The Great North Escape & A Pocket Full of Sunshine | We Found Paradise!

Before the break of dawn we made our escape. We wove our way out through the anchorage in Horseshoe Bay with the promise of light winds to make our way south.

Ahhhh empty promises of light winds.

Before I get all dramatic, I must say the first half of the 70NM motor sail to Cape Upstart was actually pretty good. Cape Bowling Green was the problem. What a God awful windy place that is. Just as it starts to get dark, here we are, still bashing our way around this hellish place. Lots of water taken over the bow and bruises all over from being ping ponged around the boat.

Not my idea of a wet, fun time.

Nevertheless, despite being a little dishevelled, we dropped anchor and dropped into bed. We had another big day tomorrow to get somewhere between Gloucester Island and Airlie.

Day 2 couldn’t have been more different (thank goodness!!!). We pretty much had no wind the whole day. This obviously isn’t great for sailing but what it is great for is a bloody glorious day on the ocean spotting whales and schools of fish.

We had a mother and her calf breach right near the boat causing a minor heart attack onboard.

This nice weather was only meant to hang around for another couple of days so in a blur, we passed through Airlie topping up on water, fuel and provisions and sailed south to Shaw Island. This was going to be our launching pad to go to Thomas Island the next day.

The northerly anchorage on Thomas has been on our list to visit all year and we keep hearing how nice it is. Well today was the day.

You always wonder if a place is going to live up to the expectations drummed up in your head.

I will just leave this picture here…..

We could have cried. It was actually like paradise.

Anchoring on sand with reef on either side and a freaking gorgeous beach in front of you…. Come on man.

This felt like nirvana after the last couple of months.

We were pretty stoked with our new playground for a couple of days. Let’s see how many activities we can fit in! Paddling boarding, swimming, snorkelling, beach exploring and fishing. Then repeat as many times as you like. On our first day we even caught a huge squid for lunch.

This place was insane. And in case you hadn’t figured out already, it totally lived up to all expectations!

Completely blissed out from the salt, sun and water it was time to pull the anchor. The winds were shifting soon so it was time to move out!

Adios Thomas, you sexy thang.

Due to the lack of winds we thought we would just chuck a sail up and drift to Brampton Island but the weather Gods had another treat in store for us. 10 knots of breeze and current helping us along – this turned out to be a cracker of passage. No whales seen and no fish caught, but gosh it was a beautiful day!

Now it turns out Brampton Island has a little hidden gem of its own tucked around the southern side. We arrived in the late afternoon and nearly left after spending the night but boy oh boy am I glad we decided to stay.

The reef means you have to anchor wayyyyyy out in deep water so in the evening it was hard to tell if the bay was worth a look. The next morning in the sunshine it didn’t look too shabby so we got the SUPs off deck. 

And weren’t we in for a treat.

The bay shallowed up into crystal clear blue water and white sand in what felt like a lagoon.

I can’t quite decided if heaven was at Thomas Island or in fact right here!

Heading up the coast with the south east trade winds these anchorages don’t even get a look in, but I am so unbelievably grateful we had the chance to check them out.

The water looked good enough to drink!

No fishing allowed here so we had to paddle around and play in the water for another terrible day. 

All good things come to an end and it wasn’t long before we had to bid farewell to our little slice of paradise and head back around to the other side of the island. Some fresh south easterly wind was coming and we needed a place to hang out. Let’s hope it doesn’t last for too long so we can keep searching for places like this!

Until next time.


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