More Moreton Bay adventures

Tuesday morning (13 October) it was a bit chilly as the wind was picking up so we just had a lazy day on board watching the comings and goings in the Tipplers anchorage. Overnight there was really heavy rain.

Wednesday it was cold, cloudy and raining hard most of the day so we just kept ourselves warm down below reading and relaxing.

Thursday morning – Richard’s 63rd birthday – we woke to a brilliant bright and sunny day. Yay! So incredibly grateful that he survived his heart attack in April and that he has recovered so well. So lots of things to be thankful for on this special day. We had a lazy morning and then went into Tipplers’ Cafe for a late lunch.

We enjoying watching the birds stealing leftovers and more wallaby encounters. One of them was very keen to chat to me – thought he was going to kiss me at some point – obviously made a friend here LOL.

And, of course, there is always a naughty one amongst them…. The staff certainly have their work cut out trying to clear tables before the critters move in LOL.

Afterwards Richard dinghied back to Morpheus for supplies while I found a nice spot on the beach. We enjoyed a couple of beers on the beach for a few hours before returning to sit on the coachroof and enjoy watching the sunset. It was so warm we even spent the whole evening in the cockpit which was lovely. Had been a great day.

Friday morning we were up very early and weighed anchor to head to the Huts anchorage up the Canaipa passage. As before it was serene and even the bugs weren’t biting this time. We had a quiet and peaceful night.

Saturday morning we weighed anchor but as we moved towards the channel the autopilot decided to get stuck in ‘auto’. After some manic pressing of buttons to disengage it we turned around and dropped the anchor again. A complete reboot of the whole navigation system and it was working fine – not sure why it threw a wobbly – but thankful that it appeared to just be a glitch. So off we headed again towards Peel Island which was very busy so we anchored at the back of the fleet and got a good set. Calagorm were already there and heading out to the beach in their dinghy so they came by and we made arrangements for sundowners later. At 5pm Hella and David came on board and we had great fun, was so lovely to catch up with them again.

Sunday morning the forecast continued to threaten strong northerly winds and there was a strong wind warning in place. We were experiencing a bit of fetch in our position so, as the boats thinned out, we decided to move closer in. But not before we had watched this catamaran drag swiftly through the anchorage thankfully not hitting anyone else while the person left on board just stood there. Then suddenly a dinghy came zooming out from the beach and the captain climbed back on board, started the engine, picked up the anchor and reset elsewhere. Was surprised that the skipper would leave someone on board that didn’t even know how to start the engine or respond to the VHF.

After all this excitement we picked up and moved closer to the beach. We couldn’t get set initially and it took a couple of attempts before we were happy. But at 3pm, without any warning, the anchor let go and we dragged so we had to start all over again. At this point we decided not to go ashore or to join Calagorm for sundowners – very sad about that – but it didn’t feel prudent to leave Morphie especially as there was a strong wind warning again although at this point it wasn’t too bad. So we just waved and messaged David and Hella on Calagorm sitting alongside us while we waited for the wind to arrive.

We sat in the cockpit waiting for the wind and, of course, it didn’t materialise when forecast. By 9pm it was blowing strongly and we were holding steady but still felt unsettled by what had happened early. So we decided to stay up and anchor watch… The winds did get quite gusty during the night and there was a huge thunder and lightning storm south of us. Of course these storms meant that the wind direction changed so a few times we turned around and nodded into the fetch….but, thankfully, we held firm and there was enough swinging room for everyone to stay apart. We snoozed in the cockpit and watched the show….including lots of people illuminating their decks and checking anchors….so guess not that many people slept well either.

Monday morning we checked the weather and, again, another strong wind warning but this time from the SE which would mean running back into the river system for shelter. We really wanted to avoid that as we will be doing that on our return to the Boatworks later in the month. So we waved Calagorm off as they picked up and we debated what to do. As I mentioned earlier, we are checking out marinas here in the Moreton Bay area to see whether they would be suitable for cyclone season so Richard decided we’d try out East Coast Marina in Manly for a couple of days. The biggest advantage is, of course, that it is not prone to flooding which the river-based marinas are. They were happy to accommodate us, we found the marina map online so we could identify where we were heading, and then worked our way towards Manly….we even got the sails out at one point! There were nice cloud formations over the mainland along the way.

We found the entrance to the marinas (there are three of them here behind the breakwater) and worked our way to our slip where there was a guy waiting to assist us. We made it in, despite the 18 knot breeze pushing us off, and got tied up. The Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron marina is across the way which is full of more expensive boats – we are definitely in the cheap seats here LOL. But for a few nights who cares?!?

Once we were happy we got ourselves cleaned up and went to the office to check in. All sorted and, at this point, we realised that the dock hand had actually been the manager. Wow, that was generous of him to help us! We paid up for a couple of days and gathered the information about monthly stays. Although the monthly fee looks reasonable (just a tad more expensive than back down the river) they wack on a $62 a week liveaboard fee so it quickly becomes a much more expensive option and, of course, quite a distance from our medical appointments. So perhaps not for us for longer stays but certainly a nice place for a few days here and there when we feel the need for a break from being chased from anchorage to anchorage by the constantly changing weather. Speaking of weather the storm chasers here in Queensland are predicting the next couple of weeks of significant thunderstorms and heavy rain so looks like it could be fun!!

We left the office and walked through the most stunning canopy of flowers that cover the walkway to the main road. The smell was absolutely beautiful.

We then wandered down to Manly Harbour Village enjoying the sights from the foreshore along the way. We had a coffee and then went to the small IGA supermarket for some fresh provisions…. We wandered back and stowed our goodies then took the opportunity to flush the watermaker and fill up our water tank and then wash all the salt off Morphie. She looked so much better afterwards…..

We then had a quiet evening and an early night to catch up on our sleep. Of course, the strong winds forecast disappeared during the evening leaving a flat calm night.

This morning, Tuesday, and I’ve been up early to avail myselves of the facilities. The small shower and toilet block is exceptionally clean and well maintained – was quite impressed – particularly as this marina seems to house a lot of liveaboards and was busy with people getting ready for work. Back on board and Richard is still in bed while I’m blogging. Not sure what we are going to do later but I think another walk back into the village might be on the cards.

So bye for now and take care everybody. The news from home is awful we know that we are very lucky to be out here but do worry for you all. Please take care and stay safe.