David Graff – davidgraff.com Today with Dave, Downunder it's Sunday, April 21st, 2024 @ 3:16 PM

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An impromptu stay on Magnetic Island

Well it wasn’t exactly the plan to sleep over on Maggie this weekend, but it happened. Sean and I have been working up the courage to take my canoe across the 8 km of open water to the island that beckons from the shores of Townsville. We have driven the distance along the shore to see how it would go running that far. No problem. We had water, sunscreen, food, phones, lifejackets, people who knew where we were going and of course, paddles.

We had initially talked about staying over, but didn’t prepare enough to make that the plan. Too bad! We set of in the late morning. We had a bit of a choppy ride over, but we made good time nonetheless. The trip takes about an hour. There were swells to about 1 metre and some whitecaps, but if you watched where they were coming from they were easy to handle.

We pulled up to the beach and the water was absolutely crystal clear and warm. It looked like we were floating on air above the sandy beach below. We pulled up on the sand and had a look around. We climbed the hill nearby, caught some fish off the rocks and took it pretty easy for the afternoon. It was a tropical paradise and we were the only ones on the beach. About 2 hours before dark we though we should start heading out. Pulled the boat out into the water and had a quick pull of the starter. Usually the motor starts with one pull, maybe two. No luck this time. I think there was some water that got in on the way over, and it settled into the lines. I thought I would be able to pull it through and fire it up. I was wrong. An hour of pulling later, we resolved to paddle over to Nelly Bay and see what to do, even thinking that would could just wheel the boat onto the barge like a car and get home. It was 1.5 hours of heavy paddling till we were pulling into harbour. Shops were closed, the last barge had left and we ended up getting a pizza and spending the night. The night was a bit rough, to say the least.

In the morning I had to give a little more effort on the motor. I foolishly left on this trip with only a screwdriver and needle nose pliers. I should have tucked in a crescent wrench, and I honestly thought of it, but decided not to bother. I bought another from the grocery store, spent 20 minutes cleaning the sparkplugs and with two pulls we had action again. We drove home across a glassy morning stretch without issue. The ride home was quite nice. It looked like this Trip home from Maggie

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