One aspect of our adventure that separates us from most circumnavigating cruisers is that we will alter our schedule at the drop of a hat to experience something else that interests us.Â Case in point: the 2010 Soccer World Cup.Â Andy has been a big-time soccer tragic since 1993 in anticipation of U.S. hosting in 1994.Â He follows the English Premier League quite closely as a long-time (and long-suffering) supporter of the Tottenham Hotspur, and I love international sports competitions of any kind as well.Â
Unfortunately, South Africa hosting the World Cup this year is a serious challenge to watching matches live in our current time zone.Â Most of the matches are on at midnight or 4:30 a.m. local time.Â The pubs are closed, we don’t have any friends in Mooloolaba to impose on, and we, obviously, don’t have broadcast television.
Plus, we have other scheduling dilemmas as well.Â Our flight to Los Angeles for my brother’s wedding is on July 14.Â We wanted to go all the way to Cairns by then, but we also don’t want to rush through all the great stuff on the way – most notably, the Whitsunday Islands.Â Plus, the weather has not been great lately and the forecasts don’t look much better – high winds, volatility, lots of fronts and lows, etc.Â
To add even more complication, we’re not totally sure what our next stop will be as there are several candidates and several routes.Â One option is that we could go inside of Frasier Island which is a popular cruising area full of bays and inlets including the raved-about Tin Can Bay.Â This option would dump us out in Hervey Bay well-positioned to stay over in Bundaberg which is famous for sugar cane and rum.Â Hervey Bay (pronounced “Harvey”) is perhaps the whale-watching capital of the world.Â
Otherwise, we could go outside of Frasier Island, sail a proper passage and make some distance instead of anchorage hopping.Â We could still hit Bundy, but it would require going over the top of Sandy Cape and backtracking into Hervey Bay.Â Fifty miles north of Bundy, Lady Musgrave Island is a navigable coral lagoon, although there’s nothing to do there but drop anchor, admire the beauty, and hope for consistent wind.Â Recommended by several of sailing buddies, Gladstone is an industrial port that has a rough blue-collar history, but has undergone a renewal of late with a nice marina and boardwalk.Â We’ve also heard nice things about Keppel Bay and Rosslyn Bay, and with a good enough weather window, we could just go all the way Mackay.
Furthermore, Andy is keen to go to Rockhampton which is Australia’s beef ranching capital and home to the Great Western Hotel, which is famous for its bar with a rodeo ring (not the other way around).Â Plus, the rodeo takes place on Fridays only which puts another wrinkle in the plan. Decisions, decisions.
Andy was walking down our dock yesterday when he noticed a motor yacht with a television.Â He is so desperate to watch U.S. versus England that he knocked on their door and asked if we could sneak in at 4:00 a.m. to watch this historic match.Â The Captain said yes, and of course, in true Australian fashion, he invited us aboard for a couple of beers and we chatted the afternoon away.Â Like thieves in the night, we snuck aboard, watched a battling 1-1 performance by the US (complete with a gift from Robert Green), snuck off and went back to sleep.Â Our host didn’t even get out of bed.