KatieKat 2001 Cruise Chapter Five

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August 2001KatieKat 2001 Cruise Chapter Six
29 July 2001Townsville
19 July 2001Whitsundays to Townsville
12 July 2001Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays
11 July 2001More Australian Signs
10 July 2001Whitsundays
9 July 2001Map of Great Barrier Reef
June 2001KatieKat 2001 Cruise Chapter Four

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This is the fifth webpage of our cruise covering the year 2001. The purpose of the cruise webpages is to let family and friends know what is going on in our lives. The "Interest" column identifies the target audience, and is intended to spare you baby-picture slide-show agony. This is one long continuous page, and clicking on any of the underlined dates above should jump your screen to the appropriate section on this page (or you can use the scrollbar on the right to navigate up and down this page). Joe Siudzinski

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29 July, 2001 -- Townsville

Spent a week in Townsville, waiting for the mail to catch up (had to, as the mail contained ATM and credit cards to replace the expired ones). Very pleasantly wined and dined by fellow Seawind owners Bruce Lewis and his wife Loretta - have a lovely penthouse overlooking Cleveland Bay and Magnetic Island, right next to the marina where their boat is kept. We caught up on the movies, visited the museums and the aquarium, and Kathy took a day trip inland to Charters Towers - an old gold-mining town which now hosts the radio school for kids out in the bush.

[Cockpit Scene] Beverly Hillbillies sailing to Townsville.

[KatieKat Townsville] At the dock in Townsville. Note the nicely-maintained pathway lining the waterfront - typical in all the Australian communities. Very popular walking/jogging/bike-riding path, especially in the evenings. Can't quite see it in the photo, but amongst the trees is a new memorial for the Battle of the Coral Sea as well as a war memorial honoring Australian Victoria Cross recipients.

[KatieKat Townsville Marina] Another view of KatieKat in the Townsville Breakwater Marina. The large building on the right is the Casino.

[Bicycle Reassembly] Putting the bicycles back together again. Extensively used the bikes for shopping and sightseeing - Joe put on close to 50 miles the day Kathy went to Charters Towers.

[Joe Townsville] Joe on one of the streets in Townsville, with Castle Rock in the background. The open balconies are reminiscent of New Orleans.

[Croc Mural] Throughout this community, murals are painted on walls and adorn otherwise unattractive objects such as this transformer housing. "Crocs" is the name of the local Townsville team.

[Joe Townsville] The many free kids' playgrounds in Australia are sure imaginative! If you'll look closely, the huge bucket up on top has just tipped and the flow of water is about to dunk the kids. What fun! Along this beachfront path there are two huge swimming pools (in addition to ocean swimming with lifeguards), many parks with swings and other entertaining gadgetry, public-use BBQs, and huge fields for soccer, rugby, and cricket. What's wonderful is that they are very popular with the locals.

[Charters Towers Town Hall] Town Hall in Charters Towers.

[Ashes] That stringy stuff is carbon! Ashes from nearby bush fires covered the boat (and you know what it looks like as soon as you step on this stuff). Oh well, the boat needed a wash, anyway.

[Townsville] Leaving Townsville, with the bush fires visible in the distance.

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19 July, 2001 -- Whitsundays to Townsville

Finally escaped from the frenetic lifestyle of Airlie Beach and sailed out to Bait Reef on the inside edge of the Great Barrier Reef, after overnighting at some more islands in the Whitsundays. Beautiful clear and warm water out at the Reef, although I did have quite a fright while snorkeling when this huge fish came right at me - just an inquisitive xxx (I dunno what), but I was up the boat ladder not waiting to find out!

From the Reef we had a leisurely sail up the coast, stopping at George Bay, the coastal town of Bowen, Upstart Bay, Cape Bowling Green, and finally around Cape Cleveland into Townsville.

[Whales] I was too busy trying to get a photograph to determine if there were one or two whales crossing behind us. The steamy spray cloud is still visible in the photo. Note, we're towing BikeBoat everywhere on a 100' 1/8" 3-strand nylon tether attached to a bridle.

[Coal Loader] Passed this huge coal-loading platform which juts way out to sea from shore.

[Spinnaker] One of the few times we've flown the blue spinnaker off to one side of the boat instead of symmetrically dead downwind.

[SpinnakerJib] Who says you can't fly two headsails simultaneously off a single-forestay cat without a bowsprit?

[Bowen Mooring] KatieKat on the mooring inside the harbor at Bowen.

[Bowen Mooring] Kathy in front of the War Memorial statue in Bowen.

[Dog with Sunglasses] Hey, if it's necessary for humans, ...

[Joe BBQ] Hard at work while anchored behind Cape Bowling Green. Please excuse the attire.

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12 July, 2001 -- Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays

Airlie Beach is a tourist town, overrun by backpackers. Backpacking is a world-wide (primarily European/NZ/Aussie) activity whereby young people travel extensively seeing the world, carrying everything in their backpacks, earning a little money along the way, living as inexpensively as possible, and having a great life experience before settling down. Wherever we go it seems that everyone in Australia has travelled - been to the US and Europe and can talk about the great time they had in San Francisco or Yosemite or Edinburgh or wherever. Anyway, Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays is one of the meccas for backpackers - every other storefront is a tour booking agency, with Internet cafes all over the place, and lots of hostels. The sightseeing boat industry is fully developed, with daytrips throughout the Whitsundays and diving excursions out to the Reef on every kind of vessel imaginable and accommodating any budget. In addition, charter boats are everywhere, catering to the upscale crowd from down south escaping the winter. We've seen very many Seawind charterboats.

[Airlie View] View from the Esplanade at Airlie Beach. Looking the other way is a lovely huge curved public swimming area, beautifully landscaped and covered with lawns and teeming with young backpackers. Despite being a dirty old man, I just couldn't bring myself to snap a photo of the beautiful topless Scandinavian girls sunbathing nearby.

[Airlie View] Moms (uh, mums) out for their morning constitutional on the walkway skirting the waterfront.

[Beach] Even in the Whitsundays you can indeed get away from it all and anchor by a lovely deserted beach.

[Beach] Moon rising while anchored at Hook Island in the Whitsundays.

[Avatar Sunset] Flashy boat that looks like an ocean racer that's also a group charter boat. This happy crowd dropped anchor just behind us and partied till all hours of the night!

[Avatar] Another view (the following morning) of this sleek trimaran named Avatar

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11 July, 2001 -- More Australian Signs

[Sign Feed Ibis] Don't see this back home.

[Kathy Ibis] That's an Ibis behind Kathy.

[No Parking] That's a definite maybe.

[Sign Cyclists] In all the times I passed this sign, I only once saw someone "dismount" their bicycle - a father teaching his little son about bicycling rules. Don't you just love CYA bureaucrats! On the plus side, in many communities there are lots of great bike trails along with footpaths - otherwise, bicyclists seem to be fair game for automobiles.

[Sign MoolYC] Now, I ask you, where else in the world could you get a better deal for membership in a nice upscale and very active yacht club for this price?

[Sign Sandflies] Refreshing, as political correctness hasn't become entrenched yet.

[Sign Vodaphone] This ad for Vodaphone was all over the place last year.

[Sign SlipSlopSlap] On a more serious note, with Queensland being the skin cancer capital of the world, there is an intensive campaign to SLIP on some clothes, SLOP on some suntan lotion, and SLAP on a hat. It is not unusual to see someone with a piece of their face carved out.

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10 July, 2001 -- Whitsundays

It took me two nice leisurely days to get from Mackay to Hamilton Island, anchoring at Shaw Island and off the south end of Whitsunday Island for each night. Stayed one night at not inexpensive Hamilton Island, where I met Kathy and friend Sally who flew in from Thailand, arriving after a couple of weeks touristing there and in Bali.

[KathySally Airport] The girls valiantly smiling after five airports and 20 hours flying to get to Hamilton Island.

[KathySally Elephant] That's what the girls did for fun in Thailand.

The weather, which had been overwhelmingly windy for the preceding two weeks, decided to become nice - it settled down to gentle breezes and beautiful sunny days. Talk about the art of relaxation: the girls carried it to new heights! They certainly caught up on their reading as I sailed from one lovely cove to another. We snorkeled and pedalled BikeBoat and simply veg'd out - and had a beautiful moon each night. For those of you interested, our cruise took us from Hamilton Island past beautiful Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island to overnight at Windy Bay on Haslewood Island, then past Cateran Bay on Border Island. After trying to anchor in Mackerel Bay on Hook Island (almost lost the Bruce - unknown snag that I wasn't comfortable staying overnight on), finally overnighted at Saba Bay. Continuing around Hook Island, went onto a mooring at Luncheon Bay after some great snorkeling in Manta Ray Bay. Over to crowded Butterfly Bay where I got a fright when snorkeling and coming face to face with a huge manta ray (the water clarity at this particular bay wasn't the best). Sailed over to South Molle Island for the night, and then went into Airlie Beach for a couple of days.

Have to try to pick up a submersible case for my digital camera - missing some great underwater shots of the fish and coral.

[KathyJoe Hamilton] One of many views from Hamilton Island.

[KathySally Hamilton] More views from Hamilton Island.

[KathySally BikeBoat] The girls BikeBoating in their 19th century swimwear.

[KathySally Sailing] The girls hard at work sailing in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands.

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9 July, 2001 -- Map of Great Barrier Reef

[Map] This map is from an older book called The Great Barrier Reef by Arne and Ruth Werchick. On my list of things to do is to find a way to better show the route KatieKat is travelling.

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