I was halfway through writing an e-mail to everyone when we got news a few days back of Cyclone 'Yasi' fast approaching North Queensland. How lucky the people of Cairns and our boat Aroona have been to miss the full force of this massive Cyclone, it is incredible that at this stage there is no report of any loss of life.
Ross and his Dad did a great job of tucking Aroona well up a little creek in the inlet amongst the mangroves (see first three photos of preparations to get her secure) Ross has just rung through that he is now on-board and everything is okay, no damage at all just covered in a fair bit of leaf litter from the mangroves.
Aroona will soon be back at her new home at Half Moon Bay Marina, Yorkeys Knob, just north of Cairns. The trip north ended up taking a little longer than anticipated with news of Dad falling very ill when we were at Mooloolaba just after New Years.
My last e-mail was written when Aroona was at the Gold Coast where we finish installing the last of the accessories.
We headed off up the inside passage past Moreton and Stradbroke Islands to Mooloolaba. It was great to have Sam, George, Georgie and Tim join Katie, Ross and myself for the trip.
New Year's Eve and the next couple of days with all the family and friends were delightful. We were moored right amongst the fishing fleet which turned out to be a great spot with no noisy neighbours. Great time had by all!
After New Year Aroona traveled on with Ross and Katie, Paul Wendy Mike and Tim Reilly up through the Sandy Straits in between Fraser Island and the mainland and then on to Bundaberg. Water conditions were a little dirty with a lot of the rivers in flood after the big rains. They still managed to boat Aroona's first Spanish Mackerel.
After Bundaberg where the Reilly's hopped off two friends of Ross and Katie's joined them for the trip to Hamilton Island. They visited a number of islands on the way and from the photos they showed me they visited some lovely spots.
I rejoined Aroona at Hamilton Island with a couple of mates from Shep, David and Richard and Ross's mate Paul also stayed on for the rest of the trip north. We had beautiful calm weather around the Whitsundays, caught a couple of fish, visited Whitehaven Beach, snorkelled and the boys taught me how to skurf ( see photos).
Early the next morning we headed out to the Outer reef where we fished and did some more snorkelling, spent the night doing a spot of shark fishing, which left a number of lacerations on my hands, need to be more careful next time.
From there we came back in towards the Palm Islands where both David and Richard caught two ripper fish. We then spent the night there before we entered the Hinchinbrook Channel. Next morning we put the tender down and fished up a couple of lovely creeks where we caught a good feed for lunch of flathead and one nice perch.
The next day we headed off to Cairns fortunately getting in before the heavy rain set in.
All in all it was a wonderful trip and I felt very satisfied to finally have Aroona safely at her home at Yorkey Knob.
(Little did I know what was heading our way at that time)
Hope everyone is well.
Outer Reef 70 - AROONA