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

Monday, 29 September 2014

A trip to the Rib Reef - The Slashers

From the many reefs in the Slashers we were recommended to go to Rib Reef as it has a lagoon with good sandy patches quite safe to spend the night in settled weather. 

The reef is beautiful, the lagoon easy to enter and anchor. As we approached we could see there were already other boats in there. We used waypoint: 18.28.531S 146.51.874E to enter the lagoon and going carefully around coral patches found a sandy area to anchor in about 4 meters depth at: 18.28.828S 146.52.099E

It was a perfect day for the reef and soon we were snorkeling with many fish around and some small black tip sharks, as usual patrolling the reef. There were also turtles around. 

We found a drawback to this reef the next morning when a couple of professional fishermen boats where at anchor and cleaning the night’s catch fish. The problem was that now there were plenty of very excited sharks in the lagoon in a feeding frenzy, we decided we would skip the morning snorkel tour.

We would have like to visit some other reefs in the Slashers but the weather was not promising a good quiet night so we decided to head towards Great Palm Islands instead and check out Orpheus Island where you can stay either at anchor or on one of the visiting moorings available in Little Pioneer Bay. 

At anchor in Rib Reef

Plenty of fish coming to check us out

Looking for lobster?

Pretty star fish

Waters are clear and the reef is quite pretty


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Magnetic Island - Do we ever want to leave?

Arriving in Magnetic Island we anchored in Horseshoe Bay, our first impression was wow, what a fantastic anchorage. Our first trip to shore was not disappointing either and the first ice cream in the Italian ice cream shop was the best we had in a long time. All indicated we wanted to spend a good time around here.

Since then we’ve been around between Townsville and Maggie (as it is known to locals) for over a month. You can visit the island with the local bus that sells a daily ticket so that you can hope in an out of the bus anywhere you want to visit. There is a golf course for Oscar to play and many moderate level walking tracks with amazing views as the island is very hilly. There are more than 20 bays and each of them with a beautiful beach, some with easy access while others feel like a huge reward after a tough walking up and down the tracks.   The ferry service to Townsville is quite good and in 20 minutes you can be there if you need more serious shopping as the island has 2 reasonable well provisioned supermarkets (or rather ‘food markets’).

In Horseshoe Bay, the most popular anchorage, there are picnic facilities on shore and water is available, you can fill your water jugs if you run short of water. We’ve seen many boats that seem to be permanently at anchor there.

In Nelly Bay there is a new marina. Facilities are not great as there are still trying to improve them but the place is beautiful, the scenery fantastic and the location very convenient next to town and the ferry terminal, without forgetting that prices are very reasonable and the people in the marina quite accommodating.

 One afternoon in Horseshoe Bay we were happy to welcome Tortuguita, with Dave and Booker, our long-time friends.  We spent several days with their company and shared ice cream and pizza nights. Dave as always was a great help when our outboard engine refused to keep going until a new impeller was installed.

We were hoping to do some sailing together to the middle reef but the weather was late to cooperate and they had to start their trip back south and as Tortuguita sailed south we left Maggie towards the north and the Slashers Reef.  We left Magnetic Island behind knowing it will most probably be a sure stopover on the way back when we finally decide to start our trip south before the start of cyclone season. 

Beautiful Magnetic Island in pictures: