Saturday, 13 March 2021

Beach Bumming & Feasting on Fish in the Whitsundays


Watch the video on YouTube HERE

In our latest Dreamtime Sail video we were hanging around waiting for our watermaker to return from being repaired but after a week at Airlie Beach we decide it’s time to get out in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands and find our way to Marcona Inlet on Hook Island for some crabbing and beach bumming. We have a great sail over and catch some good sized mackerel along the way.

All sails set doing 6.5 knots towards Hook Island.


We picked up two good spotty mackerel on our trip over.

The sail from Airlie Beach to Marcona Inlet was very pleasant in light conditions.

We had Marcona Inlet all to ourselves for the afternoon.

One of a number of nice beaches in Marcona Inlet.


ROB THINKS THIS IS THE BEST FISH DISH EVER.- In the ‘Our Galley’ segment, Karen poaches beautiful deep sea Nannygai fillets in delicious spices and coconut cream to produce what Rob described as “One of THE tastiest fish dishes ever. The recipe would be great with any firm white fish species. DON’T MISS THIS ONE.


Simple ingredients add firm flesh fish fillets and follow the simple recipe for a feast.

Ready for 15-20 minutes in the oven.

Rob thinks this Thai poached Nannygai is THE BEST fish dish Karen's ever cooked
Check it out in the video.

You can also find Karen's recipes and tips from Our Galley including this “Thai Poached Nannygai” at the Our Galley Blog 

About Nannygai

Members of the Litjanus family, the Small Mouth Nannygai and the Large Mouth Nannygai are two very similar fish that complete the trio more commonly just called “reds”, along with the Red Emperor.

The fish can be identified by the mouth shape and size as their common name implies. Large mouth are considered the better eating of the two and will grow to a larger size, fish to 30 lb (13.6 kg) are common. The small mouth can obtain a weight of 22 lb (10 kg) and both fish can be pulled from the same school.

More readily caught during the cooler months and at night from the deep water, 30 -60 metres, these fish fight all the way to the boat. During day light hours only those very experienced of fisherman know their haunts and try extensively to guard their secret location. The advent of quality sounders and GPS technology proving nothing is sacred anymore.

Techniques identical to that required for Red Emperor, heavy gear / hand lines / sturdy rod and the standard dropper rig works best and once fish have been hooked the school can be kept in the area.

Friday, 26 February 2021

Value for $ or Rip Off - We give our verdict on the Queensland Coast’s Most Expensive Marina


You can see the video on YouTube HERE

75 days after leaving the dock to isolate afloat away from Covid our provisions were holding out but our watermaker needed attention so we set sail to Karen’s home town of Airlie Beach and take a berth in a marina for the first time since heading to sea. The Coral Sea Marina is well known as the priciest on the Queensland Coast but is it worth the money or just a rip off. We give our opinion and would love to hear yours.


Our Dreamtime in her berth at Coral Sea Marina

In Airlie Beach, Karen introduces Rob to some of the adventure grounds of her high school years with walks to a favourite swimming hole and one of the Whitsunday’s most spectacular lookouts.


Karen taking a break on the Airlie Creek Track

The foreshore redevelopment at Cannonvale has been very well done.

The view from the top of the Honeyeater Trail is spectacular

Make sure watch to the end where in ‘Our Galley’ Karen provides a quick tip on how she keeps coming up with tasty treats long after fresh supplies are gone.

Anchored in Happy Bay with Happy Wife & Happy Life. What could be better?

 You can watch the video on YouTube HERE

Join in this episode as we rock and roll on our Whitby 42 Ketch from Goldsmith Island to Long Island in the heart of the Whitsunday Group on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. We anchor off the mothballed Happy Bay Resort with excellent protection from the approaching strong south easterly winds. Karen spent many fun filled days here as a child growing up on her parents Game Fishing Charter boat in nearby Shute Harbour.  She really enjoyed the memories rekindled during our visit.

Sailing downwind wing on wing

About 40 years separates these two photos of Karen taken at Happy bay

We also got amongst the rainforest on another great National Parks Trail and spent some time trying to rediscover Karen’s childhood pirate cave.

Some exploring at low tide

The Whitsunday Passage

Happy Bay Resort now

Happy Bay Resort in the 70s

 In Our Galley Karen invents a new fish dish so different it hasn’t even got a name yet but it’s so tasty it really deserves a great one.  


Island Love & Boat Life - 2020 Ep 13 - Watermaker Woes in Paradise - YouTube


You can see the video on YouTube HERE

Sailing north through Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Islands, we discover a new ‘to us’ anchorage that very quickly becomes a candidate for the ‘Our Favourite Island’ title. Yes OK.  It’s hard to stick with one favourite when the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over almost 1,300 nautical miles (2,300 kilometres) but for at least the time we spent anchored in spectacular Roylen Bay on Goldsmith Island it was our latest love. With tropical sunshine, golden sand, crystal clear waters and tasty fresh fish on the table, what’s not to like? Apart from our new watermaker failing that is. Make sure you watch to the end where Karen’s show’s how easy it is to spice up fish fillets in the scrumptious flavours of North Africa. Please leave us a comment on what you thought about the video. We LOVE your feedback to improve our channel. Cheers!

Here’s a few shots from our latest video to whet the appetite.

Roylen Bay on Goldsmith Island is stunning in the sunshine

Having a tropical island beach all to ourselves is hard to beat

Chasing fish on the way Goldsmith Island

Karen on the helm

Our Dreamtime under sail 

The wild life was fantastic to watch

Make sure you watch to the end where Karen’s show’s how easy it is to spice up fish fillets in the scrumptious flavours of North Africa

Letting big wind blow by at Brampton Island - 2020 Ep 12 – Join us on this Great Barrier Reef Jewel

We sailed 79 miles to Brampton Island from Middle Percy Island to shelter from a strong blow coming from the South East. Watch our video on YouTube HERE
After sitting out days of wind and rain secure in the anchorage, we were rewarded with some perfect days to enjoy this tropical oasis. They were the sort of days that remind us why we live on a yacht as we explored the macabre abandoned resort, stretched our legs with a climb through island’s stunning vegetation to take in the breath-taking views from Brampton Peak and had beautiful golden sand beaches all to ourselves to enjoy warm, crystal clear waters. Brampton is beautiful.

The sun rising as we sailed from the Percy Islands to Brampton

Flat seas and no wind meant we motored all the way

We were able to complete the long passage and anchor safely just before sunset

Rob checking out what was a beautiful pool at the old resort.

Karen getting some footage at the lookout after our walk

The national park walks on the island are very good.

Butterflies, butterflies and more butterflies

On the beautiful beach at Carlisle Island looking across to Brampton

Hobbie cats still sit at the abandoned resort

Jet-skis still on their trailers 

Friday, 1 January 2021

Checking in at the Percy Island Yacht Club - 2020 Ep 11 – Another Great Barrier Reef Paradise


See the full YouTube - Dreamtime Sail Episode 11

After a relaxing stop on our Whitby 42 ketch in the Duke Island Group we sail to Middle Percy Island, THE must visit destination high on all Australian cruisers bucket list and check out the iconic ‘Percy Island Yacht Club’ A-Frame. Visiting yachties have been leaving their mark at the Great Barrier Reef paradise for decades with thousands of pieces of sailing memorabilia now displayed in the hut. 

The view of West Bay from the A-Frame's upper deck.

Karen first visited the island as a child and has vivid memories of stories told to her by Andy Martin, the legendary lease holder who established Middle Percy as a cruiser’s haven through his hospitality over 32 years on the island. During this stay, she was delighted to meet Andy’s niece, Cate, at the island’s homestead and reminisce about those times.

Rob & Karen with Cate, the island's custodian and generous host.

You can read about previous visits to Middle Percy Island on Our dreamtime at

Eating Goat Stew on Middle Percy Island

Middle Percy Island - The Cruisers' Barrier Reef 'Must Visit' Island

In ‘Our Galley’ Karen shows you how to whip up a delicious meal of Mediterranean Inspired Mackerel Fillets in just minutes.

We caught this nice spotty mackerel as we approached Middle Percy Island

In 'Our Galley' Karen show's how to whip up Mediterranean Inspired Mackerel Fillets in just minutes.