Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Day 16 – Wednesday, November 5th

This morning we hoisted anchor about 9:00 am and headed to Hamilton Bay Marina which is where we would end our journey. The trip took about 2 hours and was thru a very scenic area. We enjoyed getting our last looks at the beautiful Whitsunday Islands.

We arrived at the marina and had to wait for about an hour before we could enter the marina. This was made especially interesting as the airport runway was just at the end of the bay and we had to keep the mast out of the flight path!! This involved a lot of backing up and turning around!!!

While we waited we saw an amazing number of types and sizes of boats. There was a huge Pile-Driver ship that was made entirely of metal and was moved by two Tenders pushing the back of the boat. I was astounded that they could maneuver this large boat between the two signs that marked the entrance to the harbor. There was also a very small sailboat in the main boat lane and we couldn’t figure out exactly why he was there. He was being followed by a small motor boat and we finally decided that either he was inexperienced and was being helped or was very experienced and was training for a competition and being followed by the training boat. The large ferries on and off of the island were coming and going at a great speed. We knew that some of them were heading to Whitehaven because we had seen them there two days before. At one point, a boat called “Waverunner” came barreling past us and then did a 360 in the middle of the bay. There were about 12 people on board (strapped in like like they were on a Six Flags ride) and they were all laughing and screaming. The boat continued to do water gymnastics as all on board had a great time. Finally, there were a number of small craft to watch out for as well…..mostly Jet-skiers and Dinghies.

Finally, we were allowed into the harbor and were met by a guy in a small one man dinghy who helped us find our berth and get the boat tied up. Danny heaved a huge sigh of relief when he turned off the motor for the last time.

We got the boat hooked up to electricity and Michael and I immediately set up our computers to charge the batteries….we had been running on fumes!!

We walked into the shop area and had a nice lunch and then spent some time shopping and checking out the area. Michael and I bought a beautiful souvenir of a turtle made from polished rock. We also found a “Fish and Chips” shop that we feel is a must for dinner.

After asking 5 or 6 people, and getting 7 or 8 different answers, we decided to walk up to the Resort and SEE if they had wireless internet. Fortunately, they did and Michael and I spent the next 2 hours going thru email and catching up on the world. Danny and Ruth used their time more judiciously and enjoyed a bit of people watching.

The election results have just been announced here and everyone wants to know what we think of the election. Interestingly, most have seemed relieved that Obama has won.

We walked back to the main street and bought our fish and chips. Michael and I ordered one batch of fish and chips and one of “Chicken Chippies” and chips. There was SO much food and it was SO good!!! We walked across the street and sat at a table on a gazebo just on the water’s edge. On the way back to the boat, we (mostly Frances) got distracted by the ice cream shop so we made a short detour for cones or sundaes!!

It was fun to listen to the sounds in the Marina as the night wore on. There were a couple of weddings going on that night and there were obviously some good parties going on. However, the sounds were not loud and were fun to listen to.

We are moored in an area of the Marina that seems to be designed to hold larger boats. Our neighboring boat is about 15 feet longer than we are and the one at the end of the jetty is about 100 feet in length!!!! We definitely feel like the poorer cousin!!! One good thing about this is that all of these huge boats have good bathroom facilities, so none of them are in the public toilets or showers…..we have those all to ourselves!!!

We all found it hard to go to sleep on the boat because it was too quiet in the Marina and also the boat was too still.

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