island hopping in the main and Southern Whitsunday islands, even a passage south towards Mackay or the Keppels if the northerlies come or may be a combination. We will see what the weather allows! Regardless it will be fun to be together and the Whitsundays are a spectacular region to sail in.

Chris’s favourite Pentecost Island, reminiscent of Polynesia
Pentecost, Lindemans and Shaw Island on the horizon

Many of our readers say they sail vicarious through our adventures, well we enjoy our guests’ excitement vicariously too!

24 thoughts on “Guests on board soon!

  1. So many beautiful photos as always, and that big fish, wow!! I hope you guys all have a safe and happy gathering. I can agree that I sail vicariously through your blog and beautiful photos. 😎❤️

    • Hi John, half the fun is sharing the adventures especially in person but even via the blog, so we will have a great time with family!

      Wade swore he would not try to catch a GT or anything big again… very hard to get it into the dinghy, lots of work to fillet and chop, a mountain of food!
      Appreciate your weekly visits, John.

  2. Great pictures, Chris. My favorite is Sunset at Airlie Beach. What’s the weight of that fish? It’s huge. Enjoy your friends! 🙂

    • Hi HJ, yes that sunset was spectacular. As for the fish it took half the dinghy and a lot of struggling! It weighed at least 20 kilos! Never again!

  3. Well done for using the drone from the deck, how did you go landing/catching it? Wade looks very pleased with himself, it’s great you can have such beautiful fresh fish.

    • Hi Maree, I landed the drone on the deck at the bow. It was a bit scary but worked! Wade definitely went overboard with the fishing but was very pleased. Death by fish coming up for days!

  4. interesting coral and Wadie you should be proud of the fish you caught, but no more big ones, you will kill yourselves. Have a lovely time with your cousin and enjoy the reefs you visit with them

  5. Hi Wade and Chris, interested how deep Wade had to free dive to catch those fish. Its skill I am going to work on.

    Cheers Peter and Kathy

    • Hi Peter – not very deep at all. Wade was still breathing through the snorkel. The fish might have been one or two meters deep at the most. He generally aims for the head for a kill shot so the fish does not struggle, then does a dash back to the dinghy normally with the fish on the spear out of the water so as not to attract sharks! However for the GT it was a struggle. I have made him promise not to shoot something as big again! You should have seen the carnage in the dinghy and the sugar scoops!
      BTW how is the boat hunting going?

      • We are doing an extended water test on Monday as the Elite is now in Scarborough where we live. If that is satisfactory will move to the Survey @boatworks in the coming weeks. So getting closer, bit daunting and may still not get there. Thanks for all your help.I hang on every post! cheers peter

  6. Wow, wow, wow ….. we are quite rightly continuing to enjoy your adventures vicariously! We can almost taste those delicious fresh fish and the beauty of the colorful corals continues to amaze (unintended alliteration). Good on you Wade for fixing those davit winches, although seeing those rusty multi grips does show up the harshness of your environment to anything metal, except your 316 stainless steel stuff. No doubt you will continue to rip up $50 notes in the shower as you sail along? Take care ….

    • Hiya Elgar, having sashimi tonight and slowly munching our way through the mountain of fish we’ve got in the fridge! If only you and Claire were here, we’d have a feast and load your freezer!

      High and lows on the $50 notes in the shower. After a peak in maintenance a couple of months ago, things have settled down a bit… touch wood!

  7. Hi guys,
    Bryn & Kerry here – used to have a Seawind and saw you guys at the Lakes and Prom over the years, and love following your travels. We took our Seawind to Tassie and then up the east Coast to the Qld islands last year, sold it and came home in a Lagoon. But this year for one reason or another we were too slow in moving and have been stuck down here in Melbourne – bah!
    Loved the idea of the 4WD winch for the davit, rather than an expensive yachting electric winch. How long did your last winch last? I can see that you have it mounted in an engine bay, out of the weather

    cheers Bryn

    • Hi Bryn
      We were lucky to get away. It would be so frustrating to be stranded. The old winch was on the boat ever since it was launched, 20 years ago, so it did well to last that long. The 4WD replacement was cheap and normally being at the front of a 4WD should be designed to take a lot of beating and be well sealed. It comes with a couple of remotes as well as the main switch. So we will see how long it lasts but are confident it will do the job.
      Hope it is not too long till you can get away!

  8. Great photos. Great Fish! We know all about winches – but our trouble has alway been out front – fortunately our davit winch (4WD winch that is the same as the one on our old 4WD) is doing fine…..

    • Good to hear, Trish. I reckon being in the engine bay out of the weather it will be more protected than at the front of a 4WD! Where are you two now?

      • One would think! Our winch is actually inset into the back cockpit ceiling, technically in line with ‘cat mist’ but I guess the tinnie blocks some of the spray. So far so good – the only issue we have had was we had to replace the line because the non sheathed dyneema supplied cut itself on the metal guide. We changed that by replacing it with a sheathed line and putting a cylindrical tube on the offending metal piece. With regard to our location – We finally made the Keppels! Yay!! We are currently hanging off Fisherman’s Beach, Great Keppel Island waiting for the SSE to head more E and ease the current bounciness a bit (hopefully).

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