May 98 Updates

May 2, 1998

OOB picked on May 1, 1998

OOB is recognized as the Cool Site of the Day on May 1, 1998! 3,500 visitors in less than 24 hours! And just the night before I threw a counter on the page.  When I checked the counter from work, I thought I had installed it wrong, it just kept going up and up.

Jeff Johnson

Jeff left the OOB crew in Australia. He’s back in New York City working and learning web design to keep the site updated.     

May 5, 1998

The Out of Bounds crew is still making preparations to leave Mooloolaba this Saturday, May 9th. This date can get pushed back a bit depending on the weather. Bill has been receiving the latest weather faxes to best plan the trip.  The last time we sailed back from the Whitsundays in December, we got clobbered by a potent storm. Forty plus knot winds right on the bow.  No fun at all!

One of the reasons that we have this web site is so that people can follow our adventures and perhaps experience a small release from the daily routine.  So, it was especially gratifying to receive this Email from Arlene and Dave.  It helped renew our focus on why we chose to sail. Here, with permission, is the message we received...

May 8, 1998

One day left to go!  Bill, Alex, Nick, Suzi, Miranda, and Lucy (a full boat to say the least) report all ready to jump off and head North.  After last minute provisioning and prep work, the docklines will be slipped and OOB on the way. After a six month layover to wait out the Indian Ocean weather, the crew is anxious to start moving again.  Look for RealAudio updates within the next week.

Oz position May 9, 1998May 9, 1998
The scheduled departure time from the Mooloolaba Yacht Club (30 miles North of Brisbane) has been pushed forward by one day. Last minute preparations always take a little longer than you think!

So, the planned route will take us up inside the Great Barrier Reef to Thursday Island. There will be lots of stops on the way to take advantage of the fantastic diving. We should get to Lady Elliot Island about 36 hours after we leave Mooloolaba. It’s our first dive stop.

Look for RealAudio clips online later today! (around 10 AM Australia time)  Just to remind everyone, where we are in Australia is 15 hours ahead of East Coast Time.

May 10, 1998

Waiting to hear from the boat and post the latest update.  Things get a trifle hectic as you prepare for a passage, especially if you’ve been waiting six months to get going again.

May 12, 1998

Well, it isn’t a party until something gets broken.. The AutoHelm decided to take a powder about one hour after leaving Mooloolaba.  No problem, though. Plenty of places to get it fixed here in Australia. At least it didn’t happen in the middle of the Indian Ocean!

After dropping the hook at Lady Musgrave Island at the Southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, some diving seems in order.  There’s a great pass into this small atoll where loads of Manta Rays congregate.  It’s appropriately named...Manta Ray Pass.

May 12th RealAudio Update from Bill (55k)

May 13, 1998

On the way to Gladstone to get the AutoHelm fixed. Left Lady Musgrave Island this morning and sailing along quite nicely. Doing 9.1 knots speed over ground with about 20 to 25 knots of wind off the port quarter.  Seas running 4 to 6 feet.

Caught a six foot Marlin on the way into Lady Musgrave Island yesterday! It put up a huge fight. We got some great pictures and then let the big fella go.  Should hit Gladstone in around 4 hours. More tomorrow.

May 13th RealAudio Update from Alex (62k)

May 13th RealAudio Update from Bill (71k)

May 14, 1998

We’re docked at Gladstone Marina waiting for the AutoHelm hydraulic pump to be delivered.  Suzie just got back from a run, Nick and Miranda are up doing some laundry. Nothing spectacular today. Check back tomorrow when we’ll hopefully be sailing again.

May 14th RealAudio Update from Bill, Gladstone, Australia (44k)

May 15, 1998

Swinging on the hook at Lady Musgrave Island

We’re still docked at Gladstone Marina.  The AutoHelm part arrived late last night and we’re busy getting it installed. There’s no room in the rear locker and you really have to contort your body to get at the pump. Alex came up with a big gob of something we could not identify hanging from his arm..

  Should be sailing again by this afternoon and then it’s off to the Percy Islands (part of the Great Barrier Reef Islands).  Should be some good sailing as the wind is picking up. Added pictures of Suzie.

May 15th RealAudio Update from Suzie (36k)

May 15th RealAudio Update from Miranda (32k)

May 16, 1998

Out of Bounds is back sailing again! We’re about 40 miles and six hours away from dropping the hook at Percy Island.  The sailing has been less than ideal with light, variable winds right on the stern.  We’re making good time now, about 7 to 7.5 knots but last night we had to motor sail most of the night. Yuck, diesel fumes. Alex is making some of his killer French Vanilla coffee and Bill just went to grab some sleep after his 6 AM to 9 AM watch.  See you tomorrow!

May 16th RealAudio Update from Nick on Passage (36k)

May 17, 1998

We’re anchored off Middle Percy Island in a beautiful, small anchorage.  Right onshore is a small shack where many cruisers over the years have stopped.  You give a piece of memorabilia to the guy who owns the shack, and he displays it.

We’ll be here for a day or two and then move up the coast to Airlie Beach. Airlie Beach is the jump off point for all the Whitsunday Islands.  We’ll be stopping at Hamilton Island and Whitehaven. 

May 17th RealAudio Update from Alex (62k)

May 18, 1998

Motoring towards Airlie Beach with no wind and lots of drizzle.  Should be there in about 10 hours at the rate we’re going. Airlie Beach is the main city for access to all the Whitsunday Islands. We should be able to get a good Internet connection when we get there instead of the 9600 baud we’re intermittently getting now.

Yesterday, Alex had a good time fly fishing (didn’t catch anything, but the stories.....). There was this little path that ran all around Middle Percy Island with all these cool little signs saying “Keep going, you’re almost there!” and  “Don’t quit now!”

May 18th Update from Alex (62k)

May 18th Update from Bill (48k)

May 19, 1998

Nasty weather yesterday. Lots of rain and drizzle with all the wind coming right from where we were heading.  We got into Airlie Beach late last night and took a dock space at the marina.  Today will be reprovisioning and doing some minor work.  Sometime later today we’ll take off for Hamilton Island.  It’s about a three hours sail (20 miles). We’ll pick up a mooring and explore this Australian vacation destination.  The bright point is that we’ll be sending Jeff some new digital images to post in the next few hours.  Check back tomorrow for the pics!

May 19th Update from Alex (62k)

May 19th Update from Bill (72k)

May 20, 1998

Left Airlie Beach and motored (again no wind!) over to Hamilton Island late yesterday. We picked up a mooring right by the entrance to this small harbor. There’s tons of charter boats as this is one of the prime vacation spots in Australia. There’s also a number of ritzy hotels and restaurants that we’ll frequent during the next two nights. But right now, it’s off to see the alligator feeding at the flora and fauna park on the island. We’ll see if we can get some pictures of the big guy for the site.  Next stop is Whitehaven Beach.  Several miles of pure white sand in a beautiful little anchorage.

May 20th Hamilton Island RealAudio Update from Nick (44k)

May 21, 1998

Went to the Hamilton Island Flora and Fauna Park yesterday.  Talk about amazing. We saw a fourteen-foot Crocodile snap up a piece of chicken in about 2 seconds flat!  This big guy jumped/lurched about 3 feet into the air and snatched it off a stick held by one of the park rangers.  I wouldn’t want to get that close either!  Also on the tour were plenty of those cuddly little Koala Bears.  We were told that they can get quite nasty, actually.  Emus, Kangaroos, and some huge peacocks rounded out the trip.

When we got back to the boat, we cleaned ourselves up and headed into the little shops by the marina for some grub and a few beers to cap off the day.  Later today we head over to Whitehaven Beach and some lounging about in the sun. Suzie’s Mom has joined us for about a week so we have a full compliment of crew.  The more the merrier and lots of good times ahead.

Once we get a reliable Internet connection, we’ll send over the new pics.

May 21st Whitsunday RealAudio Update from Alex (54k)

May 23, 1998

On the way to South Molle Island in the Whitsunday group of islands.

May 23rd Whitsunday RealAudio Update from Alex (48k)

May 27, 1998

We are still sitting in Hamilton Habour hoping to leave sometime this afternoon. Bill is currently rebuilding the carborator on the dink, and the rest of us are preparing the boat for the journey to Townsville. We have changed our plans somewhat to make up for lost time. While in Townsville we plan to dive the Yongala, which is a coastal steam ship that sank in the shipping channel east of Cape Bowling Green during a Cyclone in 1911. It is 360 feet long. It is supposed to be one of the best wreck dives in the world.

May 27th Townsville RealAudio Update from Alex (50k)

May 28, 1998

We flew all the way to Townsville. The wind was blowing right over the stern at a steady 30 - 35 knots most of the way.  The boat just sucked up all the wind and spit back steady 9’s and 10’s with a high of 11.4 knots boat speed.  We got in to Townsville early this morning and plan on spending the weekend.  Then it’s off to Dunk Island, a small island that’s part of the Great Barrier Reef chain of Islands. We’ll update you when we prepare to get under way on Saturday.

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