Singapore

And now, from sailing to travel.

This blog is called the Schady-Muller sailing and travel blog. So, after three and a half months of sailing on Esprit, it was time to take a break and travel on land.

Esprit on pole moorings next to Ultimate Warrior.

Esprit on pole moorings next to Ultimate Warrior.

We left Esprit tied on fore and aft pole moorings at Bowen marina in tropical north Queensland and took a shuttle bus to Proserpine airport for the flight to Brisbane. A quick transfer from domestic to international got us on a flight to Singapore, where we arrived late afternoon for a three-day stay in the city.

In pirate party spirit, the happy Annie wanted to fly to Singapore on this bird

In pirate party spirit, the happy Annie wanted to fly to Singapore on this bird

Instead, I bought us economy class plane tickets as my princess deserves only the best.

I bought us economy class plane tickets instead, as my princess deserves only the best.

Annie found us a small boutique hotel situated conveniently in the heart of the panel beating, sheet metal fabrication and industrial area of Singapore, within a brisk 10-minute walk from the MRT station. No swimming pool, wet bar or sauna to while away the three days, so we reacquainted ourselves with this wonderful city using an unlimited MRT and bus pass and walking a lot. This was a good way to regain our land legs.

Office block forecourt.

Office block forecourt.

Supertree grove walkway.

Supertree grove walkway.

On the walkway.

On the walkway.

Singapore was a frequent stopover in the first five years of visiting rellies in SA, when the kids were small and doing long-haul flights with them was difficult. In the subsequent fifteen years, the population in Singapore has grown exponentially and consequently the number of new apartment buildings grew apace. There have also been numerous new developments in the city, catering for every architectural taste.

Cloud forest dome

Cloud forest dome

Seven story waterfall inside the cloud forest.

Seven story waterfall inside the cloud forest dome.

At the very top of the dome.

At the very top of the dome.

On the walkway inside the dome.

On the walkway inside the dome.

Inside the flower dome.

Inside the flower dome.

Little India, Chinatown and the Malay quarter still have all their charm and one would hope they don’t fall prey to redevelopment of more modern tower blocks.

Malay area with the Sultan mosque in the background.

Malay area with the Sultan mosque in the background.

Chinatown.

Chinatown.

Hindu temple.

Hindu temple.

Indian gardens.

Indian gardens.

Two new structures that were quite amazing, were the Marina Bay development next to the white ArtScience museum and the Helix stainless steel bridge next to it.

Amazing stainless steel detailing, welding and polishing.

Amazing stainless steel detailing, welding and polishing.

Helix bridge and the Marina Bay Sands behind.

Helix bridge and the Marina Bay Sands behind.

Hotel foyer - not ours!

Hotel foyer – not ours!

White ArtScience museum on the right.

White ArtScience museum on the right.

Spelling mistake?

Spelling mistake?

After four nights, we boarded the British Airways flight from Changi airport to London. Our next post will report on the UK leg of this trip.

SICYC Rendezvous 2016

The 7th Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club Rendezvous took place at Montes Reef resort and Cape Gloucester Resort from the 24th to the 28th August. “Four days and three nights of riotous fun and frivolity in aid of prostate cancer awareness and research”

View from Esprit

Esprit anchored amongst about 150 yachts in the Gloucester passage for this event, which is an endurance event for livers. Day 1 was the meet and greet event at Montes reef resort with music by “Rocket Source 3”. Dancing barefoot on a makeshift dance floor and the beach was a good workout for the baby boomers. We were able to catch up with old sailing friends and meet new ones, exchanging ideas about the best weather to sail into the Pacific.

Rocket Source 3

Rocket Source 3

Sunset at the meet and greet.

Sunset at the meet and greet.

Day 2 started with Tai Chi on the beach, which we missed because of hangovers. Morning tea at 10am on one of the neighbouring yachts allowed us sufficient recovery to attend the iconic Shag Islet Party at 12 pm. After meeting more new sailing friends, we retired for a Nanna nap from 3 to 4pm to be fresh for the entertainment at Montes from 4:30pm by “Rhino and the rock wallabies”. We threw caution to the wind and had an early night!

Shaggers

Shaggers

Kite flyers

Kite flyers

View from the hill

View from the hill

The DJ's of Radio Coconut

The DJ’s of Radio Coconut

Day 3 and we made it to the Tai Chi. This was followed by the “Hands across the Blue” raft up in the shape of the prostate cancer foundation of Australia logo. At 5pm we all assembled for the aerial rendezvous group photo on the beach, before the “Parrot Head” party with music by the “Barbary Coasters”. Dinner was a seafood basket of fish, calamari, prawns, scallops and chips, followed by the Quantum sails fireworks display.

Tai Chi class

Tai Chi class

Dinghy raft up - all 120 of them.

Dinghy raft up – all 120 of them.

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Music for the raft up

Assembly for the parrot head group photo

Assembly for the parrot head group photo

Day 3 fireworks

Day 4 and we dressed up for the “Pirates parley” and farewell at the Cape Gloucester resort. A traditional roast lunch was served as we eased into a relaxed Sunday afternoon. It was hard to say goodbye to new friends made at this event, but we were already planning to meet up soon in different locations. We reluctantly packed up and on Monday headed off to Bowen marina about a two-hour sail to the North. This is where Esprit will stay for the next two months, while we travel to the UK, Europe and Cambodia, before continuing on with the next leg of our sailing. Stay tuned!

Dirk, Marty, Annie & Sue

Dirk, Marty, Annie & Sue

Garry & Kerry

Garry & Kerry

Pirate lady

Pirate lady

Cheeky pirate lady!

Cheeky pirate lady!

More pirate friends.

More pirate friends.

The Barbary Coasters

The Barbary Coasters

Remember the Beatles?

Annie riding a swan on the way back to the boat!

Annie riding a swan on the way back to the boat!

 

 

Super-K visits

Karen arrived at Hamilton island airport on Monday the 15th August, after running the City to Surf on Sunday. She spent 5 days with us for R&R before her upcoming interviews for orthopaedic placement and her surgical primary exams.

Is this child getting taller, or am I getting shorter?

Is this child getting taller, or am I getting shorter?

The weather didn’t fully co-operate and we had 4 days of strong winds and heavy rain. The breaks in between allowed us to explore Hamilton island, Airlie Beach, Stonehaven and Whitehaven beach.

Inside the All Saints church on Hammo.

Inside the All Saints church on Hammo.

Renewing our wows. (Is this woman getting taller, or am I getting shorter?)

Renewing our wows. (Is this woman getting taller, or am I getting shorter?)

Cheeky bird trying to grab my vanilla slice.

Cheeky bird trying to grab my vanilla slice.

Bugger off magpie, this is my customer!

Bugger off magpie, this is my customer!

She flew back to Sydney on Friday to prepare for interviews in Hornsby and Lismore the following week. The wind then suddenly dropped and the sun came out! She didn’t complain and said that being able to relax was the big prize.

Fast downwind reach through Whitsunday passage.

Fast downwind reach through Whitsunday passage.

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Champagne sailing

Is the water freezing?

Ja well, no fine! The water temperature in the Whitsundays is between 24 – 25 deg C at this time of the year. Ideal for snorkeling, with a rashie to keep warm. We have had Frank, Penny, Gale and Vic with us for 12 days, to explore as much as we could.

We started off with a visit to Nara inlet, followed by South Molle island. We climbed Spionkop hill which afforded good views across the Whitsunday passage to Hooke, Whitsunday and Hamilton islands.

Walking up Spionkop.

Walking up Spionkop.

Lots of Grass trees on the way up.

Lots of grass trees on the way up.

Looking down to Esprit at anchor in the bay.

Looking down to Esprit at anchor in the bay.

Happy hikers at the lookout.

Happy hikers at the lookout.

The wind has been variable, with strong S-E winds forcing us to stay put in Sawmill Bay for 3 days. We then worked against the wind to Hamilton island to fill up with diesel and water. Our Kiwi visitors zoomed around the island on a golf buggy, before we had a wet sail to Whitehaven beach. The weather then improved for the remainder of our time together.

Waiting for the wind to settle.

Waiting for the wind to settle.

Hill inlet at Whitehaven beach.

Hill inlet at Whitehaven beach.

On the way to our private beach.

On the way to our private beach.

Anyone for a swim?

Anyone for a swim?

Senior surfers.

Senior surfers.

After a night at Tongue Bay, snorkeling at Manta Ray bay and a beach soiree at Luncheon Bay, we headed off to Bait reef, about 18 nm out to sea. The conditions were perfect to overnight in the middle of the ocean, after enjoying spectacular snorkeling on these unspoilt reefs with an amazing variety of fish.

Vic with our resident Maori Wrasse.

Vic with our resident Maori Wrasse.

Vic with a friendly black Trevally.

Vic with a friendly black Trevally.

An inquisitive turtle.

An inquisitive turtle.

The retirees on the way back.

The retirees on the way back.

Cosmo pin-ups.

Cosmo pin-ups.

Back in Airlie Beach, our guests kindly helped clean the boat, do the laundry and lavished more booze on us. Much appreciated!

After 3 months of using our water filters for re-filling in various marinas, it was necessary to replace the sediment and carbon filters which proved that mains water is not always clean.

Our water filters.

Our water filters.

 

3 month old filters in the middle, new filters on the outside.

Three month old filters in the middle, new filters on the outside.

Joe and Mary visit

Joe Schady and Mary Griffiths visited us at the end of July. We managed to show them some of the islands in the Whitsunday group during the five days they were onboard.

Joe entering Nara inlet

Joe entering Nara inlet

Joe and Mary paddle boarding

Mary and Joe paddle boarding

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Snorkeling at Manta Ray bay

Mary and Annie at Whitehaven beach

Mary and Annie at Hill inlet

Lunch on the beach

Lunch on the beach

Landing on Whitehaven beach

Landing on Whitehaven beach

Walk on the beach

Walk on the beach

Frank and Penny Tonetti arrived the day before Joe and Mary departed. Joe treated us to dinner for Penny’s 60th birthday.

Dinner in Airlie Beach

Dinner in Airlie Beach

Back in Airlie Beach

We sailed to Magnetic Island off Townsville two weeks ago, about a 130 nautical miles Northwest of Airlie Beach.

View across to Townsville

View across to Townsville

For anyone looking for a quieter boating experience, the region North of the Whitsundays have much to commend it. As reported in an earlier post, Magnetic Island is a 4 – 5 day sail from Airlie Beach. The various capes and bays along the way are quite spectacular, offering good lee shores for the prevailing Southerly trade winds.

Esprit at Maggy Island marina

Esprit at Maggy Island marina

A planned two-night stay at Maggy island marina, turned into a four-night stay. The hospitality of Lance, the manager and his lovely wife Cammy, plus various boaties like Doug, Paul and Clare, long dinners and drinks was the reason. Difficult to leave, but in the interest of our livers, we motored to Horseshoe Bay on the North shore of the island. The weather then brought much needed rain to the region, resulting in long wet walks on the beach and drinks in the pub for two days. After that, sunshine, swimming and paddle boarding.

Cane toad races at the local pub!

Cane toad races at the local pub!

Horseshoe Bay

Horseshoe Bay

South Passage ketch next to us.

South Passage next to us.

We had to return to Airlie Beach to welcome Annie’s brother Joe and his partner Mary, so we set sail South West for a four-day journey to Abell Point marina on the 21st July.

Passing the Abbot point coal loader on the way back.

Passing the Abbot point coal loader on the way back.

We anchored off Saddleback island the last night before we reached Airlie Beach. A beautiful anchorage with Gloucester Island to the North and the passage where we will be attending the Shagger’s parties at the end of August.

Saddleback island

Saddleback island

Annie caught an ocean trout for dinner.

Annie caught an ocean trout for dinner.

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Comments: Two months on.

It has been raining cats and dogs overnight and today looks much the same. I therefore have some time to write what may be a useful post, that not only reports on where we have been.

Some emails we have received have enquired about how the boat is performing, how we are coping with each other’s company and how we can afford this trip. So, we think that some comments on these questions will be helpful for friends thinking about a similar journey in the future.

In the two months since leaving the Pittwater in Sydney, we have logged 1,163 nautical miles to Magnetic Island, off Townsville in tropical Queensland. At 1.852 km per nm, this equates to about 2,150 km.

The boat: The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 439 has met and exceeded our expectations. We knew that her length and wide beam/transom would be fast for downwind passage making, more so on a beam to a broad reach. We were worried about her ability to beat to windward after sailing many miles on Farr 38’s in the eighties, which were notorious for banging into the wind when close hauled. Modern yacht designs have evolved and with hard chines aft and a sharper entry forward. This results in a relatively civilised close hauled sail, influenced more by wave height and direction, which we allow for in setting our course. She is surprisingly fast and comfortable on this point of sail.

Her off the wind speed is really impressive. For her current loaded weight of about 10 tons, she starts moving well at a wind speed of about 10 – 11 knots, giving us around 6 knots speed over the ground (in a moderate 1 m swell). At about 13 -15 knots, this goes up to 7.5 – 8.5 knots SOG and at 20 – 22 knots she really flies at over 10 knots/hour. On a dead run, which it has been about 50% of the time, we pole out the jib which increases stability.

The layout of the boat is comfortable for the two of us and we have space to move about. The 54 hp Yanmar engine consumes between 2.14 and 2.73 litres of diesel per hour at 2000 rpm and runs like clockwork.

Is there anything that could be improved on? In hindsight we should have ordered a fully battened mainsail with cars for better sail shape and ease of hoisting and lowering. (Mainsail trim meister Schady is hard to please!) Although we have not had any dramas with some tight marina berths, a bow thruster would have been a sensible investment for a boat this size.

The crew: In this department we are fortunate that Annie and I have been sailing together since 1975. There are four things that constantly needs repeating on the boat:

1.) Sail hoisting/lowering. We have quickly worked out our routines, so that happens intuitively every time, without shouting. We are also not fazed by setting up the pole for a dead run or hoisting and lowering the asymmetrical spinnaker when the opportunity presents itself.

2.) Anchoring. The key here is jointly taking note of the tides, discussing it, allowing enough scope and making sure the anchor has properly set. The new SARCA Excel anchor works well and therefore we can sleep well.

3.) Docking in marinas. Always a challenge, particularly with a cross wind, but we plan and discuss this beforehand and have the routine for each of us sorted quite well by now.

4.) Steering the boat. We plot our routes beforehand, allowing for wind shifts and then each of us steer reasonably close to the planned route, using the auto pilot when required.

You have to be comfortable with each other’s company – if you constantly need conversation, you may need to have more people on board. The key to avoiding boredom is reading a lot, discussing the weather ahead and planning what to do at the next stop.

Costs: Being self-funded retirees, we have to manage expenses versus income. Annie keeps spreadsheets for everything – she loves data! Over the last two months we have had the following expenses in 6 categories:

  • Vittles (food and wine): $1,415.20
  • Diesel: $657.40
  • Berthing fees: $637.60
  • Eating out: $518.80
  • Boat equipment/maintenance: $1,367,20 (This includes a one off storm sail and outboard service)
  • Medical fund/Telstra: $650.90

This totals $5,247.10 divided by two = $2,623.55 per month.

As long as your income covers this, you are ahead. Bear in mind though that we have cancelled all our life insurance, as there are no more debts to cover (or to pay ridiculous premiums for, once you are over 65). There is only the car insurance on the little Barina.

Admittedly, there will be a few big ticket items coming up in September, when the boat insurance premium falls due and she needs to be slipped and antifouled and the engine serviced. I estimate this to be about $6,000, which when amortised over the next year, will add $500 to our monthly expenses.

So, I hope this will give our family and friends an idea of what a sailing lifestyle entails and cost. Clearly, we will have more accurate data available after 12 months.

That’s it for today. Happy hour at the pub here in the marina starts at 4pm!

 

 

Airlie beach to Magnetic island

After our red faces at Joe’s beach, we called in at Abell Point marina to fill up with diesel and collect our new storm sail that arrived by Fedex from Hong Kong. We also stocked up with vittles and wine while in town.

Esprit re-fuelling with the Young Endeavour  training ship, dwarfed by the Mickey Mouse ears stink boat.

Esprit re-fuelling with the Young Endeavour training ship, dwarfed by the Mickey Mouse ears stink boat.

Our route took us Northwest to the passage between Gloucester island and the mainland, then to Bowen and on to Cape Upstart where we anchored in the lee.

Sailing through Gloucester passage.

Sailing through Gloucester passage.

Approaching Cape Upstart.

Approaching Cape Upstart.

Paddle boarding in the lee of Cape Upstart

Paddle boarding in the lee of Cape Upstart

The migrating humpback whales lolled next to us as we set off to Cape Bowling Green and then around Cape Cleveland to Magnetic Island. Annie managed to catch a good sized Tuna, which she filleted – we will have some for dinner tonight.

Catch of the day - Tuna!

Catch of the day – Tuna!

Today we took advantage of the cooler weather to motor around the island to Horseshoe Bay, after which we did a beautiful 4 km walk up to the highest point on the island to look at the WW2 gun emplacements and the remnants of the fortifications.

Annie with her new car.

Annie with her new car.

Indigenous man at Horseshoe Bay.

Indigenous man at Horseshoe Bay.

Inside the command post.

Inside the command post.

View from the top across to Cape Cleveland.

View from the top across to Cape Cleveland.

Koala sleeping in a tree next to the track.

Koala sleeping in a tree next to the track.

Our daughters have a varied taste in music. The one genre we can’t fathom is their love of rap and hip hop. Whenever I question this, they reply that they are actually black gals inside white bodies. After two months at sea, Annie remarked on my changing pigmentation. Ironically, they now have a white dad inside a black body!

 

High and dry!

A quick recap: After leaving Mackay, we motored to Brampton island about 21 nm due North, due to no wind. A lazy afternoon doing some stand up paddle boarding and then during the night, the wind swung and we had rocky night, prompting us to leave at 7:30.

Hamilton island

Hamilton island

There was  brisk 20-25 knot SE offshore and we sailed to Goldsmith island, about 10 nm further on. The wind was good, so we decided not to stop as we passed Ladysmith, Thomas, Shaw and Lindeman islands. Before we knew it, we went past Hamilton island and after 40 nm decided to anchor in the lee of Whitsunday island.

Joe's beach on Whitsunday island

Joe’s beach on Whitsunday island

Now, in 12 years of sailing in the Whitsunday islands, we have been blessed with no mishaps, other than dragging our anchor once in Turtle Bay. Missing, was running aground! This we promptly did as we sailed into the pretty and inviting Joe’s beach at 3pm. Low tide was at 6pm, so we had to wait until 9pm before Esprit floated free and we could re-anchor. Red faces!

Esprit's involuntary careening.

Esprit’s involuntary careening.

Waiting for high tide with a calming white.

Waiting for high tide with a calming white.

The following day was spent at the very beautiful Nara inlet, before we sailed across to Airlie Beach to fill up with diesel and do some shopping in town.

Paddle boarding at Nara inlet.

Paddle boarding at Nara inlet.

Rosslyn Bay

Two lovely days at the Rosslyn Bay Marina recharged our batteries (boat and ours). This is the boat harbour for Yeppoon on the Queensland central coast. Friendly staff and cool music greeting you as you walk off the marina. Also, a courtesy car to use to do your vittles and wine shopping in Yeppoon, 8 km’s away.

Look! a smart car just like ours in Sydney.

Look! a smart car just like ours in Sydney.

An afternoon walk around the marina offered some colourful photo opportunities as shown below:

Harbourside housing

Harbourside housing

Sundowner time

Sundowner time

In these parts, the tidal range is quite big compared to Sydney. Here it is between 2.5 to 3.1m as can be seen by the marks on the marina piles. Photo at low tide.

The tide marks on the piles!

The tide marks on the piles!