Monday, November 30, 2015

Middle Percy to Hoskyn Island...

We left Middle Percy Island at 0730 on 10 November. West Bay was empty after our departure - everyone else had moved around to Escape Bay the night before due to the arrival of gentle Northerly winds.

The conditions were light during the morning and we sailed under spinnaker and full main with a number of other yachts - including Nimrod and Duet. By late afternoon we lowered the spinnaker and hoisted the code zero. Lucey Blue was still sailing nicely at 8-9 knots, but before dusk we lowered the code zero and reefed the mainsail as thunderstorms were predicted along the coast and we wanted to time our arrival to coincide with high tide.

At around midnight with low cloud, no moon and storms along the coast we sailed between Mast Head Island and Erskine Island. There appeared to be five to six yachts anchored in the lagoon at Fitzroy Reef when we sailed past and as we approached Hoskyn Island we watched  - on our AIS - more than eight boats leave Lady Musgrave. The outer reef was amazingly busy, but our destination looked peaceful enough...

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Middle Percy Island...

We stayed a few days at Middle Percy in West Bay swimming, visiting the homestead and generally having fun.

The hospitality of the island leaseholders remains a highlight and much to the delight of the kids we were lucky enough to arrive shortly after the arrival of several baby goats!

One sunny afternoon Ryan, Eric and Dad went around the corner of the bay to a large sand dune. Ryan and Eric had a ball running up and down. Despite a few spectaular stacks everyone made it safely back to Lucey Blue.


Thanks for having us again Kate! We hope to come again sometime soon... 

A busy day sailing south to Middle Percy Island

After a few weeks in the Whitsundays we decided to continue our journey south. On a still morning we left Hamilton Island and motor sailed slowly down the coast to Percy Island.

The conditions were nice and we spent most of the morning reading while the kids played or slept in the cockpit.

A Spotted Mackerel interrupted our busy schedule at around lunchtime.  But no one complained too loudly!

We arrived at West Bay at around 2230 that night and anchored alongside several other yachts.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sailing in the Whitsundays - A view from above...

After several successful flights of our Mariner Drone from a stationary platform it was time for the next step - aerial images of Lucey Blue sailing.

The task of sailing while flying the Mariner Drone was a little daunting, but the promise of unique photographs helped us overcome our concerns. With Lucey Blue gently sailing out of Cateran Bay we launched the Mariner Drone from the flight deck – our rear solar panels.

The images of Lucey Blue underway were nice and we landed safetly back on the forward trampoline after about 10 minute in the air. However, the majority of the photographs were taken from too far away for the wide angle GoPro camera to show much detail.

Given our partial success the decision was made to haul up the spinnaker and try a second flight. This time the plan was to fly the drone right alongside Lucey Blue. The images from the second flight were substantially better, but there were a few tricky moments - including when the Mariner Drone disappeared from view behind our spinnaker!

Flying a drone blind while sailing towards your airborne position certainly adds to the excitement level. I am glad to say we experienced no mid air collisions and despite running out of battery power before landing back on Lucey Blue we declared our mission a success.

After the Mariner Drone adventure we decided to take a few photographs of Lucey Blue under different sail configurations from the dinghy. Have we ever said we love our new radial sails?

The kids all enjoyed the dinghy ride – you don’t often get to see your own boat sailing and even though we never cracked five knots it was a great way to spend a morning!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Esk Island - Marine Safety Training 101

When the Captain calls abandon ship we all know what to do!

Jump – preferably with all the kids in tow, but if the weather is nice you can always repeat the training course as often as required…

Eric are you ready to take the leap of faith?

Border Island - Eric's return...

Border Island remains a favorite for the crew of Lucey Blue – the shallow sandy beach is a great place to play and there is always plenty of fish in Cateran Bay.

Eric claims he remembers the beach from his last visit, but we remain skeptical based on our simple 2015 and 2011 boy in a bucket test!

Before anyone asks - the buckets are the same size...

Bait Reef - Aerial images from Mariner Drone

On one of those magically still days out at Bait Reef we decided to launch the Mariner Drone to capture the view from above Lucey Blue.

The view proved to be spectacular with the Stepping Stones floating in an azure ocean and Hook Island visible on the horizon.

What a nice place to learn how to fly and what a great place to go for a swim...

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Whitsunday Island - Wandering around with Rory

Uncle Rory's visit was great. Rory stayed with us for five nights and on the first day we caught a Spotted Mackerel on the way to Bait Reef! It was our first Spotted Mackerel this trip and that night we had fresh fish for dinner two hours after we had caught it.

We stayed at Bait Reef for two days and we all enjoyed power diving with Rory. He seemed to bring all the big fish out and about. We also swam with the big Maori Wrasse while Eric looked on from Lucey Blue. The fish were right up in Rory's face and eating his hair.

We even found a new pet we called Trevor the Trevally. He stayed with us for a nearly an hour while we were swimming around the western edge of the reef. Trevor tried to photo bomb our pictures of the school of Bumphead Parrot fish, however, he was unsuccessful...

Dad thought the fish below was really cute, he's smiling from his little cubby hole!

On the way back to Border Island we caught a huge Spanish Mackerel and two smaller Tunas, which was awesome! We kept the Spanish Mackerel and threw back the Tunas.

Thanks for coming to visit Rory and thanks for bringing out the big fish!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hamilton Island - Grandi visits

On the 20th of October Grandi came to Hamilton Island to visit the crew of Lucey Blue. 

We spent a week or so pottering about the pool playing and we also all had a sleep over at Grandi's apartment, while mum and dad went out to dinner. We also had a delicious selection of treats such as ice-cream, mars bars, slushies and wedges.


We had a lot of fun at the pool and the pool bar, where we had lunch a few times.

Ryan and Mum did a few morning runs around the island and Mum even managed to complete a park run!

Dad did a few odd jobs around the boat, some that involved making my hands super greasy with engine oil and others that made a real mess out of my cabin!

 On the 24th of October Grandi left and our uncle, Rory, came up, but that's another story.