The glacier gondolas in Switzerland have warning signs saying “You are entering a high alpine region and weather can change quickly.” The same is true for the ocean. On sailing days with unsteady weather I nervously watch the water for gusts coming our way. We keep a wary eye on squalls on the horizon to see if they are going to hit or pass us by, and every now and again we are rewarded with rainbow panoramas such as the one above.

So far we have mostly been at anchor during heavy rainfall. Sometimes I take the chance and put salty clothes on deck to get a soak and rinse. Other times I just close all the windows and hatches, remove sensitive items from known leak locations and go back to bed. We don’t collect rainwater but it is nice when the boat gets all the salt washed off after a splashy passage.

Vernon likes his GoPro. I always feel a bit stupid using it, especially if I am filming myself. But it is a good tool in the right hands and I happy Vernon does such a good job of documenting our adventures so we can share them with you. Here he took the camera for a swim in the little freshwater river just off the beach and later into the shallow sands outside Wathumba creek where there were lots of stingrays cruising around.

“Stingrays are, biologically, flattened sharks that have taken to the bottom to feed on shellfish. Most species are very timid and will run away if the have the choice. Stingrays lie on the bottom and flick up sand on their back, rendering them better able to surprise the unsuspecting mollusc on its way to grandmother’s house.” (D. Colfelt, 100 Magic Miles)

Cruising is the art of repairing your boat in exotic locations

 Any yachtie will tell you that living aboard means constant maintenance work. Listening to a conversation between two long-term cruising couples made me feel a bit better about the fact that heavy rain causes drips indoors on Nautilus. My frame of reference shifted further in our boat’s favour when our new friend Blake mentioned that the most recent downpour had made him wake up with a puddle on his duvet. I did a quick fix on the back hatch with some plastic sheets and gaffer tape to stop rain dripping on the guest bed. It worked! In the picture were are giving the wooden hand- and toe rails some love and varnish.

Platypus Bay was definitely our favourite spot so far. We could have stayed longer but figured we had better get going and hopefully stop by again on our way back. One early morning we lifted the anchor, waved good-bye to the beautiful beaches and set off for Bundaberg.

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