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August 22nd 2013
Published: August 22nd 2013
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James Tobin and camera crew on leftJames Tobin and camera crew on leftJames Tobin and camera crew on left

Airlie Beach in background
We decided to stay in Airlie Beach for the rest of the weekend to see the remainder of the Reef Festival as more "family fun" was promised. Before we left for land on Sunday I noticed that on the Sunrise breakfast show James Tobin was doing the weather report from the back of jet-ski in Airlie Beach, had look out the companionway and saw him far across the bay! Watched him and his crew come back into the anchorage and the next report was done right near our boat... so close we could hear them warning him when he was due on but the camera angle was wrong for Luna Ray to be in the background.

We landed the dinghy again near the lagoon and went down to the foreshore where they had a range of things going on such as face-painting, treasure hunt, sack races, slushy eating contests, donut eating contests (I thought this would be my forte but only kids were allowed to enter).

After the upset of loosing Alex the day before, Naomi was worried she might become a paranoid mother but obviously not as we lost him again! We let him loose on one of
Recyclable Boat race Recyclable Boat race Recyclable Boat race

Airlie Beach Lagoon
the few things Alex could enjoy, some baby climbing toys, and he was out sight for about 10 seconds and then gone! We both set off searching but he was delivered to the compares and announced over the PA system.

Kebabs for lunch and then down to the lagoon. I had a little nap while Naomi took Alex for a paddle, before they held the Recyclable Boat race. Contestants are supposed to build rafts/boats out of junk/rubbish and race across the lagoon... though one was just an inflatable dinghy with a sheet over it.

We were set to leave Monday but our little inverter died and as both my lap-top and camera battery were flat, it became a shopping day. With the dinghy loaded up with the pram we motored west passed the marina and landed on a small beach next to a boat ramp I had seen on the map. From here started the 2.8 km walk to Canonvale Shopping Centre which was fortunately broken up by useful shops and a little reminiscing.

We came across the shopping centre where we had made the bank transfer for buying our old boat and the
impressive climbing skills for less than 2 years oldimpressive climbing skills for less than 2 years oldimpressive climbing skills for less than 2 years old

must be from practise in the companionway
neighbouring Banjos pub where we had a celebratory drink. Also the Big 4 Holiday Park where we stayed at the time with my mother and brother. Came across a HomeBase Shop that was a chandlery and got some new rope to replace our worn furler rope but he didn't stock inverters. So onto the shopping centre and got one at Supercheap Auto - decided to upgrade to a pure sine wave and double power at 300W.

On the way back got some gasket sealant and also a couple of new BBQ covers from Bunnings that we use to cover the rubbish bin we keep at the back of the boat (makes it looks nicer and keeps in the dirty nappy smell) and some hanging hooks as a couple broke in the kitchen that hold our fresh fruit nets.

After a little kick of the ball back at the beach we had to carry the dinghy into the water as the tide was quite low still. Waves were also bigger and there were rocks to avoid. This became tricky as we loaded in the pram, shopping, child etc etc, especially when the outboard fell off its rest. As I struggled to hold the dinghy and get the engine back up before the prop got smacked, stood on an oyster shell covered rock cutting a deep flap into the sole of my foot. We came back via the marina to avoid some of the small chop.

Soaked my foot and Naomi thought there might be dirt in the wound. She was right and it wouldn't come out with cotton buds so I had to scrape the grit out with tweezers... stung a bit but seems to be healing OK now.

Tuesday 20th we left Airlie beach and headed into new territory up the coast, but we only went as far a Woodwark Bay which is about 7 miles away. I did say in the last blog that we would be reaching our most northerly point when we left Airlie beach but this was incorrect as the coast actually heads quite westward and we are still south of the Hayman Island.

Had a lovely sail close hauled in about 10 knots and came around into the large Woodwark Bay. Went to the southern beach to where I had read a set of some old TV show had been built. We arrived to find a nice looking complex of thatched buildings with big "No Trespassing" signs and sprinklers that started up just as I got close.... coincidence?.... so no snooping around an old derelict set for me! Had a little chat with a couple of other yachties on the beach but not for long as the tide was coming in, putting our dinghy afloat and making a lagoon we had to wade through to get back to it.

On Wednesday I set to taking a proper look at the raw water pump leak. With the locker emptied and a better view I could see it was the hose leading to it that was the problem. I tightened up the clamps on it and one fell off, chewed away with rust. I put on a new clamp but the pipe was not in a good way and I tried using some conforming tape for leaking pipes but it was impossible to put it on properly and dry because of the awkward place it was situated. After a painfully uncomfortable and frustrating struggle with it, I ran the engine and it still dripped... probably more than before !

I also noticed diesel dripping from the bottom of the engine... I think coming from the lift pump. Tightened up the connections to it but not sure if this has helped as I filled the locker up again before running the engine.

Not sure what to do about this leaking pipe, dripping is OK but if it bursts we cannot use the engine. If we were sensible we would go back to Airlie to sort it out...

.... the next day we continued on up the coast. Will try not use the engine much on our way to Townsville and perhaps we will have to hone our skills in sailing on and off the anchor. The sail out of the bay was slow but picked up and soon we were part of the convoy of many boats going up coast... I think most heading for the big "Shaggers" convention this weekend near Shag Islet (properly called Passage Islet). We were thinking of going along but not sure its really our scene and instead turned off early to anchor in Little Jonah Bay after four hours of easy calm cruising.

Along the way we got a call from Guy Chester who runs the Louisiades Rally. Discussed if we were able to join and the biggest stumbling block could be our HF radio as we are not sure its working. If not the entry fee of $1300 is non refundable, or you can take the extra costs of using a sat-phone (about $900)... I think this has made our minds up not to bother. I quite fancied getting up to the Torres Straights but have read getting back would be difficult so now we have our sights set on Lizard Island as our goal.

We shared the anchorage with a boat we quickly recognised from when we met the Everetts from "FlySouth" in Yeppoon. Their family used to compete with Naomi in her sabo racing days - in fact they sold her parents a dinghy 20 years ago - and we had a chat with them on their return from the beach.

Its a picturesque bay, with a collection of houses further across Edgecumbe Bay which I think is Dingo Beach, and relaxed to a clear crimson sunset. Sadly TV reception is still poor so Naomi has to miss Big Brother again.... oh dear.


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