June 24, 2011

Hello there folks

Due to unforseen circumstances and lack of sponsorship has had to change blogsites, they all of a sudden told us there was no new space for more photos!!

The new one is

keep a following!!


June 19, 2011

Well, we have finally got our visas for Papua New Guinea so we’re free agents. We have gone back out to the islands of the whitsundsys, managing to do all the walks on South Molle, and the whitsunday peak walk (allow 4 – 5 hours) we did in just 1.5 hours! Our reward were spectacular views overlooking the islands.

View from Whitsunday Peak overlooking Hamilton Island


Top of whitsunday peak overlooking Hook

We are currently at Stonehaven in Hook Island. Despite wearing jackets sailing from Whitsunday Island to Hook, we managed to jump in the water for a snorkel, the first one of our trip!! It was fun trying out our underwater cameras, shame there were no turtles or many fish we could see, maybe tomorrow.

Clam amougst the coral


Lookout from Tongue point over whitehaven beach

After stocking up with food at Airlie we sailed out to Whitehaven, managing to do all the walks the island has to offer, we headed for the long white beach. We made use of the kayaks and headed up Hills inlet, the northern end of the beach, clear water and lots of stingrays to be seen.


Whitehaven is populated with tourists throughout the day, so we arrived early one morning and took the opportunity to run like nature intended on Whitehaven beach.


Dudley misbehaving at Whitehaven

Tanya misbehaving at Whitehaven



The weather began to deteriorate so we made for Nara Inlet on Hook Island. Here there was a 170m walk to a cave where the aboriginees use to live. There was also a interactive thing where you press a button and you hear pre recorded stories from the aboriginees. What ever money they use to earn , they had to take it to the police station where the white man took all their money and if the aboriginees wanted some of their money they had to apply for it and instead of getting 3 pounds they may only get 2 pounds, depending on who was manning the desk at the time. They also had to get permits to go into town, say they had one from 9 – 3pm . the police would come round to make sure they had left and then come round again soon after 3pm to make sure they had arrived back home. What a horrid life!!


Its been a while…

June 2, 2011

Island Head Creek

Twas Friday the thirteenth, arriving  at Island Head Creek didn’t go down without a  performance.

Dudley was at the helm, the depth sounder read 60m, and it slowly decreased to 3.5m down down down to  0.0m. I was at the bow, looking out for these shallow patches,that’s how dirty the water is, you cant tell if you’re in 60m or 0m of water under the keel.

Our friends on Memphis were leaving Island head after already being there for a few days, we chatted on the radio and was assured there was plenty of water infront of us! How wrong that was.. We ‘took one for the team’ as it were. Because if we hadn’t come in just then, Memphis would have gone out and hit the sandbar. Baikal sat quite nicely on it, we did try to get her off using the foresail to heel her over, putting the anchor out to starboard and trying to winch ourselves off it, all, to no avail. The tide was dropping, and Baikal could be heard rolling slightly on her keel on the sand/mud and shells.

We sat there for a couple of hours with me preparing some lunch and Dudley keeping himself busy with boat maintenance, luckily we were at the tail end of the low tide. It soon came back in with avengence and we gracefully flo ated off.

This place is an army training ground, and is occasionally closed off  for military purposes, there really is nothing much here, steep hills, mangroves, mud, big snakes, spiders, its untenable really, and just try to walk ashore (below the high tide mark, as you are prohibited from going any further by the military) no sooner are you ashore, you’re up to your knees in mud, be wary of those mud crabs with their knippers that could chop your toes off, just, like that. Oh yes, and that big brown snake basking in the sun, careful, don’t think he’s dead.

We anchored just near the entrance the first night and then decided to venture down further for more shelter as the high wind warning was approaching, so the boys got in the tender with a depth sounder to make sure the mother ships could go down further, and they took the gps so we would have a track of the deepest channel to go down, when we arrived we managed to explore a little, burned some rubbish ashore and spotted a few of the locals.. (snakes, crabs etc)

Well now imagine being trapped here for over a week, confined to your boat, cant even use the tender, waves crashing everywhere, wind a constant 20-30 knots occasionally gusting 40knots. Dudley is getting up all hours of the night to tend to the stern anchor, which needs constant adjusting so as to not wrap itself around the rudder/propellor.  Of  course we had to arrive just as  the moon was at its fullest meaning big high tides and big low tides, which also means massive tidal current. Yesterday there was a tidal difference of 5.5m. Which is why we have the stern anchor out, otherwise you sit beam onto the wind as the current is forcing you to go another way. We’ve been here for 5 days, waiting out a high wind warning before we head further north and into th e whitsundays. We could sail in this however there is nowhere to anchor where we will be saved from the rolliness of the ocean, even in the best conditions, our next place  we’re heading to is rolly, so imagine what it would be like now. Precisely why we are still here. Memphis are still here and also another boat so we are not alone.

Been busy trying to enhance my creativity and artistic knowledge by learning how to draw, fantastic book which I got given from a colleague before I left. Watching lots of movies, eating popcorn, reading horror stories of yachts at sea, and sewing covers for our friends.

Dudley making pvc cover on the deck measuring it up in the wind, hes gotta talk to his union about working conditions!

You cant get the weather on the vhf here no internet no cellphone reception, If there was any disaster we wont even know about it until we’re outta of this place, unless you care enough to tune into aus/nz bbc world service on the ssb radio. We hope to be outta here by Thursday but for now I think we’re in the safest spot, away from the big seas that surely have been whipped up these last few days, whats another day…

After a week, we finally made it out of there. What a fast sail it was! Coming out through the entrance was slightly nerve racking, we were in 4 m of water and the waves were pitching and breaking all over the place, we were so glad to be out of there. 50 miles later we arrived at north east Island, uninhabited, and fantastic shelter from the strong se wind. Spent a couple of days here, beachcombing got us some shark clips which is always handy for hooking things down with. We arrived at middle percy island, there is an a-frame where yachties hang up a plaque with their boat name on it etc. We saw one we knew from Nelson, that was put up in 1995! Part of the Island is privately owned a 10 year lease costing $1 a year.They also sell honey there.



Outside Percy Hilton

Healthy mangrooves Middle Percy

Brampton Island was a fantastic place to walk amoungst the butterflies. There is also a resort there which must hve recently closed down,the second resort we have come across so far, its looking like Tonga! Queenslanders are having a rough time , there are 50shops closed down in cannonvale/airlie beach, it certainly isnt the bustling wee town it was a few years back.



kayaking at Brampton Island



May 9, 2011


We left Bundaberg on an early nippy morning bound for Pancake Creek, some 55miles north of Bundaberg. We had a fantastic sail as the wind was coming off the land (westerly) smooth seas Our mates on Captain Jacko hailed us on the vhf to tell us not to rush into the anchorage, another yacht ad run aground, so we pissed around outside the entrance sailing back and forth for about 45 minutes to wait for a bit of tide to come in, 45 minutes is a long time to sit and stew over the situation that lay before us. Come on we have new antifoul on Baikal, I’m sure she doesn’t want her lovely red bottom to come off just because her careless skipper and 1st mate couldn’t wait!

big cargo ships anchored off Galdstone, we dodged them sailing by

We had a few leads to line up and so we putted in, the lowest we got down to on the depth sounder was 0.4m under the keel, whew, we made it. It was worth the effort, The next morning adorned a beautiful anchorage, we had a great walk to Bustard head lighthouse (the first lighthouse built by the Queensland government on the 26th june 1868).

Bustard Head Lighthouse

crazy rock formations near pancake creek









We had fun cast netting some wee fish, the next day the strong south easterly wind  opposed the current, so we were sitting over our anchor and sailing on anchor all over the place. So we hooned outta there on a high wind warning 20 -30 knot south easterly, surfing down some decent waves, made for a fast passage to Cape Capricorn. Cape Capricorn is so named because it lies almost exactly on the tropic of capricorn23° 30′. We had now entered the Tropic of Capricorn!! Drink to that we did.


Tanya at Curtis Island Cape Capricorn





What a lot of rubbish on the beach


Here we got to explore Curtis Island, some of these beaches were rubbish strewn, however it made for some good beach combing. We found bits on the beach to make our dinghy into a sailing dinghy, Beach combing is a favourite pastime. Also we saw a 3m sea snake just cruising along the surf. Duds stood on a small brown snake , we thought it was dead , just as we went down for a closer inspection it slithered away, scared of us.

Dudley at Curtis Island, cape capricorn






A short 7mile sail to Hummocky Island the next day proved to be a stunning change in scenery. Paddling along the shoreline we saw our first coral since leaving Coffs.

Great Keppel Island which is where we are now has a lot to offer the adventurer/explorer (which is our profession of course!). From the many beaches, fishing, goat spotting, kayaking up through the mangroves to bonfires on the beach, we are enjoying our time here.  We have managed to catch up with the Coffs Harbour Crew, Torba Queen and Captain Jacko.

Walking on one of the many tracks at Great Keppel

kayaking up through the mangroves

Captain Jacko exploring the mangroves

View from Great Keppel Island


nice sailing conditions

Baikal with full sails

Baikal sailing along Fraser Island

Here comes Baikal













Leaving a calm safe anchorage on a high wind warning meant a fast passage across from Fraser Island. Top speed reaching 11.4knots, we flew along the 44nm to Burnett Heads, Bundaberg.


We spent about 3 weeks at Fraser, going on some long walks on white sandy beaches and  through forest, swimming in the beautiful Lake Mckenzie, hearing the dingoes howl at night (Fraser is home to the worlds purest dingoes hence the reason why no dogs are allowed on the Island  apart from the fact its also listed as a world heritage site).

Clear water

Lake Mckenzie

Lake Mckenzie

Underwater at Lake Mckenzie







Arriving in Bundaberg  the food stores were not looking healthy, so the next morning we bused into town for 14bucks return, got a few groceries being after Easter we managed to score chocolate less than half price, on return from town the food stores were still not healthy , we had 20 packets of 4 cadbury creme eggs in each and a trillion other packets of chocolates..1 dozen chocolate eggs they’re healthy right?!

So the next day we must of felt guilty coz we punished ourselves by riding a 40km return trip with our bags and bike baskets full of nuts and museil and vegetables and beans for the new bean bags we purchased the previous day.


bags of beans loaded onto already heavily laden backpacks


We are now enjoying our new couch potato lifestyle, eating chocolate like its coming out our ears and coconut, the first one of the season, which we found walking around burnett heads.

eating coconut on new lazy boy bean bags

We will be moving on when the wind allows, sometime next week…until next time :)

Fraser Island

April 18, 2011

Doesn’t her bottom look sexy

Well we have a come a fair way since Dunwich.Spent about a week in mooloolaba catching with my friend and

Tarsh and I in Mooloolaba


we decided Baikal’s bum needed cleaning and repainting so we took her out on the hardstand at Lawries in mooloolaba (sunshine coast), after 3 days of grotty filthy work we slipped back into the tea coloured water of the canals, after some close anchoring in the mill pond at mooloolaba we sailed onwards and upwards to the bottom of Fraser Island via a night stop over at Double Island Point.

Close anchoring at Mooloolaba









What a beaut spot that was, we went exploring up to the light house and  and  had a great sail through the wide bay bar and now we are at Garry’s anchorage.


The wind direction girl

Baikal anchored at Double Island Point way in the distance










Sitting here on the blue coloured saloon seetee on the starboard side of Baikal . Its an overcast day , 3pm looks like 6pm. Im madly itching the midgee and  mosquito bites from the previous days exploring on Fraser Island.

We are at ‘Garry’s anchorage’, a beautiful sheltered from all winds spot, there are 8 yachts and 2 house boats sharing this cosy anchorage.This morning as we kayaked away from Baikal around Stewart Island, Memphis turns up, our kiwi friends.

Dudley has claimed the port side of Baikal today, there is a lighter, rope, scissors, pvc canvas, sprawled over the port side seetee, not to mention the  sailrite sewing machine magnificently proclaiming its spot on the saloon table.Dudley has been rowing back and forth to Captain Jacko , sizing up and marking out a pvc protection canvas cover.

Baikal has the aromatic remenants of the days baking, chocolate chip cookies and Belgium biscuits. Its great to see a big smile on the face of the neighbours as they try out the yummy biscuits.

Our friends Helen and Ray from ‘Sapora’ took a liking to our racy red kayaks, and Ray wanted to try it out, so off went the kayak sailing along behind his  7ft tinnie, to the beach. Ray came back with  a grin from ear to ear, ‘oh, that’s fantastic’.

Earlier today when we kayaked around Stewart Island we had a fantastic 3 knot current and about a 12knot wind behind us , so we surfed down the waves, we approach another friends Warren’s 60ft home built cat. “Hey guys , I don’t want to scare ya, but when I was here in December I sailed past a croc here” Gee that’s real nice to know! Weighing up the odds, we decided to keep going, As we kayaked past the stern of his boat there was a crocs head poking out of the water!! Nice one wazza!! He remained deadly serious about the croc he saw, well his claim is kinda backed up by the sign on the beach notifying esturine crocs have been spotted here.

This will be the last time we put the kayaks in the water unfortunately until we get to the outer islands where they don’t seem to venture.

Dudley preparing the throw net to catch some prawns notice the mangrooves ......crocodiles like to hang out here...

We have been learning new skills, such as how to get yabbies with a pump and how to cast a net,so we can now catch our bait and fish and catch dinner, Dudley is starting to feel more and more like Bear from man verus wild!haha

Using a cast net to catch prawns and other wee fishies