Saturday, 19 October 2002

"Happenings" Number 2 - 2002

Cruising the Queensland Coast and Home News

There have been few significant changes during the year, other than one which some of you are aware and others perhaps not.

So in order to get everyone up to scratch, and particularly many overseas friends, here’s our first attempt at a short generic update, though some of you will need to tolerate the boredom of revisiting known ground.

We returned from our 2001 six month’s cruise to PNG’s Louisiade Archipelago aboard our yacht “Envy” in time for Christmas, had a break, then back into temporary work for Audrey and boat chores for Bruce, in preparation for the 2002 cruise to New Caledonia and on to New Zealand.

The months rolled by uneventfully with the social potpourri of visiting friends, occasional dinner parties, weekend sailaways down the bay, lazy days and all the usual happenings and distractions. That is – until the Queen’s Birthday holiday weekend in mid June.

We had decided to join the Yacht Club’s monthly sail-a-way weekend, on this occasion to the picturesque Bay Islands of southern Moreton Bay, some 5 miles offshore about 25/30 miles south of Brisbane. There are six populated islands within the group (plus a similar number unpopulated) and the destination for the weekend was Karragarra Island, a small island of around 90 inhabitants, 2.5km long and 500metres wide, with a lovely well protected anchorage and sandy swimming beach.

It offers absolutely no shops or anything commercial, other than regular high-speed waterbus and vehicular ferry services. There are many more vacant allotments than houses; the place is crime free, peaceful and quiet, other than the sound of the abundant and colourful bird life.

We went ashore next morning, our first time ever on Karragarra, and Audrey declared her immediate fondness for the place before her feet had barely stepped on the sandy beach. Four weeks later we owned a house on ‘Karra’, which is now our home, and our yacht “Envy” also lives out the front on a loaned mooring.

The house is high set timber, contains 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a private rear deck with a view that can’t be built out. Nothing elaborate, but comfortable and an ideal base to lock up when we go cruising, and there’s always a big comfortable bed here for you!!

Having delayed our cruising departure whilst moving-in these past few months, our changed plans are now to sail direct to New Zealand, and we hope to leave Brisbane by mid October, weather permitting, for the 1200-mile passage across the Tasman.

Plans are to buy a van and tour around NZ for 5 months, after seeing some of the America’s Cup racing, then sail onto Tonga and Fiji mid year and return to Oz by Christmas 2003. We’ll keep you informed.

Our address here is 54 Treasure Island Ave, Karragarra Island, Queensland, 4184, though our ‘snail-mail’ address whilst away cruising remains PO Box 2019, Ascot, Qld, 4007. Our current phone here is 61-7-3409 1583, but we’ll cancel it upon departure, and this same number may not be reallocated upon reconnection on our return.

We now have a digital camera and may include an occasional photo in .jpg format, from time to time, so let us know if you prefer not to receive these attachments.