Rick and Ann Brown's Travel Adventures travel blog

Townsville Marina

PD, Rick & Ann by their Yacht!!!!

Captain Rick

Sailor PD on LaGoondooloo

The crew

A Sunday Sail, the saga of.......

My son Paul or PD as some of you know him, came for a "bit of a holiday" with us. He arrived last Friday and has been on the go ever since. He has made a lot of new Aussie friends, mostly female. One of the first things we did upon his arrival was to take him to the marina to see our yacht. They call all sailing vessels yachts here, so don't get excited. We are still learning to sail, but it is coming along nicely and we are having fun doing it. PD thought this was a great idea and we proceeded to put together a Sunday sail to Magnetic Island for a noon "tea" (that is lunch to all you non Aussies). Around noon on Sunday when our yachtie friends arrived to go with us, a young couple and their 2 sons ages 4 and 6, who are old salts, an older couple we met who live aboard their yacht in the marina. We brought enough food for a small army as usual, so this well stocked boat and John, LynnMarie, Zack, Matt, Len, Jackie, PD, Rick and myself are ready to go sailing. Right now we feel more comfortable sailing with people who have sailed a lot. So our little band of sailors board the "LaGoondooloo" and prepared to sail. Rick and I and PD went on board and stowed everything that was loose on the boat so it would not flip around in the cabin when we were sailing and we put all the food in the frig, and stowed it in the cabins to keep it from ending up on the floor. It was hot inside the cabin while the boat was at the marina and Rick was sweeting up a storm before he got all his little chores done to prepare to sail but up on deck we had a nice breeze. Our other sailors started to arrive and we prepared to pull away from the berth or pin as they call it here. This is a tricky thing to do with a 40 foot (16 Ton) boat and a small area to pull in between several other boats but Rick came through with flying colours and did not crash into anyone so we all cheered...... then out into the harbour we motored, oops be careful a very large magnetic island ferry is in the way, so we gave him a wide berth and went on toward the open sea. Almost out into the bay, a big cargo ship just came into the harbour and was being pushed by a tugboat, it was fun to watch the little boat push this huge ship around. Finally we are out of the harbour and we turn into the wind to put up the sails. Rick is being a very careful captain and does it just right. The crew (our friends and PD) hoist the main sail and we are under sail, and then up come the headsail and the motor is shut off. All of a sudden all we hear is wind and water. It is such an awesome sight and sound, just going with the wind. When the motor is shut off, it is as if all the pressures and troubles of life just disappear. The wind and water are so very, very peaceful that it is incredible just to be there. We start sailing toward Magnetic Island and Horseshoe Bay. Of course the wind is blowing the wrong way so we have to "tack" back and forth to get there, takes us about an hour and a half but it is so nice and cool and beautiful no one is in a hurry. We get to Horseshoe bay and drop anchor, to eat our "noon tea" We have all kinds of cheese and (bickies) that is crackers. Rick has made his world famous submarine sandwich and introduced it to our Aussie friends, they think it is great. We also have chips, and all kinds of olives, tomatoes, pickled onions, and of course cookies for the kids. We have our little feast and relax as the wind blows across our boat and it rocks gently in the lite waves. PD decides to go snorkelling and over he jumps, Rick told him not to worry about sharks because the Crocs ate them all, but that didn't worry him, he swam anyway, and no sharks or crocs..... just beautiful warm water. We saw some people climbing on the rocks of the island; a very large eagle flew by with a big fish in its talons.

We also saw a big sea turtle, but no dolphins this time out. Well we are all getting lazy and sleepy so we decide to heave anchor and sail back to the Townsville port.

Rick manned the helm as Len pulled up the anchor with the electric wench and as the anchor came up Rick learned he had to manoeuvre the boat to be ready to sail the right way. Rick had to go forward to help with the anchor and I got to helm the boat and we turned on the motor to turn into the wind, then the "Crew" put up the sails as I steered the boat and I had a ball. The sails caught the wind and off we went, the wind was at about 15 knots and we moved right along. Going back the wind was from the right direction so we could go almost in a straight line.

As we come into port to start back to the marina one of the big car ferry boats was sideways in the channel and another one was coming up behind it so we had to do a little zigging and zagging around, we had the sails down by then and were under power so it was not a problem but it was exciting for a few minutes. We were not in any danger just had to get around these two very large boats in a small space.

We made our way back to our pin and Rick pulled in with ease, no drama (that is aussie for no big deal) He was proud of himself for pulling into the berth with no great problems, and it will soon be my turn to learn. Look out, I will need to warn the other boaters so they can stay clear.. We all had a great day on the water and were reluctant to leave and we sort of hung around chatting for some time while stowing things and cleaning up the foodstuff. What fun we had, and we are so looking forward to island hopping and anchoring for the night with the wind and sea rocking us to sleep.

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