Sunday 15th March 0650h, MrJ and I let go the lines and slowly motored away from the marina. I moved AR upstream to enable her to face into the wind and thus letting MrJ hoist the mainsail before leaving the Mooloolaba River Harbour. This done, now MrJ took the helm, turning AR’s bow towards the river entrance while it was my job to radio the Coast Guard, letting them know of our departure, intended destination and ETA. Next job for me is to uncleat the mooring lines, coil them up, pull in the fenders and get everything stowed before AR gets to sea. Not going so well this time; MrJ has AR clearing the break-wall and heading into the rolling swell before I can get the fenders stowed – they are still tied to the side rail but lying on the side deck instead of hanging over the side. The fenders will just have to stay there; the 2m swell which AR is heading straight into, is too lumpy for me to stay up on the bow and I have to clamber back into the cockpit. Not a good start to this leg of our passage; I’m not feeling the best and my tummy has decided to pack it in. Sometimes I do get a little sea at the beginning of each trip, especially if AR has been sitting rather still in a marina for more than a couple of days. Sometimes it has something to do with my female hormone levels, other times it may be an elevated level of histamine in my body - for whatever reason?? – Thus giving me a rip roaring headache. For the histamine I take Phenergan, for the upset tummy I take a double dose of ginger tablets. Thank god the discomforts don’t last forever!
AR is not sailing as fast for this the Mooloolaba to Wide Bay Bar leg; this wind is not as strong, about 10kn if that and MrJ is forced to us a motor to help push us along. It is 1405h when AR is about 3-4nm south of Double Island Point; I radio Coast Guard Mooloolaba to notify them of our position and they take AR off their log. I have no success in contacting Coast Guard Tin Can Bay by radio; the radio skip must be elsewhere so my next choice is to phone them. This was at 1525 to let TCB know of our intention to cross the Wide bay Bar and I also asked them of the Bar condition for that day. If it was not good MrJ and I would either have to turn around, going back to Double Island Point to anchor or sail on to go over the top of Fraser Island. Neither are what we had in mind; it was all motors ahead for the Bar and keep my fingers and toes crossed that it be a pleasant crossing.
The wind picked up just MrJ was making his approach to the first Way Point; there are three Way Points for the Wide Bay Bar and the swell was at least 1.5m. The tide was in our favour; right on the change from low tide to high tide and would be flooding by the time AR had entered the Bar. There were frothy white peak swell breaking over the huge sandbar to our port side and the water in the channel was swirling around with great turbulence. Reminded me of the old TV/Radio add; “My mother’s got a Whirlpool”! Am I glad AR was coming in and not trying to go out! 1715: AR was safely anchored inside Inskip Point for a good night sleep; both MrJ and I could relax.