Lipari 41 “Isis” share their coastal passage from Mooloolaba to Roslyn Bay

Date: 7 May 20126:58:07 PM AEST

Hi All,

There has been much happening on the good ship Isis and here is our update…

The day before Easter Hamish’s work asked him to relocate to Gladstone and so he started work up there straight away. So we did a quick few phone calls and some rearranging and set aside 2 weeks to move the boat. So as of today we are now residents of the Roslyn Bay Marina in Kepple Bay. We were very fortunate that Gladstone marina is full so we could not go there (loads of pollution and a very busy port) so Kepple Bay is much more appealing and the islands which are lovely a very short sail.

Hamish will live in Gladstone 4 nights a week and Karen will continue to work from the boat but now in a lovely warm location. Kepple Islands are also very lovely to sail around.

Below is the write up from our trip over the last 2 weeks…

Cheers, Karen and Hamish – SV Isis

Date: 27 th April 2012
10:50:02 AM AEST

Subject: safely on plan B

Ahoy there. Trainee skipper Megs here. Just to let you know that we have arrived safely at Plan b – anchored safely inside Fraser Island. Plan A (to go up the outside of Fraser) aborted due to less than favorable weather conditions in the next 24 hours.

We arrived at Double Island Point at 4am this morning – 22 knot winds helped us along. The same 22 knot winds made trying to sleep a bit tricky. Karen and Hamish had the pleasure of my company on the helm most of the night!!! We dropped anchor and had a very welcome couple of hours calm and peaceful sleep. 7am saw the kettle on and the first cup of tea for the day then it was anchor up and we were off again.

Life jackets on (see photo of my very special Care of the Community life jacket) we conquered the Wide Bay Bar – depending on who you ask the size of the swell varies. Some say 1 to 1.5 metre swell, some say more like 2 metres. Me I just say bloody big!! And lots of chop. Think washing machine and you have a fairly good idea of what it was like. A slightly tense 3 miles of motoring and then just like that, we came over the last bloody big wave and through the chop to the calm and protected waters of the Great Sandy Straits.

One of these things is not like the other springs to mind. I got the Care of the Community Life jacket as it matched my new stripey tights. Its important to have matching life jacket and tights. One must look good when one is crossing a bar….

20 metres of anchor chain is out (yes, you guessed it, I just did anchor dropping 101 with Captain Hamish) the champagne cork has just popped so I am off to enjoy a wee drinkie then a ‘relaxing’ afternoon. The definition of relaxing has been the subject of some discussion here this morning. Just as we came off the last bloody big wave on the bar crossing, Karen declares hard work done, time to relax and enjoy – kayaking and walking. I don’t have photos of the look on my face at her idea of what relaxing entailed!!!

Our plans for the next few days. More champagne, more calm waters and lots of relaxing – Megsie style not Karen style. We will pop you another update once we move further north, probably Sunday/Monday.

Here’s cheers from all of us ‘living the dream’…..


Date: 28 April 2012
10:33:02 AM AEST

Subject: Sailing – Plan B

Ahoy there.. Thought we should send another update to keep you abreast of all the shenanigans and antics onboard!!!

All is well here in paradise. We had a very relaxing afternoon on Thursday bobbing about – some of us had a snooze, some of us went kayaking. Some of us did both..

It became very evident Thursday afternoon that we need to practice the man overboard drill. Apparently, in the event of man overboard, one is supposed to throw the life ring and stay and watch the man overboard – not stand doubled over in laughter, Hamish. The other is supposed to run and hit the man overboard button on the GPS – not run off to get the camera to take a photo of Jane who has fallen overboard, Megsie. One is also apparently supposed to be concerned about the well being of the man overboard – not the oar that is in danger of sinking, Karen.

Thankfully when Jane went overboard she was only on the kayak, which was tied to Isis, which was at anchor (20 metres of said anchor) and stationery………

Someone once said – You learn something new everyday. Today’s lesson! Running on the spot when you are standing up in the kayak does not stop you from falling in the water…

Friday morning dawned and the ABC news awoke us from our slumber – only half an hour earlier than we needed to be awoken!!! We have now familiarised Jane with the location of the clock, for future reference!

A leisurely start. Bacon and eggs on the BBQ for brekkie. 20 metres of anchor wound back in and its time to navigate the Great Sandy Straits – no mean feat as the depth goes from 0.8 metres to 3.3 metres in the blink of an eye. Team Isis conquered the shallows of the Straits and arrived safely at Mackenzie’s Jetty. Anchor out and time again to relax.

Today’s ‘relaxation’ consisted of a 2km route march up the beach to Kingfisher Resort – apparently if you walk fast it keeps the midgies off!!

Lynies Tinnie was launched, all aboard and headed for shore. Safely onshore, or so we thought, Captain gave the instruction to disembark the tender. One foot down, knee deep and sinking in mud like quicksand. See photo. Managed to trudge our way through the mud, regained our composure, or so we thought, and we’re off and walking. Man down, man down. Jane has slipped on the rocks, that are not really rocks but are compacted sand, and was firmly on her ass. Unlike the man overboard incident we onlookers managed to be concerned and supportive, asked if she was ok, did not not double up in laughter or take photos!!!

Anticipation is high tonight as a ‘relaxing’ expedition has been planned by (believe it or not) Megsie for Saturday. A 20km round trip hike to Lake Mackenzie is planned. It didn’t look that far on the map……

Today’s lesson. Always check the scale on the map before you open your mouth to suggest going for a walk…..

Imagine our disappointment (!!) when we awoke Saturday morning to pouring rain and a gale force wind warning. The Expedition Leader sent the following text to all participants, from the comfort and warmth of her bed.

This is your expedition leader. I have undertaken a risk assessment and I am very sorry to have to advise you that today’s planned expedition to Lake Mackenzie has been cancelled due to inclement weather – ie the fact that it’s pissing hard with rain. Please remain in your bunks until further notice. Alternative passive activities will be planned for your enjoyment today instead. Thank you for your understanding regarding this matter which is beyond the control of your expedition leader.

The following reply was received from one of the participants, who shall remain nameless.

Harden up. It isn’t raining that hard.

A further text was sent from the Expedition Leader to the participants:

Thank you for that advice and comment. I understand your disappointment. I share your disappointment however I don’t think there is any need for that passive aggressive attitude. The decision to cancel the expedition was not made lightly. After much consideration and deliberation the decision was made with MY safety and comfort in mind. It also had to be taken in to consideration that one of the party has tendencies to slip and fall and this was too much of a liability in light of the conditions we would have faced if the expedition had been allowed to proceed. The Expedition Leaders word is final and I would thank you to respect that. If you don’t think it’s raining that hard then go and start cleaning the decks…

So as I sit here typing this, Karen, not Hamish, is out cleaning the decks (in her high vis jacket – we are very WH&S conscious here on Isis), Hamish is washing up – he has taken control of the sink as, apparently, we girls were getting too lairy and frivolous with our use of water when washing up this morning. Jane is supervising Hamish’s wiping up and making sure he is putting things away in the right places – Hamish gets a bit lairy with where he puts things. Jane has a theory that Hamish does this on purpose to get out of having to wipe up. I think she might be on to something!!!.

Must be off. I have passive activities to organise and supervise. There is a rumor circulating that we are doing a repeat route march to Kingfisher to buy the paper. I need to quash these rumors.

Over and out for today…. Stay tuned, who knows what fun and games lie ahead…

Cheers, Meg

Date: Tuesday 1st May.

Ahoy there. Time for another update.

Sunday morning dawned (void of any heavy rainfall) and so guess what? The Lake Mackenzie Expedition was back on. Yippee!!! 4 intrepid explorers kitted up with 2 maps and 1 phone with a GPS and we are off. Please note that kitting up did not include ‘appropriate’ footwear. Apparently, our indigenous forefathers did not wear shoes so why should we? More on why shoes would have been a good idea later…..

The sign said Lake Mackenzie 10.3 km that way! Super! The next sign, approx 3km later (discarded in the bushes on the side of the track) vaguely mentioned something about the track being closed and not maintained since November 2011. To the average explorer that would mean Stop, and go back. Not team Isis, we are intrepid explorers, we ploughed on regardless. All going well and the track is still surprisingly well marked and signposted , well for the time being anyway….. In hindsight I think it all went pear shaped when the track just disappeared and we found ourselves in an open clearing with no discernible path. We did what all intrepid explorers would do, followed the discarded telegraph line and eventually hit a road. Our maps had roads on them so finding one seemed quite useful at this point. Shame we went the wrong way on said road!!! We’d only gone 1km in the complete wrong direction before we realised we were heading away from Lake Mackenzie. Nae drama. Just added another 2km to our overall walk…. Eventually we found our track again and Lake Mackenzie here we come…. 3 hours, a 2km detour, 3 pit stops for Hamish (he chose this morning to drink more water than he normally does in any given week), a rather steep uphill climb (this is a perched Lake after all) the whooping and yahooing commenced at the sight of glorious Lake Mackenzie. The first steps into the cold water of the crytal clear, fresh water lake were somewhere between ecstasy and agony.

A swim, picnic lunch by the lake (whoops – did not see the sign that said no food allowed on the lakeside, but did wonder why all the picnic areas were away from the actual lake side and were fenced) and we are off again, homeward bound.

You are probably thinking, oh well at least they will know where to go on the walk back. You would be correcting in thinking so. But no, why walk back along the mostly FLAT track that you came here on when you could go back a different way, with several steep hills and, which added another 2km to the overall distance of the outing? 3 hours later, looking only slightly bedraggled and leech bitten – part of the return track took us through a rainforest, which while being spectacular, had a few leeches just waiting for unsuspecting intrepid barefoot explorers to pass by – we climbed the final hill which bought us back to Kingfisher Resort and I commented on how much I was enjoying the burning sensation that was radiating up the back of my legs and that my ‘chi’ must have really been flowing. Afraid not, the burning sensation was caused by an noticed leech on the side of my leg.

Today’s lesson: Johnson’s Off is very good at removing leeches from ones feet and ankles…..

Todays 2nd lesson. The map that they give you at Reception at Kingfisher Bay Resort for the walk from Mackenzie’s Jetty to Lake Mackenzie is wrong……

Another 2km along the beach and we were safely back on board Isis, and victorious after our 20.6km, which turned out to be more like a 25km walk, reviewing our wounds and taking bets on how long it would take for our feet to recover and return to their natural colour. I am not convinced they ever will….

Needless to say we were all tucked up in our beds early Sunday night.

Rise and shine on Monday morning with only a slight limp! Salty porridge and its time to starting moving further north up the Island. Anchor up and a very pleasant mornings sailing, tacking our way to Awinya Creek – wind gusts up to 30 knots helping us along nicely. Safely at anchor in time for a BBQ lunch then another afternoon of ‘relaxing’.

Today’s relaxing involved we 3 girls taking the kayak for a paddle along the beach and up Awinya creek. Of course it was not without incident… Tender down, all 3 girls safely aboard, kayak dragging along behind, Hamish on deck waving us off. Even at the time of writing, we are still unsure exactly how we managed it. We left port side and t-boned in to the starboard side of Isis. We vaguely heard Hamish call out ‘put it in neutral’, but it was too late. We bounced off the side of Isis and took off, zig zagging all the way to shore – amidst a fit of the giggles.

Today’s lesson: Karen needs to spend more time mastering driving the tender Lynies Tinnie…..

Today’s 2nd lesson: To avoid getting sand on the boat, you need to take your swimming bottoms off off your head!!! Hamish has promised to demonstrate how….

Another Man overboard incident today. This time it was me, over the side of the kayak, in knee deep water on the shore. On returning to Isis, when Hamish asked me why I was all wet, I said Karen had tipped me out of the kayak. Even at the time of writing this today, Hamish still thinks Karen tipped me out.

A very leisurely start today, here in paradise. Finally we have beautiful blue sky so an early morning swim was in order before another BBQ breakfast. Another very pleasant sail even further north of the interior of Fraser Island to ‘The Triangles’ where we will stay tonight.

Its off to the beach late this afternoon for a beach BBQ, and to introduce Jane to the taste sensation of toasted marshmallows stuffed in to hollow chocolate easter eggs. A delight first discovered by Karen and Megsie 15 odd years ago on a camping trip on this very Island.

The weather forecast is finally in our favour so tomorrow we will sail around the top of Fraser Island, explore the Sandy Cape Lighthouse then we launch off and sail overnight, headed for Musgrave Island. We will spend a night anchored off Musgrave Island then hop across to North West Island and then the Kepples for Sunday.

Isis clear. Yes, I have been doing VMR Coastguard training for the last 2 days. I am making lots of friends……

Cheers from Team Isis..

P.S. Jane is very excited this morning (Tuesday). We have just heard on the ABC News that there was a crocodile sighted in the Mary River near Maryborough. Jane tried to tell us all days ago that there were crocodiles after she saw a Beware of Crocs sign at Garry’s Anchorage. Of course nobody believed her…….

PS. We have proof (see pic beside) that the sun does in fact shine out of Hamish’s ass.

Date: 6 May 2012 – 10:39:13 AM AEST.
Subject: Update from Sailing – Plan B

Ahoy there.  Time for another update.  We lifted anchor Wednesday morning and sailed around the north western tip of Fraser to Sandy Cape, home to the historical lighthouse, built on a perilous cape.

We would like to be able to say that we visited Sandy Cape lighthouse, but sadly that expedition had to be aborted at short notice.  Yep, you guessed it, a minor incident involving the the tender (Lynnies Tinnie).  And for those of you wondering, no Karen was not driving at the time…..  It started out well, we all boarded the tinnie and were once again headed for shore, filled with anticipation and excitement (!!) at the 1.2km steep climb to the lighthouse.

At this point I will quote from Alan Lucas’ Cruising The Coral Coast – aka the yachties bible.

“Around Sandy Cape, swell invades the coast”.

We would like to report that this is in fact correct…. We were coming to shore when the said swell, did indeed invade, turning Lynnies Tinnie sideways before then lifting us up and over, and depositing us quite ungraciously on the sand – the boat on top of us.

We are very pleased to report that all 4 POB’s (people on board) were recovered from the wreck, uninjured and still maintaining a sense of humour. It was decided to abort the planned lighthouse visit and limp back to Isis.

Today (Wednesday’s) lesson: Rolling surf and tinnies don’t mix….

This morning (Friday) we are sat in the most amazing aquamarine coloured water beside Lady Musgrave Island (only 1 week later than originally planned).  We left Sandy Cape at midnight on Thursday, and 15 hours later arrived here.  15 hours of mainly shitty (very technical sailing term) conditions.  Our spirits were lifted, just  north of Lady Elliot Island when 2 dolphins (named Flip & Flop) joined us and provided the performance of a lifetime – swimming right along side the boat and then jumping up,out and over the waves.  An amazing sight to behold…

Once the howling wind and rain subside later this morning, we plan to go snorkelling and explore Lady Musgrave Island.

We will overnight here at Lady Musgrave Island tonight then set sail once again first thing Saturday morning, headed for the Kepple Islands.  We anticipate, based on the current weather forecast, arriving there early Sunday morning.  We will ‘play’ in the Kepples for the day then head to Rosslyn Bay Sunday afternoon.  Despite every meal onboard thus far being an absolute gastronomic delight, we are quietly salivating at the thought of fish and chips for dinner on Sunday night.  Fish and chips, and a long hot shower…

We would like it noted that thus far we have managed not to lose anything overboard from Isis – people or possessions.  Some of you may recall the extensive lost property list from previous trips.  We have however managed to (accidentally and inadvertently) destroy 2 camera’s and Hamish lost his prescription sunnies in the rolling of the tinnie fiasco.

In Update 2 I mentioned about Hamish taking control of the sink as he felt we were being frivolous in our use of water.  Hamish had to ‘step away from the sink’ last night and concede, as it was realised that we have in fact done a super job on water consumption, and have actually survived on 10 litres per person per day – including 5 loads of washing, some of which were Hamish’s smalls!!!

Until the next update in a day or two.

Cheers from Team Isis – still living the dream and loving it……

Isis clear.

PS Unable to include any photos on this update due to the minor ‘camera’ issues we have experienced……

Date: 7th May 2012.

As the sun sets port side and the full moon rises starboard over Great Keppel Island, we say here’s cheers to a most super 12 days of adventure, Living the dream.

We arrived in the Kepple Islands about midnight last night and have had the most superb day bobbing about in Leaks Bay. It is so gorgeous here today that we have decided to stay out tonight and enjoy the last night of our adventure in style – BBQ and a bottle (or 2) of red.

Guess what? Hamish managed to capsise the kayak today. Again, knee deep and stationery but fortunately for Hamish (unfortunately for we girls) he was not in it. (Note: Hamish is still trying to work out why he is being blamed for this as he was not actually holding the kayak at the precise moment – Karen was!).

You will be pleased to hear that no sunglasses or cameras were lost or damaged in today’s kayak capsizing. We are really proud of ourselves for this!!!

As it would happen we had a very quiet day at Lady Musgrave Island on Friday as the howling wind and rain did not clear until late afternoon. Just in time for a quick swim in the most gorgeous coloured aqua marine water, albeit it a bit choppy. Our entertainment for the day was provided by Macca, Wazza, Big Kev, Trev, Tezza, Gazza, Davo & Mad Dog – lads from Seventeen 70 who obviously had not listened to the weather forecast before they left home, and put to sea in what can only be described as a flotilla of floating match sticks with engines, on what could probably be the worst possible day to do so (30 knot winds and 3 metre swell). The lads obviously had leave passes from Shazza, Trace, Kimmy, Chantal & Kazza and were not turning back for love nor money….. Thankfully all 3 boats eventually arrived, one being towed after being swamped by one of the 3 metre waves, and their descriptions of their journey were priceless…. The language made me blush and lets just say they were not shy in sharing their bodily functions throughout their obviously nervous journey, over the airwaves!!!

We left Lady Musgrave Island at 7am on Friday morning in roaring winds. About 15 miles out the winds dropped and we had the most superb conditions, including sunshine, for the rest of the sail. The full moon guided us safely in to the Kepples.

And so now as we face the final sail into Rosslyn Bay tomorrow morning, we ask ourselves….

What have we seen:

  • Amazing sunsets.
  • Mesmerising full moons.
  • Bloody big swells.
  • Lighthouse, what lighthouse?
  • Magical displays by dolphins at play.
  • Mother Nature at its absolute finest.

What have we learnt:

So many lessons – far too many to mention. One that is worthy of mention. Mother Nature ROCKS!!!

What would we differently next time:

Butter the freshly baked fruit toast…….

We hope you have enjoyed our adventures ‘living the dream’ as much as we have enjoyed actually living the dream.

And so for the last time for this trip.

Isis Clear on Channel 82!


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