“When it hits it is merciless!”

– You need to be on the ball cause when it hits it is merciless!

With a long face, I nod in agreement …

It was the morning after a sleepless night in Bongaree, Bribie Island. We had spent there almost a week on arriving at our destination, Moreton Bay, from up north. Whilst in Bongaree, we had nothing but stormy evenings closing scorchingly hot days. The norm, as we were to experience firsthand, for an Aussie summer day on the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.

Boats dragging anchor, some ending on the beach, during stormy weather in Bongaree, Bribie Island

One needs resilience. Lots of it! The intensity of distressful moments afloat is proportional to the bliss we experience on this around the world voyage. Now we come to understand why some landlubber back in Lake Mac, flippantly remarked: “You don’t look too bad for someone who had been living on a boat for five years”. This living aboard, as lovely as it may look from outside, gives one a few undue white hairs and wrinkles!

Surprised and amused by the landlubber’s remark we take a selfie for the record 😅

After that intense evening, when a sailing boat in the anchorage was dragging anchor at full speed towards Mehalah, and challenging night that followed we picked up some light northerly to sail south to safety. We passed for the fourth time Brisbane Port, our check in port in Australia more than a year ago…

Then – motor sailing towards Brisbane Port, and now – leaving Brisbane Port on our starboard (our right)

Storms also form in the south side of Moreton Bay with the same clockwork regularity. However, there is a better protection by an agglomeration of islands. More so, a fellow Aussie sailor who we had met in Fiji, offered us his secure mooring buoy in front of his house whilst his vessel is spending the cyclone season in Fiji. A simple ‘hello’ amongst sailors, sometimes goes a long way! 🙏

Mehalah is snug as a bug tucked between islands

It is reassuring to know that our much loved vessel is safe, when nature unleashes hell on Earth in an ‘desperate’ attempt to balance out Ying and Yang at the end of a steamy hot day. We witnessed lightening storms on the horizon lasting for hours before we could feel the first drop of refreshing rain furiously hurtling down from an angry sky. At times the overloaded sky can fire down fist size hail – luckily we did not experience any of these where we are. 

A thoughtful Captain watching the unleashed storm

The weeks preceding the end of the year were particularly ‘fun’! The New Year thankfully brought about a relief with a few days and nights of torrential rain. An absolute blessing. We dislike excessive heat as much as we dislike the cold! 

When the New Year rain eventually stops, we dinghy back to ‘our Lady’

In a perfectly Pacific fashion our fellow sailor, and now good friend, not only offered us his mooring buoy, but he made his island house ours. Needless to say that life is significantly easier with all the comforts offered by a house and we are very grateful for having access to an easier life. Nonetheless most nights, despite our friend instance to sleep on land, we reunite with our ‘lady afloat’, after a brief dinghy ride.

Escaping the island to mainland is always occasioned by various errands, so an expensive affair, therefore only half enjoyable.

Sailing away is definitely our favourite escape!

On the rare occasion when the wind direction, strength and temperatures are right to sail without incurring the risk of getting caught in a crazy storm at anchor, we hoist the sails and ‘stretch Mehalah’s legs’ for a day or two. It is good to take a break from the routine of land based life, and feel free again sailing aboard Mehalah. 

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