Welcome to Zenitude’s blog where you can follow us while we travel slow in our Lagoon catamaran. We update this blog frequently when we are cruising to let family and friends know where we are. Check the complete story of our adventures that started in 2006 when Zenitude became our home and cruising our way of life. Graciela and Oscar

Friday, 29 August 2014

Townsville, a lively town

It finally felt like summer when we arrived at Breakwater Marina in Townsville with Emi and Edu on a sunny Friday prior to their departure flight on the following Tuesday. After taking care of Emi’s hurting with the bad fall and after a subsequent doctor’s check-up we were ready to explore a bit of town with our rental car.

One of the things high on the list for our friends was a visit to a wild life reserve, so on Saturday we headed to Billabong Sanctuary where we spent a wonderful day feeding and learning habits of Australian wildlife. This park is very well organized with shows and talks scheduled in a way that allows you to cover all the park animals in a relaxed and enjoyable way. It’s been a long time since we visited one of these parks; it was nice to do this again.

At the Billabong Sanctuary:
Emi's first encounter with Mr. Kangaroo

Black cockatoo

A sweet wombat

Sleepy koala

Mom kangaroo
Feeding with delicious sunflower seeds

Next day we all went for a walk around Rock Pool, an interesting public salt water swimming pool with picnic and park facilities for kids. It was a bit windy and not many people were around but quite a good place for families to hang about with their kids.

Rock Pool

Rock Pool is not far from the Jezzine Barracks and Kissing Point area where we walked along the coastal boardwalk. Here you can appreciate aboriginal as well as non-aboriginal artwork. Some of the artwork addresses the military history of the site and the important role of Townsville in time of war. We climbed to the top of Kissing Point where there is a fort with observation decks that have incredible views over to Magnetic Island. We spent a bit of time reading some of the many brass plaques describing significant people and events during WWII. Until now we didn’t realize the importance role that Townsville played in various wars over time.

Our friends left and we finished various routine boring tasks and now are ready to leave the marina life and go back to Horseshoe Bay to explore Magnetic Island.


Thursday, 21 August 2014

From the Whitsundays to Townsville. Going around with our friends.

Our friends Emi and Eduardo arrived from Argentina and we spent the first 3 days hiding in Abbel Point Marina in Airlie Beach waiting for the weather to clear before heading out to the Whitsundays.

Luckily once that weather cleared we had 10 fantastic days and were able to take our friends anywhere they wanted to go including Bait and Hook Reef where we spent an outstanding time before heading to Magnetic Island.

Their time on board Zenitude is almost over and tomorrow we are heading to Townsville, the last port before they catch a flight to Sydney, their next vacation destination.
Emi and Edu
Beautiful Whitsundays

Black Island
Napoleon, our pet in Bait Reef

Hook Reef in a calm day

Magnetic Island

Horseshoe Bay in Magnetic Island 

At anchor in Horseshoe Bay

Friday, 1 August 2014

Around the Whitsundays with a visit to the outer reef

At anchor in Cid Harbour we couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw Songline passing by and anchor nearby. Songline is Zenitude’s sister boat and we met Phil and Cristina, her previous owners, in San Blas Panama, crossed the canal as line handlers for them and from there we both followed the 'Coconut Milk Run' crossing the Pacific all the way to Australia during that year. Four years have passed and not long ago we visited Phil and Cristina in their lovely new house near Brisbane. We jumped in the dinghy and went to meet the new happy owners, Karen and Ron, who gave us a very warm welcome and wanted to know all about our Songline stories.   

Songline in Cid Harbour

Having spent 4 days in Cid Harbour we moved to Nara Inlet where we had a peaceful night. Next day we left towards Hayman Island, grabbed a mooring for a couple of hours and later on continue our travels towards Butterfly Bay in Hook Island. It's a beautiful spot as long as you find a mooring for the night, otherwise the anchorage seems a bit deep behind all the moored boats. But we found a mooring and spent the night there. It was a bit cold for snorkelling so we’ll have to come back and do that another time. The reef seems lovely.

We left next day after lunch and went to Stonehaven where we grabbed another mooring and tried our best with the dinghy to find a way among the reef to reach the beach but the tide was low and we couldn’t find an opening where to land in the beach.  Another place we need to come back on a warmer day to snorkel around.

A surprise visit at Nara Inlet

With forecast of settled weather and less than 15 knots wind for the next 3 days we decided it was a good time to go to Bait and Hook Reefs, just 20 miles north of Hook Island, so we left on Wednesday morning and had a fantastic sail all the way to Bait Reef where we grabbed one of the visitor moorings. Nobody was there at the time and we were able to choose a mooring closest to what seemed the best reef to snorkel from the boat. We were starting to get ready for our snorkeling tour when to our dismay we see approaching a catamaran with what looked like 50 people all standing in the bow. It was a dive tour operator of course and we wondered which mooring was nearby and where did they think they were going. Simple, the guy approached and said he ‘needs’ our mooring and could we please move to another one. Yes, he wanted to have this mooring as he explained so that his ‘inexperienced young guys can dive in this reef, which as per my assessment has the less current’.  We thought what is wrong with this guy, he can ferry the people on his dinghy from his private mooring that is not that far anyway, after all we had also assessed this mooring and that’s why we chose it. Too bad he came later as we refused to get bullied and did our snorkel as planned.

Sunset at Bait Reef

Next morning the 15 knots wind had died down and we decided to check the Hook Reef. Before leaving a pod of whales came to visit and hung around the entrance to the cut. They played for a little while and then left leaving the cut free for us to exit. Hook Reef is not far and in about 1.30 hours we were there. There are no moorings so you need good visibility to find a good spot to anchor. It is quite easy in settled weather. We like this reef better than Bait Reef, and to make things better tour operators are not coming here.

Whales at Bait Reef

The best day weather wise was Friday, a complete windless sunny day but we had to take advantage of the favorable current in the morning and decided to start our trip back as strong winds were forecast  for Saturday.

By noon we were back around Hook Island and decided for a stop at lovely Langford Island for lunch after which we headed to Hamilton Marina were we are now hiding for the next strong wind days.

Langford Island