9th Dec Mackay to Hunter Island Back on the Helm

Well here we are again, ready to take the boat as far south as we can in the week then its back to work again. Hopefully we can get as far as Hervey Bay, winds allowing. At the moment we have favorable winds but not sure if they are going to last. We spent the last month getting the business up and running and catching up with everything.

Grandkids – Abe and Lola on the banks of the Murray


Wind   E  10 – 15   Sunny    75nm

Up early to complete the last minute chores in anticipation of heading south. It didn’t feel very early as our bodies were operating on NSW  daylight savings time. The forecast was for easterlies 10 – 15 knts and a below 1 metre swell. It was hard to tell what the sea state was inside the marina as we were well protected by the high rock wall around it .

Goodbye Mackay

We have been joined by Friz our mate from Inverell who have been retired now since June and is eager to get some sailing miles under his belt.

We motored out  to the entrance channel and pulled up both the main and jib then headed on a course of 130°. The swell was sloppy as it was partly on the beam and we didn’t have our sea legs either.

Not far from shore two schools of fish were slashing and churning up the water. The inevitable happened and we had two  fish on the rods at the same time. We furled the jib, turned into the wind only to be disappointed as both of them were large Tuna Macs. It was their lucky day as we didn’t need any bait so they were returned to their fishy quarters.

Morgan wanted to know if Santa was on board








The day was very long with little to look at. John pulled in what he thought was a Spanish mackerel but it freed itself just as it reached the boat resulting in Friz and my ears ringing with colourful swear word courtesy of the captain.

We alternated shifts on the helm with reading, Mulligan Geotechnical work and sleeping as everyone adjusted to sea life again as the constant movement of the boat, waves, sun, ocean noises and humidity  wore us out.

We arrived at the Duke islands at 6:30 and sailed down Lola – Mantes passage between Marble and Hunter. All the Duke islands have been grazed at some time and we could see a herd of red deer on a spur on Marble. They were extremely flighty and looking for a place to hide even though we were a kilometre from them and on the water. The homestead and surrounding buildings were obviously occupied as a runabout  was pulled up onto the beach.


Coming out the bottom of the passage we dropped the sails and motored round to the western side of Hunter. The anchorage was lovely and calm and would make a good anchorage in south easterlies.

The pick was dropped in 5 metres of water and we just had time to enjoy happy hour before the sun subsided over the horizon.

Garlic chicken with chat potatoes  and steamed greens pulled us up for the day, so with no TV reception we headed for bed.

3 thoughts on “9th Dec Mackay to Hunter Island Back on the Helm”

    1. Friz said was he the postman ? Or any relation to Kevin Coster, he was the archer in Robin Hood. Friz says he bought a house in Bulgaria.

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