Despite two weeks of soggy, windy, dreadful weather, we have managed to ready the boat for guests and have left the Gold Coast.
Our friends Greg and Ann are joining us on board in a few days’ time. They are flying to Bundaberg from Melbourne. We are sailing north from the Gold Coast and meeting them at Burnett Heads.
Two of the challenges of spending time in rainy but warm conditions are leaks and mould. We managed to get the drips under control before we reached the Gold Coast. As for the mould, a complete wipe down of all internal surfaces with a mix of water, vinegar and clove oil has sanitised Anui.
We got our screecher sail back from the sailmaker. It sat rolled up in the cockpit for a few days as it was way too wet and windy to set the sail up on the new furler. But eventually it went back up, which was a bit of a “where the hell does that go?” session out on deck. It got a little precarious on the prodder pole too!
Next on the list was the provisioning. This has to be organized a lot more tightly with four people on board! Once we leave port, bound for remote areas, there is no ducking out to the corner shop. So we have developed a menu to easily last four weeks. We do the supermarket run accordingly, then put away the loot in the lockers and “storage” room at the back. Anui is looking a bit aft heavy, but we are well stocked up!
Fuel and gas tanks are full, the lockers, fridge and freezer chock-a-block with food. Water tanks have been topped up underway. We are ready!
There is a small handful of people we are happy to welcome on board with an open-ended timeframe and Greg & Ann are two of these. Anui makes it reasonably comfortable. With guests enjoying their own bedroom and bathroom separate from our own hull, there is some privacy. The cockpit is large and serves as our dining room at anchor. The saloon is broad and pleasant. And with a water-maker that produces 160 litres of water an hour, we don’t have to be quite as stingy with water consumption as we used to be on our previous boat.
Since Anui has been our home, Greg and Ann have not been able to join us because of Covid. So we are all thrilled about this voyage together. The last time they came on a trip with us was on our lap around Tasmania on Take It Easy, so they are familiar with the challenges of cruising to remote places, know the drill about limited resources and space, and understand we are all at the mercy of the weather. But even though we can’t control the weather, we want them to have a great adventure.
It is our hope that we can spend time at the Southern Great Barrier Reef, in the Capricorn & Bunker Group. They have never been there and are very excited about reef hopping and snorkeling. But who knows what the weather will let us do with La Niña creating lingering chaos. Who knows too how we will find the reef after yet another mass bleaching. So we will be focusing on the experience of sailing, being out in the ocean, exploring wherever the wind takes us, and enjoying whatever comes with no rush nor schedule.
Let’s hope Mother Nature is kinder to us than it has been of late. For now, here are a few images from our sail out of the Gold Coast to the tip of Moreton Island, Double Island Point and Fraser Island. We snuck in at the Wide Bay Bar just before the next round of heavy weather. We are hiding from rain and wind at Platypus Bay, waiting for the weather to improve and our friends to arrive.
We will end this post with a special hello to our friend Bill who is going through a rough period. We left on the day he was going into hospital. We are thinking of you, Bill! Here is to better days.