Sunday, 30 December 2012

NZ visit for crew of Tiare Taporo III

Hi,
We left Cairns on a direct flight for Auckland on Dec. 13th. Jim was entertained for the first part of the flight by recognising landmarks and anchorages that we had sailed past or anchored at on the passage north to Cairns. Otherwise an uneventful flight and we landed on schedule at 2025. Suddenly we had "lost" 3 hours! Tracie and Pritika very kindly met us and we gave a lift to the Shore to Tania who is also off a boat here in Bluewater and she and her boyfriend had given us a lift to Cairns Airport earlier.
Next morning Jim was picked up at 0550 (0250 to us!!) by a shuttle and it was only thanks to Tracie who woke us up just in time that he made it. 15 minutes from falling out of bed to sitting bleary eyed in the shuttle. 1000 arrival in Christchurch and met by Jon, Charlotte's husband. Charlotte was in Wellington on business so Jon dropped Jim off at home and went back to work. Jim was kept busy cleaning up the breakfast detritus in the kitchen and going to the supermarket for some essential provisions. Lucia and Elsie were dropped off at 4 from preschool and Chris, a lovely Scottish lady who lives down the road, was on hand for the children until Jon arrived home a short time later. Soon Charlotte was home too and it was a rare treat to be with them in their normal family environment. The sad thing was that Jean would have loved to have been there too but, because of our short overall time in NZ, she felt she needed to spend time with her sister, Heather and organising the next phases of her recovery.
Lucia will be 5 in March and Elsie has just turned 2 and they are delightful. Elsie doesn't like making a mess and on the rare occasions that she might spill a little food on the table she looks very gravely at it and then says "Uh Oh" and then says with great feeling, "Bugger"!!!! They are a source of constant amusement - except when Lucia won't go to bed and things can then get a little fraught.
Next day it was off to Playschool Christmas Party and there were carols and Santa and lots of lovely cherrios. We took Jim's Kranskys which he'd thought he'd have for breakfast so then had to buy some more. Santa offered Jim a job for next year and appeared very taken with his long grey hair and similarly coloured beard, but Jim was relieved to be able to gracefully decline as hopefully next Christmas we'll be in Malaysia! Most of the time was spent at home with Charlotte, Jon and the children - then Jon had to go to Auckland for a staff Christmas function. Jim took Lucia to Santa's Grotto and Lucia amused herself by going around the exhibits at twice the speed of poor old Poppa Jim. We also went to a farmer's market in the Riccarton Gardens where we bought some Christmas goodies and had a wonderful walk in what is one of the last remnants of Kahikatea Forest which once covered the Canterbury Plains. It was a block purchased and preserved by one of Christchurch's early settler families in the late 1800's and is a great asset for Christchurch. Jim kept looking at the many mature Kahikatea and thinking how good they'd be for boatbuilding!!
Then all too soon it was time to say goodbye for another year but there are lots of photos to treasure.
On the 17th., courtesy of Perry (Jean's son), we drove to Whangarei in his black 4WD. We had the usual very pleasant time staying with Hamish and Sara (who had been over here not long before) and met up with as many old friends as we could manage in the short time in between doctors appointments, blood tests, a mole biopsy for Jean and an examination of our storage unit which appears to be all OK. Andrew Miller, our doctor greeted us across the waiting room with something like "here are the ocean wanderers back again!" and we might have responded with something like "patients from hell!". Haven't had the results just yet but hopefully not anticipating any issues - Jim's blood pressure was good. Then lunch with Richard and Pauline and it was lovely to have a good discussion about global financial matters and enjoy their erudite company. We also managed to visit Robyn on "Special Edition" and Noel and Litara on "Sina" at the Town Basin. And Elizabeth Hansen, another of the Kaiwaka/Mangawhai cousins! All too short. Robyn had sailed earlier in the year from NZ to Cairns (before we arrived there) and then half way through Indonesia on another yacht before flying home. Once again after a very pleasant stay it was all too soon to say goodbye again and on the 20th. we returned to Auckland. Before leaving we paid another visit to Noel and Litara and the obligatory cheek was exchanged between the old sparring partners, Jean and Noel. Noel was particularly interested to see how far up Jean's legs the suntan extended and was suitably impressed! 'Nuff said on that subject! Noel had injured his foot a couple of days before and Jean offered to bring an axe! At least she didn't tell him to F....off again!
Then it was finally off to Auckland via Mangawhai to visit Jane (Jean's cousin) and her husband Roy Vaughn. Roy is an author and an ex merchant navy officer so there are always many interesting stories to hear.
Once more back in Auckland, but no relaxing. We visited Jim's other daughters, Rozanne and Amanda. Rozanne has a senior teaching administrative position at St. Cuthberts College and also has another delightful grandchild for Poppa Jim - this time a boy called Harry. Such a good no-nonsense name - we approve. Harry is 2 and is a most sociable and friendly and photogenic little chap. Rozanne is just finishing her thesis for her Master of Education (35,000 words) and has not only held down a demanding fulltime job but also has her son Harry to look after along with her partner Chris who also has a fulltime teaching job. So, busy busy busy and Rozanne described the year just passed as "hideously difficult". Amanda is loving her job as a registered midwife and is working all hours available. Even Christmas day - still, don't suppose babies are all that considerate when deciding when to arrive.
We feel so proud of all of them - and Perry and Tracie - for what they have achieved during their lives so far. We don't appear to be contributing much lately with all this swanning about the oceans but we have our own challenges to meet which can be mentally and physically demanding, to say the least. So, in our own way we are all confronting life head on. In our case though we have some time off from time to time when we get into a marina and lose our sealegs.
Jean meanwhile had caught up with Jenny Hastie (another cousin) in Waipu and it was great to see Debbie, Margaret, Kate, Roy and Jeff and families - and another old friend in Takapuna, Steve Collie of Atlas Concrete. We also caught up with Alec (Jim's brother) and Linda who has been very unwell with three operations in recent times. We wish that she can now make a lasting and speedy recovery. Another visit squeezed in was to John (Jim's antique dealer cousin) and his partner, Garry. Always great to see them and to catch up with family news. So, all told a most satisfactory visit, not to mention our two Christmas dinners. One on the 23rd. with Tracie's family at Pukekohe and then on Christmas Day at Perry and Tracie's. Perry had been given an electronic game where you stand in front of a flat screen TV and very realistically pretend to be playing table tennis, beach volleyball, etc. Lots of fun. Kagan (Jean's nephew) called in and it was a poignant visit for Jean given Kagan's precarious health. Pritika and Heather were there as well as Tracie's parents, Lorraine and her stepdad, Alan.
The only jarring note happened when we arrived at Auckland Airport for our return (via Brisbane) on the 27th. We had carefully packed various items we had purchased in 3 small cartons and were well under our overall weight limit. However, on arrival, we were told that we could only have 2 check-in items and any more would cost us at least $75 ea.!!
So, there we were on our hands and knees in the departure area taping 2 of the boxes together but then an officious Air NZ woman told us we couldn't get away with merely joining 2 together to defeat their financial rapaciousness. We stood our ground and the encounter was quite aggressive and if it hadn't been for a more friendly European check-in lady it might have ended in fisticuffs. We'd have to say that the (mainly) Polynesian staff were very unpleasant and all this coupled with the absolutely chaotic lack of queuing for checkout at these ridiculous kiosks made for a most unpleasant experience. We were on Virgin Australia tickets (codeshared with Air NZ) and when we again checked our baggage in at Brisbane for Cairns with Virgin the difference was as chalk and cheese. The Air NZ attitude was surly to say the least and we will never fly with them again. We are totally against the proposed state asset sales, but the exception is Air NZ and the sooner it goes the better - maybe the Chinese will run it with a modicum of service? And hopefully can the nonsensical black colour scheme. There's too much black in Godszone; the whole place looks like a funeral about to happen.
Well, on that cheery note we will love and leave you - not before time we hear you say!
We hope that 2013 will be all that you would wish for you and yours,
With lots of love
Jim and Jean xoxoxo

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Sunday, 9 December 2012

Seasons greetings from Tiare Taporo III

To all our family and friends (cruising and otherwise!!) - we wish you all the very best for a very happy Christmas and may the New Year bring you everything you would wish.
We'll be in New Zealand over the next 2 weeks and hopefully will see as many as possible during that time. Otherwise during our cruising travels over the next year we hope to renew acquaintance.
With very best wishes
Jim and Jean (Gina)
s.v. Tiare Taporo III
Bluewater Marina
Trinity Park
Cairns
Queensland
Australia
www.tiaretaporo3.blogspot.com

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Sunday, 2 December 2012

Visits from afar

November has been a busy month. We had Sara and Hamish earlier in the month (see our earlier blog) and then Jean's son Perry and his girlfriend Tracie over the weekend of the 23rd. - 25th. It was great to see them. Tracie had flown in ahead of Perry so we met her in town for lunch and then had a swim in the Cairns municipal pool right on the waterfront. A very impressive development (Airlie Beach has a similar one too) and obviously very popular with locals. Sure beats swimming with the marine stingers and crocodiles!! Tracie was staying at her friend's place and had ridden her pushbike about 6 kms into town. Our method of transport was much more staid - Sunbus!!
That was all very good and then, after Perry had flown in from SE Asia (via Sydney!!), they came aboard on Thursday afternoon. High tide was at 1739 so the plan was to leave an hour before which we did. We negotiated the "great grey green greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever trees" and headed off for Fitzroy Island. We arrived after dark but no problem in finding a good anchorage and we settled down for a quiet night.
Next day we all went ashore where Perry and Tracie had booked a beachside cabin. They checked in and then Tracie's friend Jude arrived from Cairns on the ferry. They all stayed in the cabin which had 2 bedrooms and was quite luxurious and Perry and Jean cooked a BBQ meal on a nearby electric BBQ which we all enjoyed together with copious quantities of red wine back in the cabin. It was Perry's birthday in a week's time and we had brought a Tiramisu cake with us to mark the occasion. A spirited discussion about so-called indigenous people took place at one point (!) and then we took our leave and repaired to the boat for the night. Fortunately we'd remembered to leave the anchor light on so navigation was relatively easy!
The next morning we came ashore and had a very pleasant breakfast in the resort restaurant (courtesy of Perry) before finally all going back aboard for the passage back to Bluewater (Cairns). We needed to ensure that our arrival coincided with high tide (about 1800). We had decided to sail if conditions allowed and so very soon after raising the anchor we turned off the iron sail and abandoned ourselves to the elements. There was very little wind for a while and we were beginning to think that the iron sail might have to be resurrected when the wind slowly started to increase. We finished up having a spirited sail during which the skipper attended to navigation and tactics (very demanding!!) and Jean kept the "kids" supplied with snacks and drinks from the galley!
By great good fortune 6 - 7 hours later we managed to arrive off the leading beacons at Yorkeys Knob almost spot on as time went. Everyone thought it was the skipper's good management and skill (!) and who was he to disabuse them! We entered the Limpopo once more searching for the elusive crocodile but still have not managed to see him - or her. All very tired and a little sun burnt but very happy after a wonderful few days out on the boat. It was one of those times where everything went to plan absolutely flawlessly but in no small measure due to Jean's planning and execution in the food and accommodation departments.
After we had berthed Perry, Tracie and Jude left for Jude's place from where they were both flying out the next day - Perry to Melbourne and Tracie back to Auckland.
The biggest news since then is that we have acquired a portable air conditioner and the boat is now at a habitable temperature - about 25C. Outside these days it is commonly in the low 30's. We had our first major expedition on our bikes the other day - we rode over to Trinity Beach (about 6 kms.) and had breakfast on the beach. A lovely day and a beautiful beach - just such a shame that one cannot swim due to stingers and the possibility of crocodiles. One was seen off there just a few weeks ago. The only fly in the ointment was the seat on Jim's bike which is an instrument of torture!! We have since obtained another with more padding but haven't given it an extensive test yet.
We are looking forward to our visit to NZ coming up in 10 day's time. A brief itinerary: we arrive at 2025 on Dec. 12th. (staying with Perry and Tracie at Milford), then Jim flies to Christchurch to see Charlotte, Jon, Lucia and Elsie the next morning. He's back from Chch on the 16th. and then the next day we are both driving to Whangarei and staying with Sara and Hamish. Various things to do there including inspecting our storage unit and doctor appointments and then back to Auckland by the 21st. after visiting Roy and Jane at Mangawhai and Jean's brother Keith (and Eileen) where they are managing a large farm (ex Izard's) just south of Wellsford. Then some days in Auckland to catch up further with Jim's other 2 daughters (Amanda and Rozanne) and his grandson, Harry and brother Alec and his wife, Linda. Then sadly we depart for Cairns (via Brisbane) on the 27th. Hopefully after all this time in the tropics our blood won't be too thin and we can stand the cold.
Jean will be spending a fair bit of time with her sister, Heather.
Stay tuned to this website - www.tiaretaporo3.blogspot.com
With lots of love from us,
Jean and Jim

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Thursday, 15 November 2012

More news from Cairns

Since our last blog over a month ago we have been out to Fitzroy again, had the pleasure of the visit of Hamish and Sara (from Whangarei) and experienced the wonder of the total solar eclipse on Nov. 14th.
We had a good sail out to Fitzroy beating all the way against the perpetual SE, but we had all day as we had left Bluewater earlyish as the tide was around 8 am. So we decided for once to sail come what may, with 5 tacks to get there. On the way we went close to Green Is. which is a tourist destination out near the Barrier Reef. We spent 3 days out there during which we went ashore and alternately swam or sat on the beach or visited the local bar for Happy Hour! Such a decadent lifestyle.
Since we came back we have bought 2 push bikes (near new), but cheap basic bikes which we can ride locally. Jim to the local pool for some much needed swimming exercise and Jean to the local gym. Also the local beaches just to the north of us - Trinity, Palm Cove and Kewarra.
Then Hamish and Sara visited a few days ago having driven their camper van from a wedding they attended on the Sunshine Coast. They've had an extensive trip with visits to friends and relatives from Gladstone to inland NSW. We had wanted to take them out to Fitzroy but the weather wasn't friendly with the usual high winds. One day they took us up to Port Douglas which is a highly "touristified" coastal town about 40 miles north of Cairns. We must be getting very jaded as regards the tourist circuit because it immediately turns us off - probably because during our travels we've seen such remote places and suddenly getting on the tourist trail is such a contrast.
Another day we went with Hamish and Sara on the train to Kuranda up on the tablelands inland from Cairns. This is a very historic railway which was constructed in the late 1880's as access from Cairns to the inland goldfields. It was an engineering feat similar to the Spiral in the central north island in NZ but on a larger scale. Many workers died during the construction process from accident or illness. The train itself is a wonderfully refurbished collection of old carriages, although disappointingly pulled by 2 diesel electric locomotives - each 1,000 h.p. A very scenic trip with precipitous dropoffs very close to the edge of the track.
Kuranda itself is very leafy and pretty and elevated some 300 metres above sea level. However, again full of tourists with indifferent food at outrageous prices. We returned on what they call Skyrail but it is really a series of gondolas suspended by cable high above the rain forest canopy. There are two stops on the way down to view the scenery and to enjoy some brief walks through the rain forest on very well built and maintained board walks. Jim, being somewhat indifferent to heights, was a little apprehensive but by sitting facing aft the dizzying and swooping rises and falls were a little more muted and now he could face it with aplomb!! All very dramatic and really spectacular scenery.
Then on the 14th. a highlight - the total 100% solar eclipse. 70 kms. each side of Cairns and extending in a path NW to the Gulf of Carpentaria provided the only place in the world where the eclipse was 100% so very special. We didn't know how best to view the eclipse - we'd thought about going out on the boat but as the eclipse was occurring at about 6.30 am we would have had to go out the night before to get out on the high tide. But there was a gale warning in force (!) so we decided to view it from the local beach. Accordingly we set out at 0445 and by torchlight found our way down to the beach. More and more people arrived as the time drew nearer but unfortunately a black cloud sat very annoyingly over the sun just as the 2 minute eclipse was happening. However, we experienced daylight from first light at 0510 and then had the rare experience of near darkness as the eclipse passed. During the eclipse the light level would have been equivalent to full moonlight. We think eerie is the best word to describe it and as it will be some 400 years before this event occurs again in this part of the world we consider ourselves to have been very privileged to have experienced such a rare and spectacular event. Hamish and Sara were fortunate that they were flying back home later the same day so they were able to also witness the event.
Next happening is the visit next week of Jean's son Perry and his girlfriend Tracie. Hopefully the weather will be a little more kind and our plans for Fitzroy will eventuate.
More from us later..............
P.S. Stop press news - we are paying a quick visit to NZ for a fortnight from mid December so we hope to see many of you during that time.

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Friday, 19 October 2012

Cruising musings

Well, we left Bluewater last Sunday and it is now Friday. We don't seem to have achieved anything much due to this pesky weather which is unrelenting. Apart from yesterday when we made an abortive attempt to leave for Fitzroy, we've been in the Trinity Inlet - mostly well up the inlet where it's quieter and a little more sheltered. On Wed. night we anchored off Cairns CBD with the intention of going ashore there but we felt anxious about the security of the boat anchored in a very strong tidal stream with poor holding. We then left on Thurs. morning but had only gone about halfway out along the channel when we were getting winds of 25 knots (more than 50 kms.) and more so, although we could have made Fitzroy easily, albeit uncomfortably, we started wondering how the anchorage would be for rolling. It's typical of most of the anchorages on this coast - all the way down to Bundaberg - where they appear to be sheltered from the SE, but often the swell rolls around whatever point is sheltering the anchorage and causes an unpleasant roll. So, we turned around and came back up the inlet where we'd been before and wondered what to do next. On the way we explored Smiths Creek where the Cairns Cruising Yacht Squadron is and where we will probably haul out next March. All good to reconnoitre in advance.
Up here is the most sheltered but you can't go ashore because of really thick mangroves, and anyway there's the crocs!! You don't leave the dinghy in the water overnight because there's a good chance that it will be partially or totally destroyed by morning. Crocs also have a love hate relationship with outboard motors where they will come up astern as you are motoring along and attack the outboard. Must give them somewhat of a toothache but who needs that? So we haven't been off the boat for almost a week and getting fairly bored. If it wasn't for the stock of good books we have on board we'd be quite stir crazy by now and probably picking spots of light off the ceiling!! One book deserves a mention - it's a biography of H.G. Wells and a fascinating read. If you get a chance the name is "A Man of Parts" by David Lodge.
There's also the marine stingers whose season is just beginning. One variety in particular has the ability to be lethal. So, generally this coast is hostile and one needs to be very careful. At least it's warm, unlike NZ, although there one generally doesn't need to worry about anything except the odd short lived blow and there's always good shelter no matter what the wind strength or direction. Touch of homesickness perhaps??!!
The GRIBS show no sign of the wind letting up until the end of next week so we've decided to go back into the marina tomorrow and get on with some more worthwhile pursuits and then if conditions are more benign later we'll go out to Fitzroy then.
We heard today of a 50' Beneteau which left Lizard sometime in the last 24 hours to return down here, but after half an hour they decided conditions were too tough and turned back so it vindicates our decision not to go there until we head north next year. The problem generally is that there is nowhere to go around here in these conditions. Anchorages out on the reef are worse because there's even less shelter.
So, it means that we have to go back into the marina. It isn't possible to anchor off as the approach is completely open to the SE which makes it tricky as you need to steer a fairly precise course to avoid going aground on the sandbanks close on each side. We sometimes think we spend too much time in marinas with a consequent insidiously growing reluctance to get out and sail, but it increasingly looks as though most of our next major sailing adventures will have to wait about 5 months. In the meantime we will keep trying and no doubt there will be the odd short lived opportunity, but it looks like being land based for a while.
Cheers from us again and hoping all is well.............
Jim and Jean (Gina)
www.tiaretaporo3.blogspot.com

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Monday, 15 October 2012

Tiare Taporo III in Trinity Inlet

We are now anchored in the Trinity Inlet, Cairns - just downstream from Redbank Creek. This is a very extensive tidal inlet almost as big as Whangarei Harbour. There are thick mangroves on shore which largely preclude any chance of landing, even if one was sanguine about the crocodiles!!
We left Bluewater on Sunday and our original plan was to go north to Lizard Is. but we have flagged that plan because there is a gale warning out for most of this week and we had serious concerns about getting back against gale force SE winds. In any case we will be going there as part of our voyage next year to Darwin. So, we decided to go back to Fitzroy Is. once the winds die down and the anchorage not so rolly! In the meantime we have come into the Trinity Inlet which has the CBD of Cairns on its northern banks as you enter. It was suggested that it would be a good idea for us to come up here to get a bit of local knowledge in the event that we had to come back up here if a cyclone greater than Category 3 headed this way. Not a silly idea.
So, here we are and very glad to be in sheltered waters while the absolutely crazy winds rage. Right now it's 2000 on Monday night and the winds have died right down but during the day we have had gusts up to 28 knots so goodness knows what it's like outside. There is a strong tide running through here so at times we are held against the wind which isn't so comfortable but at least it's calm. There has been no rain and in fact continuing bright sunny weather.
We continue to meet lovely people as part of the cruising experience. The latest are Chris and Gilli from a wooden double ender called "Westwind". We have had drinks and BBQ's with them and others at Bluewater which has a great atmosphere. Chris and Gilli are leaving in a week or so on their voyage down to Tasmania to be part of the Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart in early February. We would love to be part of that and so would the "old girl" - the boat of course!! But, it's around 2,000 miles down there so would add 4,000 miles return to our already extensively planned itinerary to Singapore next year. That's 4,500 miles on its own.
Jean is cooking dinner - steamed salmon for her and roast rolled lamb noisettes for yours truly. The lamb is rolled with creamed macadamias and is absolutely delicious, courtesy of a great butcher at the Smithfield shopping centre! On that note the fresh food continues to impress. We have discovered a seafood place on the northern outskirts of Cairns which has bugs, prawns, squid and very good fresh fish of all kinds. Then there's Rusty's Market in Cairns where the array of fruit and vegetables is mind boggling and reasonably priced. Pawpaw, mangoes (just starting), citrus of all types, strawberries, avocados, pineapple, grapes, asparagus, beans, herbs, courgettes, and all manner of other greens you can imagine.
As well as that we have found a website that has great specials for wine - some as low as $4.99 per bottle. And not cheap nasty stuff. In fact we found some Grove Mill (from NZ!) Pinot Gris which was wonderful - Jean's favourite. Sadly it now seems to be out of stock - we should have bought the lot and cornered the market! If we'd sunk the boat, never mind!!
So, things aren't all bad - just the frustrations with this pesky weather which we probably still haven't come to terms with. We are looking forward greatly to the visits of Hamish and Sara (from Whangarei) and Jean's son Perry and his girlfriend, Tracie later in November. Hopefully we'll be able to take them out to the reef or Fitzroy.
More in due course as always,
Lots of love from us.........
P.S. Jean is much better although not completely back to her old self. She went to Cairns Hospital the other day for a check-up just as a precaution and all vital signs seem normal so that was re-assuring.

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Monday, 1 October 2012

Update from Bluewater - Tiare Taporo III

We are finding our stay here at Bluewater Marina to be absolutely pleasant and hassle free and a total change for the better from Yorkeys Knob. The only possible downside is the necessity for us to leave or arrive at near high tide and on a rising tide. The idea of going aground in a tidal river with the odd crocodile swimming around isn't an attractive one. We've been told that there is a 4 metre croc in the river, although we haven't made his acquaintance just yet!
We've met some very interesting people here and everyone is very friendly. Not least are Chris and Gillie on "Westwind" which was built in Tasmania of Huon Pine - a timber similar to NZ Kauri. She is another double ender about the same size as us but a foot wider. Chris, who is a boat builder, rebuilt her at Botany Bay over a period of nine years and in the process replaced at least 40% of her timber fabric. They are leaving soon for Tasmania to go to the wooden boat festival.
Made us feel we should be doing something like that as well but it's about 2,000 miles down there which would add 4,000 miles to our already long itinerary for next year which is already over 4,000 miles from Cairns to Singapore. We're wondering about whether we could visit the Kimberleys in WA (about 300 miles west of Darwin) after we leave Darwin next year for Kupang in Indonesia. Would all depend on whether Australian Customs would clear us out of Darwin and then allow us to remain in Australia for a few more days while we did that.
An invaluable (for us) aspect of our stay here is the provision of a courtesy car which is owned by a local boat broker. It's an old Corolla with signwriting all over it but it gets us around very reliably. We need to book it in advance and we can have it for up to 3 hours at a stretch. If we go to Smithfield the cost is $5 and Cairns CBD is $10. Way cheaper than the bus and so much more convenient. Especially when buzzing around the Portsmith area looking for boat things. Bit different from Jim's ancient Mercedes-Benzes but this is a different life now!!
We are well advanced with our deck re-caulking and now only have one left to do. Would have done it over the last weekend but there was the possibility of rain and we didn't want to take the risk. Instead we repaired some splits in the deck planking in the cockpit area, some of which MAY have been leaking or at least COULD have leaked in the future. By the time we get up into the monsoon rains of SE Asia we'll be as watertight as possible. The two maxims of cruising on a yacht are not to hit anything and to keep water out. So far, apart from scraping over some shoal bits once here and once in New Caledonia, we've been doing a pretty good job in those areas! We've also been doing fun things like renewing the hinges on the toilet seat and attempting to remove mould from our port water tank breather pipe!
Jim hasn't had a haircut since Airlie Beach in early June(and that was only a trim!) so is starting to look like a great mop of white hair floating about the marina. Noel and Litara, take note. Definitely not up to Noel's standard we're sure. We're thinking of starting a wig business!
Today (Mon.) was Queens Birthday in Queensland and we decided to walk up to the shops to get another Telstra voucher for our internet access. There was a bus stop right there so on a whim we decided to go a bit further north to Trinity Beach where Jim had stayed in a previous life 15 years ago! We had a very good Italian lunch along with a bottle of Australian Pinot Gris which was from the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, and surprisingly good. We had a walk along the beach which was all brown with stirred up sand from the usual strong SE wind blowing. Then eventually arrived back at Bluewater in a mellow mood!
We've been absolutely astounded at the unfolding Dotcom saga which we've been reading in the NZ Herald. We believe that law enforcement in NZ is corrupt as evidenced in all the nonsense that's been unfolding with the usual lack of accountability. Arthur Alan Thomas is a good example of Police corruption. We despair of NZ and it's future with the secret agenda of this Government. We voted for them in 2008 but by last year were already becoming very disillusioned so were pleased we had the opportunity to vote for an alternative while we were still in Noumea. Regardless of one's opinion of Dotcom, there seems little doubt that he will have to sue either the US or NZ Govts. or both in order to recover, not only damages for losses to his business, but also his legal costs. The total would be well over $2 billion and once again the NZ taxpayer will pick up the tab. Then the power generators will be sold at firesale prices because of the Maori water ownership caveat! On top of that the Kiwi dollar (and the Aussie) stay at ridiculously high levels which is ruining our export trade. In Australia's case the iron ore prices have fallen below the cost of extraction for most of the mines and this combined with the high Aussie dollar is creating an untenable situation long term. The high Australasian dollar values are a result of comparatively high interest rates available to foreign investors and also the rorts being perpetrated by the counterfeit creation of paper money by the U.S., Britain, the Eurozone and now Switzerland as well. In the meantime China is building up its reserves of gold to hitherto unprecedented levels.
Where will it all end? If you ever read the NZ Herald on-line you will see from time to time a blog on some of these subjects under the by-line of "Tiare Taporo III". It provides some mental stimulus and an outlet for the frustrations we feel.
But ultimately the best is to stay sailing and we are doing that as far as possible for now. On or about the 10th. Oct. weather permitting we will leave here for Lizard Is. (150 miles north) and then back here 3 weeks later to snug up for the cyclone season in the marina - the only cyclone rated marina in Cairns. At least while we're away from here we'll be away from internet access and thus will have an enforced absence from political commentating!!
As always watch this space and lots of love from us..........
www.tiaretaporo3.blogspot.com

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Saturday, 22 September 2012

Fitzroy Island

We finally left Yorkeys Knob Marina with great relief on the 15th. We had insisted on staying an extra week to get our "free" week which is all we've managed to retrieve from our ill fated "investment" in the Louisiades Rally. Not sure whether it was worth it as it became very unpleasant but anyway we did it and then escaped to Fitzroy which is a volcanic (high) island 18 miles from Yorkeys Knob just south of Cape Grafton which is SE from Yorkeys.
We started off at 0730 and had a good sail for about half an hour with Cairns City on our starboard hand. Then the wind dropped and headed us (how unusual!!) so we motored the rest of the way.
There is a resort there and the island is visited daily by daytrippers and tourists from Cairns. We anchored in the bay in front of the resort along with approximately 8-10 other boats. A fairly deep anchorage (about 10 metres) and beautiful clear water. We launched the dinghy and went ashore each day where we alternately went for walks or sat in the bar!! There are a few good walks through very pretty rain forest including over to Nudey Beach where another yachtie of our acquaintance claimed to have seen 6 young women in a state of considerable undress!! Unfortunately we missed the spectacle. For the most part the weather was beautiful with clear sunny days and not too hot - yet. Cool nights and one night a bit of rain which necessitated closing the fore hatch. Always exciting being awakened out of a deep slumber by the gentle patter of rain drops on one's forehead!!
All in all a very relaxing time and we met several other yachties - all Aussies. We tended to meet at the aforementioned bar at Happy Hour time. There's one thing about yachties - they always seem to manage to suss out times and places of the best prices!
We met Jonathon and Jo and another couple whose names we forget from a catamaran called "Backchat". Strange how you tend to remember boats and faces but names are very elusive. Then there were John and Nancy who are on a Leopard catamaran (which they had bought in the Carribbean a couple of years ago) called "Alana Rose". They are on their way to Darwin from where they plan to continue to the Kimberleys, WA and then across the Great Australian Bight in a circumnavigation of the continent. A big task given the size of the place. By the time we get to Darwin next year we will have covered over 2,000 miles from Bundaberg. John very kindly downloaded onto our computer some charts and cruising notes that he had of the Northern Territory and Indonesia. They'll be handy next year.
Then, 3 days ago we came back - this time to Bluewater Marina half a mile up the same river from Yorkeys. Totally different from Yorkeys (although that wouldn't be hard). We were met at the dock and our lines taken which was in total contrast to our previous experience. A much more friendly atmosphere. Bluewater is a residential marina development and so far they have some berths available for casual visitors like us. They are the only cyclone rated marina in Cairns (up to category 3)so we're as secure as we can be. The biggest issue would be storm surge, rather than wind or wave action, where due to low atmospheric pressure the sea level rises and in extreme cases marinas have risen so much that they've floated right off their retaining piles. However, as we say that is extreme and all should be well. The Queensland Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting up to 4 cyclones forming in the Coral Sea this summer but it's entirely possible that none of them will even eventuate or make landfall and if they do they will probably be in a manageable category.
We are looking forward to taking off again in about 3 weeks for Lizard Is. 160 miles north. Happily Jean continues to improve - helped no doubt by the shedding of all the unpleasantness of Yorkeys. For those gory details see our previous blog!
More from us again in due course..........
Cheers and love from us
www.tiaretaporo3.blogspot.com

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Friday, 21 September 2012

The tribulations of Tiare Taporo III

Captain Cook named a cape just north of here Cape Tribulation and, although his problems were far greater than ours, we can't help the analogy.
There is a marked contrast between the Yorkeys Knob Boating Club Marina (where we have been since late June) and the reception we had 2 days ago here at Bluewater Marina which is just half a mile further up the same river. We contacted Bluewater to let them know we were coming in and Rick the manager said he'd be on the dock to take our lines. Makes berthing so much easier when there is someone on the dock to do that - the only other places where that occurred were Port Moselle in Noumea and the Koumac Marina on the NW coast of New Caledonia. Compare this welcoming attitude with Yorkeys who during the whole two and a half months we were there never appeared to care whether we were there or not. Certainly we were never welcomed and never had a visit from any of the marina staff to enquire how things were going.
We don't want to continue to labour the issues we had with the Louisiades organiser, Guy Chester, or with the marina, and apart from any official complaints we intend to make, this will be our final word on the matter. We have referred to the extreme disappointment we encountered in dealing with Chester and his point blank refusal to refund our Louisiades fee of $A990. At one stage he did indicate that he would "probably" be able to refund something less than $A100, but then later appeared to indicate that this would only be forthcoming if we agreed to keep quiet about our overall experience. That was insulting as he must think we are very cheap!! After we first met him Jim was struck by his similarity of personality with his other bete noir, John Martin of the Island Cruising Assn. in Opua NZ. Both have egos way in excess even of their ample physical sizes and both suffer from a complete lack of integrity. We could kick ourselves that we ever agreed to join his rally (much less pay the fee) because we had these bad vibes from the outset. We have always told ourselves to obey our instincts but in this instance we broke our own rule. Probably because we were looking at an enforced stay in the Cairns area of around 8 months and felt we needed some variation to that. As it has happened we later became aware of another possibility and that is another rally to Lizard Is. about 160 miles north of here which we will take part in during Oct. - Nov. and doesn't cost anything!! Happily Jean is improving all the time and should be fine by the time we depart for Lizard.
We have already referred to the dodgy arrangement Chester has with the marina. We say "dodgy" because for some inexplicable reason the marina chooses to keep it confidential from the berth owners affected. We were told about the arrangement at a meeting we had with Chester on board his vessel "Sanctuary" after we had asked for the fee refund. In essence the marina makes available to Chester one week's berthage for all the rally yachts at $A80 per week as against the normal weekly berthage of $A250. It is perhaps no big deal in pure financial terms but, as we have said, they don't tell the berth owners whose incomes are affected. We were told to keep this information highly confidential for this reason. However, in view of the way we have been treated and the unpleasant attitude we have received from the marina we do not feel bound by any such stricture.
As regards the marina, they have denied that any such arrangement exists and indeed that they have nothing to do with the rally. If what Chester told us is true then they are obviously telling lies. We have been on the receiving end of several threatening emails from a Stuart Vella who purports to be the marina manager. Vella has issued veiled threats of our being sued for libel and expulsion from the marina!! So, you can see things deteriorated markedly towards the end of our stay. This so-called manager who never even had the decency to come to see us (we have in fact never met) couldn't in our opinion manage his way out of a paper bag! We complained twice in writing during our stay there about the lack of cleanliness in the showers/toilets and the laundry. We never received a response. In one toilet there was a lavatory brush just lying in all its naked and unhygienic glory on the floor. In the others no brush was in sight. The shower curtains were mildewed and the floors invariably plainly dirty and awash with water with no mop even. There was no method of drying one's hands and again in one toilet no liquid soap for our entire stay. In the laundry there was no flat surface clean enough to even put the laundry bag down on much less fold clean laundry. Jean always took a cloth with her to clean sufficiently so that she could fold things.
Yorkeys Knob makes much of its restaurant but on the 2 occasions that we were foolish enough to eat there we felt that the meals were substantially below acceptable standard and nowhere near worth the exorbitant prices.
Then there was the question of our berthage. We were paying the exorbitant monthly rate of $A895. Bluewater is substantially less. At the expiration of 2 months we needed a further 12 days before our "free" rally week kicked in. Firstly the marina said that as this was less than a month we would have to pay the weekly rate! We told them what they could do with that and then they backed down with bad grace and no apology and said we could pay for two weeks at the monthly rate. We again had to point out that it was only for 12 days and that when we went to school there were 14 days in a fortnight. We finally paid for the 12 days at the monthly rate, albeit incorrectly calculated. In the midst of all this Chester threatened to "withdraw" his "offer" of the "free" week's rally berthage to which we were contractualy entitled as we had paid the full rally fee. We told him we were going nowhere and precisely what he could do with his threatened withdrawal.
To summarise, our experience at the Yorkeys Knob Boating Club Marina has been by far the worst that we have had in all 10 marinas we have spent time in since leaving NZ in July 2011. And we have never had any trouble or unpleasantness in any other marina and in fact have very fond memories of the people we invariably met.
Although we have only been at Bluewater for 2 days so far, the contrast is stark. We are sure that our stay here will be most pleasant. Last night we went to the weekly residents' drinks and BBQ where we met a number of the other marina residents.
On a happier note we we will be blogging about our recent experience out at Fitzroy Island.
Until then, cheers from us............

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Saturday, 1 September 2012

Re: Tiare Taporo III - update from Cairns

Hi Guys,
 
Good to hear Jeans health is improving.
 
Sadly I thought YNBC was the most pathetic marina I have been to as well, never will I go there again, the Port Doug. Marina is cheaper and has a proper yacht club with sociable people, check them out. The YKBC was noisy and not many yachties used it, staff unfriendly.
 
We are now at Sutera Harbour, paid our full membership, and will now be full members, it is a nice setting with all+ the amenities, very comfortable spot and less $$$ than YKBC. (good medical stuff all over town as well). We installed a aircon, and ordered satelite TV, takes 2-3 weeks to come install the dish. We bought a second hand membership for a good discount MR36K instead of the MR50K advertised.
 
We came fairly straight to KK and would have spent more time at a few overnight spots, as we were going to haul out in Kudat, but the owner was too hard to deal with, as he would not work with us on the lifting keel, so we didn't haul out, that gave us 10 days in KK I would have rather spent a few days at lankayan Island (day sail north of Sandakan - free moorings too), or Banda Naira. The stops along the way before clearing in was no worries, I suggest you clear out of last Indonesia port for Kudat, but stop along the way, easier than Sandakan, and no one will question you, we meet a guy in the boat yard in Kudat who was 3 weeks and never cleared in yet.
 
Cheers
Brent & Raewyn



--- On Sun, 2/9/12, ZMQ5985@sailmail.com <ZMQ5985@sailmail.com> wrote:

From: ZMQ5985@sailmail.com <ZMQ5985@sailmail.com>
Subject: Tiare Taporo III - update from Cairns
To: "Blogsite" <redmoonray.zmfr824@blogger.com>
Received: Sunday, 2 September, 2012, 11:26 AM

Hi to all,
Well, the best news is that Jean is definitely improving. She still has to be extremely stringent as to her diet - nothing acidic basically. This means no alcohol, coffee, most fruits, and no gluten. It's very restrictive but we're hoping that as time goes on the need for most of these restrictions will lessen.
We've been settling into life here - finding our way about, going to the weekly Cairns (Rusty's) Market and getting various items needed for the boat. We went to the cinema the other day and saw an Australian made film, The Sapphires. This is about a quartet of Aboriginal female singers who were discovered and eventually taken to Vietnam during the Vietnam War to entertain the troops. It was a poignant film and dealt with all the issues of the day, particularly some pretty nasty discriminatory racism which was the case in most of Australia in those days.
This marina (Yorkeys Knob Boating Club) has a courtesy mini bus which goes to a major local shopping mall at Smithfield 3 times a week so provisioning is no problem. In addition the buses into Cairns leave from a stop about 800 metres from the marina. Only problem there is that direct buses to town only run at commuter times. Otherwise it's necessary to change buses at Smithfield or the James Cook University campus. Then it can take an hour and a half!!
We are getting on with the deck caulking - we've now completed 16 out of 22 (73%) as well as some shorter seams on the foredeck and in the cockpit. We've now still got about 2 weeks here and hope that we might have completed most of them before then.
On that subject we have had a most disappointing time over the last month or so. We withdrew from the Louisiades Rally in early August when we realised that it would not be a good idea to take part in view of Jean's health. We asked for our fee ($A990 - over $NZ1,200) to be refunded and were refused point blank in a most discourteous and peremptory fashion. Our reaction was predictable and we threatened them with legal action but the cancellation policy as written is at best misleading and at worst deliberately misleading. There seems some doubt as to whether we would succeed or otherwise. However, part of the rally deal was that we would get a "free" week's berthage from 8/9 to 15/9 so we are determined to stay and at least recover that, although for us the week is of course far from "free" and the stay here has now become quite unpleasant. The whole business has left a very nasty taste and we will be doing everything we can to make people aware that if they do enter this rally in future, they would need to be very sure they won't be cancelling. In addition to all this we were made aware by the rally organiser of a dodgy arrangement they have with the marina for the "free" week for rally participants. This is supposed to be highly confidential. Since we told them that this could well become public as an unintended result of any legal action we might take, we've been threatened with expulsion from the marina and being sued for libel!! Another issue that arose was that we needed another 2 weeks between our last month for which we had paid at the monthly rate and the start of the "free" week. The marina told us that, as this was less than a month we would have to pay the weekly rate, in spite of having been here for 2 months already!! We refused point blank and then they backed down and said we could have the 2 weeks at the monthly rate. However, it was actually 12 days and we had to point this out to them too. So, things here are only fair to middling and we are looking forward to the day when we can leave.
We intend to go out to Fitzroy Is. for a few days before we go to another marina where we expect we will be much happier - and more secure from cyclones. The litany above is an entirely new and unpleasant experience for us. Since 2009 we have been in 3 marinas in NZ - Town Basin and Marsden Cove in Whangarei and Opua in the Bay of Islands. In addition we have been in 2 marinas in New Caledonia - Port Moselle in Noumea and Koumac in the north and now 4 in Australia - Port Bundaberg for 4 months, Abel Point at Airlie Beach, Breakwater at Townsville and now here. This is 9 marinas (some for considerable periods of time) and we have never been treated as we have been here. In particular we have very fond memories of all of the above marinas and we miss the friendly people we invariably met.
Sadly the Louisiades Rally and the Yorkeys Knob Boating Club Marina will not be getting any good publicity from us.
Cheers from us
Tiare Taporo III
www.tiaretaporo3.blogspot.com
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Tiare Taporo III - update from Cairns

Hi to all,
Well, the best news is that Jean is definitely improving. She still has to be extremely stringent as to her diet - nothing acidic basically. This means no alcohol, coffee, most fruits, and no gluten. It's very restrictive but we're hoping that as time goes on the need for most of these restrictions will lessen.
We've been settling into life here - finding our way about, going to the weekly Cairns (Rusty's) Market and getting various items needed for the boat. We went to the cinema the other day and saw an Australian made film, The Sapphires. This is about a quartet of Aboriginal female singers who were discovered and eventually taken to Vietnam during the Vietnam War to entertain the troops. It was a poignant film and dealt with all the issues of the day, particularly some pretty nasty discriminatory racism which was the case in most of Australia in those days.
This marina (Yorkeys Knob Boating Club) has a courtesy mini bus which goes to a major local shopping mall at Smithfield 3 times a week so provisioning is no problem. In addition the buses into Cairns leave from a stop about 800 metres from the marina. Only problem there is that direct buses to town only run at commuter times. Otherwise it's necessary to change buses at Smithfield or the James Cook University campus. Then it can take an hour and a half!!
We are getting on with the deck caulking - we've now completed 16 out of 22 (73%) as well as some shorter seams on the foredeck and in the cockpit. We've now still got about 2 weeks here and hope that we might have completed most of them before then.
On that subject we have had a most disappointing time over the last month or so. We withdrew from the Louisiades Rally in early August when we realised that it would not be a good idea to take part in view of Jean's health. We asked for our fee ($A990 - over $NZ1,200) to be refunded and were refused point blank in a most discourteous and peremptory fashion. Our reaction was predictable and we threatened them with legal action but the cancellation policy as written is at best misleading and at worst deliberately misleading. There seems some doubt as to whether we would succeed or otherwise. However, part of the rally deal was that we would get a "free" week's berthage from 8/9 to 15/9 so we are determined to stay and at least recover that, although for us the week is of course far from "free" and the stay here has now become quite unpleasant. The whole business has left a very nasty taste and we will be doing everything we can to make people aware that if they do enter this rally in future, they would need to be very sure they won't be cancelling. In addition to all this we were made aware by the rally organiser of a dodgy arrangement they have with the marina for the "free" week for rally participants. This is supposed to be highly confidential. Since we told them that this could well become public as an unintended result of any legal action we might take, we've been threatened with expulsion from the marina and being sued for libel!! Another issue that arose was that we needed another 2 weeks between our last month for which we had paid at the monthly rate and the start of the "free" week. The marina told us that, as this was less than a month we would have to pay the weekly rate, in spite of having been here for 2 months already!! We refused point blank and then they backed down and said we could have the 2 weeks at the monthly rate. However, it was actually 12 days and we had to point this out to them too. So, things here are only fair to middling and we are looking forward to the day when we can leave.
We intend to go out to Fitzroy Is. for a few days before we go to another marina where we expect we will be much happier - and more secure from cyclones. The litany above is an entirely new and unpleasant experience for us. Since 2009 we have been in 3 marinas in NZ - Town Basin and Marsden Cove in Whangarei and Opua in the Bay of Islands. In addition we have been in 2 marinas in New Caledonia - Port Moselle in Noumea and Koumac in the north and now 4 in Australia - Port Bundaberg for 4 months, Abel Point at Airlie Beach, Breakwater at Townsville and now here. This is 9 marinas (some for considerable periods of time) and we have never been treated as we have been here. In particular we have very fond memories of all of the above marinas and we miss the friendly people we invariably met.
Sadly the Louisiades Rally and the Yorkeys Knob Boating Club Marina will not be getting any good publicity from us.
Cheers from us
Tiare Taporo III
www.tiaretaporo3.blogspot.com

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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

nzherald.co.nz - Brent Sheather: SOE sales - tell me why again?

Jim thought you would be interested in the following item from nzherald.co.nz:
 
Brent Sheather: SOE sales - tell me why again?
 
Things are quiet in financial planners and stockbrokers offices at the moment - there certainly don't seem to be too many good reasons to buy shares given the uncertainties prevailing. Whilst the ... More
 
The following personal message was also included:
 
At last some truth on the matter instead of the lies and selfserving statements we have been served up before. This is the most important issue facing New Zealand at the moment.
 
Sign up for regular email news updates from nzherald.co.nz - click here.
 
Visit nzherald.co.nz throughout the day for the latest breaking news.
 
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Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; GTB7.4; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; BRI/2; yie8)
 
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Sunday, 12 August 2012

Land bound in Australia's far North

Regretfully we have had to advise the Louisiades organisers that we are withdrawing from the rally due to a recurrence of a medical condition affecting Jean. She last had it in NZ before we left and for a cure it needs very careful attention to diet over a period of time. In the meantime it is quite debillitating and unsuited to the rigours of an ocean passage as well as cruising in a primitive and isolated area. Nearest doctor up there is at best 150 miles away. The causes of the condition are various but stress coupled with inattention to diet are probably factors. Quiet attention to said diet and plenty of rest is the prescription for getting well coupled with plenty of time. There are signs of improvement already.
Anyway, it's not all bad - we are carrying on with the deck caulking and we are looking forward to the visits of Sara and Hamish and Jean's son Perry and his girlfriend Tracie in November. We are hoping that we can take them out to Fitzroy Is. (17 miles from here) during their visits. We even go into town at times to visit the market (!) and are planning a trip on the Kuranda Scenic Railway.
In the meantime the weather continues brilliantly fine with day temperatures in the mid 20's and at night sometimes below 10C!! Even frosts up on the Atherton Tablelands just inland from here. It's quite amusing to see the locals all bundled up in their coats while we stroll around in shirts and shorts. We're definitely made of sterner stuff down in Godzone!!
We are soon moving to another marina (Bluewater) which is not only cheaper but is also further up the same river that our present marina is at the mouth of. The only issue is the river itself which has minimal depths but we are assured that at half tide or better we should be OK. Normally we'd go up the river in the dinghy and take some hand soundings in advance but the existence of crocodiles puts paid to that idea! A 4 metre croc was seen swimming just off the Yorkeys Knob Beach a few days ago. The main attraction though is that it offers much better cyclone protection than this one as it's further inland (about half a mile) and the river has a 90 degree bend which should dampen much of any storm surge. The main thing however, is that we don't get any cyclones. Fingers crossed.
More from us as time goes on but at the moment things are a bit mundane.
Love from Jim and Jean
www.tiaretaporo3.blogspot.com

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Thursday, 2 August 2012

Life in North Queensland

Hi to everyone,
We'll start with the Irish joke for today -
the priest was giving them fire and brimstone during Mass when he suddenly asked, "stand up all those who want to go to heaven". They all stood up and he said, "sit down". They all sat down. Then he asked, "stand up all those who want to go hell". Only one person (Murphy) stood up and he asked, "Murphy, do you want to go to hell?". Murphy said, "no Father, but I didn't like to see you standing there all by yourself!!".
The weather here has been wonderful, although we are mindful that the summer won't be so user friendly. However, for now we are enjoying it - cool nights needing a thick blanket on the bed and sunny days sometimes up to 27 degrees. No rain for days. Meanwhile, we are taking advantage of the weather to carry on with the deck caulking. We now have only 2 seams to do on the port side - 8 still to do on the starboard side. We'll do as many as we can before we leave for the Louisiades (PNG) mid September.
We are committed now to the rally as we have paid our participation fee and sent our passports off to the PNG Consulate in Brisbane for our visa applications. They've been sent by registered post (with a registered return envelope) so hopefully they won't get lost. 520 nautical miles to the Deuchatel Islands on the southern side of the group. We've been told that it's on the wind all the way as the wind tends more to the east as you get north but that's a good point of sailing for the old girl (the boat!) as long as it's not like the trip up from NZ to New Caledonia when it was right on the nose most of the time. Time, as always will tell.
We've discovered Rusty's Market in Cairns. This is a huge fruit and vege market which operates on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There is a great range with all the tropical fruit - Pawpaw etc at very good prices. Passion fruit to die for. Bought some red skinned bananas and local strawberries. And some fresh asparagus from Thailand! There are Vietnamese, Thai and other ethnic restaurants where we have breakfast as a treat!! We caught a bus from Yorkeys at 0750 (about 200 metres from the marina) this morning and it's about 30 minutes to town - even being caught in the commuter traffic! However, it puts Auckland's traffic problems in the shade. The buses are all airconditioned and not crowded. But sometimes they do not run to schedule - the return trip was 40 minutes late leaving Cairns! Never mind, we usually find someone interesting to talk to at the bus stop.
It has been disappointing to see the ideologically continually driven agenda of the Key Government as regards partial asset sales, which seem likely to be a prelude to 100% sales once the dust has settled. How it makes any sense to sell assets that return 16% on investment in order to pay down debt which is costing 3% is beyond us. Quite apart from the loss of control of infrastructural assets and yet more dividends heading offshore to further NZ's balance of payments deficit. The current nonsense with the Maoris asserting "ownership" of water is just that but to our mind at the moment anything that can delay and finally derail the whole process can only be a good thing. If the Maoris win their argument, then the inevitable result will be that power charges go up yet again. The Key Government and their Maori Party sycophants will bear all the blame. We (Jim mainly!!) have been having a say via blogs on appropriate editorial articles on the Herald website. Don't know if anyone actually reads these things but if you have the inclination and the time you might see from time to time the odd intemperately worded blog under the nom de plume "Tiare Taporo III"!!!
Well, that's all from us for now; we're going to a Cook Islands night at the Cairns Yacht Club tonight which should be fun. We'll tell you all about it on a subsequent blog.
In the meantime we hope all is well with everyone and lots of love from us....
Jim and Jean (Gina)
www.tiaretaporo3.blogspot.com

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Saturday, 14 July 2012

Return from the North

We left Cooktown around 9.30 yesterday after an unsettled night because Jim had stomach pains all night - not a bug because there were none of the usual signs of that but he didn't get much sleep. However, it was improving by morning so after a very light breakfast we motored south. Jim drove for an hour but then due to fatigue from lack of sleep handed over to Jean for the rest of the way.
We were very conscious of the many road signs warning of Kangaroos because to hit one of those at speed in our little Hyundai would have been disastrous to say the least.
We've described the scenery etc before so no need to repeat (hooray you are saying!!). We passed through Mt. Carbine where Tungsten (a steel hardener) is mined and then varied the route slightly by turning off towards Kuranda from Mt. Molloy a bit further to the south. We had lunch at a very indifferent pub in Mareeba and then visited a Mango winery!! Bought a bottle of Mango liqueur. Now back into rainforest country again and then through Kuranda which is a very pretty leafy place where the Kuranda Railway terminates. Just south we found an organic vegetable place and stocked up on fruit and veges which will go well with the passion fruit we had bought at the Cooktown Farmers Market that morning.
Then Smithfield to buy another internet voucher from Telstra and Bunnings for some rust kill stuff! A short distance later and we were back on the boat and all was well.
It is now Sunday lunchtime and although it has been raining, the weather is looking much better although there is the usual strong wind warning out again - 30 knots. Something you just have to get used to on this coast it seems.
Hope all is well with everyone and lots of love from us.........
www.tiaretaporo3.blogspot.com

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Friday, 13 July 2012

Rain forest and Cape York Peninsula

We weren't sure whether we'd be able to visit many of the mainland sites once we continued north next year due to generally poor anchorages so once again we decided to give ourselves a land fix for a few days and have a totally different experience.
We hired a small Hyundai Getz on the 11th. and headed into Cairns to do some errands which hadn't been practical to do by bus. We purchased a water filter for filling from shore sources, some more filters for the watermaker and most importantly a Racor fuel filter to take impurities including water out of the diesel as we fill the tanks. This latter is more for next year when we might take on suspect fuel from depots in Indonesia.
After lunch in Cairns we then set off north via Smithfield where we bought some food for dinner and then carried on past Port Douglas and through Mossman to the Daintree River where we took the car ferry. This is at least as large as the Opua car ferries but it is pulled across the river on two large steel hawsers. $12.50 each way and as they carry up to 20 odd cars each trip we reckoned it must be a very lucrative business, especially since each trip is only 10 minutes.
Once over the river we were well into rainforest territory and we continued north over the Alexandra Range towards Cape Tribulation which Capt. Cook named for all the problems he had on this particular stretch of coast. More of that later. It was a very pretty drive over the range on a sealed but very narrow and windy road until we reached the Crocodylus Resort which is a very basic eco resort in the heart of the rainforest just south of Cape Tribulation. Our accommodation was a room with a double bed and 2 singles (for families) and the outside cladding was shade cloth with a PVC roof. Mosquito nets over the beds which were actually not necessary. We cooked our dinner in the communal kitchen and imbibed a quantity of red wine!! The communal kitchen/dining/sitting area was very large and open to the elements except for an extremely large tent like roof. It all took a bit of getting used to but was clean and everyone very friendly. During the night there were lots of unexplained jungle noises (!) and some nocturnal bird made a huge noise at about 3 in the morning. Probably being chased by a crocodile!! It rained quite heavily at some stage. But a very comfortable bed.
Anyway, we survived the night in the wild and awoke to have a cold shower at 0630!! Bit of a shock to our systems but then felt much more refreshed. We hung around until 8 when we both had bacon and eggs (cooked for us in the cafe kitchen)which were very good. We met 2 very interesting couples while there including 2 nurses (Bill and Terre) and their 3 daughters. They are from Melbourne and lovely people. Also our neighbours during the night - Matthew and Jill. We eventually took our reluctant farewell and motored back to the Daintree as the coast road north is impassable unless one has a 4WD. Beautiful drive mostly under forest canopy with the dappled morning sunlight filtering through.
When we went across the river on the ferry once more we passed huge lines of traffic heading north - many very serious 4WD's with snorkels and businesslike roof racks with water and fuel containers thereon. We then made a mistake and turned towards Daintree Village but that turned out to be a dead end and we belatedly realised that we needed to return to Mossman before heading towards Cooktown on the much refurbished inland Mulligan Highway. About 300 kms from Mossman. The weather had become fine and once again we had a very pretty drive initially through some lush countryside and up onto the higher and drier tropical grasslands which typified the rest of our drive north. The road was excellent and for quite a distance had a posted speed limit of 110 kph. The terrain was dramatic with some very steep ascents and descents as we passed over some minor ranges of hills. There were some spectacular lookouts and then about 20 kms from Cooktown we came across the Black Hills which are composed of very large piles of weathered granite boulders which are black from the lichens growing on them. It is forbidden to try and climb the hills because a number of people have disappeared without trace when they've fallen into underground caverns caused by hundreds of years of water erosion. It's a very mystical place for the local Aborigine people and it's easy to see why. We then drove into Charlotte St., the main street of Cooktown and found the Seawiew Motel which was comfortable and conventional after the eco lodge of the previous night!!
Cooktown consists of museums, old pubs and the Endeavour River waterfront which is picturesque as long as you don't forget that there are crocodiles lurking beneath the murky water! We found the West Coast Pub (apparently named after the West Coast of the South Is.) and had a meal there. The manager it turned out was a NZ'er who had run the RSA in Birkenhead in Auckland - not far from where Jim had lived for 15 years on the North Shore of Auckland!! And he owns a house with his brother in Warkworth! Talk about a small world but we are constantly coming across similar examples.
The following day (Friday) we wandered about Cooktown and visited the excellent local museum. Gold had been discovered nearby in the 1870's and there were fascinating accounts of the hardships of the time. There was no contact with the outside world except by sea - Cooktown was very much cut off. It seems no-one became rich prospecting for gold which soon ran out in any event. There was a large Chinese population as well and they suffered the usual prejudices rife at the time. We went up Grassy Hill where the Great Navigator himself had stood to survey the surrounding waters. This was after H.M. Bark Endeavour had run aground on Endeavour Reef, a little to the south. Cook was very fortunate not to have lost the ship completely as they hit the reef about 11 at night and then spent 23 hours there as they lightened the ship as much as possible by jettisoning cargo and in particular the cannon which have now been all recovered and which are all in various museums. They managed to kedge her off and then set sail for the Endeavour River pumping furiously where they careened her on the bank with the crocodiles while they spent a few months repairing the damage which was considerable. This occurred right where the town stands today. There is an annual re-enactment in June every year to commemorate Cook's involuntary arrival.
Then a lovely dinner at an Italian restaurant whose owner came from Italian immigrants to Melbourne and who for many years had operated a restaurant in Logan St. Giovanni was a great guy and made us very welcome.
Then early to bed in preparation for the trip back to Cairns on the morrow. 350 kms - this is a big country. We would have liked to have gone further north up to Cape York but that definitely is 4WD territory and will have to wait until we go up there on the boat next year.
Love from us again.........
www.tiaretaporo3.blogspot.com

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Monday, 9 July 2012

Jokes and more serious stuff

Irish joke for today:
Murphy was wondering what "lumbago" was, so he decided to ask the local priest as he was the fount of all knowledge! The priest decided to put the fear of God into Murphy whose attendance at Mass was spasmodic at best. So he said to Murphy "Lumbago is what you get from dissolute living; loose women and drinking and generally falling about and making a nuisance of yourself. Why do you ask?" And Murphy replied that he had been reading that the Bishop had it!!!
On a more serious note - if you get a chance to read the NZ Herald on-line and read Bob Jones tongue in cheek article you will see a contribution (blog) from Tiare Taporo III. Thought provoking stuff!!!
Cheers again from us from Yorkeys Knob!!!!!!!!............
www.tiaretaporo3.blogspot.com

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Sunday, 8 July 2012

Pesky Cairns weather

It's now 0830 on Monday morning here in the Half Moon Bay Marina and it's quite cold and drizzly at the moment. We're sitting here with every bit of warm clothing on that we possess! Very un-Cairns like. There's also a strong wind warning in force (30 knots) which has now been around for the last week and looks like continuing until Thursday or Friday at least.
So, if any of you are thinking of a tropical holiday in Far North Queensland it may be better to wait for a month or so.
We are getting on with jobs on the boat - yesterday scrubbed out the bilges. There are always these fun jobs to do on boats!! But can't do anything outside until the rain stops.
We feel like a couple of garden gnomes (!) but not in the garden - just on the boat! Watched a movie last night - "Mama Mia" with Meryl Streep which had been lent to us very kindly by Raewyn on "Crusoe".
We're hiring a car on Wednesday and are going up to Cooktown (350 kms) as it's historic - Capt. Cook was there - and we probably wouldn't go in there on the boat as it doesn't sound like a good anchorage. And no doubt full of crocs. We are hoping to complete the deck caulking and a bit of painting before leaving for the Louisiades in September. And we still haven't seen any crocs! But we're not swimming.
Jean keeps in touch with Heather periodically by phone and it's very heartening to see how well she is doing.
So, that's it from us for now - not much news.........
Love from us J & J
Yorkeys Knob
Cairns
Queensland

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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Fwd: Darwin

We thought it would be good for those of you who are linguists to read our email to Michel and Marianne who are a French Swiss couple who have sailed their 30' double ended cutter "Sostene" (which they built themselves) all the way from Europe to NZ and now are in Darwin on their way home.
We first met them at the Norsand Boatyard in Whangarei in the summer of 2008 and they used to come back to NZ to work on their boat during the southern summer and then return to Europe to care for elderly relatives. We got to know them at various BBQ's at Norsand and Gina remembers Marianne washing her dishes in Norsand's kitchen! We had dinner with them on Tiare and had roast lamb and then they reciprocated. It was a joy to see how they had made the most of the space on their beautiful yacht. They are wonderful caring and courageous people and we miss them very much. They are older than we are and are now on their way home to the house they built on the island of Elba where Napoleon was first incarcerated.
Jim met them briefly again in Bundaberg when they were sailing north but unfortunately Gina had left the day before to return to NZ to look after her sister. Dennis and Jim shared what information we had re the cruising notes north of Bundaberg. We are hoping that we will meet them again in SE Asia next year.
Bon voyage Michel et Marianne.
----- Original Message -----
To: "Michel & Marianne" <mbuttet@gmail.com>
Subject: Darwin
Date: 04 Jul 2012 08:39:27 -0000
From: ZMQ5985

Bonjour nos braves marins!! Et bonjour au brave voilier Sostene aussi. Nous sommes etes tres heureux de recevoir votre email conseillant de votre arrivee a Darwin. Nos grandes felicitations. Comme vous dites c'est un grand voyage de Brisbane a Darwin.
Nous sommes raisonnablement heureux avec notre decision de voyager aux Isles Louisiades en Septembre et retournant a l'Australie en Novembre, encore un peut decevu que nous ne sommes pas avec vous en Darwin. Gina particulerement etait tres desappointee pour vous manque pendant nos voyages divers.
Toutefois nous esperons que nous vous voir en Malaysie peut etre en Novembre 2013. Pour combien de temps resterez-vous en l'Asie? Nous partirons de Townsville en Mai 2013 pour le Sail Indonesie en Juillet 2013.
Nous nous amusons notre sojourn ici a Cairns (Yorkeys Knob) - 15 kilometres au nord de Cairns - et nous avons un peu de travail a faire avec le bateau. Comme toujours!!
Encore nos grandes felicitations et bon voyage a l'Indonesie et Malaysie.
Jim et Gina
P.S. Escusez le Francais mauvais!!
----- End of Original Message -----

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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Yorkeys Knob 7 days on

Found out the other day who Yorkey was. Apparently a bech-de-mer fisherman from Yorkshire who also owned property hereabouts. And something of a local identity in his day in the late 1800's. The knob is actually the first raised headland you come to north of Cairns. We walked up to the top the other day - quite a steep walk too with a good view from the top.
The weather right now is very pleasant. Fine and sunny getting up to 25C during the day but getting cool at night - down to 10-11C. Some more inland places even up here are down into minus figures at night.
Here in the marina we are right under the flightpath for Cairns International but we are only getting inward descending flights so not so bad. In fact we like watching the aircraft low overhead. It's a busy airport though because sometimes there are 3-4 flights overhead within a 30 minute period.
We've been vacillating (as usual!!) over future plans. Dennis and Jim briefly met another boat ("Crusoe") at NE Percy on the way up from Bundaberg and they are in the marina only 3-4 boats away from us. He is American (away flying helicopters in Nigeria at the moment) and Raewyn is a NZ'er. Another ex nurse in fact. The boat has U.S. registry but was built in NZ - in Wellington so she and Tiare have something in common! The first owner was a man called Robinson - hence the name!! They are leaving next month to head north to Gove on the Western side of the Gulf of Carpentaria from where they intend to leave for Kota Kinabalu in Malaysian Borneo via E Indonesia. There was a suggestion that we could follow the same route and the idea has certain attraction as it would mean we would still get to Malaysia this year. However, there is a wariness with making major decisions like that on a quick ad hoc basis. There would be all the Indonesian bureaucracy to attend to (cruising permit and visas) before we could go and then all the passage planning with research into possible anchorages and the navigation between. A lot to do and we just don't feel ready at this stage.
If we stick to our most recent plan which is to go to the Louisiades (PNG) in Sept. and then Darwin/Indonesia with Sail Indonesia 2013 next July we'll take a lot of the stress factor out of things and that's what this life should be all about. We plan to go back south to Townsville after the Louisiades as long as the prevailing SE winds allow and spend the summer there as it has less rainfall than Cairns and just might be a bit more bearable as regards humidity and temperature. It will still be very sticky though and the hire of an air conditioner is probably going to be a necessity. And there's always the wild card of a full blown cyclone which is something we'll just have to play by ear.
Anyway, back to Yorkeys. We are just a 30 minute bus ride from Cairns and the other day had a very interesting conversation with the driver who it turns out has a boat in the other marina here and drives buses wherever he spends any time. They were looking for bus drivers on Magnetic Is.............!!
Cairns has grown since we both (separately) were last here - roughly 15 years. The waterfront on the Trinity River is very swept up with smart restaurants by the score. One wonders how any of them make any money with the undoubted high rents and the tourism downturn. We were accosted by a restaurateur outside his restaurant away from the waterfront and his sales pitch was so good that we decided to have lunch which was a good decision because it was one of the best meals we have had in Australia. Jim had pork fillet on a sweet potato mash and Jean a salmon salad. We'll go back when we next feel we can afford it!! Although it wasn't particularly expensive, but yachties sometimes feel a bit impecunious!!
Half way between here and Cairns is the Smithfield shopping centre which is very large and has absolutely everything including Coles and Woolworths supermarkets. And that's only 10 mins on the bus. The surroundings here are very lush and tropical - big contrast to the general aridness of Bundaberg. Good standard of housing and generally an overall air of prosperity.
Lots to do while we're here - finishing off the deck re-caulking and some painting maintenance. We haven't started yet as Jean's injury has yet to fully heal but it's making good progress. In the meantime we might see the sights - Cooktown 350 kms north, the Kuranda railway and the botanical gardens which are a must see apparently.
So, lots to see and do and the first week has already flown by.
Always pleased to hear from you with your news from time to time.
Lots of love and cheers from us
Jim and Jean xoxoxo
s.v. Tiare Taporo III
www.tiaretaporo3.blogspot.com

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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Cairns (Yorkeys Knob) at last Lat. 16 degrees 48.1' S Long. 145 degrees 43.0' E

We arrived at the Half Moon Bay Marina, Yorkeys Knob this morning at 0730. We left Mission Bay with no regrets at 0500 in order to get to the marina with still enough water to get in. There is a dredged channel which is very narrow and of minimal depth. Still, we got in with no mishaps.
But to regress. Mourilyan Harbour was a very snug anchorage and absolutely still - an unusual situation on this coast. On our last night (Mon. night) a bulk sugar carrier came in and berthed alongside the sugar loader. An impressive act of seamanship given the extremely narrow entrance, especially in the dark.
We left on Tuesday morning -lumpy sea in the entrance but things settled down once we were underway. Very overcast with a light drizzle which eventually cleared as we approached the end of today's passage. We went head to wind to raise the single reefed mainsail and then carried on motorsailing again!! Less than 10 knots of wind from the SW and the forecast had been SE! 90 degrees different! Surprise surprise. We had the pole rigged for SE but as the wind increased a bit we set the genoa conventionally on port tack. Soon we were doing over 7 knots with the engine ticking over at about 800 rpm. Once again we would have preferred to stop the engine but had just over 50 miles to cover before dark so maintaining speed was the priority. And of course we filled the watertanks and generated power.
This is especially gratifying as we have been having showers most nights and using the internet etc so seeing the water overflowing when the tanks were full is very satisfying, given the previous experience with the Opua cowboys. It does also seem bizarre sitting in remote anchorages and reading the NZ Herald on-line! Especially having a say on current issues published in editorials and particularly on the subject of the economically treasonous asset sales. Enough said on that subject - for now!! "Tiare Taporo, Queensland" is our pseudonym.
Anyway, we made quick progress up the coast and were soon approaching Fitzroy Is. just south of Cape Grafton. As we carried on the wind came more from the south but never SE; however, we managed to pole the genoa out for a time. But then we had to alter course to port otherwise we would have T-boned Fitzroy! So got rid of the pole and furled the genoa until we came between the island and Cape Grafton on course for Mission Bay 12 miles short of Cairns. Mission Bay is an Aboriginal settlement and is a wide, shallow and very windswept bay. We crept in cautiously watching the depth sounder and anchored. However, there was a nasty swell coming across the bay causing an uncomfortable roll so we moved closer into the lee of Cape Grafton where the swell seemed less but still annoying. Some dinner and a good sleep were both indicated but we were both awake again at 0300 this morning all keyed up for our dark passage across to Yorkeys (12 miles). Porridge at 4 and Gina feeding Jim prunes as he lay back in bed psyching himself up for the trip in the dark!! Thank goodness for the chartplotter as it was as black as your hat when we left Mission Bay. We detoured slightly to pass outside the markers for the ship channel into Cairns and also to safely pass a bulk carrier at anchor waiting to come into the port. The weather was shocking with a persistent light drizzle which reduced visibility almost to zero at times. We were only half a mile off before we could see the channel markers for Yorkeys even though it was daylight by then. Once again the chartplotter was marvellous and lead us in unerringly. You can't make mistakes around here because the water depths are shallow - for instance all the way across from Mission Bay we never had more than 35' of water for 12 miles and all the way up the coast yesterday it was mainly around 50' - occasionally up to 70'. And coming into the marina we were down to 10'.
Berthing was easy this morning as there was no wind or current but unfortunately Gina fell badly when getting off the boat to attach our bow line and badly scraped the front of one leg. We couldn't do much about it at the time because had to finish tying up the mooring lines but as soon as that was done we got busy with bathing it and Gina using her nursing skills made a much better job of bandaging than Jim could ever have done. The injuries aren't serious but will take a while to heal and it did shake her up. We did the washing in the marina laundry but that was enough for Gina and she has been resting the rest of the day - as much as she ever does rest!! Jim has had to exert his authority as captain to ensure that some R&R was taken!!
It rained much of the day but has more or less cleared up now and much warmer than when we were at Townsville. There was a cruise ship anchored off and all the passengers came ashore at the marina which cluttered up the place something terrible with loud and mostly large Australians. Same as used to happen at Airlie Beach.
Heading into Cairns tomorrow to explore.......
Cheers and love from us
www.tiaretaporo3.blogspot.com

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Sunday, 24 June 2012

Tiare Taporo III still at Mourilyan Harbour

We are waiting out the strong wind warning still in force but it looks as though Tuesday will be the day to go to Mission Bay/Cairns. Today we tidied up the boat and Gina washed down the interior of the boat in the galley area with Rawleighs Pine O'Clean and it looks a million dollars. The Rawleighs is really good as are all their products. We purchased it along with 2 tins of Rawleighs Medicated Ointment in the Bungaberg farmers market some months ago and they are all great products - the ointment was particularly effective against the depredations of the Noseeums which otherwise made life somewhat miserable at Bundaberg.
We have the pole rigged on the port side in anticipation of a downwind sail to Cairns so here's hoping that Tuesday will produce the goods.
Mourilyan Harbour is very sheltered and so no rolling and it is very peaceful but we are reluctant to go ashore in our rubber dinghy because Alan Lucas in his cruising guide said he was followed by a crocodile when he was surveying the harbour in his dinghy some years ago!! Forewarned is forearmed!!! We are staying on board. The harbour is surrounded by mangroves so would be a crocodile habitat for sure. Still no mosquitos so that's a bonus.
More when we get to Yorkeys Knob just north of Cairns in a couple of day's time.
Love from us.........
www.tiaretaporo3.blogspot.com

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Friday, 22 June 2012

Tiare Taporo III at Mourilyan Harbour Lat. 17 degrees 36.4' S Long. 146 degrees 07.5' E

We left Missionary Bay on the northern end of Hinchinbrook Is. at 0800 in a light SW and 100% overcast with intermittent light drizzle. We motorsailed the whole way with just the main because no wind to speak of and we had to get there!! A miserable day but the forecast is for 25-30 knots from the SE in a day or so. Therefore necessary to get moving before that develops because it's bad enough having the wind dead astern but at that strength with the associated sea it's pretty much untenable. And there are very few bolt holes on this coast. As we've often said, on an ocean passage you would just adjust your course but doing a coastal passage with a daily ETA deadline, that is usually not an option. We'd originally thought we might spend a night at Dunk Is. (about halfway) but the resort was totally destroyed in January 2011 by Cyclone Yasi and the rebuilding has still not been completed. God knows what their insurance premiums will be. Of course all these things put costs and prices up and with the high Aussie dollar together with a depressed world economic situation at present it's no wonder that Queensland tourism is in the doldrums with many recent business failures.
Dunk is 20 miles north of Hinchinbrook and the anchorage is only ho-hum so we decided to press on for Mourilyan. Further north we passed the south and north Barnard Group outside as it's a bit shallow to go inside and then altered course to 320 T for the Mourilyan entrance 5 miles on. This is where one needs to have absolute faith in the chartplotter (and plotting positions on the paper chart) because the entrance was invisible from the south until almost abeam. The entrance is only 190 metres wide with a 90 metre wide dredged entrance channel - very like Tutukaka, although it felt narrower.
Mourilyan is a sugar port with a substantial wharf and huge storage shed on its northern side. No ship in here at present but one would need good nerves to bring a bulk carrier in here. Establishing the correct line of approach would be crucial because there would be no going back. We found it taxing enough coming in on our 38' yacht!! After transiting the entrance we turned hard to port to follow the channel through 2 lines of pile moorings watching the depth sounder all the while like a hawk. It was difficult to find a spot to anchor due to all the permanent moorings upstream but we eventually decided to drop the anchor; however, as the tide turned we swung with it and were getting perilously close to a mudbank with only 2' under our keel. So we weighed anchor and moved only about 20 metres further into the channel where we dropped it again. Now we've got 16-19' which is much better although we're closer to 2 moored fishing boats which isn't ideal. However, we think we'll be ok. Might have to get up during the night to check on things from time to time.
We're not sure what's happening tomorrow. It will all depend on the weather although it would be nice to finally get to Cairns. We've travelled 43 miles today (7 hrs) and Cairns is a further 62 miles. However, there is a good anchorage at Mission Bay 12 miles this side of Cairns. We don't want to stay here tomorrow because if we do we'll probably be weatherbound here for 3 days so we'll be up at dawn to assess the weather and if it looks anywhere near OK we'll go.
Lots of love from us and keep reading the blogs!!............
www.tiaretaporo3.blogspot.com

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