Saturday, 4 July 2015

Rosslyn Bay to Mackay

The next pick up point for me is Mackay, almost 4 hours drive, where I will visit Deb and Roger while waiting for the sailors to catch up.  It should take Bristol Rose 3 days with overnight stops to reach Mackay.

Elliot after a hard night sailing.

Finding the currents against them off Port Clinton, Robert and Elliot decided to do an overnight and arrived in Mackay a day early, the morning of July 2nd.  We've all been looking froward to reaching Mackay.  If the weather is favourable Roger will show us some of his favourite anchorages off the coast.  Roger and Deb are helping us out by keeping the car safely at their place while we sail further north.

The weather has other plans and we won't be getting out to the islands this weekend.  So Roger and Deb drive us all up to Airlie Beach where we'd arranged for a sail loft to replace the sacrificial cover on our genoa.  We constantly use this sail so it's not surprising that although we'd had it re-stitched in Tahiti, the thread has perished.  The sail is in good shape though.  When we sail Bristol Rose north we'll pick up it up, ready to fly again.  

We also made a stop at Proserpine and had a great day checking out some of Deb's favourite spots.  Thanks to Deb we discovered in Mackay one of the best farmers markets anywhere.  The market stalls sell the usual European and tropical vegies, plus local red papaya, sweet mandarines (it's winter here), avocados, and also a wide variety of Asian vegetables, some of which I've only seeen on a TV cooking program.  One of these is Pandan.  It's used to flavour rice.  The friendly Filipino grower went to pains to describe all its uses and looked through the bunches to find a piece with roots attached so I can try growing my own.  We came away with all the fresh fruits and vegies we need for the next stage of the journey north to The Whitsundays.

Because the islands of the Whitsundays are zoned conservation or national park dogs are not allowed.  We've taken Daisie to a "Canine Lodge" north of Mackay, or as Robert puts it (despite the best care of and attention to the canines) "jail".  It's hard to think of it as anything else.  The environment is so far removed from Daisie's usual accommodations.  A comfy cosy bed by the lounge, a dog futon in the sunroom, a soft warm fluffy thing by our bed, and a floor pillow on the boat are usually available for her sleeping comfort.  Spoilt?  Maybe just a bit spoilt for choice.

Daisie comes from a country with many outdoor dangers, bears, coyotes, porcupines, raccoons, rabies, severe cold.  Any of these could mean injury or death for a dog left outside.   Even in rural Australia the outdoors at night can present dangers for a small dog.  Daisie's routine is as regular as clockwork; out for a walk in the morning, helping with sailing or other activities with us, a walk last thing before the sun goes down and then it's in for the night.   She's well trained, well adjusted, gentle and loving.  If anything she may be too well socialised, approaching everyone and every living thing as a friend.  She's a perfect boat dog.

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