Thursday, September 2, 2010

Making Plans and Changing Them

A friend of mine once told me that she thought one of the meanings of life was 'making plans and changing them'. For us, this observation has rung very true over the past week. 

We initially planned to head straight up to Singapore, but our leisurely pace, in conjunction with the paperwork to do, means we'd be a little too late for the weather window which is July - October. Searching for other plans, we noticed a route "Sydney to Hong Kong", north of PNG and the Phillipines in a book from the 70s that was inherited with the boat. The weather would be OK, if we managed to get going November at the latest. The only problem is we're already a little too far north to easily get on track out to the Solomons. Also, there are a number of long (10-15 day) passages which may be a little too much too soon, and a number of important upgrades to do on the boat.
An example of one of the weather maps we're loooking at. July - September is good for getting up through Torres straight to Hong Kong with those strong SE winds through Indonesia.
December is not so good - wind in the opposite direction. Very strong winds near Hong Kong. However, the NE trades in Micronesia could have been used if we went for the Solomon Island route.
After talking to Jan and Nick from Yawarra 2, we decided against. Currently, what we intend to do is to stay up in Northern QLD for the cyclone season (November - March). We hope to pick up some casual employment, save $ and work through the very long list of things to do! Then, around Easter next year, we plan to continue cruising up around the top of QLD and across to Darwin before heading up into Asia. We hope to end up in Hong Kong by this time next year to work and live for a while... After that, who knows! 

So, instead of heading north as we intended last week, we've stuck around Airlie Beach and now, Hook Island - still in the Whitsundays! (it's so beautiful here that it's proving quite difficult to leave). 

Rene spent 4 days balanced up the mizzen mast installing our wind generator. It works better than we first thought and has been providing us with some more (much needed) amps to help on cloudy days. We think Anhinga looks quite cool sporting her new windgen! 
Anhinga with her new look!

Rene working in 25+ knot winds!
We moved over from Airlie to Nara Inlet on Hook Island to be with Nick and Jan. After having arrived, I remembered that Rene's parents had written about their being here 30 odd years ago on their cruise from Brisbane to PNG. They spoke about how there was 'graffiti on a huge scale. Every yacht that ever comes to the Whitsundays paints its name here'. How times have changed (illegal now)! I was surprised to see that some of it still remains - though we couldn't see Thurloo anywhere so it has probably washed away after all of these years.  
Looking Back over Nara Inlet

Yachty Graffiti from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Some much older, more impressive art is also here in Nara. Inside a cave here is some art painted by the Ngaro people who were the original inhabitants of this region. This is the first time I've seen real cave paintings - so I'm incredibly happy that we ended up sticking around. 

Cave Art in Nara Inlet by the Ngaro People.

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