We hope to update this as often as possible throughout the year. Please follow the links to our photo gallery and view the photos as a slideshow for best viewing.

Our email is maripisailing@gmail.com

Blue Skies! - Robbo, Lana and Noah

Time for Noah to get his Land Legs

All good things come to an end they say but we are looking forward to the next “good thing”.
As the year came towards the end we decided that we should put our beloved girl Maripi on the market and we were not shocked to have her sold within a few weeks. Our fortune continued with the delightful new prospective owners happy for a long contract allowing us to finish out the year as we intended with a glimmer of hope for Ro to fight back on the fish count. Well, Maripi changed hands last week with very mixed feelings towards a yacht that had served us so well with safe passage and lots of amazing adventures and moments, Noah’s first home and such a special year to spend together. They say the best 2 days of boat ownership is the day you buy the boat and the day you sell it. Not quite sure about that as we had many great days of boat ownership and surprisingly few days of frustration. Even anti-fouling her was a joy.
Now as we drive our 4WD through the flooded Newell Highway in western NSW as we head to Tassie for Christmas wishing that we still had a boat (cars don’t float as well) we have passed the time so easily reminiscing the most amazing year on board Maripi with Noah. We look forward to our plans for further adventure. These plans include something with 2 floaty bits, a couple of sails, fishing gear and plenty of sunsets.
Now as it turns out even with a late surge Lana won the fishing comp 66-64!!! Ro may have trouble fronting up to his mates on this one!
As it turns out it is perfect timing to leave the boat as Noah has found his land legs taking his first steps this week at 10months old. Yay!

Nara Inlet to Airlie Beach

As we sailed into harbour for our last time with a clear blue sky, calm sea doing 8 knots under sail tears streamed down our faces as we celebrated our connection with our girl and the amazing journey we had with each other. No words can describe the emotions of that moment with “Hallelujah” playing on the stereo as it did as we left Sanctuary Cove at the start of our voyage.

So our last port of call was Airlie Beach where we handed Maripi over to her new owners who have started delivering her south already arriving at Yeppoon on her way to Brisbane as we write this. Robyn and Chris plan to retire at the end of this year and cruise in the same fashion as Maripi is now accustomed. Our final week in Airlie allowed us to catch up with Lan’s Aunty Andrea, our friend Andrea McGrath, Laura and Kayleigh (some great girls from England), Lozza from Maroon Dam and Craig and Robyn who delivered our car.

Back to Nara to get out of the weather

With the predictions of gale force winds we set sail for shelter in Nara Inlet from South Mole Island. With the headsail alone and steep sharp seas that are unimaginable in what you would expect to be fairly protected waters across the Whitsunday passage Maripi reached her equally fastest speed on our watch at 14 Knots. As the port bow began to bury herself and spray masked our passage Maripi started to round up and drop off the wave with Noah grinning all the way. Lana and I had quite different facial expressions!!

Although not the greatest of weather we settled into a pretty laid back few days at anchor up the end of Nara. We spent a lot of time just soaking up the small wonders of nature and catching a few finned ones. Noah had a touch with nature as a seagull almost fed from his hands and white cockatoos graced the safe harbour.

South Molle Island

From Stonehaven we went to Marcona for another night and then on to South Mole Island.
Ro has a real connection with South Molle as that is where his Mum and Dad celebrated their honeymoon a fair few years ago. So we were delighted to find it re-opened following the Cyclone earlier in the year and very quite. The owners allowed us to not only use their mooring for a few nights but also all the facilities on the island including the swimming pool. If you ever get the chance We would recommend that you get a look at the amazing shell collection on display.

Visit out to the reef

From Airlie we thought to get in a position to explore the outer reef if the weather allowed. We spent the first night in Marcona Inlet where we were visited by turtles and dolphins away from the crowds in a glassy anchorage.

Leaving Marcona the next day with glassy waters and then favourable winds just aft of beam we sailed the 23 miles in relative ease arriving early afternoon at Hook Reef but unfortunately the predicted calm became a 15-20 knot wind with reduced protection as the tide rose. Combined with a tide that placed Maripi beam on to the wind life became a little uncomfortable.

Up anchor the following morning and passing between Hook and Bait Reef with wind against tide was like a washing machine with a boat speed of 5 knots and speed over ground 9 Knots!! We recently watched a Late Malcolm Douglas documentary and related to the tidal whirlpool created in the far north of WA.

After passing through we had an amazing day of sailing with the sheets slightly cracked and fanging along when all of a sudden Lana’s game rod started to hum that tune that says there is something big on the line! We had difficulty slowing the boat down so 30 minutes later a buggered but beaming Lana drags her tuna aboard!!! Noah had a new toy until we reached Stonehaven Beach and I started filleting it!

Townsville to Whitsundays

A terrific weather forecast for the next 3 days presented us with a great window of opportunity to head south. From Townsville we motor-sailed the 80 odd miles to Cape Upstart - a safe anchorage from the East-SE winds surrounded by the amazing geology of the area. The following day, the wind was a little more from the south than forecast. This made our relatively short passage of 45 miles to Glouster Island a little uncomfortable under motor, but we still managed to achieve a constant 7+ knots.

Another fantastic night at anchor in Bona Bay - Glouster Island with an early morning glassy passage to Olden Island for a day of fishing, snorkelling and enjoying the sunshine. Soon after leaving Olden Island, the clutch on the trolling line hummed it's beautiful tone Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz indicating a big strike. Ro was first to the rod after almost knocking Lana overboard with his desire to add this fish to his fish count. For anyone who cares other than Lana, the fish count now stands at (Lana = 50 Ro = 47) - a late surge from the Captain is making Lana feel a little uneasy as we approach our last bit of time on the water.

Now anchored off Airlie Beach to shelter from a southerly weather pattern and get tv reception for the football grand finals, we have feasted on Ro's MACKEREL for the last four nights. Yum!!

Back on the water

(Sailing South – Cairns to Townsville)
Perfect weather came for us to sail south a couple of days after returning from the USA. Having caught back up with Benno and Yvonne for a great lunch the day before we set sail from Yorkeys Knob Marina at 6:30am, we arrived at Dunk Island around 4:00pm. A glassy day on the water, until later in the afternoon allowed us to motor sail very quickly all day. Noah loved being back at sea – smiles all around. In fact when we first got back on the boat Noah’s eyes just shone and his whole face lit up with the recognition of home. Again an early start from Dunk, with the aid of radar and GPS, and perfect conditions found us tying alongside at the Breakwater Marina, Townville by 4.15pm thanks to our ever reliable Mr and Mrs 20hp Inboards which gives us a cruising speed of 8.5 knots!!! Hinchinbrook and the Palm Islands showed off their good side upon our return journey and marketed themselves as destinations to return and explore.
Having spent the good part of 2 weeks now in Townsville further exploring the sites, sounds and surroundings (and coffee shops) we are looking for a window of opportunity to make the 3 day passage further south to the Whitsundays for another extended visit. As we write this our weather forecasting websites are predicting an opening for south passage this week . Yee Haaa again! It has been great catching up again with Robbie and Craig, on “Unhinged”, quality people with a genuine love for each other and shared vision for a fulfilled life. The 5 of us had a wonderful day on “Maripi” with a circumnavigation of Magnetic Island with prawns, a swim and coffee on the island where Craig and Robyn lived with their 2 boys as a young family.

We will endeavour to keep the blog updated, as we have had a few long intervals without writing anything - having too much fun I dare say. Keep Smiling.