09 May 2007

Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach, Queensland

Airlie Beach; a small town, but big fun! Since arriving here in Airlie Beach, the weather has done a 180. The sky is filled with clouds and rain. And the wind is up to 30 knots. It makes for a wet dinghy ride!

Upon entering the harbor we were quite surprised at the number of boats both at anchor, both in the marina and on mooring balls. We are anchored in 12 feet of water which, at first, we were a nervous about. The harbor has a 6 foot tide, which could leave us in only 6 feet of water at low tide. But all is well and secure.

Before the festival we had some time to check out town. The town is small, one main street with lots of restaurants, beer gardens, used book stores, hostels, a ton of tour companies selling trips out to the islands. There is a lagoon for safe swimming. This area is prone to stingers and crocs, so swimming off the beach is not always an option.

With the weather not being so great, we haven't had a chance to swim in the lagoon. But we plan on coming back to town before leaving the Whitsundays. When we come back we want to take a trip to the outer reef on someone else's boat. It is too dangerous to take our boat out there. There are no protected anchorages, and I would hate to do any damage to the reef (or Sandpiper for that matter). Also, we heard you can't take private vessels out there due to it being a protected marine sanctuary.

The Food and Wine festival was a hit. We met lots of great folks, oohhed at fireworks, and indulged in too much wine. Tom's favorite part of the evening was meeting the gentlemen that set up the beer truck. The mobile beer/bar truck is a semi-tractor trailer that converts into a bar. Cool! These guys were real nice answering all of Tom's trucker questions. They even gave him a pin.

The weather really picked up Monday. With it being Labor Day and everything being closed, we stayed on the boat, made soup, and watched TV.

Yesterday, Tuesday, we started on our work list. We found a chandlery and got the tap we needed to install the new ring so we can pole out the jib properly. We dropped off the alternator for repair, and filled up a few grocery bags.

We got a call from the sparky (electrician) this morning to tell us the alternator is now fixed. We have had problems with the alternator since before arriving in Sydney. So getting it fixed is a huge relief. The sparky reported that he replaced the regulator, tightened up the wires on the inside, and all is now OK.

We just heard that the wind is suppose to pick up through the weekend. So maybe will stay here until it dies out. And perhaps we can enjoy the snorkeling off the islands some more???????

We'll keep you posted.

Amy and Tom

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