Whitsundays Part 2 – with Thackrays

We spent a fabulous 12 days with the Thackrays (Jac, Paul and Phoebe).  They arrived on Tuesday 27th September –  all very excited to be finally on the boat after so much talking about it.  We had absolutely beautiful weather and lots of laughs, lots of drinks and lots of relaxing.

  • Tuesday 27th – First night was spent in Butterfly Bay.  We all put on our stinger suits and had a snorkel.  Sadly, lots of bleached coral – but also fun and we saw quite a lot of fish.
  • Wednesday 28th – We went out to Hook Reef to see the low tide waterfall.  Was lots of fun trying (and eventually succeeding) to get the tender to go up the waterfall into the lagoon.  Snorkelling here was fabulous!
  • Thursday 29th – we took Northerly into Hamilton Island.  After a bit of a wander around the Marina,  we took a bus up to the top to a new bar for a drink with amazing views over the Whitsunday Passage.  Back to Northerly for showers then dinner at the only good Italian restaurant in Hamilton.  A fun night!
  • Friday 30th – we farewelled Mia who flew back to Sydney for rowing/study commitments, then had a drink with Katie and Mark Wilson (old friend’s of Mark’s who happened to be in the Marina on their boat).  We then headed out to Whitehaven and spent the night.
  • Sat 1st – we went to Billibob Bay.  It’s a gorgeous spot and Northerly was the only boat in the Bay.  It has a lovely sandy beach which was great for a swim.  We watched the Sydney Swans Grand Final (they lost…).  Jac collected drift wood from here to take home.
  • Sun 2nd – We cruised around the corner to stay in another bay, but changed our mind when we saw how busy it was, and went back for another night in Billibob! Watched NRL GF.
  • Mon 3rd and Tues 4th- It was pretty windy, so we went to Sawmill Bay.  Climbed to the top of Whitsunday Island.  It was a hard climb, but absolutely worth it for a stunning view!
  • Wed 5th – Went to Butterfly Bay and caught up with the Wilsons.  More snorkelling 
  • Thursday 6th – Headed up to Gloucester as we wanted to explore and see Shag Inlet.  Anchored off  Gloucester Resort (part owned by the Wilsons) and had lunch there.  A good spot for a casual lunch.
  • Fri 7th – arrived into Airlie quite early and spent several hours cleaning the boat and packing it up.  Also walked into Airlie for lunch and dinner at Salt – which was pretty good!
  • Sat 8th – Holiday over and we all flew home!!

Whitsundays Part 1

In mid September as soon as Term 3 finished, we all (plus Imi’s friend, Sophie Dudley) flew up to Proserpine then took the Shuttle Bus to Airlie Beach.  Mark had already done the provisioning, so we headed straight out on a hot day with sparkling water.   We spent 4 gorgeous days just swimming and relaxing.

Highlights were

  • The amazingly beautiful Whitehaven, with lots of turtles
  • Turtle Bay – just around the corner from Whitehaven, so quite crowded, but very pretty

We spent our last night in Airlie (having dinner at a very average Italian place….) – but good to explore the town a bit.  Airlie is a very pretty spot – clean and well maintained and with a long boardwalk around from the Marina to the centre of town – it’s a bit like Byron Bay – lots of backpackers…..

Great Keppel Island to Proserpine

Mark, Barry Cuneo, Jane, Spot and Mark Warlow had already delivered Northerly from Brisbane to Great Keppel Island – then Barry departed and Tina and Laura Warlow joined the crew for the remainder of the trip north to Airlie Beach.

We had 5 gorgeous days:

  • visited the Percy Islands and explored the “shed” full of memorabilia from visiting boats.
  • A night in Butterfly Bay
  • 2 nights out at the Hook/Bait Reef group – an amazing place with all the reef below the waterline except at low tide when a waterfall over the reef appears.  We took the tender into the lagoon for a snorkel – beautiful coral and tons of fish.
  • There were a huge number of whales – plumes everywhere.  We even saw a mother whale give birth about 100m from the boat.
  • A night in Nara Inlet

We berthed Northerly at Able Point Marina – fantastic marina with everything we could need.


May 2016 – Moreton Bay Cruising

Mark cruised Northerly from Sydney to Moreton Bay in April, and with her being berthed at RQYS, and Mia and Imi (and Ruby and Alice) off at camp, we decided to explore Moreton Bay with Rob and Sharon Bishop for a few days.  So, after Mark, Spot and Nick finished an Etchell regatta (2nd by 1 point…) at RQYS, we met them for dinner on the Monday night in the clubhouse, spent a night at the Marina, and then headed out into the Bay.

DSC_0166 DSC_0170 DSC_0172

Tuesday was spent cruising to Horseshoe Bay on Peel Island – a very pretty beach with a few dolphins and turtles swimming off it.  We had a swim off the boat and took the tender ashore for a walk at sunset.

IMG_3940 DSC_0181 DSC_0180

On Wednesday we headed to Moreton Island.  It was a stunning day with deep blue skies, sparkling turquoise water and white sand dunes on the island – none of us were really expecting it to be so lovely! There were lots of turtles and big fish jumping out of the water.  We took the tender ashore and thought we might swim – but at low tide, we all got a bit spooked by the huge number of big starfish, crabs and stingrays around, so decided against it…..

In the late afternoon, at high tide, we took the tender ashore again and climbed a big dune (exhausting) and ran down it (exhilarating)!  It was a fabulous day, topped off, as we lay on the roof in the evening watching the stars, by an enormous shooting star!



DSC_0252DSC_0232DSC_0304 DSC_0307DSC_0312 DSC_0281

On Thursday we cruised to Tangalooma and anchored nearby – the colour of the water is so gorgeous.  We had a swim in the shallows – lovely warm water with white sand – then took the tender up to the wrecks that were sunk to make a reef off the beach.

In the afternoon, we headed back to RQYS for dinner at the club and flights home on Friday.

2015/6 – Sydney Summer

Northerly’s home this summer has been Ferguson’s Marina at The Spit, Mosman.  It’s been a great location in terms of ease of access for us, plus, with Mia rowing out of The Spit, she’s spent a lot of nights aboard with her rowing mates (saving parents some early morning driving….).

We’ve had lots of fun days aboard in Sydney Harbour, including:

  • Many fabulous days with Thackray, Rossi and Bishop families (including a fun long weekend despite constant pouring rain with the Thackrays)
  • Johncox and Lennox’s for a gorgeous day swimming and lunching (later joined by Richardsons)
  • Mia and Imi brought friends out for days of sun-baking, leaping off the top deck,  swimming and general photographing of themselves….
  • Mark and I had a fun afternoon cruise with Tristan and his partner who have a very nice yacht near us at the Marina for a couple of months (Pangaea).

In January we had a couple of weeks in Pittwater – mainly around Yeomans Bay and in Smiths Creek.  The weather wasn’t too good (lots of rain), but it didn’t worry anyone.  We still used the standup paddle boards every day and had fun rafted up with the Thackrays (on Phoebe) and Bishops (on Corinthia).  We watched all the Pirates of the Caribbean movies during the rainy days, played cards and generally ate and drank too much.


One particularly fun day/night was had for Mark’s birthday – Reg and Lisa Huybers, Caz, Pip and Charlie Rossi, Bluey and Renie Chapman (and their crew), the Mochinovs, the Thackrays and others joined us aboard Northerly for lunch and dinner festivities.  One highlight of that day was a fabulous long paddle I had with Caz up Smiths Creek (which was gorgeous) and Pip jumping into the water to save his $200 sunnies – forgetting he had his new $1000 phone in his pocket and then also dropping it and smashing the screen…..

Unfortunately Mia couldn’t join us for many days due to rowing camps – but Imi was good company as always!


We, along with the Dowers, Thackrays and Bishops enjoyed a beautiful day on the Harbour (with the kids taking a side trip in the tender to the Rossis for a swim in their pool) on Australia Day!  We all sang the anthem at noon!



Over Easter, and also for a few days in early April, we again took Northerly to Pittwater.  The usual boats were there (Thackray’s, Bishop’s, Blueys).  This year Melinda and Titch Graham joined us on their cruiser as well.  We also had Rupert aboard a night after helping Mark deliver Northerly up the coast.  We had lots of laughs every day, lots of paddling, great food and a fun pizza night at KMYC.  Mia was trialing for the NSW Pathways VIII over Easter, so wasn’t with us much, but  she and Hannah Leuchars joined us for a night at the end of the trip which was great.  We met up with the RSYS cruise crews one night for a beach party  – was a fun evening despite the beach being submerged with the high tide…..


Sept-November, 2015

We spent a fun 4 days in Sydney Harbour on Northerly with the Thackray’s (Jac, Paul and Phoebe) in September.  We had terrible weather so we hunkered down in Bantry Bay and did nothing but eat, drink, play games, read and sleep.  Northerly was like a capsule none of us stepped outside as every time we considered it – it would start pouring again!

On our last night we went back to The Spit and had dinner at Chiosco (joined by Claudia).  We tried to pretend we were somewhere exotic – and I guess in a way, we were!

Mia has started rowing again in earnest – from The Spit, so she’s regularly spent Friday night since September onboard with other rowers so they can walk across to the Rowing Shed on Sat mornings.  This is a fabulous thing for the girls (who have fun getting dinner together and having a mass sleepover) as well as parents – who have 1 less morning to get up at 5am for the drive to the Shed…..  Mia’s starting to think of Northerly as her own apartment……

Return Trip From Tassie to Sydney, May 2015

In Hobart, Royce and Julian Salter gave Northerly a full brightwork upgrade…cold and rainy weather conspired to drag the job out…didn’t ultimately stop them from making her perfect.

With southerlies forecast for a week, the delivery crew; Admiral John Curry, Jane, Spot and the Captain assembled in Hobart for a final Fish Frenzy meal pre-departure June 1. Unfortunately tide timing wasn’t right to slip through the Denison Canal…figured by the time we waited we ‘d be round Tasman Island.

Heading East in a Southerly @ 43 degrees south to get around Tasman Island was, as it happened, the toughest part of the trip. Southerly swell occasionally getting steepened up with 30 + squalls had the stabilisers working overtime, the crew hanging on and anything unattached hitting the floor.



Northerly handled the conditions beautifully. Soon after we got the swell astern she got on a wave and surfed along at 16 knots, settling at the bottom without a gripe….sweet. Drinks were promptly opened as we settled in for the evening.

Cruising conditions were good, we were staying in front of some poor weather so we kept heading north, ignoring the Lure of an overnight at Wineglass Bay.

Aside from Admiral John (who’s been everywhere) we’d not been to Flinders Island. 200 miles after Tasman we passed Cape Barren Light on dawn and made our way into the passage between Cape Barren and Flinders Islands.

The entry to Lady Barron’s intimidating on the chart and would require strong nerves in more than a moderate seaway. We had perfect conditions and dropped the pick in Opossum Boat Harbour @ 9.30 am having averaged just over 9 knots.

Toured the Island – thanks to a car loan from a complete stranger, and dined at the local pub…note the poster for the Island wine – Wild, Natural & Thirsty….



Off the next morning to cross the Straight.  Had great conditions for the 190 mile run to Eden.  A  9.5 average had us abeam of Green Cape (in far better weather than on on the way south) in the early morning.  Anchored Eden with time to tour the town (Whale Museum’s a must see), reprise previous failed Hobart race hijinks at the Fishos and lunch at the Wharfside Cafe.

With perfect offshore conditions couldn’t resist continuing on in the afternoon….and with home in sight the bar remained open..


Next morning had us abeam of Ulladulla and by 4 PM, accompanied by the first whales sighted on the cruise, we steamed through the heads as the sun was setting on Friday June 5. 



Easter in Tasmania- Part 4

We had a fabulous day! We tried again for a spot at Kettering (oyster Bay Marina) and this time were successful, thank goodness. At 11am my friend Emma Snodgrass came and collected us in her ute for a day at her (parents’) farm, about a 15 min drive south. The farm is stunning- the dams and gardens have been carefully planned and sculpted, from the Norwegian pine forest to the orchards full of pears and apples and the dam that was re shaped to better fit the contours of the garden…… Emma had a friend staying (Kristy Rumble) and between them they had a large bunch of kids and kids friends. The kids had heaps of fun with activities just not possible in the city- from building big fires (and exploding marshmallows) to riding quad bikes and building a huge potato shooter……  All very dangerous and great fun!

Emma cooked up a huge feast for lunch and we sat in front of the fire all afternoon drinking way too much good wine!

On Monday, Mark and I walked to a petrol station up from the Marina to fill the tender fuel canister- buying a big box of handmade chocolates at  a great little chocolate shop we passed on the way – you never know what you’ll find…..

We all had a quick, but good, lunch at the Kettering Hotel- then Emma, Kristy and the kids arrived for an afternoon cruise. It was a gorgeous day and we were hoping to spot dolphins- but unfortunately they were all hiding somewhere! But we sat on the Flybridge wrapped in blankets and cruised to Adventure Bay and had a really nice afternoon with the kids playing cards and steering the boat.


On Wednesday morning we set off to explore Bruny a bit, so we headed back to Barnes Bay. Mia, imi and I decided to go for a walk and took the tender to a jetty, tied up and set off- until we realised it was a jetty for a private house.. Oops….  We found a great shell next to the jetty though, which we put in the tender- unfortunately we forget to remove the largish crab first- which came out as we were motoring back to Northerly and caused lots of screaming until we could get it out…..

The oysters on the rocks are enormous- too bad none of us like to eat them…..

for lunch we took the tender into Sykes Cove, headed for the Bruny Island Smokehouse. We had to take off our shoes and wade in because there was no jetty, then climb a barbed wire fence to get to the road to walk about a km to the Smokehouse. The restaurant had a lovely view, but food was average and very expensive….. The highlight of the day was the hilarious sheep we passed on the way- it was so excited to see us it was bounding beside us like a puppy- I’ve never seen a sheep behave like that- we wanted to take it home!

We had a really good dinner- Tasmanian steaks, potato-bake and a salad, washed down with a Tassie chardy – aboard. And,  I must admit that we’re liking having a TV aboard- it’s nice to watch a movie after dinner…….

Our last morning was another gorgeous day- we’re all sad to be leaving Barnes Bay and heading back to Hobart!


Easter in Tasmania- Part 3


We arrived in Southport at lunchtime on Friday, dropping the anchor at Deep Hole – a gorgeous spot. We were the only boat. There’s a pretty little island with a lagoon beach nearby, and the beach at Deep Hole is long and has white sand. There’s an old railway line (the most southern railway in Australia) – now used for tourists only. We didn’t go ashore there, but it looked really pretty. It was a sparkling beautiful day and we wish it was warm enough for swimming…..

We launched the tender and went across the bay to the jetty at a Southport. It’s a long jetty for a pretty much non existent place – just a few houses from what we could see. I’d read about the Southport Hotel and Caravan Park serving lunch, so we walked about 750m up the road through rural fields of cows to get there. It’s fair to say we had very low expectations…  But as it turned out, we had a great lunch of fish and chips and burgers in Australia’s most southerly pub (of course, Mark bought the relevant stubby cooler for the collection aboard Northerly)…. It was lots of fun!

Back aboard, we cruised around to Esperance- and dropped anchor across from the town of Dover. Again, we were the only boat – although there were quite a few fish farms. A gorgeous backdrop of mountains behind the beach. Having had a fun lunch ashore in Southport, we decided to see what Dover had to offer. So, we took the tender to a jetty – there were a couple to choose from, but we tied up to the one closest to the point.

Dover’s a much bigger town than Southport – it even has an RSL. We walked up the hill about 10 mins to a place we’d researched online as having good wood fired pizza. It was a great spot- very quirky in that it’s a Post Office by day and pizza restaurant at night. But the food was great, as was the friendly staff! A scallop pizza was a new concept- but delicious….!



The trip back to the boat was very dark (and cold) but we had lots of laughs and loved looking at the incredibly bright stars above.

We were a bit late getting up on Sat morning, but eventually got moving towards Cygnet. We anchored just before the Cygnet sailing club and tied the tender up at the sailing club jetty. Cygnet is a really pretty, well maintained  little town. We walked about a km to town past some clearly well tended gardens as well as some abandoned industrial buildings such as a cannery.  We ate lunch at Lotus Eaters- a really good spot serving local produce- the cauliflower and blue cheese tart (with a mountain of salad) was delicious…..


We’ve realised that regular onshore trips to explore is the key to keeping the trip fun for Mia and Imi (given they can’t swim)- so we’ve been doing lots of this and it’s been great to explore the little towns and meet locals.

Our plan on Sat afternoon was to try for a spot at Kettering Marina. We couldn’t book a berth, but we’d been told just to try our luck for a spare spot on the outer arm. Unfortunately no spot was available, so we set off at dusk for Lodge Bay (off Bruny Island). It was a bit hairy getting there in the dark because there are lots of unmarked moorings, plus it started pouring (more like sleeting) with fog and 30 knots of wind…. And I had to stand on the bow with the spotlight and get the anchor down……. Needless to say, I was very wet and cold….. But nothing a few glasses of red couldn’t fix!


Easter in Tasmania- Part 2

On Wednesday we left Kermandie (in convoy with Corinthia) and headed back down the Huon, towards Recerche Bay.  The weather was gorgeous- blue skies and seas were flat- except the very last bit where we facing directly into the Southern Ocean. Mark thought he hooked onto a fish, but sadly it was just kelp…..

Recerche Bay is absolutely gorgeous- long white sandy beach- with a few beach shacks scattered around. On Thursday morning we hiked around to Fishers Point- a couple of hours walk around the foreshore. Lots of white sandy beaches, rocky headlands, driftwood, rocks covered in lichen, clear blue skies,- we could see all the mountains clearly in the distance- and some convict ruins of the old pilot house at the end.







The last few days we’d been trying to catch lobsters as the Bishops had a lobster pot- with no success. But this morning we think they had one, and it was stolen by some bastard fishermen who were hanging around the pot and happened to have 3 lobsters…. Very annoying!

The Bishops headed back for Hobart and we spent a lazy afternoon and night hanging in Recerche Bay before heading off on Friday for Southport.