Z E N I T U D E
Blue Water Dreaming
The Start of a New Season - Gold Coast to Mackay - On the Move Again
Zenitude back in the water - 15 April 2015
Zenitude is back on the water and Oscar is trying to get her ready for a new sailing season. At the moment she is full of dust after spending cyclone season in the Gold Coast City Marina shipyard.
Before any waxing and cleaning takes place Oscar is busy replacing the engines batteries that lasted 5 good years and installing heat monitors for the engines, a gadget that has taken us too long to finally get so that we can monitor engine temperature and take action well before the alarm goes off. With the impeller issues we had last year this was on the list of ‘have to have’.
In the meantime, I'm still in Sydney and we have decided that Oscar will hire crew to go all the way to Mackay and wait for me to arrive there by plane at the end of April.
Zenitude ready and with new crew on board departed the 23 of April. Oscar was thinking that for a non stop trip the option to go out to open seas through the Gold Coast Seaway was more attractive than going up the river through Moreton Bay, but as he hired a delivery skipper who has done the Queensland coast more times that he could remember the favoured way was inside Moreton Bay as it's a much shorter route. He knows it so well that he can even navigate the canals at night, something we rather don't do.
The weather was dead calm which meant a lot of motoring for the first 2 days. The port engine heat monitor just installed showed the engine cooling system not running too well and the engine could only be used in low reps. Definitely the new monitors installation payed off from the start.
Underway Gold Coast to Mackay - 23 to 27 April 2017
With calm weather and the experienced skipper the Wide Bay Bar at the south end of Fraser Island was uneventful and easy. This time they decided to stop at Gary's Anchorage for the night and have an early start to negotiate the Great Sandy Strait in daylight. With Fraser Island behind, the rest of the trip was non stop towards Mackay.
AIS transmitting Zenitude's position
Mackay is at the southern end of the Whitsundays. Zenitude is now well positioned for the start of our sailing. After spending some time in the Whitsundays we probably go up to Magnetic Island stopping in places we haven't stopped before. There are many choices. From Magnetic Island we'll keep going north hoping this year we can cover lots of places all the way up to Lizard Island and when the weather collaborates, make side trips to the outer reef. It is good to be back to our cruising life.
Sailing grounds for 2015
Sailing plans for this year
The wind finally came on the last day and it was blowing around 20 knots at arrival. After 4 days and a bit more than 500 miles they arrived at dawn at Mackay Marina, where I joined a couple of days later.