Woke up to 2 very excited boys with pressies and stuff they made at school for me. Very sweet and I felt very spoilt. Nice brekkie in bed followed by a family tennis session, lunch and climbing the fig tree on the foreshore. Coops and I went for a walk up to the lookout in the arvo. I cooked the boys dinner on the bow and met the neighbours who had arrived a couple of days ago. They've got 2 kids also and have sailed up from Sydney homeschooling for the term. So fabulous to talk to people who are experiencing a similar journey. Coops and Eddie were very excited to have kids living next door, they went and played and checked out the big Barra's that live around the marina.
7 May 2017
Mandy and I took up the opportunity while our hubbies were both home to pop over to Hamo for the night. The weather was wet and windy but it didn't stop us from having a fabulous weekend! We had so much fun feeding the cockatoos on our balcony and our room was gorgeous. We had an amazing massage and facial, cocktails, in house movies, loads of chats on the balcony and plenty of food! Was just the perfect little getaway to relax and put our feet up after surviving Debbie!
5 May 2017
And she's officially on the market!
1 May 2017
We've discovered the beauty of Conway National Park. Beautiful walking and biking tracks. Tried mountain biking for the first time and LOVED it!
25 April 2017
The boys and I decided to skip the dawn service and do the march instead. Coops and Eddie wore their school uniforms and marched down the Main Street of Airlie Beach. Was so proud of them. They are really starting to understand the sacrifice the soldiers made and are willing to put themselves out in order to pay their respects. Had a Maccas brekkie after and a play at the oval and skatepark in the arvo with Ross, Margaret and Ethan.
17 April 2017
School went back this week after 3 weeks off. The kids had their reward day and Easter Bonnet Parade in the first couple of days back seeing they didn't happen last term because of TC Debbie! Felt lovely being back at school, everyone had been through the ringer and I nearly cried at the beautiful community spirit from the teachers. Eddie looked super cute in his Bonnet in the Easter Parade. I volunteered in the Tuck Shop with Mandy as usual. Starting to get things organised on the boat, although it's hard getting quotes for the damage, everyone is so busy. I was very happy that our walking trail had been cleared when Yindi and I went for our morning walkies. On the weekend the boys and I drove to Bowen to see the new Smurfs movie. We also found a beach with a fabulous name and checked out the Big Mango on the way.
15 April 2017
The Easter Bunny & Leeanne's visit.
Good Friday was a slow day after Thursday nights shenanigans! Leeanne arrived from Brisbane on Saturday for a couple of nights. Was lovely to have her onboard the Dolphin Lady and to show her Airlie. We visited Cedar Creek Falls, went SUP'ing and we checked out the night life together! Poor Kerry was pretty crook so we had to paint the town red on our own! We did a great job too! Lol! Easter morning was fabulous and the boys were stoked with the eggs the bunny left all over the boat! Chocolate overload for all!
9 April 2017
We've been working on the boat and getting out and about for school holidays. Boys have been fabulous and happy just mostly hanging around with a few outings here and there. We went and checked out Dingo Beach which was very trashed from Debbie. We also went for a drive out to Shute Harbour, it was heartbreaking, so many boats wrecked on rocks, beaches and mangroves. This storm was a force to be reckoned with that's for sure. We had a little get together on the top deck with Mandy, Craig, Kate and their visitors from the UK! Was awesome to let our hair down and relax (and dance! lol) together after the stresses of the past couple of weeks.
8 April 2017
Today this awesome 9 year old and I joined the Whitsunday's Volunteer Group. For 4 hours we worked our butts off in the yard of a local bloke whose away having a liver transplant. Lots of cutting, carrying, tip runs and laughs followed by McDonalds reward after!
7 April 2017
The army is here to help with the clean up and Eddie was lucky enough to check out one of their vehicles today. He was very excited about it! The cinema in Proserpine put on a free movie (Finding Dory) and had some soldiers and vehicles there for the kids to explore! Pretty cool!
Boys also got to meet a couple of the Townsville Cowboys who came down to Airlie for the kids too. Eddie got his Qld State of Origin shirt signed by Matty Bowen, I was way more excited about this than he was!!
Kerry got home yesterday, soooo glad he's back. It's been a full on 2 weeks for me.
Life in Airlie is slowly returning to normal, businesses opening who have power and streets getting cleaned up. Our power is not back on yet but Kerry fixed the downstairs generator which makes life a little easier!
3 April 2017
Airlie Beach - The After Math.
So many devastating scenes as we drove around after Cyclone Debbie hit Airlie Beach. Our favourite places - the playground, skatepark, boardwalk, school, the entire town looks like a war zone. Plenty of devastation for people in the marina, boats sunk or smashed on rocks, boats on the local beaches that were out on moorings. So much devastation and plenty of people in very dire situations. No food, water or shelter. We are absolutely one of the lucky ones. Businesses have been closed as there has been no power for over a week now. Some businesses flooded or torn apart. Houses flooded with roofs missing, trees, gutters & debri everywhere! Such a different looking town to 2 weeks ago. There have been beautiful stories of kindness. People volunteering helping others all day long & offering food, water & power from their generators. Businesses offering their services for free or giving the money they make back to the community. Beautiful community spirit.
29 March 2017
TC Debbie v's Dolphin Lady!
I am very excited to report that the Dolphin Lady won with a few bruises and scratches on her. The roads were closed for a while into Airlie Beach so I was unable to go and check on her for a while. The walk from the car park to the boat was a very anxious one! My heart was pumping out of my chest not knowing what I was going to find! It felt awesome to see her standing tall in her berth. Although when I did get there a marina worker said "oh she's about to leave"! So with his help and still in 40+ knot winds we retied her in with a big new rope. The damage is all superficial, there was stuff flung everywhere inside, damage to railings, floorings and ceilings. The tender was half sunk with its outboard motor gone! We were much luckier than some. So grateful!
28 March 2017
So many people reached out to us over the last couple of days it has been so beautiful and reassuring. We are safe and well. It's been unbelievable, like nothing I've ever been through. The eye crossed right over us and round two of Debbie was on a whole other level. Still very full on outside so not able to check on the Dolphin Lady as yet. Mandy's house copped a beating and hasn't faired well at all. But the 5 of us and 3 dogs managed to stay safe... we cried, we laughed, we sang, we played games, we mopped up a lot of water and we were grateful we had each other. Haven't seen any footage as we've not had power for 36 hours but I hope everyone managed to stay safe also.
27 March 2017
Getting closer.... 😕. 9pm update of Cyclone Debbie.
The community spirit is alive and well in Airlie! I have had people go above and beyond for me, the boys and the boat. With Kerry away working, so many people have helped me tie the boat down and prepare her, we've had offers of accommodation and so many messsges and calls checking in on us. I've made new friends and swapped numbers at the marina with some lovely people. I love how these sorts of things bring out the best in people. Boys, Yindi and I are safe and staying in a house up high on dry land. So very grateful to Mandy and Kate and their 2 dogs for taking us in.
Now we just wait, 88 knot winds predicted. I'm feeling quite anxious and I've never felt this way in my 14 years of cyclones living in Karratha. I know we are safe, not so sure how the Dolphin Lady will fair. Fingers crossed.
25 March 2017
Cyclone Debbie is coming our way!! I spent all day pulling down shades and packing everything away. A very lovely man, Hayden, jumped on board and sorted my lines out. Boys, Yindi and I will go onshore tomorrow for a sleepover at Mandy's for 2 nights... Eddie's a bit excited about sleeping over at the Tuckshop Lady's house!! Lol. Cyclone coming Monday night!
19 March 2017
Having Kerry home is soooo nice, not just for the company and help... but we get to go explore the beautiful Whitsunday Islands! So Saturday morning we headed out to Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island for the night. Always feels awesome to be out on the water again. Just love it! Whitehaven is a pretty impressive Beach which is probably why boats of tourists were being dropped off and picked up all day! But by 4pm the last tourist boat left and we were left to enjoy this long stretch of beach in peace. Can't wait to explore some more next time Kerrys home!
12 March 2017
In between Kerry being away we've just been enjoying Airlie Beach and it's beauty. Cedar Creek Falls, marina life, yoga, tennis, coffee shops and walks! It's all good!
4 March 2017
Cooper's 9th Birthday & Conway Beach.
So Coops turned 9 on the 6th March and had a pretty good birthday! He missed his Karratha friends so much, he really felt it. But he still managed to have fun! 3 kids from his class came to his party at the lagoon, it was pouring with rain but they had a blast! Kerry was away which was another first for us, but he made up for it on his return and took Coop out for dinner and a swim just the two of them.
Eddie had been learning about Conway Beach at school so we headed out there one Sunday. There were hundreds of little blue crabs on the beach, boys loved it. At the caravan park there you can pay to go and use their pool and jumping pillow. We went with Margaret and Ethan and had a great time playing and checking out the wildlife. Only half an hour from Airlie, pretty cool.
2 March 2017
Airlie and Surrounds. The Carnage.
So many of our favourite places are trashed, so much devastation around. Our favourite playground, skatepark, walking trails and boardwalks - all trashed with fallen trees and broken equipment. The marina has so many sad stories of boats sunk and plenty of boats on the beaches and rocks around town. Businesses flooded and torn apart. Peoples houses flooded and damaged or lost. So many people in so many dire situations. We are absolutely the lucky ones. Many people not able to afford food, water or shelter. There are so many stories of kindness going around, people working all day to help others. Offers of accommodation, food, water, washing and friendship. Businesses offering their services for free or donating their income to the town to rebuild. The community is definitely coming together to get out of this mess. Still no power after 8 days. Water came back on day 5 which is a huge help. What an incredible force of nature we experienced.
18 February 2017
Got to go out to the Whitsunday Islands for the first time! I was so excited to get out there and see them, it's one of the reasons we decided to stay here. It felt so good moving the Dolphin Lady again, just love the feeling of cruising out on the open water. We only had a night to explore so we headed to one of the closer islands. We anchored just inside side the mouth of Macona Inlet in front of Curlew Beach. So peaceful and beautiful. We anchored and spent the next 2 days relaxing, beaching, paddling and snorkelling. We were lucky to get glass off waters and a beach to ourselves. Yindi had an absolute ball... we all did.
15 February 2017
It's been a busy month! Boys have settled into school nicely, they are both happy to go and Eddie got an award at the first assembly for trying so hard. Kerry came home and we tag teamed it with me flying to Adelaide the day after he arrived home from his 3 week shift. Adelaide was lovely, I caught up with my cousin, friends, family and my baths!! Lol! I saw James Taylor live with Mum and did zip lining with my bro and nieces. Lots of catch ups with friends and family, it was really nice to see everyone again. Was just as nice coming back to Airlie to see my boys and spend time with husby. So nice having him home and spending time together. Breakfasts, walks, waterfalls, islands, boat jobs it's all much nicer when he's around. We've been scrubbing the Pilbara iron ore off the boat, she's looking much whiter and almost fitting in (well not really 🤣) with the other really white and really expensive boats in the marina!
26 January 2017
Australia Day 🇦🇺 2017 - Airlie Beach.
We spent the arvo down at the lagoon and Oz day celebrations at the foreshore. Lovely day spent with Margaret and Ethan swimming, chatting, eating, drinking cocktails and catching crabs under the rocks on the beach. Ethan had a sleepover on the boat, boys loved it!
23 January 2017
Airlie Beach is treating us pretty well! We've been spending time with our new friends Margaret and Ethan at the lagoon and Anchor Bar. I feel very grateful to have made such a good friend. The boys and I went and checked out Cedar Creek Falls which were flowing and very beautiful. We've done a little bush walk and have taken Yindi to Bunnings for supplies. We walk Yindi most mornings along the boardwalk to a little beach, we meet our dog friends there most mornings. Boys started school today and looked very smart in their new uniforms. They both were very eager to go after a 29 week break from being in a classroom full of other kids! The ride to school is pretty spectacular and they both had a nice first day. It felt strange walking away from the school without them this morning.
17 January 2017
So a lot has happened in the last 9 days. The kids are enrolled in Cannonvale State School, we bought a car and we've decided to stay in Airlie for 6 months!! It was a huge decision for me and I couldn't make up my mind for a few days but finally made the call. Boys are so excited to be starting school! I'm excited that they're starting too just quietly!!! It's been 28 weeks since they've been to school! We've been catching up with Margaret and Ethan our new friends which has been so nice. I've been cleaning the iron ore off the outside of the boat... it's a big job! We've been to the movies to see Sing in Proserpine and we've been walking Yindi along the boardwalk to a little beach most mornings! Today we are buying school uniforms! It will be great having a car and exploring this region.
9 January 2017
It's been very wet here in Airlie since our arrival, they've had record rainfalls! So it's been lots of indoor activities along with pulling down the collapsed shade structure on the top deck. It couldn't handle the weight of the water and came crashing down! Bummer! Kerry has been busy rebuilding another shade structure and has put up some side shade too. Boys and I went to the lagoon for the first time yesterday when the sun decided to peak through the clouds briefly. Coops and Ed met a local kid and I made friends with his Mum, we are going to catch up again. Kerry flies out tomorrow so we snuck off for a sneaky breaky overlooking the marina this morning.
4 January 2017
Gloucester Island to Airlie Beach. We only had 22nm to Airlie this morning, so there was no need for an early rise. We had a smooth run into Airlie Beach with nice flat seas and gorgeous scenery. On our arrival into the marina I headed in first in the dinghy to find our berth and get ready to catch the lines to tie us in. Airlie Beach is very pretty, the water is turquoise blue and the mountains a beautiful green. The marina is lovely and the staff super friendly and helpful. They have a car you can use for provisioning so we borrowed the car and went for a cruise through Airlie township and then over to Cannonvale to Coles. The cool thing about this marina is there is a beach right next to it which we can SUP and kayak to! Perfect!! I think we are gonna like it here!!
3 January 2017
Upstart Bay to Gloucester Island. 3am start this morning again to beat the weather that never seemed to come in... again! The good thing though is we arrived at our destination at 11.30am. We chilled on the boat for a couple of hours and headed over to the beach. The boys played and swam for a couple of hours and we had dinner at Montes Resort. Definitely want to come back here for a holiday, such a cool place! Today was fabulous, loved it! There are so many amazing things over this side of Australia!
2 January 2017
Magnetic Island to Cape Upstart. Early start pulling anchor at 3.40am, Kerry did the first shift so I went back to bed! The weather was due to come in windy around 1pm so at 9am we turned in heading to Cape Bowling Green to anchor for the night. It would be a further 5 hours to Cape Upstart, we were so indecisive of what to do. In the end we made the call and turned back out heading to Cape Upstart. Weather was perfect the whole way there, thank goodness, we made the right decision. We anchored at the Cape at 1.30pm and watched an impressive storm front go past. The beach has 40+ shacks that can only be accessed by boat. Pretty awesome, reminded me of the Dampier Archipelago a bit. The boats from the shacks were curious of our arrival and about a dozen dinghy's came past to suss us out. Had a chat to one of them and he advised us there had been a couple of crocs in the area recently, so no swimming for us! We hung around on board, fishing, playing UNO and catching jellyfish!
1 January 2017
Orpheus Island to Magnetic Island. We left Orpheus at a reasonable hour of 5am, beautiful flat seas once again. We made good time and were anchored in Horseshoe Bay by 11am. Kerry had arranged to meet up with a couple of his mates Barnyard and Lyn who live on Magnetic Island, so we headed straight over to the beach. The bay has a lovely strip with a pub, cafe's, shops and holiday accomm. Boys had a swim in the sea inside the stinger free enclosure. We had lunch at the pub and Barny and Lyn came back to the boat to check it out and we sat on the top deck for a couple of hours checking out the views of their Island! Early night ready for an early start to beat the weather tomorrow.
31 December 2016
Dunk Island to Orpheus Island. Another early start, it really is beautiful watching the sun come up as we're cruising along, even thought its hard to pull myself out of bed some mornings. Had an 8 hour day today with fairly calm seas, had a little bit of swell but nothing too bad. We made good time and arrived at Orpheus at 1pm. Kids were excited to get to the beach but Kerry and I both had jobs to do around the boat. We headed over to Yank Jetty which looked like a pretty good spot according to google. And it was magnificent! A jetty with a pontoon at the end with shade, fish all around and a gorgeous beach. The kids and I jumped in the water and snorkelled around the fish, Eddie did amazing snorkelling duck diving under and swimming down to check out the coral and fish! The beach was stunning and there were some cool rocks to climb! This part of Australia is incredible. We headed back to the boat for pizza and a beer for New Years Eve! In bed by 9pm!! Party Animals!!
30 December 2016
Fitzroy Island to Dunk Island. Early start this morning with 60 miles to push through today. Beautiful calm weather made the 10 hour passage pretty easy, we played games, baked and took in the stunning coastline. We arrived at Dunk Is at 3.30 and the boys and I headed to the beach while Kerry stayed on board to get a couple of jobs done! Such a cool little Island with a great beach, nice beach cafe and awesome views! BBQ tea on the top deck and boys in bed ready for tomorrow's journey!
29 December 2016
More Fitzroy fun!
Hello next adventure! 1st stop Fitzroy Island, only 15nm from Cairns. Took us 2.5hrs to get here and its beautiful! Snorkelling, SUPing, beaching! Perfect!
Goodbye Cairns... Thanks for an incredible 7 weeks!
25 December 2016
Christmas Day 2016!
We had a perfect Xmas in Cairns!
Boys were so excited Xmas Eve about Santa coming! Such a great vibe, it's one of my favourite days of the year!
It was an early start on Xmas morning with the boys awake at 4.30am!! We made them wait another hour then they got stuck into it!! They were super happy with there pressies although one of Eddie's requests didn't come, but a note from Santa instead, saying it had fallen out the sleigh and the elves are making another one and will send it soon... Oops!
We cooked a roast on the top deck and enjoyed a nice quiet lunch on the bow with just the 4 of us.
After a little rest we went and met Christo, Geraldine and Sophie for a swim, BBQ tea and beers (in Star Wars cups) at the lagoon!
20 December 2016
We were so lucky to have the gorgeous Akacia and Shayne spend 5 days on the boat with us! The boys (especially Cooper) loved having a baby onboard. Akacia was so happy and content it was just beautiful watching the 3 kids together. We spent time at the lagoon, visited the botanical gardens and did a couple of trips to the very beautiful Cascade Falls! Now we have one day on our own tomorrow before Kerry comes home early Friday morning and the man in the red suit visits on Sunday morning!! Can't wait!! Kids are very excited too!
17 December 2016
We made the Cairns Weekend Paper!!
16 December 2016
Dolphin Lady Croc School Xmas Craft - Homemade Snow Globes!
15 December 2016
Tonight the boys and I did the Cairns Christmas Lights Ride! It was wonderful! We decorated our bikes with tinsel and lights, put antlers on our helmets and wore our Christmas t-shirts! There were over 400 people riding and everyone made so much effort dressing themselves and their bikes up! And the cool thing is all the proceeds go to Ronald McDonald house, so we got to have fun and raise money at the same time! The ride was 14.5km long, which I didn't realise before we left! The boys did amazing and we got police escorts all through the suburbs of Cairns up to Edge Hill to see plenty of houses with Christmas Lights! The Christmas spirit was fully alive with people lining the streets to watch us all ride past. At the top of the hill in front of one of the brightly lit up houses there was a quartet singing carols, I've never done anything so Christmasy! It was such a feel good thing to do as a family and what an achievement for the boys, 2 hours of riding! They are broken now! 😴❤️🎅🏼
14 December 2016
We had a great week with Nanna and Grandpa visiting us in Cairns! We drove to Kuranda and Port Douglas and checked out the markets. The boys got spoilt and got to go bowling, trampolining and had baths in their hotel room! They really miss being able to have baths so this was a highlight for them!! Lol!! Ann and I had a couple of lovely days shopping without kids in tow which is a highlight for me!! 😜 We went to Carols by Candlelight but it absolutely poured with rain and we were all drenched and cold! Bummer, so we had to leave and watched the fireworks out the window of the boat. It's been quite wet the last few days but still warm, love this tropical weather! We had a lovely week with family and now waiting for Shayne and Akacia to come and hang with us for a few nights from Saturday!
7 December 2016
We've had a great week in Cairns with Kerry home! We've been showing him around our favourite cafe's and places to visit! We've been productive with schooling and Kerry's been doing some maintenance on the boat too! We've been to the movies, lagoon, our favourite cafe (once or twice lol) and our favourite ice cream place (once or twice too!). I've been doing our food shopping on my bike which I just love doing. Our elf on the shelf returned, don't know how he found us, and the boys have been enjoying finding him each morning. We've put up some lights and tinsel around the boat and a tree inside. Life in Cairns is pretty cool, we are feeling pretty lucky right now. Nanna and Grandpa arrive tomorrow for a week, we are all very excited!
1 December 2016
So Husby is home and we've moved the Dolphin Lady to a new pen. Got some complaints about our bow hanging over so they moved us and we've managed to reverse in! Much easier getting on and somewhere to put my bike! Winning! Now we have 2 weeks all together chilling in Cairns and getting excited about Father Christmas visiting!
28 November 2016
And on the same day Liz left, one of my bestie's from Adelaide arrived! I was so excited waiting for her to arrive! We only got one night together but we made the most of it. Had heaps of laughs, drinks, coffee's, food and quality time together! I was so grateful to get the opportunity to show her our floating home and for her to get a little taste of what our life is like at the moment. She has been a huge supporter of our trip. Being away from everyone has really made it clear that your friends make your world! Miss all my wonderful friends and it has really highlighted how lucky I am to have such great support and love around me!
27 November 2016
Green Island - on Liz's last day we caught the ferry over to Green Island for the day. The trip over was a bit rough and Liz was lucky enough to sit next to a Japanese tourist who was hurling... quite loudly! Lol! Once we were there we headed to the beach for a snorkel. Eddie had to go with Liz of course, but soon we all caught up and snorkelled together! Was so cool, the reef was pretty average but there was plenty of sea life around! We saw quite a few turtles and fish, but the highlight was Coops finally got to swim with a reef shark! We got really close and Eddie was excited too! We spent the rest of our time at Green Island eating, drinking cocktails at the pool bar and swimming in the pool! Was a perfect day!
24 November 2016
Our 5 nights with Liz on the Dolphin Lady was fabulous! The boys loved having her around (especially Eddie, they have a pretty special bond). We spent our time fairly casually! having coffee's, cooking, hanging on the boat, schooling boys and hanging at the lagoon. We hired a car for a couple of days and we took her up to Kuranda. We walked Yindi a lot trying to get her more used to being out and about. She's getting a lot better! Christo came for a visit one evening, it was pretty awesome watching a huge cruise liner go past as well as seeing the bats as they head over to the mangroves to feed for the night. Feeling pretty lucky having beautiful people come and visit us.
15 November 2016
Our first week staying in the Cairns marina with Mum has been pretty awesome! It's so nice to have Mum here with me, I've really missed my people! We kept busy around town at the lagoon, markets, shops, cafe's, taking Yindi for walks and hanging out on the boat. We even managed to get a bit of school in each day for the boys. We went to Kuranda one day and checked out the botanical gardens in Cairns which are pretty beautiful. Cairns has so much going on and has a good vibe to it. Lots of tourists and the locals are super friendly. Mum spent 10 days with us which just flew by, the morning she flew out, Liz flew in the same afternoon to come play with us! I feel so grateful we are having so many people visit us!
12 November 2016
We left the Low Islets early to catch the calm weather forecasted for the morning. The prediction was totally wrong and the wind was a strong northerly. We were cruising at a pretty decent speed but had to manually steer as the waves we were riding were pushing us off course constantly. The passage into the Cairns marina was therefore a little stressful but successful. Kerry managed to park up the Dolphin Lady like a legend into her pen. Kids and I were stoked to be in Cairns, so excited and it feels like such a huge achievement that we made it this far! We got settled at the marina and headed into town for a big feed! Mum flew in the next day and we headed up to Port Douglas for the night. We had the loveliest time together staying in a hotel and hanging out (and I got to have a bath!!). Was super nice to see her, Port Douglas is such a beautiful place! Took Mum back to the boat on Monday to see the kids and be back for husby to fly out Tuesday morning back to work.
11 November 2016
Low Island - It was lovely waking up yesterday morning & not having to travel anywhere! We brought the dinghy down & went across to the beach for a snorkel. This island is so cute, there's a little walking track going through which takes you to the lighthouse. We had a snorkel & went back to the boat for a rest & lunch. In the arvo we cruised back over to the beach, so much nicer in the afternoon as the tourist boats have gone & we got the beautiful beach & coral reef to ourselves. Coops went with Kerry and I went with Eddie snorkelling. Eddie and I had the most beautiful encounters with a couple of turtles and we saw about 5 different ones. Eddie surprised me with his snorkelling skills, he just nailed it in quite wavy water too. So happy for him, he was so stoked to play with the turtles, we even swam with a reef shark. After our snorkel the boys played in the water and Kerry and I sat on the beach with a couple of beers! Totally in my happy place, this little island is incredible!
10 November 2016
Cape Bedford to Low Isles. What a fantastic day on the water yesterday, it gave us all the reasons why we are doing this! We had calm seas & the Cape Tribulation coastline is just stunning with its huge green mountains! Cooper made a to do list for the day & ticked off everything! This included: catch a fish, do nuffing, play Boombeach, eat, play with Eddie & go for a swim! So cute! We were pumping out 7.2 knots & got to the Low Isles at 3pm. We picked up a mooring out the front of the most perfect little island. Palm trees, a light house & coral right in front of the beach. The boys were so excited, as soon as we turned the engines off there were black tip reef sharks & these huge bat fish just hanging around the stern! Yindi was very interested!! So while Captain Slug did some work on the boat, the boys & I SUP'd to the beach & went snorkelling for about 2 hours! Coops had a fantastic encounter with a turtle & Eddie got to snorkel with turtles too! In my absolute Happy Place!
9 November 2016
Bathurst Bay to Cape Bedford. Another 4am start so we could do 84nm today. Eventful morning with Kerry checking the lure we have dragging out the back and pulled in a 124cm barracuda! It was bigger than Eddie! We couldn't eat it though because if they are over 100cm there is a risk of them being ciguatoxic. Rest of the day was nice weather wise and boys had fun today. We made play dough which kept them entertained for quite a while. We also made muffins and did the usual dvd watching and checking out the coastline of Oz! We trawled all day for a feed and luckily managed to catch a mackerel entering the bay of Cape Bedford, so salt and pepper fish tonight and it was delish! Movie and relax time now.
8 November 2016
Morris Island to Bathurst Bay. We had a 4.30am start to take advantage of the calm weather. Had a pretty non eventful day on the water which is always a good thing! Boys played, watched Tele and even did a bit of schooling!! Bathurst Bay is a pretty spot to anchor with hills and beaches around us. We made delicious fish patties for tea which were a hit with every family member! Had an early night ready for another early start tomorrow!
The GPS & My Female Brain!
We'd been travelling for a couple of days after leaving Horn Island & I'm thinking to myself... what the F is wrong with me! Every time it was my turn to drive I'd get really confused about what was left and what was right on the GPS screen and what direction the boat is facing. I've never had a problem, ever, with my lefts and rights. So I put it down to being pretty relaxed & out of practice. But I couldn't get my head around it, I still was finding it difficult to navigate & work out what way we were going!! And then the penny dropped!! The whole time we've been travelling the map has "been up the right way", we have been travelling pretty much in a northerly direction. NOW though we are travelling south and the map is UPSIDE DOWN! Now my analytical & pragmatic husband thinks this is just madness and cannot relate one bit! 😂 I feel like I need to stand on my head or tilt my head to read the map! I'm sure I'll have it sussed by Tweed Heads!! 😜
7 November 2016
Lockhart River to Morris Island. We decided not to do night passages due to the amount of ships around yesterday, so we broke the trip up and added an extra day to get to Cairns. So we need to bypass Lizard Island but may go to the Low Islets for a day instead. Beautiful calm seas for our passage today, although the boys didn't have such a calm day!! Lots of fighting and a bit grumpy today, I guess you have those days. Caught another School Mackerel this morning trawling from the stern! Just love it! We got to Morris Island at about 3pm, is the prettiest little Island with beautiful sand and a couple of palm trees. Took advantage of the afternoon on anchor, boys had a quick dip, caught up on washing on the top deck with Eddie, read my book and played Connect 4 with the boys! We made a little raft and had a little send off for Paris, was quite emotional but nice for the 4 of us to say bye to her together. Fish for tea again and a quite night watching a movie with Kerry.
6 November 2016
Best part of my day - singing, dancing (and a bit of air guitar) - really loudly and really badly - with this dude on the bow to Guns N Roses! Not a soul around in the middle of nowhere!!
Best start to my birthday this morning!! Nice mackerel straight up! Soooo stoked! Thank you Birthday gods! Lol! So it's fresh fish and chips for tea instead of eggs on toast! Have had a lovely day cruising to Lockhart River, beautiful scenery down the far north coast of Queensland. We also had a few ships and a big cruise ship pass us! Boys were very sweet and made me a cake and gave me their surprise they bought me in TI. Just got into phone range after 2 days without it so get to speak to my loved ones tonight too! Perfect birthday!!
3 November 2016
We spent our last day at Horn Island getting the boat ready & finishing off Coops' project. I have so loved the Torres Strait & its people! We had one last milkshake at the cafe & picked up Kerry, so nice having him home! We left at 8.30am the next day (our 10 year wedding anniversary) not without a little bit of anchor drama before we left. It seems Horn Island loves us too & didn't want us to leave, we were stuck (again!) on an old anchor & chain. After some stressing & problem solving we managed to unhook the chain & we were off! The weather was windy & no sooner had we passed Horn Island it was pretty bumpy. We were all feeling pretty green for the first few hours & poor Eddie was vomiting. It calmed off a little towards the end & we had a lovely anchorage at Escape River. Woke up this morning to a gorgeous sunrise, was a little bumpy with both kids sick but by 11am it was pretty good. We had a drama free passage to Cape Grenville where we have anchored for the night.
2 November 2016
We've had a nice last few days in the Torres Strait. Been getting into a good flow with homeschooling & Cooper has really enjoyed doing his project on Horn Island / WW2. I've enjoyed it too & have been learning a lot with him. We did our Monday night Cane Toad Busting on Horn Island... 11 toads this week! Today we took the ferry over to TI to have lunch & a swim before our big shop ready for leaving on Friday! Kerry gets home tomorrow & we are all so excited for him to get back. We all need cuddles from Dad after losing our little Paris last week. We met the famous Seaman Dan on the ferry today & he was super lovely! The kids and I agree that the Torres Strait is the friendliest place we have ever visited. Coops had his mate Angus & his sister over for tea on the boat tonight. The people we have met here have made our trip. We have made some beautiful memories in the Torres Strait. We are all ready for our next adventure to Cairns & looking forward to some marina time & some visitors!
30 October 2016
We have had such a lovely weekend in the Torres Strait. We have had a very social weekend which has been what we all needed. We were taken for a tour of Thursday Island on Saturday morning by Christine & Ethan. We had a great morning checking out the lookout, fort & museum on TI, had brekkie, went to the market & had a drive around the Island. So nice to have someone who lives & knows the Island show us around, we felt so grateful & the boys loved hanging with Ethan. In the arvo we were lucky enough for our friends we met at Toad Busting to invite us over to their house. They have 5 kids, we went for a cuppa & the kids played & we went for a drive out to a couple beaches on Horn Island. Cooper & Eddie loved having 5 kids to play with, they played in the rock pools & caught crabs under the rocks. They are such a lovely family, we stayed for dinner & Coops had a sleepover. We went over for tea Sunday night too, so nice to have met some friends! Boys were excited to have a bath too!!
26 October 2016
Yesterday we went on a bus tour to see the WW2 sights of Horn Island. Cooper is doing a project on the Heritage of Horn Island as part of his homeschooling. He is very interested in war and the information and sights of the tour were perfect for his project. We met a bunch of lovely elderly people on the tour who came from Cairns on a tour on a container ship... how unique! I have never been real interested in war but the story of Horn Island and its role during WW2 is fascinating. The lady who took the tour was so passionate and has lived on the island for 22 years! In doing the project with Coop we both learnt so much about the war and the life of soldiers in these harsh Australian conditions. I love the Torres Strait, everyone is so friendly and happy. I met a couple of ladies at Cane Toad Busting the other night who are going to show us around the island over the weekend, and we have plans tomorrow to visit the lookout and cannons on Thursday Island with a friends Aunty.
A little trip down memory lane for our beautiful Paris. Such a hard and heart breaking day for me and the boys today! I'm so grateful to have had such an amazingly loyal and loving dog for the last 15 years. Time to rest now my pup, on your own beautiful Island.
23 October 2016
It's been 3 days since Paris had her episode and seizure and she has improved slightly. She is still anxious and disorientated but seems to know the basics of where the water bowl is and can navigate her way around inside. She needs help getting in and outside though. She is most content laying in my arms so she's been having lots of cuddles. I think she is going to be ok to make it to Cairns so we can see a vet. The boys and I have been keeping ourselves busy over on Thursday Island. Catching the ferry and taking bikes and scooters across for rides. We've been going to the swimming pool, cafe's and supermarket for supplies. We had fun today jumping off the wharf with the locals until we got told to move along. Oops! We took the dinghy across today for the first time and were all soaked as it was pretty windy and wavy on the way back. I think the ferry is a much more comfortable option!
21 October 2016
Our little Paris has been quite unwell over the last 24 hours, she seems to have some neurological dysfunction, she had a seizure last night and is acting very strange. There is no vet in the Torres Strait so we've had to get advice over the phone from a vet in Cairns. The vet seems to think she has a tumour or some sort of swelling around her brain, so we've medicated her with human drugs to try and keep her comfortable. I'm not sure what is going to happen, but I think our trusty dog of 15 years is nearing the end of her life. Cooper is quite sad and was very scared last night watching her have a seizure and seeing her so distressed. We are just taking one day at a time now and giving her lots of love and cuddles.
14 October 2016
Today is fly out day for husby & we've had a lovely 5 days in the Torres Straight together. Our anchorage has been a bit of a challenge though, the tide runs fast through the passage where we are & we've had to pull up the anchor to re position ourselves 4 or 5 times due to dragging. One of these times we managed to get someones old anchor that mustve been on the bottom of the ocean for years caught up in our chain. It was a 2 hour mission getting our anchor up with another wrapped around the chain. We've fuelled up ready to leave when Kerry returns & I've learnt how to pull up the anchor and reposition if need be. We were told by the fuel guy that its safe to swim at the beach at the wharf as no crocs hang there. So the boys have loved swimming in the ocean again, althought one guy did happen to mention that he did see 2 crocs in the area the same morning we were swimming! Eeek! So today I spoke to the local cop who said its safe at high tide in the shallows as long as you keep watch!
13 October 2016
The passage into the Torres Straight Islands was so beautiful. It's such a wonderful feeling having crossed the gulf safely, that's our last big passage like that! Yihoo!! We cruised through the Islands slow going against the tide, it's quite a busy little place with ferry's & boats going everywhere. We were on our last leg almost at Horn Island & the bloody generator wouldn't start for us to drop the anchor! Urgghh! So while Kerry was downstairs trying to solve the problem, I was at the helm trying to navigate inbetween boats & buoys with a racing tide. It was a little stressful to say the least, but I reckon I did pretty well... I didn't hit anything!! So it took us a good 2 hours to sort out the situation & finally Kerry got the generator started again, he's so clever. We've spent the day cleaning up, scrubbing spew from the decks, fixing things in the engine room & celebrating Paris turning 15!! So looking forward to a full nights sleep tonight!!
12 October 2016
It took 59 hours for the Dolphin Lady to cross the Gulf of Carpentaria and boy did she do a fabulous job! Not such a fabulous journey for the 4 of us travelling in her!! The first 30 hours I can only describe as horrendous, we were all seasick with Kerry and Coops having one spew each and Eddie and I loosing count at about 20 spews each. There was one moment where Eddie and I were both out on the deck spewing bile together. Bonding?! Lol! But during this whole time I was just grateful to be safe, the waves weren't big enough for anyone to ever be worried or doubtful. So we did 3 nights and 2 days to get across, we had Border Force contact us and a couple of boats around during the last few hours. But majority of the time it was just us out in the middle of the ocean. Boys were amazing again, just going with it, not whinging and just laying about, watching dvd's or playing. It felt so bloody awesome when Kerry woke me up to tell me we were coming into the Torres Straight Islands...
9 October 2016
We've now been anchored in the Gove Harbour for 3 & half weeks, the boys & I have kept busy with trips into town, school work, chilling, playing games & baking back on board. Kerry arrived home on Friday morning from Barrow, he was a sight for sore eyes for all 3 of us! Sooo nice having him home. Friday afternoon we were booked into fuel up at the wharf and spent 3 hours fuelling up ready to leave once the wind stops blowing. Friday night we went to the yacht club & I was so happy to bump into Taryn, Nathan & their kids on holidays from Darwin. Was so nice to see a friend, we had dinner with them and the kids played. We also met all the trawler fishermen from the boats in the harbour & had a good chat with them about their fishing & lives on board. We had a lazy day Saturday, Sunday we went to the pub for lunch & today we are getting packed up ready to leave. The wind is looking pretty good so we are leaving tonight to cross the gulf which is a 55-60 hour passage to Horn Island.
28 September 2016
The boys & I have done 2 weeks on our own in Gove Harbour. We have had lovely weather & its a great anchorage with no swell or wind. I got crook at the start of this week with a sore throat and cold, felt so lethargic & it was a little hard being on the boat. By Friday we all had cabin fever, were getting cranky with each other & over being on the boat so we headed into town. It was just what the doctor ordered, we spent 7 hours at the pub. The boys were in the pool for about 5 hours straight & made some friends which made them very happy. I sat with a cuppa, cake, read my magazine & chatted on the phone. We decided to flag catching the 2.30pm bus home and ended up staying for dinner. I said to the boys they could chose whatever they wanted from the menu, Coops chose garlic bread & chips and Eddie chose... Chocolate Pudding! Too funny! So today is Saturday and we are chilling on the boat, doing washing, watching the GF and catching up on journal entries.
25 September 2016
Dog Fool Antics - No. 426:
So today our little sausage dog with the little brain decided to eat the bait that was still on the hook after we returned from fishing! She managed to hook herself through the inside of her cheek. After a bit of panic from Coops and I we managed to push the hook right through so we could cut off the barb with pliers and pull the hook back out! Bloody hell dog!!!
24 September 2016
Couple of beers, dinner and boys had a good play at the boat club tonight! We had a very pretty sunset to top it off! Just missed having my co-captain to share it with...
Keeping the dogs away from the waters edge during our morning walkies along the beach didn't really go to plan today! Yindi got frightened by a car going past on the highway and high tailed it into the ocean (lead still attached) attempting to swim back to the boat! We were calling and calling her and she just kept swimming out to sea, I was so scared she'd be eaten by a croc! Eddie and I ran back to the pontoon and managed to get her in the dinghy! She managed to swim out to the first boat anchored in the harbour! Bloody hell dog!!! She's been sleeping and recovering from her big swim all day!
20 September 2016
Our first week in Gove has been really nice! We had a lot of rain for the first 5 days which brought some gorgeous skies - one of my favourite things to photograph! We've done a fair bit of relaxing, but we've also managed to do some school work, had showers at the yacht club, trips to town on the bus with the locals and spent the day today at the swimming pool. The bus service only runs Mon-Fri so we made the most of it as a round trip to town in a taxi is $70! Don't even get me started on the cost of a hire car for 24 hours! Lol! But, boys and I are very content & happy in the harbour, we've got the beach, the yacht club and our home on the Dolphin Lady to hang at on the weekends. We've had one mechanical (well electrical) failure which was easily rectified over the phone from some electrician guy at Barrow Island I know!! Haha!!
18 September 2016
Morning walkies! The pups haven't had a walk since Broome! Much happiness!! Just had to stay away from the waters edge... 🐊
17 September 2016
Our first day in the Gove Harbour and visiting the town of Nhulunbuy was pretty cruisey. The boys loved getting their feet onto land after 8 days on board the Dolphin Lady. The Gove Boat Club is gorgeous, nice green lawns, palm trees and a really awesome climbing tree and play area for the kids. It has a dinghy pontoon which just makes it a lot easier for me and the boys coming in from the boat to hang at the boat club or head into town. The town of Nhulunbuy is 12kms from the harbour so we taxied into town and back which wasn't a cheap exercise. There's buses that run Mon-Fri so that will be the go for the next 3 weeks. The town is small with a supermarket with a few odd shops around it, swimming pool, pub, hospital and of course the alcohol permit office! We headed back to the boat club after checking out the town and chilled out with a drink waiting for the tide to come in to go home. I think the next 3 weeks is going to be pretty chilled out in Gove.
16 September 2016
Refuge Bay to Nhulunbuy (Gove). We had an eventful day today, woke at 4am to ensure we had the tides in our favour going in between Islands. We managed to touch up a couple of rocks with our hull. Not too much damage done we don't reckon, Captain Slug will jump in the water tomorrow to suss it out. So after that little bit of drama we had a weather system cross us! It was impressive to look at & photograph but didn't feel that impressive inside the boat!! It got fairly windy & poured with rain, plus we had wind & tide going against each other. We planned to head into a bay to take shelter but it wasn't long until it had passed. Coops was saying how nuts his family are out in a boat in this crazy weather! The next 4 hours down to Gove were rough & swelly with messy seas that made it hard to steer. We had furniture sliding around and Kerry had a workout steering manually for a couple of hours. We made it to Gove safe & sound! Gonna be a wet and stormy week in Gove by the looks!
15 September 2016
Entrance Island to Refuge Bay. Alarm went of at 2am... urghh, Kerry and I dragged ourselves out of bed to get an early start. Weather is looking pretty average over the weekend so we put in some miles today to try and get to Nhulunbuy (Gove) before then. Terrible swell to start the morning off, Kerry drove the first 2 hours and I took over for my 2 hours at 4am. We both were feeling quite crook, but by 9am it had flattened off and 10.30am it was pretty nice & stayed that way for the rest of the day. So we did 16 hours and 101nm. It was a pretty boring day & by 5pm Coops was going cuckoo, a bit of cabin fever I reckon! He was hilarious, came up to the wheel house saying he is going crazy just laying on the couch all day and sleeping all night for the last 4 days! We have nicknamed him pajama boy as he hadn't got out of his pj's since Monday! Hilarious!! But you'll be happy to know he had a shower and change of pj's tonight!! Lol. Early to bed for another early start tomorrow. Zzzzzz
14 September 2016
South Goulburn Island to Entrance Island. Got woken by the generator starting at 6am. Kerry was up & ready to pull anchor, so we were on the sea by 6.30am with a stunning sunrise. Easy cruising day today, bit of swell but no one sick. Another big day, 9 hours travelling at around 6.5 knots. Kids watched Tele, played Lego & did there usual cruising stuff. They are getting pretty used to it now, little troopers they are! Eddie & I popped a lure on a hand line out the back & managed to catch a mackerel! Super stoked! Love catching fish we can eat! Was another delicious tea, on the top deck tonight! We are anchored at Entrance Island which is just off the coast of Maningrida an aboriginal community of about 2000 people in Arnhem Land. So phone service again, yay! We made the decision not to cross the gulf over to Thursday Island so we are headed for Gove. Kerry will fly out from there on Monday, so boys & I will spend 2 weeks in the Gove Harbour catching up on school & checking out Gove.
13 September 2016
Raffles Bay to South Goulburn Island. Early start again today at 6am, day started out well with calm water and we had our first catch trawling! We caught a Giant Trevally while leaving the bay! Yay! We were all cheering, our family trawling chant must've worked!! Lol! It wasn't long after we came through the straight before the swell kicked in. Eddie and I were feeling quite off and needed to lay down, Ed had a sleep for about 3 hours! Lucky him!! Coops and Kerry were off but not as bad. We dropped anchor at about 5pm at South Goulburn Island which has a community of about 500 people. So we have wifi and phone service! Yihoo! We can check weather and phone our loved ones! We crumbed our fish, made chips and had the most delicious tea on the bow! I said to the kids while we were sitting there with our beautiful view of the cliffs on the island and our delicious tea that we would have to be the luckiest family in Australia right now!! The NT coast is so rugged, remote and beautiful.
12 September 2016
Popham Bay to Raffles Bay. We had an early 6am start for our 50nm journey today. Pretty good cruising, bit of a swell and chop for about an hour or so but the rest of the trip not too bumpy. Lots of laying around for the kids (and dogs) today with the water being a little lumpy. Arrived at Raffles Bay at 2ish and the kids did a subject each of schooling on the top deck! Pretty beautiful views from their classroom today! Ed and I had a fish and I caught a little reef shark which is always pretty exciting for the boys! Pizza on the bow for tea and a movie before bed! Another beautiful day in the NT!
11 September 2016
Hotham Point to Popham Bay.
Nice cruisey start to the day today, well for me anyway! Got a bike ride in on the top deck, delicious brekkie and we didn't set sail til 9am. Poor Captain Slug on the other hand was busy in the engine room changing out the water pump. 9 hours of cruising today, nice calm seas again for the majority of the way. Saw a dolphin, a turtle and plenty of garfish skimming across the water getting out of the way. Nice anchorage this one out of the wind with an absolutely beautiful sunset to top it off. Eddie and I had a fish after tea while Coops and Kerry finished watching the Jungle Book.
10 September 2016
Darwin to Hotham Point. Feels good to be on the move again, although marina life is pretty awesome! We left in gorgeous flat seas, Darwin is a very pretty city to look at from the ocean. Slow going this afternoon with tidal streams going against us. Down to 4.3 knots in the end, the plus side was flat water for our entire passage. We dropped anchor around 6pm at Hotham Point which is a bit of the coastline of Australia covered in mangroves. Quiet night for me with the boys sleeping on the top deck with Dad.
5 September 2016
And we've hit the seas again! We packed the boat up and fuelled her up in the lock on our way out of the marina this morning. Our last few days in Darwin have been lovely, although we did have to say see ya to Dad and Liz. We visited the museum, waterpark, visited Cassy and her lovely babes and got some homeschooling done!
The boys were super excited to see Yindi and Paris again after their 2 week stay in the kennels. I think they're pretty stoked to be home too!
So we're cruising at 7.3 knots headed East making our way around to Gove.
1 September 2016
The boys & I have been busy in Darwin since Kerry left to go back to work. We went to the markets with Liz, caught up with Cassy & her kids and Dad arrived on Friday. It's lovely having Dad here, we took the boys to Crocosaurus Cove, the Jumping Crocs out at Adelaide River & Berry Springs. The jumping crocs were awesome to see, Coops was in awe. They are such predators, being up so close was scary, they were eyeing us off for a snack! Crocosaurus Cove was pretty cool, the boys got to hold a baby croc which Eddie just loved. Berry Springs was beautiful, fairly busy and we got to swim while it poured down with rain. Coops and I bought a didgeridoo, he loves it, carries it around everywhere and is practicing heaps. He's getting pretty good, I'm not quite as good as him... Yet!! The swimming lagoon at the waterfront in Darwin is great, the kids love being able to swim at the beach and never want to get out the water. The weather has become really hot and humid in the last few days.
29 August 2016
It was a 5.30am rise to get to Yellow Waters for our wildlife boat tour today. Wasn't sure what to expect, was hoping for a crocodile sighting for the boys sake and mine! The tour started off in a billabong which was very green & lush. It was bloody freezing though, I reckon only 14 or 15 degrees and we were all dressed in shorts and t-shirts!! I soon forgot about the cold (well kind of) when we came across our first croc in South Alligator River. Don was our tour guide who was an aboriginal fella and boy did he know his stuff, he was so passionate about the billabong, the river and everything that lived amongst it. It was a paradise of birdlife, we saw 21 crocs (but whose counting... Cooper was!!), wild pigs, Jabiru's, ducks, hawks, egrets and so many more types of birds. It was so beautiful, I just loved it so much! I love the Northern Territory, I feel some kind of connection to it. I will definitely come back to Kakadu to spend more time exploring this magnificent part of Oz!
28 August 2016
Yesterday we drove to Kakadu, the drive was pretty awesome, lots to see and Coops even spotted his first crocodile in a river we passed over. He was so so super excited! We stayed in the Mecure hotel which is shaped liked a crocodile in Jabiru, the kids thought this was pretty awesome. We had a swim in the pool and chilled for the arvo. The high tide was at 7.30pm so we headed out to the boat ramp and Cahill's Crossing at East Alligator River at about 6. The crocs come here on high tide to try and catch an easy feed of fish. We saw 3 crocs at the boat ramp and 3 more over at the viewing platform at the crossing, there were hundreds of bats flying over the river, it was pretty spectacular. We met some lovely people from Oz and Germany and the boys totally loved seeing the crocs and bats, the best day ever apparently! We headed back to our hotel for a family dinner in the restaurant for Kerry's birthday and had an early night ready for our early morning boat tour at Yellow Water.
26 August 2016
Ahhhhh marina life!! I could so get used to this!
So after 2 months of living on board the Dolphin Lady and having to go by dinghy to shore, we can just step off the boat to land! Yip yip!! Feels pretty good! We all had a nice long shower and the boys went for a bike ride this morning and loved riding their bikes again! Poor puppies are in the kennels but I'm sure they'll be fine!
Saw Liz, Justin and Zyra yesterday too, so nice seeing them!
Off to Kakadu for the night tomorrow for Captain Slug's birthday!
25 August 2016
Koolama Bay to Darwin. I was super anxious about the 35 hour trip across the gulf to Darwin. I had no idea what to expect, well to be honest I was expecting what we got from Dampier to Broome. We left at 7.30am Wednesday and arrived 7.30pm Thursday night. The first 8 hours were quite lumpy with a swell that was knocking the boat around coming from the side. The dinghy had a bit of a wobble from the back but we noticed it straight away thankfully and put in some reinforcements. The rest of the 27 hour trip was great, flat seas overnight which meant the boys slept well and during our 2 hours on you could actually enjoy the peace and serenity of being out at sea in the middle of nowhere! Boys woke up and were able to sit outside & play & eat all day, so much nicer than vomiting all day!! We arrived into Darwin, it felt ridiculously good! We did it! We anchored in Fanny Bay & Liz was sitting on the beach having a wine & could see me flashing my torch on our way in!! So funny! Love it!
23 August 2016
Koolama Bay. Such a pretty anchorage! I dropped Kerry, the boys and the dogs over to the beach this arvo with their golf clubs in tow (aka croc weapons)!! Dogs were stoked to be off the boat, their paws haven't touched land since Broome! I stayed in the dinghy and waited and took photos of course!! Boat all ready for our long journey across the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf to Darwin tomorrow morning.
King George River. Wow! Words can't even describe this place, magical is all I've got! Gorgeous cliffs with red sedimentary rock surround this gorgeous 7nm long river. We anchored the Dolphin Lady outside of the river as we need an early getaway tomorrow & navigating the river mouths sandbanks might prove a little hairy in the dark. We took the dinghy down the river, we went to the waterfalls at the end which are pretty dry this time of year, bit of water trickling but nothing of significance. I would love to come back when they are fully flowing! We all climbed along the bottom of the cliffs on the rocks & yelled & made crazy noises to hear our voices echo! At the next waterfall there was a rope to climb to the top to the freshwater pools. It was too steep & dangerous for Ed, so Coops & I headed up. I was pretty nervous, was pretty scary but such a lovely thing to do with Coops! We had a quick swim & headed back down for a picnic on a ledge! Best day in the Kimberley, just perfect!
22 August 2016
Freshwater Bay to Koolama Bay. Crappy 12 hour journey today to Koolama Bay, slow going with tides for the first half and messy seas. All feeling a bit seasick and grumpy today, not the most fun day. We managed to bake in the morning some yummy treats but that was about as good as it got for the day. Arrived to Koolama Bay at 6pm and it was a rocky night on board.
21 August 2016
Parry Harbour to Freshwater Bay. Woke up at 1.30am to some crazy weather passing through with freezing wind, dark clouds and rain. Another fairly cruisey day, bit of a sleep in and headed off for our 4 hour journey round the corner to check out Freshwater Cove. I'm feeling way more comfortable driving the boat now, getting used to the GPS, autopilot & steering when I need to. Whales again along the way & boys chilled out playing and watching TV. Freshwater Bay is pretty awesome lots of trees on the islands and mangroves in the water surrounding us. Pretty calm little bay this one. We took the dingy up the creek to the waterfall but there was no water flowing so instead of a swim the boys got sprayed by the hose running around the decks back on board. Beers on the back deck tonight as the generator was running upstairs and is pretty loud and stinky, nice to mix it up a bit anyhoo!! Painted my nails and made pizza for tea while Captain Slug made some water and had a little lay down.
20 August 2016
Prudhoe Island to Parry Harbour. Prudhoe Island is one of the most prettiest anchorages we've stopped at. The sunrise this morning was breathtaking and Eddie had an early fish and caught a little cod. We hung around this morning waiting for tides again and the boys ran around the boat naked while Kerry squirted them and cleaned the decks, the weather is getting warmer. More beautiful scenery as we headed to our next stop for the night. Gorgeous flat turquoise seas and whales around. The Coast Guard plane flew over us for the second day to ask us their mandatory questions over the radio, I reckon this is pretty cool! We had a roast cooking in the Webber on the top deck which smelt delish, we arrived to our anchorage just as the sun went down. We had our nightly beers, roast tea and fished from the top deck! Coops and Eddie were stoked when we caught a little shark, so was Yindi!!
19 August 2016
Port Nelson to Prudhoe Island. We sat at our beautiful anchorage at Port Nelson for the morning waiting for the tide to turn in our favour. Kids did some schooling and we did some jobs around the boat. It was a peaceful journey today compared to yesterday, boys were fantastic! We cooked more brownies, they played Lego and wrote in their journals as we approached our new anchorage for the night. Happy hour on the top deck with my fabulous husby watching a beautiful sunset = a perfect end to another day in the Kimberley.
Hilarious!! Kerry and I just sat here trying to work out what day it is! I thought it was Wednesday and he was sure it was Thursday! And after checking our phone the winner was..... Neither of us!! It's Friday!! Lol! We were quite both in disbelief, we lost a day somewhere!!
18 August 2016
Sampson Inlet to Port Nelson. Day started off perfect and we had a great run with the tide leaving the inlet. Boys got to see a Pilot Whale breaching only metres from the boat just amazing! It was a 6 hour journey today and the boys were at each other a lot, Eddie was grumpy and tired and there was fighting and tears for most of the trip. I guess this is going to happen when your feet haven't touched land for a couple of days. We arrived to Port Nelson which is pretty stunning, beautiful Bay and scenery. There's a Boab tree with an engraving from 1820 so we hopped in the dingy to go check it out. But... Captain Slug managed to crush his thumb lowering the outboard, did a pretty good job of it. Bloody hell it must've hurt but like usual he didn't complain. Nail is ripped from the bottom up and just attached in one corner. Coops felt so sorry for his Dad. So a satellite phone call to Kirsty my nurse mate for advice, couple of beers for Kerry and situation managed!
17 August 2016
Raft Point to Sampson Inlet. Woke to a beautiful sunrise over the hill, did a bike ride on the top deck & we pulled anchor at 7.10am. We headed out against the tide, it was pretty slow going, nice calm seas though. The boys & I did some schooling, it's hard to concentrate when you are cruising so we schooled for an hour & did some learning on the go!! Lol. The boys cooked brownies & did maths, reading & life skills as they went! We played a couple of games upstairs & had fun. They love school like this, so much more eager to learn compared to sitting down with books. The passage into Sampson Inlet was very picturesque, had whales breaching & a turtle too. We arrived at 2.10pm had a fish but no bites. We went for a cruise in the dingy crocodile hunting as there are aggressive crocs in the area apparently. Didn't see any, had a fish from the dingy but I was pretty nervous as you can see by the photo with me & the golf club! Ended the day with last nights catch for tea & chips! Delish!
Wiiihoooooo!! Caught a couple of fish last night after the boys went to bed!! Fingermark Perch for dinner tonight!! Fist pumpin and bum shakin!! 😋
16 August 2016
Horizontal Waterfalls to Raft Point. Nice calm weather for our 55nm passage over to Raft Point. Kids had a fairly cruisey day playing Lego, watching Spider-Man and playing Uno as we cruised along. Coops found a great spot for writing in his journal! Fisheries jumped on board to check out our fishing license and freezer... No fish for them to see! They were lovely people and we had a bit of a chat and they carried on their way. Line out trawling now so hoping for some dinner!
Dog Leg Creek to Horizontal Waterfalls. We left Dog Leg Creek early to catch the tide on the way to the falls, it was so picturesque and we were going with the tide and got up to 11.4 knots!! Which is pretty fast for the Dolphin Lady!! We even went past Slug Island which Captain Slug thought was pretty cool they named an Island after him!! I can't describe how beautiful this part of the world is, breathtakingly beautiful! It was pretty awesome arriving at the Horizontal Waterfalls with seaplanes landing and boats around bringing in tourists from Broome. We took the dinghy through the first horizontal fall and it was pretty hairy so we decided we wouldn't do the second! We parked up against the cliffs and watched the tour boats speed in and out of the the falls. Coops and Eddie climbed the rocks and we headed back to the boat ready for our next journey to Raft Point.
15 August 2016
Relaxing and fun evening tonight fishing, drinking beer, eating pizza, singing loud and a beautiful sunset to top off a pretty awesome day in the Kimberley.
Coppermine Creek to Dog Leg Creek. Woke up to a beautiful view at Coppermine Creek surrounded by islands. Just stunning, was nice to see where we were as we had arrived at night. We pulled anchor and headed over to the mouth of Crocodile Creek and anchored there. We took the dingy into the waterfall and swimming hole. It was amazing, so beautiful. I sat there with a big grin on my face watching Kerry and Coops fill up a bottle of fresh drinking water from the waterfall while Eddie swam and watched the fish swimming at his feet.
We then headed over to Dog Leg Creek where we had heard from another couple on a yacht that there was fuel on a barge there for a bargain at $3 / litre! Good ole Mick at the barge was a lovely guy who topped up the tanks for us and we had a long chinwag about the area with him. Cooper picked his brain about when and where to keep a look out for crocs! He's pretty keen on seeing one in the wild, it's all we hear about for most of the day!!
14 August 2016
Beagle Bay to Coppermine Creek. We left Beagle Bay at 6am heading north to Hidden Bay. It was such a beautiful day, flat seas and whales everywhere. We saw a Hammerhead shark and Coops was pretty stoked! The boys and I spent a lot of time sitting out the front enjoying the view, at one time we had a pod of about 15 dolphins and whales right next to us! We arrived at the Hidden Bay anchorage at about 5pm but it was too shallow and small for us so we had to keep going to Coppermine Creek. We arrived there after sunset and managed to find a decent spot to anchor. It was such a lovely day cruising.
The new sign for the generator!! Poor Captain Slug forgot to turn the water on for the generator when we arrived into Beagle Bay last night. Bummer. Generator in turn over heated and impeller shagged, so instead of sitting back enjoying our calm anchorage he was down stairs changing out parts in the 40 degree Celsius engine room!! Won't do that again I reckon! Especially now with my reminder on the door!! Lol
13 August 2016
Broome to Beagle Bay - our passage started off a little rough for Coops. He was a little seasick but managed to sleep it off for a couple of hours and woke up to nice flat seas. The rest of the trip was great, we did 72 nautical miles and we got into Beagle Bay at 7pm taking 10.5 hours. Heaps of whales, a couple of dolphins and flat seas made a very lovely trip. We sat up on the top deck, played games, had good chats, managed to eat meals this time and the boys even helped do the dishes! Such a contrast to our Karratha to Broome passage. Feeling pretty good right now.
We have just left Broome for an overnighter at Beagle Bay then through the Kimberley to Darwin! Kerry got home last night a few days early from his week on so we've hit the sea! Cooper is very excited!! Boat tied down a lot better this time, learnt from our mistakes!! 17 knot easterly winds, forecast was 5-10 😠! Hoping it drops off.
12 August 2016
WE DID IT!! We got to the shops! So.... We put our bathers on with our clothes in a dry bag; kayaked to the beach through the surf breaking; dragged the kayak up the beach and chained it to a pole; hid the paddle in the bushes; got changed into our clothes; walked 876 metres over the sand dunes to the highway; then called a taxi to take us into town!! Simples!! Not! Lol! Then had to do it all again to get home with our shopping as well! Super proud of these boys, minimal whinging and I think they even had fun!! 😍👍
11 August 2016
School Photos Day! Coops and Ed missed out on their school photos in Karratha this year only by a couple of days. So we thought today would be Dolphin Lady Croc School Class Photo Day!
10 August 2016
Washing day! Plus a productive school session for the boys and beach reward to finish off our day! 😍
8 August 2016
Cruisy day today, Eddie and I spent the day on board while Coops and Kerry went into town to do some jobs. Baked bread, made ice cream and did some housework. Went for a paddleboard with a tiger shark this morning and Ed and I had Dolphins pop up right next to the boat. Got fuel for the dinghy and Kerry did a tip run. Kerry met a guy at the beach with an amphibious dinghy who ended up lending us one of his moorings for the week!! SO SO HAPPY!! So much better being left on a mooring for a week on my own! What a lovely thing to do, awesome bloke! So we're all set for Kerry leaving tomorrow, on a mooring, closer to the beach with everything we need for the week on board! 👍
6 August 2016
We've had a productive few days in Broome. Took the Lady around to the wharf to fuel up ready for Kerry's return from work in a week & a bit. Such a huge jetty & not at all set up for recreational boats, tide was pumping as well but captain Slug did a fabulous job as usual! The water was nice & flat which helped plus we got nice & close to whales on the way round! Evenings are stunning on the top deck with a little wine watching the sunset.
Boys & I spent a day in town shopping, exploring & eating! Kerry couldn't come with us as getting in & out of Cable Beach in the dinghy is hard work, waves breaking & the entire boat & us getting drenched = no fun! So avoiding that!!
Boys & I were going to hire a car for the week on our own but I've decided I don't want to be bringing the dinghy in so we've cancelled that. Which means a week on the Dolphin Lady doing homeschooling in the morning and beach in the arvo's using the paddleboard to get us to the beach! Sounds pretty relaxing to me! 😎
3 August 2016
Had a great morning homeschooling, boys got a lot of work done! We are very behind so it felt great to put in our first full day.
We rewarded the kids with a trip into Cable Beach to ride the camels, watch the sunset and have dinner. Boys LOVED the camels so much, theirs was called Tiny coz it's the biggest and they thought this was hilarious! The sunset was magnificent and dinner and beer perfect at the Sunset Bar. We beached the dinghy halfway between Gantheaume Point and Cable Beach Club, so it was dark when we got back to it. Was a bit of a mission in the dark, don't think we'll do that again. Kerry and I were soaked, so we are all showered now, boys asleep and I'm ready for a nice cuppa and reeeelax!!
2 August 2016
Broome has had its ups and downs, we were getting pumped by the 20+ knot south easterlies with terrible swell in Roebuck Bay. After 2 days and an uncomfortable night it broke me, I couldn't do it anymore and I had a mini meltdown. I think everything just caught up with me, leaving my hometown and all my beautiful friends, adjusting to life on the water, homeschooling the kids and feeling continually off colour from a rocking boat. So we decided to move around to Gantheaume Point. Was a crap ass 20 minute trip with side on swell. The boat dropped so far off the swell that all the furniture took a dive to the starboard side of the boat! Shit!!! We anchored and spent the next hour cleaning up! The boys and I spent the arvo til sunset on Cable Beach... ahhhh totally my happy place and my favourite beach! Watching Coops and Yindi surf, Eddie snorkelling and having my feet in the sand just reset me and happiness has returned!! Plus we are sheltered from the pesky S/E winds!! Yip yip!!
1 August 2016
Got back into my exercise routine today... with a different view than before!
31 July 2016
It's Monday morning and we've been in Broome for 2 nights. Our first night sleep in Roebuck Bay was very peaceful! No rocking, so calm. We spent Sunday arvo over at Town Beach, we beached the dingy for 4 hours and sat under a palm tree while the kids played in the water park and at the beach. Was a perfect day, lots of happiness. Kerry's work phoned and they want him to come back for a week next Wed. So we are here til 18th August now, it's really nice for Kerry and I to have a kinda holiday together after shutdowns and boat preps. So we will settle into school and get the boat organised for the next leg. Plus camel rides, croc park, movies, shops in Broome! Perfect! 😍
30 July 2016
Ahhhh land!! Kids and dogs were super excited!!
So we are almost in Broome!! Woo hoooo!! And we got beautiful calm seas for the last 10 hours! Everyone well again and whales, flying fish, sea snakes, turtles and loads of jelly fish! Such a great way to finish a pretty horrendous journey! We are pretty lucky and are building resilience and have a great little family. Time for rewards for the kids and a dinner at the sunset bar me thinks!! Kids are excited, they want to go to the beach and be on land! Too funny!
We stopped at Depuch Island Thursday morning after our overnight passage from Dampier. We waited til about 6pm for the weather to calm which it did. But not for long. By 10pm the swell was rolling and not very far apart. The boat would roll up and slam down then straight after roll up and slam down again. This went on all night and day for 30 hours. So our new family motto is "The family that vomits together, stays together". Lol! We were all so seasick. I'd be vomiting out the door where I was driving for my 2 hours, look up and see a whale breaching. Totally the yin and yang of boating I thought to myself! So for these 30 odd hours Kerry would sleep for 2 hours while I drove for 2 hours and then we'd swap. We were all so sick we couldn't hardly move. I couldn't even look down at my phone to play some music without vomiting.
29 July 2016
The kids have been amazing, they were so sick and it was so rough and they didn't cry once! Not once! They had a few kids kwells which seemed to put them to sleep, which was where I'd prefer to have been! Eddie went from the spewing door to the carpet just under the helm chair. We put a mattress in the lounge and we all took it in turn sleeping there. The wheelhouse bed was quite rocky. I learnt the hard way about not tying down stuff!! lol! We had an obstacle course from the wheelhouse to the lounge that couldn't be sorted as we were too sick! Hilarious! Funny some of the thoughts I had driving in the middle of the night in thumping waves while everyone else was asleep! I was thinking about Jessica Watson and the explorers, and I thought I'd had it tough! I also kept saying to myself when I just didn't want to be doing this anymore... "Just deal with the now, you're in conflict with the present moment, just accept what's happening"! Too funny!
28 July 2016
So the night time shifts have commenced for our 50 odd hour journey from Dampier to Broome. 3 hours on, 3 hours off is the overnight roster. I had the first 3 hours to sleep, and do you think I could sleep!! Lol! Got about an hour tossed and turned for a while and started feeling a bit seasick. Came upstairs and started my 3 hours on early, I felt like I was going to spew! Took a couple of ginger tablets and tried to get my brain to accept that we aren't in calm flat water anymore! And it's kinda worked, I feel a bit better! It's so beautiful out here at night, loads of stars, shooting stars and a beautiful half orange moon that popped out from the horizon.
27 July 2016
Oh My Dog!! We have left Dampier heading north in the Dolphin Lady! It feels so weird, happy, sad, excited and anxious all wrapped into one! Cooper was soooo excited kept actually pinching himself! Lol! The dream and adventure begins!! 😍
26 July 2016
Potentially our last day in Hampton Harbour if all goes well weather and boat wise. 2nd day of homeschooling went a little smoother, still trying to work it all out. I'm sure we'll suss it out and it will get easier. Boys had a paddle and swim while we had beers and goodbyes on the top deck with Brad. Kerry fixed the water maker and we are all ready to set sail tomorrow!
25 July 2016
So much has happened since my last post. We had a little going away dinner with close friends which was so lovely but oh so sad saying bye. Kids had their last day of school and we started our first day of boat schooling today! So our departure day is now Wednesday arvo... fingers crossed weather stays good! 😎
20 July 2016
Fly in day for Kerry! Month on was pretty challenging, now the beauty of a month off together. Whoop whoop!! 😍
19 July 2016
And today's lesson is on - resilience building! Got to the boat ramp tonight at 5ish after a day in town and a car full of shopping, to the dinghy pontoon having been totally removed. Our dinghy had been moved to another pontoon and was high and dry beached on the bank!! So we're at the Mermaid pub having dinner (and a beer) waiting for the tide to come in!
This morning on our way into school we had Dolphins pop up right next to the dinghy. It was so awesome, I just love dolphins, the boys were pretty happy too. Nice for them to experience a reward for some of the other harder school runs!
16 July 2016
Productive home day today... clothes washing, planting and water making with a bit of relaxing for me and Xbox for boys. Oh and sleeping for dogs!
10 July 2016
Mother Nature Magnificence!
Wow people are so kind. This massive boat backs up to the Dolphin Lady and drops us a huge bag of food they no longer need. Kids and I were so excited, the boat was pretty impressive and the food was very much appreciated!! 👍👏😍
Sunday morning hot chocolates and chai latte... And Cooper pulling his "I'm a nut bag" face 😍
9 July 2016
Day in pj's today after a massive bad run of luck after returning from Adelaide for foot surgery. So pizza making and happy hour time! In my happy place... Just missing husby.
3 July 2016
And the Earometer today = Windy!
Have had a good few days. Generator working and have successfully made water. Kids are starting to settle in. Top deck (aka their backyard) is looking so much better. The mini tramps are a hit and they love fishing from up here. Cleaning the iron ore off everything in the upper wheel house has been a big job. Feeling good! 😘
30 June 2016
I've had a better couple of days, no tears and some wins. Fuel has stopped leaking into engine room and 2 generators still working! Managed to pull off a successful 6th birthday for Eddie and made cupcakes onboard. More help from Dean today with fuel leak and taking a big pile of rubbish away for me. I'm starting to feel sorted and getting used to calling the boat home. Especially as we don't have a land home anywhere at the moment. Eddie still gets sad and misses our old home. Hopefully he gets to love the boat being his home. Big day, time for snoozing.
What a tough few days. More generator problems and fuel still consistently leaking into engine room. I was looking for accommodation in town and was ready to quit. So many tears, but beautiful people in town to help me out and come to the rescue. Dean and Silver have been so amazing.
Oh yes some rewards for the hard work. I wish I could share these moments with the people who have helped me. Dean, Silver, Hily, Louise, Candy and Liz. I think we might still be doing this trip... To Darwin at least!
27 June 2016
Life on board the Dolphin Lady has had a really rocky start. Hard on me, but hard on the boys too. Eddie had a meltdown tonight and couldn't stop crying. He just wanted to go home back to our house. Poor sausage, we all started crying and they wanted to see Dad. So we Facetimed Kerry and he cheered the boys up. Hopefully it gets better, geez it's been tough. 😘
25 June 2016
So it's been challenging to say the least moving onto the boat. Moving from our home and adjusting to this new way of living has been tough. Especially being without Kerry here to help with moving house and the technical side of boat living. There's been plenty of tears but loads of laughter, love and support from the beautiful people in my life. Couldn't have done this without them. Ive managed to get diesel burn on my feet, cut my head open, had water leaking in to the engine room, power problems, car breaking down and all while trying to clean a house to give back and take kids to school in the bloody rain!! Lol! It never rains in Karratha!! SOOOOO today we had our first good day! I managed to make water and do a load of washing (and wash the kids 😜). The kids fished, swam and played good guys bad guys today. We are slowly finding our groove! 😘