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, 18 May 2015

Magnetic Island Marina – From a windless week to a week of wind warnings

From Gloucester Island, we left Whitsundays behind and took 3 days of lazy going to arrive in Magnetic Island. Our plan is to stay in Magnetic Island Marina for over 2 months, complete some of the projects in our ever growing list of ‘things to do’ as well as take a month off to travel overseas in a carefully planned SE Asia backpacking tour.

The trip to Magnetic was in a weather pattern when every day was calmer that the previous day. We motored for about 40 miles each day stopping the first night at Cape Upstart, an outstanding place, next day at Cape Bowling Green where we’ve been before and did it all over again, anchoring in the exact same spot, getting the dinghy down, going to the beach, admiring the sea life jumping all over around us, especially the little rays and the big fish. The only misfortune, Oscar’s fishing rode had broken, so we couldn't get dinner this time around.  

Sunset at Cape Upstart

Cape Bowling Green 

Passing by Cape Cleveland
We arrived at the marina and right after lunch our project priorities where just hard to ignore. One of the things we need to do is fix our new main sail design. The sail has extra fabric at the leech and does not raise well, the first reef is the best we can do in light winds. We needed to take some measures with the sail up and then remove it. We knew it would take us around 4 hours. We looked at each other, then at the absolute windless day and decided there may not be another perfect day for the job. So we did, raised the sail, took the measurements, and started with the slow process of removing battens, reef lines, and the sail itself, folding and getting the whole 28 kg of sail ready for transportation to the sail maker that has promised he can fix it.

As expected, having looked at the forecast at least twice daily, on Thursday the wind arrived. After having a week of windless nights my mind had forgotten all about the noises, so when the silence in the boat was replaced, at exactly 3:04 AM, by the vibration of the shrouds, the mast noises and the shackles we had somehow left in the wrong place I was completely awake for the rest of the night. This is what happens after 10 days of fantastic, idyllic weather. Now, after several days of howling wind I have adjusted again and being safely docked in a marina, good sleeping nights are back despite the noise.  

On Friday we took the ferry to Townsville carrying our 28 kg of main sail and found it possible to rent a car from Avis at the ferry terminal. Oscar discovered this as he was getting ready to take the bus to the Avis office in town. For some reason this is not advertised and not easy to ‘discover’. With the car we took our sail to the sail maker, which we found in a farm, 25 km from Townsville. A strange place to find a sail maker workplace, but the guy seems to know his business and just happens to have a daughter that likes horses, as per his explanation.

Having taken care of the sail fixing project we will continue with one project on top of another in this marina life, Zenitude going from a lovely livable place to a chaotic messy place, back and forth several times a day, depending on what is it we are trying to fix or which cabinet/area we decide to ‘organize’ next. 


Friday, 8 May 2015

Across the Whitsundays in a week

Going up the coast towards Townsville we decided to start with short day trips and no overnights as the weather has been very mild and enjoyable. We’ve been travelling our way north from Mackay and along the Whitsundays, stopping everyday early afternoon in a different island to enjoy time at anchor. 

Since leaving Mackay, every day we've seen hundreds of butterflies, they are everywhere but most amazingly they seem to be migrating from the coast towards the islands. I wasn't expecting butterflies flying for so many miles over the sea, rather than birds this time we were visited by beautiful colorful butterflies all along the way.

Around the Whitsundays with butterflies

On our first stop, Thomas Is. we found Mark and Shannon from Axis Mundi who have travel plans similar to ours for this year. We hope to meet them in Lizard Island, sometime in September if we manage to get there by then.  

From Thomas we went to Whitehaven Beach and next day to Langford Island where we spent the night in one of the moorings, with a private aquarium just for ourselves, with the fish having a go at our yummy fingers, luckily the kind of fish without teeth. 

Oscar and our own private aquarium

From Langford we had a lovely sail in a strait west direction back to mainland in Cape Gloucester, the very northern tip of the Whitsundays, where we are now, spending several days before continue up the coast towards Townsville.

Cape Gloucester is where Montes Restaurant and Resort is located, famous among locals for their seafood. Just across is Gloucester Island and the little Shag Islet, home to the "EXCLUSIVELY – NON EXCLUSIVE" Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club. Check their site for news, events and pictures of the most amazing yearly yacht rendevouz (Click here: SICYC) where hundreds of boats congregate for several days of festivities all for a good cause to raise money for prostate cancer. But this time of the year here, there are only a handful of boats.  All around this place is magnificent.

Yes, another beautiful sunset at anchor
Gloucester Island is an uninhabited island with a National Park and camping available on two locations on the beach, Bona Bay and East Side Bay. Today we were saddened to see bush fires burning in the hills and wondered if people in the camping grounds could have accidentally started the fires which are going freely up the mountain where there seems to be no way for anybody to reach.

Beautiful Gloucester Island is burning: