Monthly Archives: October 2016

The luxury of Mooloolaba

A few posts ago I referred to the luxury of Mooloolaba and said I would explain more later … so here is my catch up post ūüôā

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A laundry with a view, you can just see Medina’s transom

After hearing about Mooloolaba from experienced cruisers, we were looking forward to our time there. We’ve been to Mooloolaba a number of times before¬†but it’s a bit different being somewhere in a holiday apartment to being in the same place on a boat.

The Skipper and I had discussed our two options for staying in Mooloolaba. Option A was to anchor, which was free and access to land would be via the tinnie. Option B was to stay in a marina, which costs money but meant we would be connected to land, electricity and water. Because we wanted to do some laundry, top up the water tanks and restock our fresh food and vegetables, we opted for Option B.

The marina option would be easier, particularly with Orbit on board and wanting to help, or not. I have to admit Option A, was a consideration but lugging 20lt water containers from a tap to the tinnie, then hauling them up on to Medina’s deck and carefully pouring the water into her tanks (with a toddler in tow) did not seem that appealing, particularly when we had another option.

There are two public marinas at Mooloolaba and we choose to stay at the Mooloolaba Marina. The marina office e-mailed us our berth allocation and a map of the marina in advance. This meant we could plan our time of arrival so our berth was a ‘blow-on’. A ‘blow on berth’ is when the wind ‘pushes’ the boat on to the pontoon rather than away from it. This makes the process of ‘berthing’ (or parking a boat) a lot easier, particularly when there are only two adults to undertake the process.

Medina at Mooloolaba Marina

Medina at Mooloolaba Marina

The berth was a great distance from the facilities. We were close enough if Orbit ‘had to go’ but far enough away that we didn’t have a lot of people walking past Medina to get to their own boat. The facilities were very clean, modern and working. We even had our laundry washed, dried and back in the respective places within 3 hours (which is a record for us!).

There was a Coles in walking distance for the Skipper and I, and nearly in riding distance for Orbit. Thank goodness we had our trusty backpack. It made the task of shopping a lot easier, especially when Orbit decided he tired of riding and wanted to be carried, which meant we also had to carry his helmet and bike.

From Orbit’s perspective, his stay in Mooloolaba was heaven. I had forgotten about the footpaths, cycle paths and parks that run parallel to Main Beach and only a 5 minute walk from the marina. Each park has it’s own playground, with different mental and physical challenges which kept Orbit happily occupied. There were also coffee shops near the parks which kept the Skipper contented with what he called ‘decent’ coffee, the poor thing has to deal with instant coffee on Medina.

Orbit meeting the real Nemo and Dory

Orbit meeting the real Nemo and Dory

To top the whole Mooloolaba experience for Orbit, he was able to go to Underwater World with his cousin Tilly, who is a similar age. Orbit and Tilly hadn’t seen each other for about 3 weeks and were like to long lost lovers when they met,¬†running towards each other, arms out stretched calling each other’s name. They both had a ball at Underwater World and seeing a real¬†Nemo and Dory was the highlight,¬†or maybe it was ice cream after lunch.

We decided to cut our stay in Mooloolaba short because of a weather window to cross the Wide Bay Bar. It was a hard decision because everything was so easy, we could have stayed a lot longer. But our destination wasn’t Mooloolaba and we were worried if we stayed a bit longer, wouldn’t keep going. So with the Great Sandy Straights calling us and the opportunity to cruise in company, we left Mooloolaba with fond memories and wondering if we would ever return again.

Whales on the starboard bow

As you may know, we are in Hervey Bay, Queensland. Hervey Bay is listed as one of Australian Geographic‘s top 10 places to see whales. So what to do when in Hervey Bay during the whale migration? Go whale watching of course!

Orbit looking to starboard for whales

Orbit looking to starboard for whales

We picked up a few last minute things from the shops, filled up the water tanks, did a quick tidy-up, and after the Skipper checked Medina’s vitals we were off on a whale watching adventure.

Orbit is going through a singing’ phase at the moment and he randomly breaks into a tune that he adapts to what he is doing. For example, when walking to the marina showers, he sings “We’re going on a shower hunt, I’m not afraid, I’m as brave as brave can be”, to the tune of “We’re going on a bear hunt”.

This is all very cute, but what it also means is I get “lovely” ear worms of children’s songs in my head. Ever since we have been on our whale watching adventure, I’ve had in my head, the very inappropriate “we’re going on whale hunt”! And, I still can’t get it out (please don’t tell Sea Shepherd).

As we sailed to our first overnight anchorage the Skipper and I were pretty happy with ourselves for seeing what we think were 3 or 4 whales, if only in the distance. Not close enough interrupt Orbit playing happily below, but at least we knew we were in the right area.

Orbit looking to port for whales

Orbit looking to port for whales

The next day we decided to start our whale search in earnest. Orbit started his search after breakfast while we were still at anchor.

He started on Medina’s bow (her ‘front end’), looking to port and to starboard, calling for the whales and looking very hard. He then moved down to the stern of Medina (her ‘back end’), looking to port and to starboard, calling the whales. But the whales did not come.

Once we started motoring he was up on deck again, looking to port and to starboard, working his way from the bow to the stern, calling for the whales and looking very hard but alas they still did not come. So, he went down below and started to watch a movie to pass the time. By this time I don’t think Orbit believed us when we said there would be whales.

Later on during the morning, when we were sailing, the Skipper did see a whale. He yelled, “whale on the starboard bow, and it’s breaching!”. I had to give Orbit a good nudge to get up on deck to see it. He was watching his favourite movie and as he hadn’t seen whales when he was looking earlier in the morning, was a bit reluctant to move. With a look of ‘you had better be right mum’ he hit the pause button and went up on deck, encouraged by the Skipper and with me close behind. I prayed the whale would breach again, or at least show itself so Orbit could see it. As we went on deck I made a mental note to better manage Orbit’s and my expectations, when a high degree of the unknown is involved.

Luckily, we didn’t have to wait long. The whale continued to breach, putting on a wonderful show as it traveled east, while we headed west. We managed to get a pretty good look at each other as we passed (even if I didn’t get the best photos).

"Look, a whale!"

“Look, a whale!”

Orbit was super excited to see the whale, but after that he was happy to continue playing below. This was fortunate as we didn’t see any more whales that day. And we haven’t seen another whale since, but who knows what tomorrow or the next adventure may bring!