Tuesday, August 21, 2018

One Year On

My, how our lives have changed! It’s been one year since we last updated you on our whereabouts so here’s the recap!


We spent the 2017 season buddy boating with another kidboat, Madam Wong and capped off the season with a trip out to the reef! An adrenaline-filled experience that falls in our Top 3 amazing cruising moments. We will fill you in, I promise! We finished off our winter in the Whitsundays and headed back north to Magnetic Island for the summer.

We had arranged to housesit over the summer and enjoyed the luxury of doing boat jobs while not living on the boat and luxuriated in the extra space and ease that land life provides. We took everything off the boat and gave her a good clean. We sorted through all of the random things that had been hidden under beds and in deep cupboards for 5 years and got rid of a lot of junk. Sound advice from the legendary Lin and Larry Pardey. The engine got a complete service and the exhaust elbow replaced. We replaced the autopilot remote and had several other electrical jobs done.

 In March, we gained another little lady crew member. Bryce is really outnumbered now! With two under two on the boat, we toyed with the idea of giving boat life a break for awhile. While we briefly contemplated moving to Papua New Guinea, we went to the US for a couple of months to figure it out and ultimately, completed our circle by returning back to Magnetic Island!

 So that’s where we are and at this point we still aren’t sure what we are going to do. Being on the boat in a marina is a compromise for now but we aren’t sure whether we are ultimately going to be pulled one way or the other. We have lots to figure out and will keep you posted as it develops!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Whale Season

The Humpback Whale migration up the east coast of Australia starts in June and goes until August, at which point, the Whales turn around and start making their way south again (September - November). This is a very sad but interesting government fact sheet about the history of whales and whaling in Australia.
We have never been in Whitsundays at the same time as the whales but we did see a couple on our trip up from Mooloolaba a couple of years ago. With one exception (The magical Pearl Bay), we only ever saw the occasional spouting and surfacing, never diving or breaching. A whale is a whale and they are amazing, giant, majestic creatures and we have now been forever spoiled by their visits.
Approaching Cid Harbour
We are currently anchored in Cid Harbour which is much to shallow for whales so we won’t be seeing any in here but our last few anchorages were much, much deeper. Compared to the one meter of water that we are anchored in now, at Blue Pearl Bay on Hayman Island and Caves Cove on the west coast of Hook Island, we were anchored in upwards of 20 metres of water. In fact, Baby I. went for her first (of many) deep water swims with the giant fish (actual giant fish, not the whales). 

At Caves Cove, we were particularly spoiled when three whales surfaced about 15 metres away and continued to play around the boat. I. in particular, who probably had no idea what we were getting excited about every time whales surfaced further away, finally was able to get it and join in the excitement. In the 18 hours we were there, we saw several other groups of whales passing nearby and then just as we pulled up the anchor, I turned around to see a whale surface right behind us. We proceeded with mighty caution!

One of my goals this season is to catch a photo of a Humpback breaching. We saw one at Blue Pearl but I couldn’t tear myself away from them to go and grab the camera. Now that we know what’s in store… the camera is ALWAYS nearby!
The Great Humpback

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Interior Design on a Boat

So the thing about boats is that for the most part they come with the furniture built-in and, unless you have designed your own boat, you don’t get much say in it! We’ve talked about ways we could make changes to Batty’s layout but as everything is interconnected (tanks, storage, compressors, wiring, plumbing, etc) that doesn’t leave us many options, unless we want to get a different boat, which is not happening for awhile at least!

So short of a complete interior makeover, here are some of the ways we tried to liven up our tiny living space!

Wall Fixtures 
Whiteboard, canvases, ornaments, removable wall decals. The whiteboard is magnetic but because we are afraid of tiny magnets ending up either in the bilge or the baby’s stomach, we don’t really use that feature and instead doodle away to our hearts content. In reality, I use it to keep track of what’s in the fridge! 

The canvases were a project I did with my Mum. We set about finding a couple of complementary patterns that wouldn’t be too tiring in a small space and mounted them to some canvases with glue. That’s it. 

Fruit Bowl 
Because nothing is as sexy as this three-tiered hanging basket full to the brim with fresh goodness, it get’s it’s own category. It’s truly a work of art. Bottom tier is washed produce (apples, pears, tomatoes, etc), middle tier is stuff that doesn’t need to be washed (avocados, bananas, oranges, etc) and in top tier, I keep my ginger, garlic and a stash of onions so I don’t have to go digging in our longer term storage whenever I need an onion. So far it’s working great.

Cushion covers 
These were more of a baby proofing necessity than fashion statement and so I didn’t putt much effort into their design and fabric selection. I made our settee covers out of old sheets and have tied some sarongs around our pillows to make them pop a bit. This is about all we can change easily: material. Someday, when flying food and grubby fingers are no longer a regular occurrence, we will definitely recovered our settee cushions nicely.

Again, more blue, so they had to go, Bryce’s mum made us some new lighter curtains which really brighten the place up.

When we moved aboard Batty, one of the first things I noticed (and didn’t like) was that EVERYTHING was blue. Now theres nothing wrong with blue, but being on the water, we see an awful lot of it so we wanted to lighten things up a bit.  The blue carpet was in great condition so I wasn’t going to mess with that. So the velvety material on the headboard  and reading nook in the master cabin was the first to go. I enlisted the help of my friend, Grace and her mad upholstery skills and recovered them both. We did manage to expand the  bed which made the reading nook just another part of the bed but its still cozy.


We would love to hear from you. What other ideas do you have for brightening up a small space?