Worrall Travel R's

Worrall Travel R's
Roz and Russ

Worrall Travel R's - Kicking the Bucket List

My photo

We are the Worrall Travel R's Roz and Russ Worrall. Our goal before we "kick the bucket" is to see as much of the world as we are able, learn about world cultures, experience making friends around the world, and share goodwill and what we learn with others. WE HOPE YOU JOIN US VIA THE BLOG ON OUR TRAVELS.

We started our world travels in 1969 in VW camper van in the USA, Canada, and Europe, but didn't actively blog about our travels until 2009 aboard our sailing vessel SV Worrall Wind, a 44 ft Nauticat Ketch.  On September 5, 2009 we left San Francisco and took a left at the Golden Gate to Explore the World.

From to Sea to Land
After almost 4 years of cruising Mexico and the South Pacific, we sold our beloved boat in Australia, 2013. The Worrall Travel R's are continuing our travels around by many other means of conveyance -boats,trains, planes, sometimes camels, elephants, rickshaws, and hot air balloons.. 

Russ is a retired engineer, optometrist, professor from U.C. Berkeley. Roz is a retired computer programmer/analyst, educator, (teacher, administrator, professional developer). 

Our Mantra:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Uh?! Where's the Boat?

Thursday, June 21, 2012, Airlie Beach Anchorage

After dropping Garyn and Jess off at Hamilton Island for their flight home on Saturday, Russ and I spent one night at Hamilton Marina and  two nights in Cid Harbor.  We were finally able to catch up with our friends, Derek and Bele on SV Pandana whom we had met in Vanuatu.  

We enjoyed a nice meet up with them on Sunday evening for dinner,  and were all planning on a geocache hunt on Monday morning.  There is a small island off of Cid where there is a geocache.  When we awoke on Monday, the wind was howling and a one mile dinghy ride in the wind and waves looked unappealing.  So we decided to give that activity a pass.  Next time!

Bele and Derek left Monday afternoon for Airlie Beach, and after completing a few boat projects, we left Cid on Tuesday morning, June 19, arriving at Airlie Beach by lunch.  We had a strong wind and tidal current moving us along at 7 knots with a double reef.  The trip which usually takes three hours, only took us two.  That's a record for us!

Airlie Beach is a large shallow bay that extends from shore outward for a mile or more.  We dropped our anchor in 14 feet of water about a half mile off shore. We would have liked to have been closer but were afraid we would be sitting on the bottom when the tide went out.  The anchor (our new one that we bought in Mackay) didn't set the first time in the muddy bottom.  So we pulled it back up and dropped it again.  This time it seemed to set. 

Because the anchorage is a mix of mooring balls and boats at anchor, we did not lay down as much chain as we usually do because we were afraid that if we did our swing diameter would be too great and we would run into the moored boats.  We stayed on the boat and set the anchor alarm.  The wind was strong and we could hear the anchor pull, but we didn't move.

Looking out on Anchorage

Lovely, Free, Saltwater Swimming Lagoon at Airlie Beach
By the following day, Wednesday, June 20, we felt confident enough to get off the boat for a short walk around Airlie Beach.  We had lunch ashore and returned to our boat, stopping to see Bele and Derek on Pandana.  Unfortunately,  Derek had an infected tooth and was running a fever.  They were hanging close to their boat until Derek could be seen by a dentist.  We returned to the boat.  Worrall Wind was right where we left her.

Gina and Paul Ray on SV Solace, whom we had met at Whitehaven Beach just a few days before, were anchored in front of us.  We invited them over to play dominoes.  Gina won the game.  Instead of a grudge match, we made arrangements to meet up again the following evening on SV Solace to learn a new dice game called Zilch.  

Thursday, June 21, we decided to explore a little further.  Gina and Paul had already left their boat for some land exploration, by the time we left WW at 10:00 a.m. in the morning.  Once again the wind was blowing like crazy, but we had not strayed from our anchor perimeter circle, so we felt confident enough to leave the boat.   We dinghied ashore and took a bus inland a few kilometers to a shopping mall.

We stopped at a sport store and bought a full length wet suit for me and at a pharmacy for some over the counter meds, contact lens solution, etc.  Then we had a nice lunch in a little restaurant and headed back to the bus stop.  

We had purchased an all day ticket, and were planning to stop at a large super market on the way back to the boat and do some provisioning.  While we were waiting for the bus (1:50) which was due in about 10 minutes,  Russ checked the cell phone. We had received a voice message from Gina.  She wanted to know if we were still planning to come over to their boat that evening as it looked like we had left.  Our boat was no longer behind them.  WHAT?!

Russ immediately returned Gina's call.  They had returned to Solace and were busy watching another boat in front of them dragging anchor as the winds were gusting to 30 knots.  It had hit another boat.  She thought that while they were away, we had sought out a more protected spot out of the wind to re-anchor, as our boat was no longer anchored behind them.

UH?  WHERE'S THE BOAT?!  Uh? NO!  We had not re-anchored.  Oh S#@%!  Where was Worrall Wind?

Gina and Paul got out their binoculars and scanned the horizon.  They thought they spotted Worrall Wind about a half mile away as the wind blows, and here we were sitting at a frigging bus stop, miles from the beach while our boat was sailing away!  

Fortunately, our new and now best friend Paul said he would go out to the boat in his dinghy and see if he could stop Worrall Wind's escape to the sea.  Within minutes our nice leisurely day was turning into an unwelcome drama.

Russ and I looked around to no avail for a taxi.  We jumped on the bus for the agonizingly slow ride back to the dinghy dock at the Whitsunday Sailing Club.  Would Paul be able to stop Worrall Wind? Did the new anchor fail?  Did she hit and damage any other boats or people in the anchorage?  Was she damaged?  How much insurance do we carry? And for goodness sake, lady, just pay the bus driver and take your seat!

We arrived at the dinghy dock about 45 minutes after the phone call with Gina.  We hopped in the dinghy and headed for Solace.  Sure enough there was a big open space behind Solace where we had left Worrall Wind.   

We saw a ketch in the distance and headed in that direction.  As we got closer, we could see Paul on the bow and his dinghy tied to WW's side.  It is hard to believe that WW drug anchor as far as she did, through an anchorage of several other boats....and didn't hit one of them!  

Anchor Drag....half mile and no hits!  Amazing!
Fortunately, the anchor finally caught hold in the shallow bay and had stopped on her own accord.  Paul assured us that she hadn't moved since he had boarded.  He inspected the boat and there wasn't any evidence of a scratch that she had hit anything on her way out to sea.  Luck, lucky, lucky!

If the bay had not been so shallow so far out, we could have lost the boat because the anchor would have just dangled in the water as she blew north.  Geez!  We are so fortunate to have met Gina and Paul only a few days before and they were able to contact us and watch over WW.  When we boarded Worrall Wind, we pulled up the anchor.  The anchor shaft and chain shackle had a weird twist in them that Russ had to fix before we re-anchored.  We motored back to the mooring field and set the anchor in a different position, farther out from the rest of the boats.  If we broke loose again, we would have fewer worries with no or less boats behind us.

In a phone conversation later in the afternoon with other cruising friends, Dana and Mark, on Northfork, I joked that they were lucky Worrall Wind didn't smash into them as they were entering the Marina.  Dana said they had seen Worrall Wind way out in the Bay as they were coming into the Marina and wondered why we had anchored out so far?  I guess WW has a mind of her own.

Gina and Paul came over to our boat again this evening as we were reluctant to leave.  We broke out a vintage bottle of wine as a thank you, and enjoyed a nice evening playing Zilch.  Just as we think life is getting a little ordinary, we are reminded that life is never ordinary when you live on a boat, and cruising friends really look out for one another.  We are so thankful!

We had some plans for more exploring tomorrow, but I think we'll stay put until the wind dies down.  If were feeling really brave, we may venture into the Whitsunday Sailing Club for dinner tomorrow night.

Even though we are a little shaken,

All is Well With the 2 Sail R's on SV Worrall Wind

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Good Bye - We Miss you Already!

Hill Inlet off Whitehaven Beach

Saturday, June 16, 2012 - Hamilton Island Marina

We've had so much fun with Garyn and Jessica onboard, it was really hard to say goodbye today.  We left them at the airport early this afternoon for their flight to Sydney and then back to America.  This morning we arose early and motored from Whitehaven Bay to Hamilton Island.  We arrived about 10:00 a.m. in the morning.  The kids had enough time to fish packing, take hot showers, and stop at the bakery before we walked them to the airport.  So let's back track a few days......

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - Stonehaven Bay

We spend the night in Stonehaven Bay and head to Butterfly Bay the following morning.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - Butterfly Bay - Happy Birthday Abby

Today is cake day because it is Abby's birthday, but we also celebrate everyone's birthday since we are together. We have pancakes, eggs, and bacon for breakfast.  It is so cool and windy  when we arrive at Butterfly, that we are not too interested in venturing far from the boat. . Garyn and Jess do take the dinghy out to explore some of the beaches while I bake a chocolate cake.  So happy birthday to Abby, Neal,  Garyn, Roz, Jessica, and Russ for 2012. We spend the evening on the  same mooring, we had the week previous, playing Fiji Rummy, drinking Margaritas, and eating pizza and chocolate cake.  What a life!

Thursday, June 14, 2012 - Butterfly to Tongue Bay

It is an absolutely still this morning.
Oh what a beautiful morning!

There is no wind and the water is as smooth as glass in Butterfly Bay.  Since there is no wind, we motor to Tongue Bay.  We are foturnate to snag a buoy for the afternoon and evening.  This is a lovely bay and it is flat and calm.

We enjoy watching giant sea turtles and dugongs swim about.  At first, we are not sure what we are seeing when the dugongs surface and do a slow role and dive with a flaked tail down off the surface of the water. Is it a turtle? a dolphin? nope...must be a dugong.

Before the tide drops too low, we take the dinghy ashore and hike over the peninsula to Hill Inlet overlooking Whitehaven Bay.

Hill Inlet, Whitehaven Bay

Whoa!  What a spectacular view of  aqua blue waters layered over white silica sand.  It is truly one of the most picturesque  places we have seen.

Friday, June 15, 2012- Tongue Bay to Whitehaven Bay
We must vacate the buoy we are on by 9:00 a.m. in the morning.  It does not take us long to cast off the lines and be on our way.  All of us are in agreement, that Tongue Bay so far has been our favorite, warm weather, calm seas, dugongs, sea turtles, and spectacular views.  For what more could we ask?

By 11:00 a.m. we are dropping anchor in picturesque Whitehaven Beach.  This is a beautiful white silica sand arching beach with aqua, blue, green waters.  Once the anchor is set, we take a 6 km hike over the peninsula to Chance Bay and back.  We are fortunate enough to see a large lizard and butterflies along the way.

This is a mellow hike.  Russ and I head back to the boat while Garyn and Jess take a long hike down the white beach toward Hill Inlet.    While we are at the boat our neighbors, Gina and Paul from Solace come over to talk with us.  We have all seen one another on the sea, but have yet to be introduced.  Turns out, they are from New Zealand, but worked in Folsom as nurses before cruising.  They too are hanging out in the Whitsundays this season.  I am sure we will be seeing more of them this season.

Garyn and Jess return to the boat about 2:00 in the afternoon.  Garyn musters up the courage to jump in the water for a quick swim, the kids pack up, and we spend a final evening together playing Fiji Rummy.  So far we have played four hands and Garyn beats the pants off of us on the final night.  Jess doesn't really enjoy playing cards, but she has been a good sport and has done a great job learning how to play the game.
It's Been Fun!

Saturday, June 16, 2012 - Last Day
As we pulled into a slip at Hamilton Island, a gentleman came over and introduced himself.  His name is Cliff, and his wife is Lou.  They are staying in the condominiums with their daughter and grandchildren.  He and his wife sailed around the world 20 years ago from South Africa.  We spent the afternoon tidying up the the boat, doing some shopping and  laundry, and worked on some boat projects after Garyn and Jess flew off to Sydney.  Cliff and Lou came over late in the afternoon and we shared some appetizers and wine together recalling our adventures.  We hope to visit our new friends when we visit Perth next spring (October-November 2012).

Tomorrow is Sunday, June 17, 2012.  We will head back to Cid harbor and then to the mainland and Airlie beach early next week.

All is Well with the 2 Sail R's on SV Worrall Wind

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Climb to Whitsunday Peak

Russ and Roz wearing their Marriage Saver Headphones
Sunday, June 10, 2012 - Whitsunday Island

Garyn and Jessica were impressed with our "Marriage Saver" head gear and microphone system.  We no longer have to use hand signals or scream at one another over the roar of the wind, motor and length of the boat while anchoring.  I am at the helm on the stern and Russ is dropping the anchor on the bow. I report speed and water depth as we approach an agreed upon target.  Russ can whisper into my ear, forward and right, cut it, glide, a little to the left, give it a bump, back it down, etc.  We have definitely improved our techniques since the last time the kids were with us.

After our arrival and anchorage at Cid Harbor, we ate lunch and decided the clouds had cleared enough that an afternoon hike to the peak was in order.  It took Garyn and Jessica an hour  in flip flops and us an hour and a half in our hiking shoes to reach the peak.  It was a good climb from sea level to the peak. The views from the top were spectacular and well worth the climb.  

While the climb up really worked our quads, calves, heart, and lungs, the climb down worked our knees and hips.  We reached sea level about 4:30 p.m. as the sun was low in the sky and were happy to take showers and relax.  Back on the boat we bar-b-qued chicken and corn on the cob. 

Monday, June 11, 2012 - Nara Inlet

Look at that!  
We made our way to Nara Inlet on Monday morning.  It was a gentle sail.  Worrall Wind was the second boat in the inlet to anchor.  Nara Inlet is know as a breeding area for Hammer Head Sharks.  Needless to say, no one was interested in swimming here although there wasn't a shark in sight.  Garyn and Jessica did take the dinghy for a ride and went ashore to visit the Ngara Cave. They were the only people on shore.   While they were gone, I baked some chocolate chip cookies!

Late in the afternoon, we sat around ate cookies, drank Margaritas, and played Fiji Rummy.  The Southern Cross and the Milky Way were brilliant in the clear night sky.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - Stonehaven Bay

The weather is cool and clear today.  Several tour groups have come into the bay and made their way to to the Ngara cave.  When we left Nara Inlet, we had a 12-15 knot breeze and were able to sail wing on wing to Stonehaven Bay, arriving about 2:00 p.m..

Wing on Wing

This is the bay where Russ and I snorkeled last week.  It was cool then, but even cooler today.  No one seemed inclined to go swimming, or even leave the boat.  We did enjoy being in the sun when the wind died down, but it was still too cool to really enjoy being outside.

Garyn and Jess gave the hammock a try for awhile, but eventually came inside where it was warmer.  We spent a leisurely afternoon, reading, talking, and playing cards.  Tomorrow we are off to Butterfly Bay.  Our time together is growing short too quickly.

All is Well With the 2 Sail R's, Garyn and Jessica, on SV Worrall Wind

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Garyn and Jessica Have Arrived

Garyn and Jessica

Friday, June 8, 2012 - Cid Harbor, Hook Island

Dugong Beach

We arrived at Cid Harbor around noon and after lunch took the dinghy to the beach for a short walk through the bush to Dugong Beach.  At certain times of the year, the dugongs come here to mate.  The bay however today was very calm and we didn't observe any wildlife.

Change in the Weather Coming
The clouds in the sky indicate a change in the weather which corresponds with the weather forecast that predicts strong wind warnings and 40 percent chance of precipitation.  We will leave tomorrow morning and head to Hamilton Island Marina to pick up Garyn and Jessica.

Saturday, June 9, 2012 - Hamilton Island Marina

The wind picked up quite a bit last night and the gusts continually blew us to the end of our chain with a clunk and the boat would snap back into position.  Thankfully, we were stuck tight with our anchor and didn''t move from our perimeter ring.  When we were in this harbor a week ago there may have been 5 boats total.  Last night I counted 25 boats in this all weather bay seeking protection from the winds.
Seas are windy and choppy
We cast off the bowlines about 9:30 and bounced our way through the waves and wind that were on our nose to Hamilton Island.  We arrived at 11:30 and had enough time to dock, eat lunch, clean up the boat a bit, take a short walk down the street through the shops, and walk to the airport.  We watched the plane carrying our precious visitors land at 2:00 p.m., right on time.

Red on the left, Green on the Right - Entrance Channel
Yeah!  They're here and their luggage arrived too!  All is good!  We spent the afternoon walking around sight seeing,

Cast Marble Sculpture

Note the trees blowing sideways
doing some shopping at the grocery store which was well stocked and had everything we needed to replenish our provisions.  While walking around, we caught up with another cockatoo.  This one was enjoying a French fry dipped in catsup.  

Yep! The Perfect Amount of Catchup!

Oh! I'm in Heaven!
He was a good advertisement for the fish and chips shop, so we bought our dinner and brought it back to the boat to enjoy with a salad and cold beers.

We were all in bed by 8:00 p.m.  It had been a long day for the travelers.  

Sunday, June 10, 2012 - Back to Cid Harbor 

It is still overcast and cool, but the wind has subsided a bit.  We left the dock this morning after a quick walk to the bakery for sweet rolls, fresh bread, tea. and coffee.  Currently we are sailing with the wind and current pushing us toward Cid harbor at about 5.5 knots.

All is Well with the 2 Sail R's, Garyn and Jess, on SV Worrall Wind

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Nara Inlet

Got a Cracker Mate?

Thursday, June 7, 2012 - Hook Island

During the evening, the wind rose from zero to 20 knots in Stonehaven Bay on Hook Island.  We cast off the mooring around 11:00 a.m. and headed toward Nara Inlet.  As we came out from the protected side of the bay, my freshly cleaned pilothouse windows were showered with a constant splash of sea spray.  There were white caps on the water.

We had about a 2 hour journey to our next destination up a well protected finger into Nara Inlet.

Keep Red on the Port Side
I followed Russ's course up to the anchor point, and we dropped our anchor in 27 feet of water.  Shortly after lunch, the charter boat Mischief sailed in and anchored in front of us further up the inlet.  One of the advantages of multihulls is to anchor in waters more shallow than our 2 meter draft allows.  We had seen  Mischief the night before at Stonehaven Bay and heard them on the radio with the charter company earlier in the day bemoaning that they were nearly out of water.  Apparently the tanks had not been properly filled when they got the boat.

Russ and I lowered the dinghy for a little excursion on shore.  The bay was quite calm and it was turning into a lovely afternoon.  Our guide book indicated that the Ngara people lived in this area for 9,000 years, and there was a cultural site close to where we anchored the boat.  We wanted to check it out.  On our trip to shore, we stopped at Mischief to see how they were doing and to see if they needed any water.  We have plenty.

There were two couples on board, Frank and Joanne, and Doug and Lorraine from Melbourne.  They were escaping from the nasty weather south to the Whitsundays.  They indicated they had enough water with no showers until they get to Hamilton Island for a fill up.  We were invited on board and enjoyed a nice chat and chilled glass of white wine before continuing on to the cultural site.

The tide was dropping, so we just tied the painter to a rock before heading up the trail about 170 meters to the Ngara cave and cultural site.   Once a fertile valley 9,000 years ago, Nara Inlet is now a bay (only 20-50 ft).   As the sea level rose inundating  the valleys and converting the mountains to  islands, the Ngara people relied more on fishing than on agriculture.  Eventually, they vacated the area with the advent of European settlements.

Late in the afternoon, we had two unexpected visitors to our boat....two giant cockatoos.  They were looking for a few crackers, but we didn't feed them.

As a no thank you, they just made a horrible screeching caw and pooped on our boat.


 We spent a quiet evening on the boat listening to an audio book, Dragonfly in  Amber.

Friday, June 8, 2012 - Whitsunday Island - Back to Cid Harbor

Low tide was at 8:00 a.m. this morning.  To take advantages of the flood current, we weighed anchor at 9:00 a.m.  There are white caps on the water as we head back to Cid Harbor on Whitsunday.  On Saturday we will head to Hamilton Marina.   A film of clouds is blowing up from the south and the forecast is for increasing winds and scattered showers tomorrow.  We decide that we will go ahead and make a berth reservation at Hamilton Island Marina for Saturday evening.  Garyn and Jessica's plane from New Zealand will arrive around 2:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon and it is a five minute walk to the marina.

We are excited about their arrival.  That's it for now.  I want to get this posted before we lose Internet.  Will try to post some photos later.

All is Well with the 2 Sail R's on SV Worrall Wind.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Hamilton, Whitsunday, and Hook Islands

Shaw Island Sunset

Monday, June 4, 2012 - Cid Harbor, Whitsunday Island

By 0845 we had pulled up our anchor at Shaw Island and with not a cloud in the sky and less than 10 knots of wind, we motor sailed toward Hamilton Island dragging our fishing line behind us.  Our son and daughter-in-law will be arriving next Saturday at Hamilton Airport and we wanted to check it out before their arrival.  
The fish aren't biting!
We motored into Dent Strait between Hamilton and Dent Islands.  Dent Strait is a no fishing area, so we pulled in the line with not even a nibble.  The tide current was with us and pushing us at 8 knots through the channel.  There were was a lot of tidal debris floating through the channel.

We had the opportunity to scout out the airstrip, harbor entrance, and buoys across from the Hamilton Marina.  We won't be staying long here as the buoys are $90.00 a night and a slip $120.00 night.  There are a dozen resort owned, red mooring balls, and two blue ones that are free.  Must be quite a scramble for the 2 freebies.
Hamilton Island Marina and Resort

Red = $90.00, Blue = $00.00 - Big Scramble
The marina is a bit pricey.  We've been told that we can pull up to the fuel dock for a pick up for 15 minute or less with no charge.  Otherwise the guest dock is $17.50 per hour.  Hope Garyn and Jess's plane is on time, and we can get in and out quickly.   Although I would like to stay a little longer and pick up a few supplies at the Hamilton Marina Grocery Store.  I guess we'll have to just wait and see how it goes.  The weather forecast for Saturday looks like rain and wind which mayl complicate the pickup.

After our recon of Hamilton Marina Area we scooted around the corner to Whitsunday Island and Cid Harbor where we dropped the anchor by 12:15 in 23.2 ft of water at 1/4 low tide.  We should still have plenty of water under us at low tide.  There were about 5 other boats in the bay with us.  Data cell coverage was painfully weak, so we didn't do more than briefly check our mail before giving it up.

S   20 15.758
E 148 56.456

Cid Harbor on Whitsunday Island
The bay was well protected from the wind, but there was a small swell that rocked the boat throughout the night in the light of the full moon.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 - Butterfly Bay, Hook Island

As the tidal currents would be most beneficial around noon for a run to Hook Island, we spent a leisurely morning in Cid Harbor.  I slept in late, but Russ awoke early and took this lovely photo of the moonset in the rosy glow of the dawn.
Moonset at Dawn

At 11:15 we pulled up the anchor, turned on the motor, and cranked up the water maker.  It was the first time we had turned on the water maker since we had been in Vanuatu.  For the two hour journey to Butterfly Bay we made about 24 gallons.
Rock Peninsula Between the Wings of the Butterfly

Butterfly Bay
Butterfly Bay is on the east side of Hook Island and is shaped like a butterfly with a peninsula of high rocks separating the two wings.  We tooled around the east wing before deciding on snagging a buoy in the west wing.  This looked like the most protected of the two bays from an expected southwest wind.  Since we were the first boat in, we had the pick of buoys.  Technically, you aren't to tie up for the night until after 3:00 p.m.  We were an hour early, but there were a dozen buoys and not another boat in sight.  Alas, there is no internet connectivity in this bay.

S 20 04.442
E 148 55.470

This bay is supposed to have the best snorkeling in the Whitsundays.  The sun was out, but breeze and ambient cool temperature made getting in the water unappealing.   Since we plan to come back with Garyn and Jessica, we decided to wait for a snorkel and hopefully a warmer day.  Boats started to trickle in around 3:30, which is the anchor time expected from the charter boats.  We pulled out the table and chairs and arranged ourselves on the Lido deck to watched the boats come in and snag their buoys.  Everyone seemed to be pretty proficient so there wasn't much entertainment value in the watching.

A big motor cruiser pulled in an moored up next to us.  There were seven men and no women on this boat.  Two of the guys came over to talk with us and were very impressed that we had sailed from America.  When they returned to their boat, we could hear them tell the others that we had sailed from San Francisco.  As a response one of them started singing without the actual words, New York, New York.  We think he meant to sing, I left my Hear in San Francisco, got his geography mixed up.  No worries mate.  It was party time for these blokes.   I wore my earplugs to bed.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Stonehaven Bay, Hook Island

Once again we waited for the tidal current to be close to slack before heading to Stonehaven Bay.  With no Internet connection, we broke out the satellite phone and gave my mom a call.  She is in a rehab center right now getting her strength back after a pulmonary embolism and blood clots in her legs.  It's definitely hard to be so far away at times like this.  It was nice to hear her voice, and she promised she is working hard to get out of the rehab center...not a very restful place.  Wish she was here with us.

We ate lunch and pulled up our anchor for the one hour hop around the corner.  Russ had set up a nice route through the passage between islands and we skirted potential hazards.  There are many islands some of which have long shallow reefs connecting them.  The reefs are exposed at low tide, but dangerously concealed at high tide (until you hit them).

Sticks mark the shallow reefs
The Whitsunday Islands look a lot like the Pacific Northwest, San Juan and Gulf Islands.  There are rocky cliffs and pine trees that come right down to the water.  Our night in Butterfly Bay reminded us of being in Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe, particularly with the bullet winds that zipped down  from the mountains periodically and blew the boats to end of their mooring tethers.

When we arrived at Stonehaven, again about an hour before official tie up, there was one other boat in the bay and the people on the boat were snorkeling in the reefs that were beginning to be exposed as the tide started to drop.  
Can you see the coral head just under the water's surface?  
We tied up on a mooring, narrowly missing a coral head as we approached our buoy pick:

S   20 06.181
E 148.54.260

Tidal Drop Exposes the Reef

On Golden Pond
Hooray, we have Internet.  Yesterday, was the due date for Garyn and Jessica's New Zealand Friends, Jessie and Simon, to have their baby.  No word, so I guess Baby is late.  Garyn and Jess are in New Zealand this week so I know they would let us know if the baby arrived.  After we checked our mail, we broke down and decided to go snorkeling, even though it seemed a bit cool.  The late afternoon sun was casting a golden glow on the rocks and water, and we couldn't resist.

We dug out the stinger suits (which we didn't really need - not one jelly fish in sight), and our short dive suits, snorkels, fins, masks, gloves, etc., lowered the dinghy into the water and did a drift snorkel around the coral reefs as the tide was dropping.  The water clarity is not the best due to the tidal swings stirring up the water, but we saw stag horn coral, soft corals, cabbage corrals, and lots of fish. I saw one fish that was about a meter long.  Not sure what it was, but it gives me the creeps when the fish are that big, and lurking underneath me.   It was a shock to get in the water after almost 9 months of being dry.  The water wasn't freezing, but it wasn't real warm either.  We lasted about 45 minutes and were glad to get out and take warm showers.

I fixed tacos for dinner, and we finished listening to the Overlanders.  It's quiet in the bay, and the boat is hardly moving in the still of the night.  If it weren't for an occasional bump of the buoy, we could be on land.

All is Well with the 2 Sail R's on SV Worrall Wind.