Thursday, 30 June 2022

Scarborough to Hervey Bay

At the beginning of April, after five long months on land we finally headed back to our lovely floating home, our 14 metre sailing catamaran, SV. Ruby Blue

Whitsundays 2022


There was quite a bit of cleaning up, wiping down, organising and re-organising to be done, especially as the Captain had made a solo flying visit earlier in the year. Think mess, mess and more mess!

Still, we were both excited to be back and looked forward to another fabulous cruising season.

After catching up on all the jobs, we welcomed our first guests for the year. Our daughter Kristyn and her partner Tom had planned a few visits previously that had been stymied by that devil Covid. So we were really excited to welcome them aboard over the Easter school holidays. Unfortunately, Kris came down with Covid just after they arrived and the weather wasn’t playing nice … but we did manage a cruise to Moreton Island, try out the Captain’s new Stand up Paddle board, catch some yummy fish and visit one of our favourite anchorages at Bribie Island.

Back at the marina we eagerly took delivery of our brand new carbon-fibre mainsail from LR Sails. The captain was beside himself with excitement and spent many happy hours talking ‘vangs, luffs and reefs’ with local master sailmakers and fellow sailing tragics, Luke and Russ. But, even I had to admit that our first trip out on Moreton Bay watching our massive glossy black sail fill with wind was exhilarating, especially as we weren’t being splattered by peeling shreds of sailcloth per our old falling-apart sail.

Following a quick trip back to the Peninsula for a certain little lady’s absolutely fantabulous wedding (Hi Brig!) plus a long-awaited trip to Bendigo(Hi Mitchell’s) , we arrived back in Scarborough just in time to experience the coldest and wettest May in Queensland on record.

In the midst of this joyous occasion, we welcomed our next guests, Sandra and Phillip. Luckily, they had their campervan so we were able to get out and about amid downpours including a very soggy visit to the Sanctuary Cove Boat show. Phillip and the Captain were in their element amongst the staggering array of watercraft on show, while Sandra and I enjoyed viewing the latest in enormously expensive must-have sailwear plus every nautical décor item ever made.

Eventually, we set off toward Tangalooma Resort on Moreton Island to meet up with fellow catamaran cruisers, Steve & Fiona on ‘SV.Bella Vita’ plus Matthew & Andrew on ‘SV.Keswick Pearl’.

Looking back, it probably wasn’t the best day to leave port with 20 knot winds forecast plus what turned out to be a four metre swell in confused sea conditions, but at least it wasn’t raining! Poor Sandra was regretting her decision not to take any seasickness meds but after a rather bouncy crossing, she gallantly braved the first of many sundowners to be enjoyed with this salty crew.

The next few days weren’t much better. We couldn’t pull in to Mooloolaba as planned, due to the bar crossing being silted up, so we sailed through the wily wavy seas into Double Island Lagoon (just off the end of Fraser Island) with one very seasick crew member aboard.

Just to add to the drama, we also managed to break one of the brand new battens in the mainsail. But, as promised by the Captain, the sun was shining and the water in the lagoon was clear and calm in this gorgeous yachtie haven. It’s cut off from the ocean and surrounded by wide sandbars under the watchful eye of the Double Island Point lighthouse.

That evening, we all enjoyed a gala version of sundowners on the sandy spit, swapping sailing stories and swatting sandflies whilst meeting sailors from near and far.  These included several sailing families, bravely taking their kids on spectacular adventures they’ll never forget.

The next day we crossed the infamous Wide Bay Bar without incident and pulled in at Tin Can Bay, (a tiny seaside town with a BIG fishing problem). Incredibly our friendly sail-maker, Luke had raced up earlier that morning with a replacement batten. How’s that for good ol’ fashioned service, eh? We all then enjoyed a leisurely wander through town before treating ourselves to that age-old waterside activity of boat ramp viewing along with hot frothy coffees from the marina café.

The next few days were spent exploring the glorious anchorages of the Great Sandy Straits accompanied by about a million sandflies, quite a few swooping sea eagles protecting their nests and several wild dingoes sneaking along the coast. Sadly, the Captain didn’t manage to catch any fish but we all enjoyed touring Kingfisher Resort on Fraser Island. It’s a casual beachy kinda place, one of the first Eco resorts built in Queensland, now set snugly amid lush tropical gardens and tall native trees.  The K’garri museum on  the island tells the story of its indigenous peoples, plants and animals and the sad history of removing them from Country and introducing the devastating industries of sand mining and timber-getting to this stunning environment.

Our cruising pal Steve had told us that the remains of a secret Defence force camp for Z-Force (a joint special forces unit formed during WWII to operate behind Japanese lines in SE Asia) were located on the island so we trekked towards the site all the way along the beach collecting rubbish washed ashore by the recent floods as we went.

Sadly, there wasn’t actually much to see but schlepping all the way back again bought on a mighty thirst in the Captain and his crew, (plus the huge tide meant our dinghy was sitting high and dry on the sand) so we spent the next few hours supping coldies from the Sunset Bar. Well, someone’s gotta do it…

We pulled into the marina at Hervey Bay to drop off our guests, scrub the decks and catch up on the mountains of washing.

However, locally based buddies Karen & Dave insisted that we join them and their houseguests for dinner. Fishing, family and camping stories flew around the bonfire that night so we decided to continue the catch up the following day meeting for a swanky brunch in town. Still not satisfied, they all joined us aboard Ruby Blue for an afternoon-sunset cruise. Despite the unseasonably cold air biting those thin-skinned Queenslanders, a grand time was had and we waved a sad farewell, promising to catch up again soon.


Lorelle Fallshaw

Lorelle Fallshaw

Great read. Sounds like you are both enjoying life on Ruby Blue. Does Ian love his SUP? We are only away this trip for 8 weeks but at least we’re getting away from the winter chill. I will look forward to going back and reading about your previous trips. Enjoy life to the fullest and keep having fun.😘

July 1, 2022 at 5:35 am


YEAY – Bounce Blogs are back! That black sail sounds rather spiffy, and I bet the Captain is mighty pleased. Lots of adventures packed into this one post – think I’ll head back in for a reread to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Nice one [standing up applause] xx

July 5, 2022 at 2:17 am

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When Danielle?s not busy writing, she loves to read, attend writing events and travel as much as possible. Exploring also provides plenty of opportunity for Danielle to indulge in her favourite sports of eavesdropping and people watching, which manages to fill her notebooks with even more story ideas.

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Past the Shallows
We Don't Live Here Anymore
The Last Ride
Darkness on the Edge of Town
The Ottoman Motel
The Shadow of the Wind
The Book Thief
On the Jellicoe Road
Dirt Music
The Broken Shore
Foal's Bread
The Midnight Dress
Burial Rites
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