Monday, 8 August 2016

Friends on boats!

We've been settled here at Keppel Bay Marina for a week ... laundry is done, groceries purchased and packed, new filters for the dive compressor have arrived and we're poised to head out to some offshore reefs for more underwater adventures. We've talked to a lot of racing folk, and have socialized with a lovely family - the Trews on a large Welsh/Aussie aluminium yacht called Tic Tac. There had been very few boats in the anchorages we've been in so it was a shock to get here and suddenly have the many racers arriving from the Brisbane-Keppel Bay Race,

We spent two weeks at the Townsville Marina so we got to know the helpful marina office staff (Scott, Mary-Anne and Kerry) ... at the dock we got to know our neighbours - Australians Michael and Elizabeth on SV Promise, Jim and Deb on Georgia Wray and Ashely and Brenda aboard the Canadian-registered vessel 'Ashymakaihken'.

'Swish' & 'Quest' ... race boats at the dock
During our stay at the various designated dive buoys on the Reef and with the limit of 2 hours per buoy, there was little time for visiting after cleaning the gear and editing photos. We found keeping our dinghy inflated and towing it impractical and even unsafe on our way south as we were often heading into the wind.
M.A. with 'Trew Crew' ... Maxx Daizie Rose & Chris
Keppel Bay Marina
Race boats for sale
Elizabeth and Micahel from SV 'Promise'

Evan from 'Sundowner'

Albert and Corry ... 'Sea Wolf'

the elegant 60' 'Sea Wolf'

Stern Cabin

When we visited NE Percy Island we inflated our dinghy and went over to meet Evan on 'Sundowner' whom we invited aboard. He was a fascinating mariner -  a muti-talented soul full of stories of his life in the Air Force where he'd been in charge of Base logistics, looked after the kitchens and then run a restaurant after retirement.  While we were in the bay, a beautiful steel boat came in - this was the elegant 'Sea Wolf'' owned by Dutch/Australians Corry and Albert. We enjoyed time aboard and admired her gleaming interior woodwork. They are sailing further North and putting their beautiful circumnavigator up for sale.
We feel refreshed and ready to head off into the 'wilds' once again. Both Canadians and Aussies live in huge countries. But many of the inhabitants rarely actually get to experience the 'Wilderness'. Many people cannot believe that we can't get the internet. Yet for the next 3-4 weeks we will again be isolated - meeting very few (if any) other boats and NOT having the internet. We can still report to this blog and send our position to the map, but we are very limited in our communications.

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