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