Thursday, August 21, 2014

'Up Island'

Small Boat 'Dry' Marina in Manly

In the Caribbean you travel 'Down Island' to get to warmer latitudes.   Since we're Down Under, we're going the other way, 'Up Island'

It took us one month to travel from the Gold Coast City Marina to Whitsunday Islands.  Three of those weeks were spent in marinas.  When we left, the temperatures at night were in the 40's so being able to plug in to shore power is a real plus.  There were fronts and weather to avoid and the marinas were snug along a coast that exposed to the full force of the Pacific Ocean.

Australian marinas are expensive ($79-$80 per night) and they charge 50% more if you have a catamaran.  The weekly rates, however, were the same as 5-6 nights so as long as we were waiting out 4 days of weather, well, you might as well stay for the week.

Our marina stays were as follows:
    Manly - 2 nights (Thunderstorms)
    Mooloolaba - 7 nights (4 days of high wind)
    Hervey Bay - 1 night (positioning for early 3AM departure)
    Bundaberg - 7 nights (5 days of high wind)
    Mackay - 7 nights (5 days of high wind and rain)

The beach at Mooloolaba

We anchored only 3 times:
    Garrys in Sandy Straits - 1 night - calm
    Pancake Creek - 1 night - well protected
    Great Keppel Island - 1 night - couple hours of rolling

We covered about 500 nautical miles, the weather warmed up as we came north and now anchoring is the method of choice and you can't beat the economics, free.

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