Paul and I were very kindly asked by Pete and Sarah to present at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron to their cruising members about provisioning for cruising.
After six months of living on board where we've provisioned for charters and for ourselves for extended passages offshore we probably have a few tips to share. If you're interested to see our presentation and also a few favourite recipes from Pilgrim you can click on the links below:
On 25th September 2015 - Pete and Sarah joined us at Keppel Bay Marina, Rosslyn Bay for the journey south to Sydney. A trip to Rosslyn Bay is not complete without a trip to the Fishermans Market or the Capricornia Cruising Yacht Club
First stop, when the wind eased, was Great Keppel Island where we showed Sa & Pete the cruising way with sundowners on the beach with all the other cruising sailors.
After that we were heading for the reef - after lots of local advice we settled on North West Island for our first reef experience (on this leg of the trip) and it didn't let us down. On the sail from Great Keppel to North West Island we were blessed with heaps of sea-pets to keep us company - whales, dolphins and a shark. With the recent siting of the shark our senses were heightened and when we arrived at North West Island desperate for a swim in the clear blue waters we paused to identify some unknown creatures in the water which looked scarely close to the fins of sharks, but they weren't moving in quite the right way. We paused for lunch to assess the situation and finally figured out they were manta rays. Suddenly everyone wanted to jump in again!
We went for a budgie ride to get to the reef and then went for a snorkel in. Pete was lucky enough to swim with the manta rays a little bit later. All very special.
We settled in for the night enjoying celebratory champagne for arriving in paradise with a spectacular sunset followed by a full moon rise. Perfection - with very few boats around us.
The next day we left for Fitzroy Reef and went via Heron Island and Wistari Reef. There was a nice wide channel between the two with incredible green waters showing us where the reef was. Again dolphins and whales to great our arrival at Fitzroy Reef.
The channel to get into the lagoon was terrifyingly narrow with a strong current but very deep so we were all stationed to a position - bow and at the shrouds - to assist Paul in the navigation of the channel. We could all breathe again once we'd anchored clear of bommies and could see the anchor on the bottom in 9m of water. Incredible.
Lunch then a snorkel was the plan, which wasn't as successful as we'd hoped - suffice to say our trip to Fitzroy Reef was cut short with a little accident which required Paul to get medical assistance. Crew stepped into action promptly and in text book fashion with the medical kit followed by a pan pan.
Thankfully we were assisted by an incredible boat called "Hooked on Two" from Hooked on 1770 Fishing Charters who came to our assistance and took Paul to 1770 for onward transfer to Bundaberg Hospital.
Pete, Sarah and I sailed the boat overnight to Bundaberg where we caught up with Paul - who seemed very happy to be surrounded by attentive nurses!
After 24 hours and safe in the knowledge that Paul was being looked after in hospital we continue the journey south to make the tide window to go through the Great Sandy Strait. The plan was for Paul to meet us in Southport of Tin Can Bay.
We stopped the night at Kingfisher Resort before embarking on the 3.5 hour trip through the shallow and very shallow waters of the inside passage. A nerve-wracking experience but after 3 touches we were safely through and quickly made the call that we were NOT crossing Wide Bay Bar without Paul, especially as on the outside strong winds were forecast for 24 hours.
Tin Can Bay was a little piece of heaven and the yacht club seemed the right place for dinner!
The next day Paul returned to the boat with 28 stitches in this knee for day late birthday celebrations.
Thankfully the rest of the trip was less eventful - crossing Wide Bay Bar was still hair-raising but with the co-ordinates from VMR Tin Can Bay and watchful eyes on the leads, chart and the breaking waves we crossed it with no issues.
We were on a deadline to get to Coffs to avoid a strong southerly that was forecast to come in at 1pm in two days time. We smoked down the coast, surrounded by heaps of whales (one breached so close to the boat much to Sarah's delight & fright!) and arrived at 7am - right on cue at 1pm with tripled up mooring lines we watched Pilgrim tack in the berth as 55 knots howled around us. Glad we weren't outside!!
On 9th October it was time for the penultimate trip south to Pittwater for a few days refuge before the final sail through Sydney Heads on 15th October.
What a trip!!!!
For more details on this trip you can read it on Wine Dark Sea's blog (Sarah & Pete's blog).
A thoroughly enjoyable few days with the Waplings on board Pilgrim. We packed in sailing, fishing, snorkelling, paddle boarding, relaxing, exploring, swimming into 4 days! There was plenty to keep the kids entertained and Budgie the dinghy was a hit!
Itinerary this time was:
Hamilton Island to Nara Inlet via a swim and prawn lunch at Henning Island. Nara Inlet there were paddle-board v budgie races, exploring on the beach and a new bait recipe was put to the test by the boys.
Next day we took advantage of the glorious weather and headed to Hill Inlet for the walk to the lookout before heading down to Chalkies. Lee, Sarah and the kids hung out on the beach for hours only radio-ing back for refreshments to be sent over by paddle-board as the afternoon sun started to set!
We weren't sure if Chalkies could be beaten but gave it a go the next day and headed to Whitehaven. Another success but it was time to head to Sawmill Bay for the night to allow for an easy trip the next day to Airlie Beach.
The time flew by but we squeezed plenty into the short trip...please come back again - we loved having you on board!
Horseshoe Bay - a truly perfect spot on an amazing island. Can't recommend Magnetic Island enough for a winter holiday.
Our next guests arrived for a long weekend on Pilgrim, sailing from Townsville Yacht Club to Orpheus Island Resort. We spotted our first whale of the season, discovered some beautiful new anchor spots off the beaten track, snorkelled, sailed, explored and relaxed!
With a commitment to meet the Magnetic Island Race Week organisers and the local press we had no time to waste on our trip up to Townsville. With stops only at Woodwark Bay (again), Gloucester Island, Cape Upstart we arrived with a couple of days up our sleeve to explore Magnetic Island. What a heavenly place it is. More photos when we have more time here....maybe next winter...stay tuned?!?!
A great little spot 6 miles north of Airlie Beach is the exclusive resort of Woodwark Bay. It has a lovely little beach with a creek which treated us with our second mud crab. A little nerve-wracking when we find out after exploring in the creek that it's home to a croc!
During June we've been exploring the Whitsundays - unfortunately a bit of rain and strong winds means we've been staying mainly on the western side of Whitsunday and Hook Islands - with our favourite anchorage being Sawmill Bay with great sunsets and rainbows.
Another glorious spot - can't believe the resort isn't in operation. It's a beautiful island with great opportunities but seems it has been closed for several years. Well worth a visit if it ever re-opens or if you're sailing by!
Another new anchorage for us and again well worth checking out and "respectfully ignoring" the charts depth of 1.1m!!
The second fishing success....a 1 metre spotted mackerel. All a bit exciting as it was caught in Budgie (the dinghy) - not much room for us once the fish had made an appearance!
Our blog not only shares what we're up to on Pilgrim but also hopes to entice you to join us in some of our sailing adventures
GET IN TOUCH if you want to jump on board and be part of the adventure!
Contact us to find out what's coming up.