After the long journey from Tasmania heading north, we finally used a breeze to drift to the entrance from the Pacific Ocean in to the quiet sheltered waters behind Stradbroke Island.
About a mile inside the waterways we dropped anchor and then slept for twelve hours with no one on watch, no rolling bed and no need to worry about lurking ships or fishing boats. Over the next few days we used the rising and falling tides to work our way to Raby Bay and Chris & Sue’s private pontoon. As we entered the canals it felt a bit like coming home especially once Artemis was securely fixed and we were all sat in their kitchen with a cup of coffee.
In Indonesia it is law that visiting yachts have an AIS transmitter – a device that sends your position and course to other vessels around you. We had already ordered the relevant hardware and so, after the coffee, Sue presented us with a pile of parcels to unwrap. Luckily everything worked as we had hoped and after a few days we were sending our position to the world. You can see us on Marinetraffic. At the end of the project we had the old receiver left over so installed that on Chris & Sue’s catamaran. Now they can see the vessels around them on their display.
We needed some new flags and Heidi mentioned buying material to Sue. The next day, the material was bought, the sewing machine was out and, after lots of work by Sue and Heidi, we were the proud owners of extremely well made Scottish and Indonesian flags.
I have lost track of the places that Sue and Chris drove us to so that we could buy “the bit” we needed to fix something. I think we seriously impacted their working efficiency. I know that we ate every day in an amazing restaurant and both put on weight because there was nothing you could say no to.
One afternoon we were picked up by our friends the Laming family. Dad was up north working but the ladies kept us fed and entertained the entire evening. Neill was definitely outnumbered and lost every discussion he got involved in. We received a copy of Andrew’s latest book but, as he was not there, it was signed by his wife and daughters – we hope the kids grow up to be very famous. The empty wine bottles were a good hint that we needed an Uber to get home.
After a week of living the high life we sailed back out in to the bay and round to Coochiemudlo Island where Anne and Ivan live. We had met them in Tasmania and, as we were passing, called in for a coffee. The coffee turned out to be coffee and pancakes with jam and cream followed by a cheese board, then pork and all the trimmings and ice cream with chocolate mousse.
We took the dinghy back to Artemis in the dark, lifted anchor and sailed north reflecting what amazing friends we have made in Australia.