Tag Archives: Medina

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!

An adventure hangover

Is there such a think as an adventure hangover?

Orbit and the Skipper off to explore the bush at Garry's Anchorage

Orbit and the Skipper off to explore the bush at Garry’s Anchorage

If so, I was suffering from one the day after we came into our new marina. I was crabby, tired and could not shake my bad mood. Although I didn’t have a physical headache, I felt like I had an emotional one and I needed space to come down from the high of the previous two weeks.

To cure my ‘hangover’, I decided to have a ‘hair of the dog’ and have another adventure. Orbit had been asking for some chocolate cake for weeks and I had planned to make one while we were cruising, but never got around to it. So off we went, on an adventure, looking for chocolate cake (and a decent coffee!).

It was only a relatively short walk to the local coffee shop and it did wonders to clear the emotional cobwebs. I am sure the consumption of chocolate cake and caffeine also helped. By lunchtime I was feeling a lot better, so I had a nanna nap!

Orbit exploring the beach at Kingfisher Bay

Orbit exploring the beach at Kingfisher Bay

Fast forward a few days and we are easing into our new ‘normal’. We are working out where things are,¬†developing new routines, enrolling Orbit into day care, swimming lessons and so on.¬†

Our plan is to stay in Hervey Bay for about six months while we prepare to go further north. This preparation includes ticking jobs off our new to do list. Our new to do list is focused on the things we need to cruise for a lot longer and rely less on marinas during our travels further north.

Although Hervey Bay is only a temporary stop, I can appreciate how people come here and never leave. Everyone has been really friendly and helpful. The beaches, parks and services are fantastic. 

Orbit swimming in the 'day bar' pool at the Kingfisher Bay Resort

Orbit swimming in the ‘day bar’ pool at the Kingfisher Bay Resort

From a sailing perspective, the Great Sandy Straits are absolutely perfect for short cruising adventures. On our journey up the Straits we passed a number of anchorages and identified a number of areas we would like to go an explore while we are here.

We also identified a number of anchorages we will be going back to, as they are perfect for toddlers like Orbit. Kingfisher Bay is one of them. Orbit can play on the beach at high tide and go exploring the sand flats at low tide. Kingfisher Bay Resort has a day bar that welcomes yachtie. It has a pool where Orbit can go for swim and we can grab an early dinner and an ice cream for dessert before the sunset.

One adventure we are hoping to have is a sail out to Lady Elliot Island at the very southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. It will be a great way to see how we go on longer cruises as it is at least a three day trip, if not longer.

So after my ‘hangover’, I am more than ready for our new adventure in Hervey Bay, after all, we only have six months, so let the adventure begin!

Dr Seuss to the rescue

Our first sunrise over the Pacific Ocean

Our first sunrise over the Pacific Ocean

It was 5am and soon we would be having our first adventure out of Moreton Bay and into the coastal waters of Queensland on Medina. Medina’s previous owners had sailed her from the Whitsundays to Tasmania a number of times so I am sure she was looking forward to giving her sails and halyards a good stretch.

I hadn’t done any coastal sailing in a long time, nearly 10 years, and I was excited to get out there again, out into the elements where you feel a little on edge but truely alive.

After a final check that everything was in it’s place; we raised the anchor and were off, out of the lee of Moreton Island and into the ocean swell, motoring through the channel that would take us out into the relative safety of the Pacific Ocean. Oh how I had missed the ocean,¬†I will never forget that sun rise, over first on Medina with no land impeding our view.

Medina heading north

Medina heading north

We were heading north, but the swell and waves were heading east which meant Medina was rolling from side to site with every wave we went up and down on. So I was down below, looking for the stash of extra tea towels and stubbie coolers to pack into the nooks and crannies to stop all the noise of our things rattling or rolling.

The¬†Skipper¬†and I are lucky enough not to get seasick so don’t mind these conditions, however, we were soon to find out that Orbit does get sea¬†sick.

He woke up at about 6am to the unfamiliar sensation of his home rolling from one side to the other. I explained to him that we were ok but he would have to stay in bed for a while, at least until the rolling had decreased. Luckily he was happy to stay in bed, so I went back up on deck to help the Skipper set our headsail to try and reduce some of the rolling.

Tea towels stopping the rattling noise

Tea towels stopping the rattling noise

After the sail was set, I went back down below to check on Orbit. He was not well. He said his tummy felt funny and I started to look for something for him to throw up in. I wasn’t prepared for Orbit to be sea sick, he had never been sick sailing around Moreton Bay. But then again, he had never been in conditions like this before.

Unfortunately I didn’t find a suitable container in time and he vomited all over his pyjamas and bedding. The poor little guy had never thrown up before so the whole experience was quite upsetting for him.

After consoling him, I cleaned him up, changed his pyjamas and replaced the soiled bedding Рall while he was still in his bed. After that I found a suitable container, just in case he was sick again.

Thankfully we were out of the channel by this point and the severity of the rolling had decreased – enough for me to make the Skipper a coffee at least. My focus then returned to caring for Orbit, who had thrown up again. He was managing the technique of throwing up in the container so there wasn’t too much mess to clean up. He was quite distressed and although¬†I wanted to get Orbit up into the cockpit and into the fresh air, I couldn’t until it was safe enough to do so. So the only thing I could do was distract him.

Heading into Mooloolaba

Heading into Mooloolaba

I crammed into Orbit’s bed with him (which he thought was quite funny) and we read Dr Seuss books over and over again. As we were reading Cat in the Hat for the umpteenth time I asked him if he was feeling better, and he said he was but wanted Green Eggs and Ham again. So I took this as a sign that his sea sickness was abating.

Once the rolling had subsided enough for¬†Orbit to be safely in¬†the cockpit, I got him up. He almost instantly perked up and enjoyed the roller coaster ride of going up and down and side to side with the waves. He spent ages naming the wave as either ‘big’ or ‘baby’. Was fascinated by the large ships which were anchored just off the shipping channel, enjoyed watching the birds dive for their breakfast and spotting the high rise buildings along the coast.

Orbit recovering from sea sickness

Orbit recovering from sea sickness

After about an hour, he started to fall asleep in my arms, and I popped him back into bed. Thankfully he wasn ‘t sick again and he slept soundly till well after we were tied up in the¬†marina at Mooloolaba. Once he was awake, we got lots of water into him to rehydrate and a jam sandwich for lunch to give him some energy. By mid afternoon he was back to his cheeky self.

We’ll be continuing our journey north tomorrow which will mean heading back out into the ocean. I am hoping Orbit won’t get sea sick again as the conditions will be different (southerly swell and lighter winds), so crossing fingers he should be alright.

But just in case, I will be prepared. I’ll have his container ready, multiple layers of bedding ready to go (so I can just strip off the soiled sheets if need be), and have his Dr Seuss ‘library’ on hand.