Some of you have been asking what happens now that our Tasmanian Voyage is over. Plenty is the answer! And yes we intend to keep posting and sharing with you the wondrous seascapes we are lucky enough to discover. So where to next?
First: Maintenance in the Gippsland Lakes
We have chosen to return to our old home port of Paynesville in the Gippsland Lakes to carry out some maintenance on Take It Easy. James and Tim at Frecheville Heaney Shipwrights have looked after TIE ever since we have owned her, and Medina before that, so it made sense to have them attend to the window reset and the rubbing strip at the bow that got damaged in Kettering. And Frank and Chris of Paynesville Marine Electronics, looked after the wind instrument replacement and additional battery monitoring. Both businesses fitted us in despite being flat out with other work commitments, so we are very grateful. We are here until next week while the adhesive on the window cures and we wait for favourable weather to leave.
While in Paynesville we caught up with friends and the many people we got to know over the 15 years we moored here. So although we will have ended up staying in the Lakes for over two weeks, it has been really nice. As usual things always take longer than you’d hope, but we will leave with the next weather window, after the current Antarctic blast goes past, probably sometime next week.
Second: Passage North to Queensland
And now it is high time to head north to Queensland, to escape our southern winter. It may well take us one or two months to cover the 1200 to 1500 nm along the east coast of Australia. The plan is to sail with the cool and swift southerlies, prevalent at this time of year, and enjoy rests when the warm northerlies blow. We have dear friends we will catch up with in Bermagui, Sydney and Port Macquarie. And Wade has family in Brisbane… So there will be stops along the way! But we will keep a fairly steady pace to progress northward as quickly as possible, without doing overnighters or exhausting ourselves. As you can see on the chart below, there is a fair distance to cover!
And then: Winter at the Reef
Our next rivetting expedition is to the Great Barrier Reef. We have been to the Southern Reef before, but did not spend enough time there, so we are keen to explore its many cays and lagoons. Then there is the less frequented Swain Reefs, about 100 miles offshore northeast of Yepoon, which we have never been to before. Spending winter cruising in these tropical waters will be a very special treat. This Google Earth image shows the two areas.
Our plans are really exciting because we will be doing what we have dreamt of for many years. There is so much to discover! We also want to see the Reef before it is too late, as it is under extreme threat, with parts of it highly damaged by coral bleaching.
It goes without saying that we will have plenty to write about and photograph. If you enjoy our posts, stay on board with us as our virtual crew. You are in for another interesting adventure!