And now for cruising…

So Friday saw a pretty slow start to the morning with quite a few hangovers around the place! Gradually though, recovery took place and packing up happened. Trent departed at around 10.15 to catch his ferry, the Wulffs and Hally left shortly after and Snowy managed to hitch a ride to Hammo around 10.30. We were alone on the boat! It was a mad few hours of cleaning, laundry, stock taking, moving stuff around, all whilst the rain poured down! We couldn’t do much with the stuff on the dock in the rain, but we did move the sails on deck unde the cover to stop them getting any wetter.

Despite the rain we got a lot done during the day, and then Al, Ris and Cooper took us for dinner at Little Vegas for their last night. Generous to a fault, they also bought us grotty yottie shirts, which I will show you in the next pictorial! We farewelled them back at the marina as they were leaving on Saturday.

Fortunately Saturday dawned clear and sunny and very quickly the temperature escalated to about 26 degrees. We booked the courtesy car at 9 and I headed odd to Cannonvale in the Toyota Hilux to reprovision. Awesome car and I want one!

Back at the boat, Pete had collected the refilled gas, got most of the gear from the dock drying or on board and was starting work on the epoxy repairs to the bow. I faced the task of packing away all the provisions, but generally this was not such a difficult task as the first one given I now knew where everything needed to go. We then had a working lunch on deck, continued with stowing and packing and then by sunset around 5:30, we could relax with a gin and tonic!

We had booked to go to Barcelona for our last dinner in Airlie, and had a pleasant if haphazard tapas dinner. We had looked forward to churros for desert, but they were of course out of them. On asking for a menu to reconsider, we got overlooked for so long we lost interest! So back to the boat for an early night, ready for an early departure to Hayman Island, for some Blue Pearl Bay snorkelling.

We got up, had coffee, returned passes and dropped rubbish, then left Abell Point around 8:15. A guy in a tinny was fishing in the entrance and had hooked what looked like a pretty big King Fish across the channel. So we had to go really slowly to allow him to get it in, which he did admirably, we joined him in a big cheer as he got it in his boat. Then it was water maker on, French toast for breakfast as we headed over to Hayman in the sunshine.

After about an hour, there was enough breeze to unfurl the heady and soon it was 15-20 knots, but comfortably aft. It poured with rain and blew about 25 knots in a squall as we arrived at Blue Peral Bay, drenched through! We hoped this may encourage a few of the boats to leave the visitors moorings, but it was not to be. We therefore decided to head for Butterfly Bay, which was a better overnight anchorage anyway.

As we rounded the southern end of Hayman to head for Butterfly Bay, I noticed a whale cruising nearby. We kept an eye on it as it looked like it may be heading our way, when suddenly a tiny baby whale threw itself out of the water in a mini- breach! Several more followed until mum decided to join in, also showing us some tail flapping. I managed to get a few breaches on my camera, but Pete missed it with his.

We were able to get a mooring with ease at Butterfly and by then the sun was back and we were ready for a snorkel. The fringing reef was about 50 meters away and pretty good, but the visibility not that great, probably because of all the recent rain. After snorkelling, we settled in, but the weather deteriorated again, and whilst we didn’t get more rain it was too chilly to have dinner on deck. Exhausted from all the excitement of our first day out alone, we retired for an early night!

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