Another great sailing season has come to an end.
We have been very fortunate getting to our boat again this year. We left Victoria back in July crossing the NSW and Qld borders, but little did we know Victoria and NSW would experience more Covid lockdowns and that there would be more border closures.
No visits back home to visit little Ava and Bowie (woof), and no visits to The Bossa from family nor friends. Another crazy year.
After sitting out an approaching storm in Pelican Bay in the Sandy Straits, with Ilikai and Anui, we were up very early the next day for a high tide Wide Bay Bar crossing. Destination Mooloolaba, followed by Boatworks.
It has been a big season.
We made it to Cairns. We really enjoyed getting this far this year. We had a great time meeting up with our friends Leanne and Steve (ex-Easy Tiger) in Cairns and being shown the sights as well as sharing the AFL Grand Final excitement with a Melbourne FC win which was unbelievably exciting! We did time it well with the southerlies took us north and then the northerlies took us south. Perfect!
We visited some wonderful outer reefs with Waterfront, particularly north of Magnetic Island, where the water was so clear and the fish life abundant. I do love snorkeling and my passion is my underwater photography (no surprise there).
It’s capturing the little things that I do love … the Anemonefish guarding their eggs, the Humbugs bullying the other fish, the intricate and colourful Xmas Tree Worms, the beautiful patterned clams, the stunning Feather Stars, the turtles swimming right next to me, searching for that illusive Nudibranch and this year, identifying some new Anemonefish I haven’t seen before. It’s such a joy discovering those photos that just nail it. I can tell you there are many many photos that don’t make the short list. Digital cameras are a godsend. Take as many photos as we like, pick out the best and toss out the rest!
Here’s a bit of a recap …
It goes without saying I have to mention the weather. We always find we need to shelter from strong winds, but thunderstorm?! Our last month has been a bit disjointed dodging storms and winds, but we always manage to turn these times in to fun times. Our Hinchinbrook Island visit was one. We sheltered from strong SE winds for 5-days in a mangrove creek we hadn’t been to before on the northern side of Hinchinbrook Island. It was still windy but the water was calm and we were in the company of other boats, friends, so we shared dinghy rides, beach walks and sundowners which passed the time and really highlighted a great week.
Pelican Bay, Sandy Straits. A big storm was brewing all along the coast as you can see from my radar grab. We were fortunate to only feel the southern tip of it.
We have made some great friends on the water over the last seven years and more new ones this season. Cruising is not just about the places you visit, its also about the people you meet. A big thanks to Waterfront and Ilikai who we shared some great times with this year. Even here at Boatworks we’ve caught up with Supa Trooper at the BBQ and also Anui, enjoying prawns and champagne on the water, to say goodbye.
There were a few hiccups along the way. Our screecher falling apart as we approached Cairns was probably the most annoying. With a new one ordered and delivered to Airlie Beach we thought we were back on track. Not quite. Our sail maker has just recently jumped on board, identified the problem and as well as correcting it, he will even test it before we return. Great service!
So we are back at Boatworks. The Bossa has been cleaned inside and out, packed up and as ready as she can be for the Queensland summer. As we do every year, we add next season’s ‘jobs’ to last the last page of our daily planning book. It wasn’t so long ago I made the comment the list wasn’t that long. Ha. It is now! Lithium batteries (much lighter) and new sails (much faster … only just added, ouch) are high on the list, and then there’s replacement reef shoes (lost from the dinghy in the Shute Harbour storm), a new kettle to replace this year’s replacement rusty kettle (mum’s kettle was the best), a replacement shark shield (a knot came undone), a screecher block (I dropped in the water here at Boatworks), and another Dees scarf (for next year’s GF win!) … to name a few! But, we are 8-years old now, so that’s life on a boat.
This year we experimented with no anti-foul. I didn’t work. Each year we anti-foul for only 5-6 months in the water. Anti-foul should last 12-18 months in the water. So with the manufacturer’s advice, we gave it a go. Perhaps it was the combination of warmer water temperatures and twelve days in the river at the Cairns Marina? It was like a carpet on our bottom. We think it may have cost us up to 1 knot of boat speed by the end!
Thankyou to the all the people who read my blog and follow me on Instagram. It’s a great way to keep in touch with everyone at home and other interested followers, as well as document each season’s adventures for myself. It will be tricky sorting through a mountain of photos for my next photo book, but reliving these moments and places, and the people we shared them with, is always an enjoyable finale to what has been a great 2021 season.
Next year? We think we might try as far north as Lizard Island. And, just maybe our Wakatobi trip might happen.
Our last anchorage …
Perry’s Hole, The Broadwater
The Broadwater, so calm.