It’s 7pm on Saturday night. There is a crescent moon above us and it’s dark outside. The kids are all in their beds having a play or reading. They’ll eventually fall asleep one after the other and we’ll go and check on them later. Simon is sitting in the cockpit. He’s on watch.
I’m sitting on the port-side couch with the lee cloth up. We put the lee cloth up when we’re sailing and take it down when we’re at anchor. It turns the couch into a sort of cot so that the kids can hop in and play or eat at the table and they won’t fall off the couch when the boat rocks. It’s a little awkward for Simon and I to clamber in here – but this is where we sleep on overnight sails like the one we’re doing now.
We are traveling at about 7 knots with the motor running and the main sail and the yankee up, heading for Lady Musgrave Island. The wind is blowing 7 to 10 knots from the east and the ocean is calm. There is less than a metre of swell. We left Mooloolaba at around 1pm and expect to arrive at Lady Musgrave around dusk tomorrow. We’ll just see though, we might end up stopping at Lady Elliot Island if we feel like it’s getting too late in the day. We prefer to arrive somewhere before it gets dark if we can.
We had a busy day today. Simon got up early and went to Whitworths to get some extra gear for fixing our sail. We ripped it when we had some engine trouble passing Yamba a couple of weeks ago. While he was out the kids and I started preparing the boat for this passage. We did the dishes, vacuumed, put away all the clean clothes from the two washes we did yesterday (yes – we have a washing machine on board!), and put all the empty diesel jerry cans up on deck.
When Simon got back we took the boat around the corner to buy about 800 litres of diesel. “Fill her up mate!” was the instruction.
It cost just over $1,000 at $1.35/litre. The last time we filled up the tanks was in Hastings before we left. That was seven weeks ago. The diesel pump we used today was old (let’s reframe that – retro!) and looked like it had a few screws loose, but it did the job. We also filled the water tanks at the same time. Dragonfly’s belly is now full!
Next on the list of jobs was the supermarket. We’ve done 3 shops over the last 3 days. This morning the focus was on fruit, veggies and snacks. Markito and I went to the supermarket and pushed a trolley full of food back to the dinghy. In the meantime, Simon had taken the twins for a walk to a petrol station and filled up a jerry can with unleaded petrol for the outboard motor.
It feels great to head off carrying fuel, water and food at 100% capacity. We could stay away from the mainland for a month and be fine.
We are super excited about arriving at Lady Musgrave Island. The beginning of the Great Barrier Reef!! Can’t wait to go snorkelling and swimming. It’ll also be great to be in a quiet spot away from the busy anchorages and suburban sprawl we’ve been surrounded by for the last few weeks. Yay! Bring on tomorrow!