May2007, Australia
Sailing away from Southport a huge storm developed.  They are in desperate need of water from a draught.  Blue Sky just needed to pull in for a couple days to bring the rain, as it just keeps following us.  The forcast was for 10 knots of wind from the North to Northeast, with 0 meter seas, perfect.  We were hoping to get around Frasier Island, a three day sail.  The sun set and the winds increased to 20-25 knots and the 2 meter seas were coming on the nose, not a comfortable ride.  The crew all decided we would pull into Mooloolaba, arriving around 7:00am, to wait for a southerly.  We pulled onto a dock and spent the day cleaning up the boat and changing the oil. They were predicting a Southerly the next few days, so we decided to leave in the morning.  To the right is one of the canal's in Mooloolaba, lined with homes with their own docks.  There were a few kids on the dock, so Phoebe and Drake had a great time playing. 
The prediction was 10-15 knots from the South to Southeast, for our two day sail up & around Frasier Island. That evening the winds picked up to 20-25 from the East with 3 meter seas, this means they were coming on our side.  We almost lost a kayak with one wave.  The wind never shifted from the east and never abated for our trip.  When we reached the tip of Frasier Island, an area with large currents and falls, making the waves even more unruly, it was there, the chain to the autopilot decided to fall off.  Hand steering in these conditions for 24 hours would be no fun, two hours was hard enough.  
The sun was just about to set and fixing the chain would be difficult. Jim was able to put the chain back on in a matter of minutes.  We were finally away from the point and the waves were now behind us, a much more comfortable ride.  Gladstone was the closest port, we be-lined for it, and arrived the next morning, picking up the last mooring ball.  There were over 20 boats anchored, waiting to get into the Harbor. (Think Houston, TX.  very industrial.)  Once we went into the office we found out their was a berth available for only $8 more than the mooring, we took it.  The next five days the forecast was for Southerlies, which finally turned when we arrived.  However, their were high wind warnings with 3-4 meter seas.  We were thankful to be on a dock in a town with stores and chandleries.
Phoebe and Drake were happy to be on shore after that passage, and happily rode their scooters everywhere.  The automatic draw bridge was a big hit.  Walking across it to the local Yacht Club for refreshments.
Jim and I took advantage of being stuck in a town on a dock because of the weather.  Around Frasier Island water was coming in from the bow.  We found that the bollards, the wood on the front, were not sealed and leaking.  We pulled them out and re-sealed them. (Not a one day project)  After that we ripped out all the rotted sealant from the exterior of the toe rail.  We then re-sealed it with new polyurethane & that occupied another couple days.  The kayaks took a beating so we re-bedded the stancions that hold them.  Also finding time to take off all the cousion covers and washing them.  It was a very productive stop.  Finishing boat projects that have been on our list since Mexico.
We were fortunate to meet a wonderful family. (see photos below)  Fiona offered to drive me to the store to provision, which was so helpful.  Our friends on Sandpiper informed us that everything was more costly up north, so we needed to load up.  While I was away, Drake fell off the board walk while riding his scooter. A meter tumble onto the rocks. His arm was sore when I returned and swollen, so it looked funny.  We decided to go to the hospital for an x-ray.  The nurse took a look at his arm and squeezed it in certain places, and said it did not look broken, so I could wait another two hours for a doctor or go home.  I went home, and they refunded us the $170.00.  Drake ended up no worse for the wear.  He's alittle shy about getting close to the edge of "drop offs".
Scott and Fiona Lloyd and Cole Cross enjoying a sundowning on the back of Blue Sky.
On Mother's day, Jim and I were working on the boat and a family walking by and started chatted.  Next thing we know, we were invited to meet them at the BBQ's for lunch.  After lunch they all came back to the boat to watch the sunset.  It ended up being a wonderful Mother's Day!
Harrison Lloyd, Drake, Phoebe, Maiya Lloyd and Jason Cross playing on Blue Sky.  After Fiona kindly took us provisioning (there was not an empty spot in her car!)  She picked up Phoebe and Drake and took them to their house to play and to basketball practise.  Jim and I managed to finish all our jobs so we would be ready to leave, as the high winds have finally abated.  We are looking forward to day hops for a while.  The islands within the Great Barrior Reef plentiful..
The weather window opened and we finished our work on Blue Sky so we left Gladstone for Great Keppel Island.  Instead we anchored at a small island call Hummocky, otherwise it would have been dark before we arrived at Great Keppel.  We went ashore and stretched our legs.  Phoebe found some pummice on the beach, which we had not seen since Tonga.  At first it seemed like a nice anchorage, but the rush of the tide would counter with the wind, which made for an uncomfortable and bumpy night. We woke before dawn to head for Port Clinton, we arrived in this river bar before dark had dinner and got ready to leave early the next day for Middle Percy Island. 
On the way we sailed through thick red stuff, it could have been pummice, or another sailor told us it was Coral Polyps, from the Barrier Reef.  It is dangerous to travel at night in this area, as there are many large out croppings of rocks just above the water line, with no lights on them.
Blue Sky arrived at Middle Percy in the afternoon, enough time for us to go ashore and relax for a while.  On shore there is large A Frame shelter where visitors hang their boat names, or anything else for that matter.  Cruisers have been doing this for the past 50 years.  Some one just applied for a grant to document everything in the A Frame and won it.  There was a loft and hammock, camp fire and tree house.  A very interesting bit of history, you could spend hours in there.  Blue Sky is anchored in calm
Jim Hanging the Blue Sky sign with the Lats and Atts flag below it.
Phoebe's new friend, Namara, from s/v Glayva.  We met them in Moololaba and they are also going to Indonesia, and have a son who is Drakes' age.  They were in Middle Percy at the same time.
Next stop, 70 nm away, was Scawfell Island.  It was a full day sail from sun up to sun down, once we arrived we had dinner and went to bed.  Waking up early the next day to head for Lindeman Island.  We decided to pull up a mooring ball in front of the Club Med, as our book said we could pay the mooring fee and have access to the resort.  We dinghied ashore and the kids immediately got in the swimming pool.  Jim went to reception and was told it would be $150 per adult and $75 per child, but one meal was included.  We quitely told the kids to get out of the pool and left.  When we pulled up the mooring to begin with it was very slimmy and looked as though it had not been touched for a while, this should have been a warning.  At least the kids had a nice bath in the pool.  We took Blue Sky around the corner to a nice anchorage and played on the beach.  We saw a school of Black Tip Reef Sharks swimming in the shallows between the two islands, it was a great sight, pictued below are four of them.  Needless to say we did not go swimming.
Next stop was a free mooring ball at Day Dream Island, there was only one, and no one else was on it.  It is a small island with a resort covering most of it.  Fortunately no one wore wrist bands and we fit in easily.  We sat poolside and had drinks.  There were Kangaroos wandering around and above is a picture of Blue Sky with one in the foreground.  Large reef fish, Pinnate batfish, swam around the boat, the kids loved feeding them.
Airlie was the next stop, where we saw our friends, Rene and Steve, on s/v Shiraz sail in as well as Tom and Amy from s/v Sandpiper.  We have not seen Shiraz since Bundaberg! Of course we all had to go out and celebrate being back together.  Drake couldn't stand the excitement and feel asleep at the table.
Airlie has a large swimming lagoon in the middle of town, which was great for the kids, including Tom and Amy.  Drake had a go on a didjeridu, he enjoyed the sound it made.  Phoebe and Emma enjoy dinner with everyone.
Blue Sky left Shiraz and Sandpiper in Airlie, as they had alread seen the Whitsundays.  The forecast was predicting 20-30 knots of wind for the next 4-5 days.  We found a nice protected anchorage at Cid Harbor on Whitsunday Island.  The sunsets were beautiful. One day we went for a hike and saw a huge black lizard and two snakes, needless to say, the kids did not enjoy hiking in Australia anymore.  As the deadliest snakes and spiders live here.  A weather window opened and we left for White Haven beach.  An expanse of pure white sand.  The beach was nice, however, it was still windy and rolly in the anchorage.
Phoebe and Dad built an awesome sand castle, as the sand is pure silicon  there is no black in it, therefore it doesn't get too hot to stand on. The beach is six kilometers long. (For those of you in the US that is about 3 miles).  Drake and my feet point toward Blue Sky as a sea plane takes off in front of it. It is the one location that all the tourists want to see and they come in planes, helicopters and boats. 
Jim celebrated his 43 birthday at Whitehaven, and we baked him chocolate chip cookies.  The kids enjoyed them just as much as Jim did.  As you can see, he is wearing a sweatshirt, it is still a little cool.
Our favorite anchorage was Blue Pearl Bay, on Hayman island.  There were free mooring balls and the water was clear.  We went snorkleing for the first time since Fiji, it was great to see the kids still had it in them.  Tour boats would stop for a lunch hook then leave, and others would pull in for the night.  Anything from backpackers on race boats to luxury sail yachts.
The Hayman Island Resort, one of the Leading Hotels of the World, is located on the other side of the island.  There is a hiking trail that connects the anchorage to it.  No Day visitors are allowed at the resort, which we did not realise until later.  We followed a couple and found the swimming pool, where towels were readily accessable, Jim walked up to the bar and ordered some drinks, which were delivered to us poolside.  It was a wonderful, relaxing afternoon.  We walked around the beach and property, where there were wild cockatils. 
Hiking back Phoebe and Drake both stepped over a snake!  The next day Jim took the dinghy over to the resort, where he was informed that it would cost $50 just to park the dinghy and not go to shore, or $150 to go ashore and access the resort.  We then realised how much we got away with the day before!  Now it is time to leave the Whitsundays for points north.