4-7 July – We have decided that Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island is one of the top anchorages along the coast. We enjoyed a couple of nights here, going to the beach for fish & chips and for Eli to play on the swings and the beach. We really like the Gelati shop on the esplanade – they had a dairy free Cherry-Choc flavour which was so delicious we had to go back the next day for more! Because of a few cloudy days we had to run the engines to charge our batteries, so we decided to go for a motor around to Radical Bay instead of sitting in one spot with the engines running. Radical Bay is a lovely bay with a sandy beach and clear water, but it is not particularly well protected from the easterly swell we have at the moment so we weren’t able to stay the night there returning instead to Horseshoe Bay for the night.
7-8 July – After a couple more nights at anchor in Horseshoe Bay, we decided to overnight in Norris Bay while the weather was calm. Norris Bay is one of the bays in ‘5 Beaches Bay’ on the northern side of Magnetic Island, further west of Horseshoe Bay. We had the bay to ourselves and while not as calm as Horseshoe Bay, we had a pleasant overnight stay before Eli and Geoff went ashore in the dinghy. Eli was very impressed to have his very own beach to build sand castles on. Once back aboard Spy Panda it was time to sail into the Breakwater Marina in Townsville. There was only 10-15 knots of wind, so we decided to sail around the Eastern side of Magnetic Island into Townsville. Although going into the waves was a little bumpy at the start, we had a good sail across the wind towards Townsville keeping the boat going at a comfortable 8-9 knots most of the way. We had come into the Marina many times before on our previous boat “Ever After”, so it felt a little odd to be on “Spy Panda” this time. One thing is for sure, it felt a lot easier pulling up to the fuel dock with the catamaran. Refuelled and sorted with keys, we were welcomed back onto our familiar home of E finger by Kerrie from the Breakwater Marina helping us with our lines.
Spy Panda anchored in Norris Bay, Magnetic Island.
It has certainly been an adventure bringing our home, home to Townsville. We have had a very busy time since Naomi finished up work in March through until now. Over the past 3 months we have had the birth of our baby girl, moved out of our rented apartment, flown to Brisbane, hauled the boat out and antifouled, moved onto the boat, sailed from Gold Coast to Brisbane, organised the installation of helm clears, many jobs on the boat to install new things and sorting out some other things prior to our trip and finally, completing our trip up the coast with Naomi’s parents, an 8 week old baby and a 2 year old. From Manly to Townsville we sailed a total of 858 Nautical Miles (1,589 km ) and used only one tank full of diesel.
12-July – Our good friend Heather was visiting Townsville for her holidays so it was a real treat to have great weather to take her for a Sunday afternoon sail. After some Pizza Capers for Lunch, we set out across the bay toward the north and initially there wasn’t much wind so were very nearly overtaken by some youngsters from the Sailing Club in their dinghys. Eli had a lot of fun waving to the kids in their boats who were also vigorously waving back. We were very impressed to see a smiley young girl leading the race – good on her! We were able to oblige Heather with some lovely sailing under screecher across the bay as the wind built a little as we got further offshore. With the rough weather and exposed waters that we have been sailing up the coast, we haven’t had much opportunity to enjoy the foredeck while sailing. But as Heather found out, it is a great spot to be whilst going along and hearing the water splashing on the front of the hulls. We had a great day having a leisurely sail and getting to spend some time with Heather before she left for Hervey Bay.
Eli waving to the sailors
Heather enjoying the great sailing weather
Heather and Eli – It’s hard to get him to stay still long enough to look at the camera!
Amelie enjoying some time in the play gym.