As we crossed Cleveland Bay we had an excited call from Clare, checking on our progress and reminding us to call as we entered the marina. We confirmed our berthing arrangements and by 1500, we pulled into our berth with a huge reception and welcoming party, and plenty of line handlers. It was fabulous to see Clare and Paul again, and we lost no time in sitting down with a bottle of bubbles to celebrate being reunited! We also saw Janet and Mark from Koonya, as well as several of the boats we had been “racing” north with over the last 2 days. It felt a little like getting home.
Our first night was spent over dinner of red throat emperor, cooked by Clare and Paul, and we chatted like mad all night, catching up on what we had all been doing since we last saw them in March. We also managed to knock over a few bottles of wine, as well as finishing the Ruthless Ruth, and by 2300 Pete and I had to retire to bed or fall asleep at the table on Pilgrim. After two full days of sailing and the excitement of arrival at Maggie, it was just too much!
Saturday was spent cleaning, unpacking and repacking WDS in preparation for us to leave her for a week. We were able to leave some of our larger items at Paul and Clare’s shed, and I reorganised the storage cabin. We got all the washing done, cleaned the boat, made up the spare room and started our packing for what we would need for Hammo. Over lunch, we had a meeting of the WDS and Pilgrim crew to agree on departure time and day for Hammo, and decided we would leave on Monday night at about 2000. Clare could attend her meeting, and we could leave and have dinner as we crossed Cleveland Bay. We would then start watches of 1 person on for 2 hours, giving everyone a good 6 hours off, and get the night sailing out of the way. It would also give us a couple of days to go snorkelling and exploring before we had to be in the marina at Hammo.
In the evening, Clare had booked for us to join them with Lance, Cammi and two other couples at the Magnetic Island Stage Door Theatre restaurant. By 1800 were were ready to leave and got picked up in the maxi taxi for the drive to Arcadia. We had an absolutely brilliant evening, so much laughter that my ribs hurt and plenty of dancing to finish the night. When we eventually got home I had to put everything we were wearing into soak, as we had managed to spill vast quantities of red wine while dancing and laughing! If you are ever visiting Maggie and are here when the is a show on, it is highly recommended – heaps of fun, with a good home cooked dinner thrown in!
On Sunday preparation continued, but at 1630, WDS hosted reunion drinks for Koonya and Mica, and were joined by Deb, who was moored near us and had a crook husband, as well as Clare and Paul. It was a fun evening, and lovely to catch up with Janet and Mark, as well as getting to know Mike, Carol and Deb. Later we cooked a roast pork on the BBQ and that turned out delicious – the Airlie butcher has another winner! Monday was hot and the day we worked hardest of course! We defrosted the fridge and freezer on WDS and prepared to lock her up for a week or so, making sure she was sparkling clean and tidy before we left. Pilgrim needed to be loaded up,so several trips to and from the shed, all systems carefully checked, beds made up and dinner prepared. Clare made it to her meeting, leaving Pete, Paul and I to complete the final preparations, and at 2000 we departed Maggie Marina in calm conditions.
After we had eaten dinner, we had a glass of wine and drew for watches. Paul got first watch, Clare second, Pete third and me last. At 2100 we left Paul to a gorgeous starry evening, with Pilgrim trucking along under engine at 7 knots. I slept ok at first, but heard Clare call Pete, and didn’t sleep much after that. I was ready for my alarm at 0245, and up on deck with my cup of tea relieving Pete on time. My watch was uneventful until the last half hour. I had watched the starry sky, the half moon and our lonely little boat on the plotter, when I noticed a really bright light behind us. It seemed to be a fisho, and he was going out to sea, remaining behind us. Then I had a number of AIS targets on the plotter, the key one being a ship, in the shipping lane, heading straight for us. He was a good sixteen miles off, but moving at twelve knots, and because we were also in the shipping lanes, we would be a problem for him. I decided to change our corse by 5 degrees and see how that looked, but our meeting point still looked close, so I added another 5 degrees and this gave us about a mile clearance on him. This brought the light breeze more towards the beam, so when Paul got up to relieve me at 0500, I helped him put the bob sail out to steady our motion, and reduce engine revs.
I went out like a light for this off watch, sleeping through to about 0930, when the sun was back and thermals could be laid to rest, hopefully for the rest of the trip!