Page 7 of Luna Ray Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Port Douglas October 24th 2013

Well our plans have come to another halt. We were just about to fire up the engine on wednesday to leave the inlet for the Low Isles. I did my usual engine checks and found the radiator tank bone dry. Poured in a glass of water and the dripping that eventuated lead me to the puddle of coolant on the engine bay floor. Seemed to be leaking from the water pump and learnt from a little reading that the seals commonly fail. Spent the rest of the afternoon with my head in the engine bay taking out the pump, with Naomi helping to retrieve the last hard to access bolt with her thinner fingers. Spoke to the local mechanic about repairing it but since he said he couldn't look at it until tuesday he suggested buying ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Port Douglas October 22nd 2013

Woke to a dreary morning at Double Island and sailed off the anchor at about 8:30 in light winds. In fact as the winds fluctuated and lulled it became quite frustrating as it would leave us with sails flapping, and I cursed the wind gods. Fortunately after about an hour the wind picked up to about 10 knots and the clouds slowly cleared. This had us sailing north at about 3.5 to 4 knots, not very fast but very pleasant and at around 3pm we came around the west side of the Low Isles in bright sunshine. This was good timing as the large day-trip tour boats were just leaving. The Low Isles are made up a mangrove wooded flat island and also a picture perfect coral quay complete with idyllic red and white lighthouse. The ... read more
Naomi reads up on the Low Isles
On Low Isle
On Woody Isle

Oceania » Australia » Queensland October 17th 2013

Wednesday we were all set to leave Cairns with a perfect 10-15 knots from the south east predicted. It was a damp morning but the light SE breeze was there as we lifted anchor and headed up to Marlin Marina fuel wharf to top up the tanks. We arrived early so topped up the water tanks too and moved again to the one fuel line when the pilot boat that had just filled up moved on. Apparently the marina is state run and for this reason they charge a mooring fee when you tie up to collect fuel! This is unusual and pretty unfair if you're already paying them for a marina berth at the same time. Also unusual is that the fuel comes from a private company and they do not add on the road ... read more
Leaving Trinity Inlet
relaxing next to Double Island

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns October 15th 2013

The travel lift came early thursday morning so I dashed down to slap a second coat of antifoul on the patches revealed when we had the stands moved the day before and Naomi rushed down to the local butcher to pick up our order of vacuum packed and frozen meats. The boat went into the water and we tied a rope to the aft sling to keep it taught as it passed under the hull to avoid snagging on our wire between the keel box and rudder. As the end was near to coming out the other side, the boat was being pulled sideways and then suddenly released as the rope went slack... and then I pulled up the snapped end... not sure what it caught on, hopefully no damage done. Not had the nerve to ... read more
getting lifted
Smith Creek near the mangroves

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns » Cairns City October 8th 2013

We and Luna Ray are still poled up in the sky at Cairns Sailing Squadron boat yard. We have fallen into a routine for getting work done on the boat. We wake around 7 am, usually to the unsettling tremors that's made by passing trucks. Breakfast is usually followed by me doing some work like sanding or some activity that we all do to tire Alex out. This could be a walk through the dusty industrial estate to a shop for supplies, or maybe we will take the dinghy up the river to Marlin Marina and visit the Lagoon. During our stay we put our new dinghy wheels on, and with the dinghy back in the water I paddled over to meet Naomi and Alex who were getting on at the pontoon. As Naomi was reaching ... read more
at the lagoon
Naomi almost finishing one coat
Life on poles

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns » Cairns City September 30th 2013

We spent a three nights at Marlin Marina, Cairns. Before we left we had a day with Naomi's parents and visited a dam up in the hills where we had a BBQ lunch next to a small playground for Alex, all overlooking the lake. Then moved on to Crystal Cascades for a planned swim but the area we chose was rocky, making it tricky to take Alex in for a paddle. We were running out of time so didn't have time to find a better swim hole and actually see the cascades. After a stop at Whitworths - bought an anchor for the dinghy - we went back to the boat for dinner. Tested the VHF radio and it seems to work fine now.... weird. The previous night Don and I had played with the hydraulics ... read more
leaving Mission Bay
On way to Norship - Trinity Inlet

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns » Cairns City September 22nd 2013

Sunday, we left Horseshoe Bay around 7 am, and pointed straight towards to west side of Great Palm Island. We motor-sailed most of the way. There were a couple of periods where we switched the engine off but these only last 30-60 minutes before the wind dropped out. But with flat water and sunny skies it was a pleasant and relaxing passage.... maybe too relaxing as shortly after I had been on deck changing around the washing to dry, another boat passed us going the other way missing only by about 10 metres! The other helmsman was looking relaxed too as he was laid back on a hammock strung between his mast and front stay. As we came close to Great Palm the wind picked up but it was right on the nose from the northwest. ... read more
Naomi hooning around Juno Bay
coming into Zoe Bay
the waterfall & swimming hole

Oceania » Australia September 14th 2013

We left Townsville Breakwater Marina around midday Monday. But not before paying a visit to our friends Pippa & John (and kids Charlotte & Banjo) on their 44 ft Kelly-Peterson yacht which they had just bought only last week. They were berthed at the Yacht Club on Ross Creek - it was good to catch up and check out their new vessel. I had bit the bullet and said goodbye to the old outboard - leaving it in the "for free" area by the bins. Its 19 years old, with oil leaking out of it, and some barnacle pieces still attached - I left the manual and a little note of what was wrong with it and when we got back to the marina it was gone. Dropped off the keys, topped up the water tanks, ... read more
Horseshoe Bay
Alex secretly eating the last muffin
Naomi & Alex at Horseshoe Bay

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Townsville September 8th 2013

We had an uneventful night at Cape Cleveland, which was about a week ago now. We were keen to visit the beach at the tip of the cape and the lighthouse there but not to battle the mile long trip in the dinghy into a headwind. So we left early while the winds blew from the south, and things were going well until about half way when the engine started missing a couple beats. Naomi looked back at the motor with some concern so I tried to reassure her it was just a blip. Soon after, the engine came to an abrupt stop and the dinghy drifted to a halt. Some tinkering with the engine and vigorous tugging of the pull cord would not bring it back to life, so I took to rowing. First back ... read more
who's this cool dude?
Townsville coming into view
Following the bi-plane into the marina

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Townsville August 30th 2013

After a mildly rolly night, our usual beach visit, we sailed west across the bay to toward Gloucester Passage. This channel can be shallow and is marked with buoys, seems ages since we've had to use these. As we entered, we joined the queue of other boats heading to Shag Islet, the current was now building in our favour. An interesting sail as you have to come close the steep rocky ramparts of Gloucester Island which could potentially steal our wind while we navigate the tight course amongst the strong current. The most challenging part being right in front of the hundreds of boats in front of Montes resort, but with a reduction of jib, a huge over-steer after a gybe to counteract the current pushing us now sideways and the wind now more easterly we ... read more
Rock seats at Little Jonah Bay
Shag Islet anchorage
Shaggers on Shag Islet

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