Back on board

Michael Hughes and Ger White
Tue 16 Nov 2010 09:50
We've been a bit delinquent on the blog front--so a short catch-up.
Michael returned from the UK to Oz, arriving at the boat in Mackay on 10 October. Simanderal was still on the hard--most of the requested work had been done--but not all. In particular some rigging and canvas work was still to be done--and the new genoa was hung up in Australian customs in Brisbane! So michael was pretty busy through the next 10 days, including launch off on 16 October.
But on 23 October, young Alex joined me--up from Brisbane, where he was working --for a week's sailing. I think he was hoping for the Whitsundays--but, no--I wanted to start the journey south as the weather had moderated--up until then it had been blowing like stink from the south-east which would have made any southward voyaging pretty painful.
So on 24th Alex & Michael sailed to Digby Island--a long day, but a good sheltered anchorage--on a beautiful sunny day--under sail most of the way, until the wind dropped and we motor-sailed the last 12 miles.
The following day--another beautiful one--a shorter sail to the Percy Islands, anchoring in West Bay. We anchored at lunchtime and after lunch went ashore for a walk and exploration. And we had a decent sailing wind all day.
Then on 26th, on to Pearl Bay--another long day and quite a lot under engine--only a light wind on the nose.
And from there--on 27th--to Great Keppel Island--sailed most of the way close-hauled--and impressed by the new genoa!! arrived too late to go ashore, but it looks a lovely island to visit.
And finally, the following day a short sail across to the close-by marina, where we left Simanderal so Michael could travel back to the UK.
And so to today!! Well Ger & Michael arrived back on board Simanderal at Keppel Bay marina on 13 November. First couple of days provisioning and then on 16th--today--we had a long motor-sail out to Masthead Island on the Barrier Reef. 55 miles so a long day--early start and we arrived shortly before sunset--we searched for the best place to anchor--lots of coral around--in fading light--but I'm content with how we ended up--having aborted the first attempt!! No other boats out here!!