Friday, 11 October 2013

Chillin (or more like frying), Hospital and New Friends

Magnetic Island was our first Townsville destination...a tranquil, laid back type of Island. 
Fifty Percent of the Island is nominated National Park with the rest a residential Island of Townsville (connected by frequent passenger and vehicle ferry).  The crew spent two nights at Horseshoe Bay which is a protected anchorage from the mild South Easterly that was blowing and spent the afternoons ashore walking in the shade of the lovely foreshore and eating at the cafes that dot the shoreline.  Our friends aboard Allusive arrived the next day and they were kind enough to introduce the crew to their amazing friends from Savanika, Al and Linnie - an amazing couple who have sailed around the world together, including time spent in Alaska.  They had just arrived back from two months spent at the outer reef - they are true adventurers, love fishing, are generous with their knowledge of yachts and anchorages and instantly won our hearts. 
Me in our tender (after morning tea on Savanika in the background) - John had to remind me to take it out of forward gear when I wanted to reverse!
Upon meeting this amazing crew, we were kindly invited to a bbq at the 'shack' which is located a short walk from the foreshore on Magnetic Island.  The shack is a lovely home, dotted throughout with memorabilia from their travels with its own wildlife visitors.  The crew had a terrific evening and we look forward to catching up again with the crew from Savanika.
The Strand - the lovely old trees were delightful and shady
 Whilst the crew from Allusive headed North for the Louisiades rally, the crew from Escape Pod headed over to the breakwater marina.  The Breakwater Marina is located at the end of the Strand which is a parkland located on the foreshore (overlooking Maggie island) and is a terrific place to base yourself for a few weeks. 

Al, Linnie (and me) - what an amazing couple!
The crew were warmly welcomed by many helping hands pulling into the berth.  The marina is kind of like a big cruising family and we were greeted by Pete and Lizzy from the lovely steel Roberts, Windana in the next berth, Charlie and Linda from across the berth and Rob located down the next berth.  Soon enough, we were invited to a shaggers club bbq the next evening as honorary guests - in Charlies words, because we seem like nice people (we have now become members by the way)!.
I was expecting the BBQ to be a small affair, but it turned out that literally 30-40 people arrived for drinks.  Many cruisers travel with dogs, so even the dogs were invited and warmly welcomed. 

A croc on the strand foreshore!
The crew met many people that night - the crew from Miri, Wayne and Wendy from Willhelm (the three W's) and Bob, Libby and the awesome Raffy from Synergy.  We had a lovely night meeting people and Charlotte and Lizzy fell in love, and Raffy fell in love with Charlotte and her lead (until that is, Charlotte decided that daily she couple jump straight from the marina into Raffy's cockpit to eat his biscuits - then love became more like suspicion!)

The captain with a nice Golden Trevally caught at Picnic Bay (Maggie Island)
A sweetlip for the Captains Tally

Unfortunately, I had to attend a few doctors appointments over the next week (I ended up having surgery in hospital for a few days but I am fully mended now) and Pete was required to return to Newcastle for a few days work.  That didn't stop the socialising and daily events - I invited a few of the girls to Aqua Aerobics, so every few days a few of us went for a class and then to the cafĂ© for refreshments, there was drinks on peoples boats every few days, outings to the Sunday markets, shopping with Libby,  Lizzy and I even went to a Moroccan cooking class and of course long walks daily along the Strand.  Other than the surgery and subsequent recovery time, the crew loved the time spent in Townsville.  The people were warm and friendly, the facilities were good, there was lots to do and the weather was well very warm.

The intrepid Aqua Crew (minus Libby)

Lizzy - at the cooking class
Tagine and Moroccan Coleslaw - Yummo

The crew then said fond farewells (we had 6 people at 6.30am there to say goodbye and give us a hand to cast off lines!) and headed back to Magnetic to get our sea legs back and catch up with the crew from Savanika.  Again we spent a few nights around the Island, with daily walks and lots of fishing for the Captain and we briefly caught up with Synergy who finally had the motor repaired after an epic adventure.  The original plan was to head North to the Palm Island Group and out to the smaller reefs for a week but a number of events transpired (weather patterns and a leaking through hull fitting) that meant we took the opportunity with a light Northerly breeze to head South with the planned destination Airlie Beach slipway.

Black Sapote a Fruit - Tropical Fruit at the Markets Awesome!

The dreaded provisioning aboard Escape Pod
The crew had an easy sail (and motoring in the light breezes) over two days back to Airlie where the boat has been slipped and repaired, we have reprovisioned and are now heading back out to the Islands with the Newry Islands our planned destination.

The Pod on the Slip for a quick fix up

Catch Ya Soon