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, 31 October 2014

Back in the Whitsundays

After spending a couple of days in Hamilton and about a week in Airlie to provision we were ready to leave marina life behind, so when the weather improved we happily left the docks for a week around the islands.

Previous time in the Whitsundays we missed Whitehaven Beach. This time we wanted to make sure we wouldn't miss it so we headed there after spending a night in Stonehaven.

Such an amazing beach we were glad we made it this time. You can anchor almost anywhere alongside the beach but the most protected area is towards the south end. The problem is this part of the beach is totally crowded with day visitors, including the little seaplanes that bring couples for a romantic time at the beach. Our strategy worked out well by spending daytime at anchor in the isolated places and going back to the good anchorage for the night. We found that by evening this place is usually quiet, except for the camping area that seems to have visitors most of the time. 


A romantic setting at the beach

Zeni and the clear waters of Whitehaven

A view from the inlet at the end of the beach
We had about 8 days before my flight to Sydney to go back to work and we spent these last days going to places we missed when we came up. The wind was mainly from the NNE this time so we visited anchorages that are not available in the predominant SE winds. The weather was lovely, the places a lot less crowded this time of the year and we sailed to more remote places visiting White Bay in Haslewood island, Plantation Bay in Lindeman Island and the highlight of the week, Thomas Island.

And then the week was over and we headed back to spend the last night at Turtle Bay before going to Hamilton marina. Zenitude will stay here for a month, while we wait for our dear American friends John and Anne from Livin’ the Dream that will be visiting Australia and join us for some more of Whitsundays sailing towards the end of November. 


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Going South – Time to start heading back

Palm Isles is as far north as we go this season. Visiting Cairns, Lizard and the reef around there will have to wait for next season as it’s time to start heading south.

We leave Orpheus heading back to Magnetic Island, just for a good night of sleep. Very early next morning we left towards the South. Forecast was just for a couple of days ENE before the return of the south easterlies so we decided we could stop at Cape Bowling Green for one night. What a beautiful quiet and peaceful anchorage, with right weather of course. It’s a very wide bay with a long beach and several fishing motor boats around being quite close to Townsville. No other cruisers tonight. Oscar decided to try fishing and soon enough he caught a wonderful fish. It was big enough for several dinners.

Cape Bowling Green

Next day we left for an overnight towards Gloucester Passage, with the idea to get a mooring at the ECO resort and wait there for the next window to keep going south, but after a quiet overnight crossing we arrived at the ECO resort to find the moorings untenable in northerly swell. We went around and anchored in Breakfast Bay which was calm and protected however the forecast was not good for the area and we left soon after catching up on some sleep. It must have been a good decision as it was an exodus of cruising boats; I think we were one of the last to leave. Early that afternoon we arrived at Hamilton Marina where we decided to stay for a couple of days to fix the lazy jack, provision and hide from southerly change and strong winds.

So now, here we are, back in the Whitsundays. 


Friday, 10 October 2014

Orpheus Island – Giant clams and a full moon eclipse

We’ve been recommended not to miss this place and we were not disappointed, it is an outstanding bay, with a nice little beach that you can’t reach at low tide as there is a large fringing reef all along the coast. The beach has a little camping area and a track to climb and check out the views on the other side of the island.

On the next high tide we hoped on the dinghy and went to visit this nice little beach. To our surprise we found the warnings not only about stingers (no surprise) but crocs too! There are mangroves on one side of the island and that might appeal to these salty creatures. Neither of them was on sight. 

Be aware stingers and crocs

A camping area

Not far, on the next bay is where James Cook University Research Station is. It’s just a dinghy ride away and we decided to go and check it out.

The manager from the station gave us a great welcome and a tour of their station which provides facilities to the university students to work on their research projects. They provide accommodation as well. We also met a girl currently working on a project to find out more about a decease affecting some of the reef. All quite interesting.

They told us to come back next day at low tide. With the full moon spring tides, the low tide is indeed VERY low and you can walk around the reef to see the giant clams out of the water, spitting water when you touch them.  So we did as we were told and came back next day. Apart from the amazing clams we saw lots of rays and small sharks quietly swimming in very shallow waters, as we stood very still for a while letting them approach quite close to us. We were not able to do much about the ‘click’ noise of the camera that scared them away in a big rush.

The very low tides and the reef

Giant Clam

Giant Clams are closed when out of the water

Small clam opened, under water

Many clams all together

A small ray
It'll grow bigger

That night was a full moon night and a full moon eclipse as well. 

The night was incredible calm and clear as we witnessed the full moon eclipse just on top of the island hills. 

As the eclipse completes, the moon turns red, just a magical evening.

Moon eclipse starts

A perfect red moon