NEWS UPDATE — Whitsundays region has been devastated by Category 4 cyclone Debbie – winds up to 270 km/h, extremely high tide and up to 500 mm of rain in an hour – few days ago. Airlie Beach where Norval boat had been moored, doesn’t have power, water, mobile coverage as well as many and many suburbs/villages/sites around. Very limited supply of food. Many houses (including Airlie Beach marina) have been partly or totally destroyed. Just make a search for “Airlie Beach Debbie” on internet.
I had a talk to Ron Murphy (skipper/owner of Norval) yesterday. Actually only reason to ring him was to get a confirmation he and his family are fine. People there have much more important things to worry about than someone’s hobby.
The boat didn’t sink but great repair work has to be done to get it back on track, as well as 3 dories.
However, Ron is looking for an opportunity to get to Marion Reef reasonably soon, possibly with other company’s boat.
I’ll keep you updated. The expedition hasn’t been cancelled, just (possibly) postponed.
DECEMBER 19, 2016 — VK9MAV – Marion Reef/Diamond Islets, OC-267. The expedition will take place end of May – June 2017. Exact dates to be advised. They depend on weather and boat availability – it’s 400 km trip in open sea. Full details here