Monday 22nd October
Day dawned as we continued to motor sail up the coast line. A few more container ships passed us on their way south and a few yachts were out enjoying the breeze, zipping backwards and forwards around the islands. Our focus was on Cape Bowling Green – a water level spit of land that we had to clear before turning in towards Townsville. We made it round the spit and began the very last leg of our trip – home was now in sight but it seemed to take us forever to get close. Gerry phone ahead to customs and quarantine; arranging for them to meet us on the dock at the marina at 16.00hrs. We arrived off of Magnetic Island – straight off of the Townsville coast, at about 15.00hrs and had to do figure of eights for the next 45 minutes as there is a tidal bar at the entrance to the marina and we needed to clear it at high tide – around 15.45. We weren’t the only ones waiting for a tide rise, there was another boat also waiting and we graciously let him lead the way into the marina (well if he went aground then we wouldn’t follow!) All went well and we tied up to the fuel dock and were immediately boarded by Quarantine, they cleaned us out of about 20 kilos of foodstuff, including the MREs that we still had and various other food stuff that I didn’t know they would take. They didn’t take any of our canned meats nor any of our wooden carvings (which I had made sure were sealed anyway). Customs arrived within minuets and spent quite a while with us going through the formalities, it was all relatively painless but we are restricted to the Townsville area and Magnetic Island until we have sorted out the import duty stuff – they have given us a month to sort that out and we will take every day of it – who wants to part with money? Once all the formalities were completed we motored around into a marina berth and tied up, stopped the engine and jumped onto home soil at last.
After spending 341 days traveling we had finally made it, it was a trip that will remain a talking point for a very long time to come.