Sat 27th Sept
The trip down the coast was easy with mild weather and calm seas. Our guest crew for the day, Ric, was looking for a bit of a sail but they was just not enough wind in the right direction to cut both the motors; it was motor-sailing all the way. JJ steered Alana Rose on course all the way; we passed several yachts under sail flagging in the light breeze. Somewhere along the way a pod of whales was sighted, they were some distance away. I did manage to get a couple of pics, one hump and one tail, I was so excited.
Coming in through Mooloolaba’s seawall was another one of those experiences you must have; what looked calm from out to sea is a different story once in close. The seaway entrance ran parallel to the beach so there are a few rolling wave to navigate through before you have cleared the entrance. Just to add to the adventure, it was a Saturday afternoon with weekend boating traffic heading in and out including another big cat, also a school of small sailboats racing right in front of Alana Rose’s path. Once in through the seaway JJ followed the marker up the channel to the Mooloolaba Marina where we were given an inside berth on the last finger. In safely once again!
JJ and I stayed in the Mooloolaba Marina for three nights, waiting for the next weather window to get down to Brisbane, leaving just on daylight Wednesday morning.
Mooloolaba is a coastal town located 100km North of Brisbane at the Southern end of the popular Maroochy region on the beautiful Sunshine Coast.
Mooloolaba is also home to a large river port, which accommodates the Auckland to Mooloolaba and the Sydney to Mooloolaba Yacht Races. Part of this port houses the Mooloolaba Marina.
Next to the port is a large shopping, dining and entertainment complex called The Wharf. Underwater World is located at The Wharf and is a great place to learn about and see a number of different sea creatures including sharks. Mooloolaba also features a number of other attractions that you can enjoy.
Mooloolaba Marina is 100 paces from the beautiful, golden sands of Mooloolaba beach and easy walking distance to the esplanade with its cosmopolitan range of beachfront eateries and retail outlets. Mooloolaba provides a mix of harbour, beach, parks and shopping with coastal strip panoramas and is a great place to enjoy surfing and fishing. You can also head out to sea to enjoy a day of deep sea or game fishing.
The name Mooloolaba is thought to have derived from either the Aborinical word 'mulu for snapper fish or from 'mullu' meaning red-bellied black snake.
Lieutenant Heath surveyed and chartered the Mooloolah River mouth and harbour in 1861. The following year, Tome Petrie, explored the region for timber resources. By 1864, the first land was purchased at the mouth of the Mooloolah River by William Pettigrew. Pettigrew dominated the timber trade in the Maroochy District for the next thirty years. He founded a timber depot and wharf to ship timber from Cotton Tree and Buderim to his Brisbane sawmill. In partnership with James Low, he also opened the first store in the district to serve the needs of the new settlers.
Mooloolah Heads was the gateway to the Maroochy District between 1870 and 1884. Due to the protection Point Cartwright offered, the port was preferred over the Maroochy River. Pettigrew's steamers 'Tarshaw,' 'Tadorna Radjah' and 'Gneering' operated along both rivers. The steamers carried produce, passengers and timber between Mooloolaba and Brisbane. In 1891, with the opening of the North Coast Railway to Yandina river transport deteriorated. Pettigrew transferred his activities to Maroochydore, establishing a saw-mill there in 1891, led to the further declination of the depot at Mooloolah Heads. Over the next decade little development occurred in the coastal areas.
By the year 1919, Mooloolah Heads industry had grown to include fishing and fruit growing. Thomas O'Connor bought Pettigrew's land from Sylvester Murphy and surveyed the first allotments of what to become Mooloolaba. On January 1 1921 the first sale of allotments was held. These extended along the river frontage from the surf beach to Tucker Creek.
It was then that the name Mooloolaba was embraced to distinguish between this developing area and the Mooloolah Township on the railway.
Throughout the 1920s the population increased. The area had always been a desirable destination for Buderim settlers. Holiday cottages and houses were dotted along the river and the narrow spit. Boat hire and fishing were also very popular. As the roads and public amenities improved, Mooloolaba continued to develop as both a premier residential and holiday location.
Wed 1st Oct
It’s early morning once again and Alana Rose is on the move. Negotiating the river entrance this time was slightly tamer than the coming in; hardly any traffic on the water at this early hour of the day, except for the beach waves once Alana Rose was clear of the seawall. The swell was not as crazy and in no time at all Alana Rose was clear and out in the ocean once more.
A couple of other yachts were also on their way south this morning; one in the same direction as us and the other heading further out to sea, possibly heading a lot further south on the outside of Moreton and Stradbroke Islands.
JJ and I put up the main and the genoa even though the wind was not that great. Isn’t it funny how we sailors look for the good weather windows to sail, not wanting it to be blowing a gale or passing rough seas? By doing this we usually find ourselves out in mind conditions with little enough wind, just enough to fill the sail but not enough to push us along at any decent speed. Sometimes not even that. If Alana Rose was out there just cruising and nowhere in particular to go than JJ and I would go with the flow but because we have a deadline to keep – getting into Brisbane’s Manly Boat Harbour today – we use at least one of our motors to help push us alone at an even 6 – 8 knots.
JJ and I had more whale sighting as Alana Rose was coming close to the marker at the entrance to the Spitfire Channel which is part of the main shipping channel just north of Moreton Bay, off Bribie Island. In the distance all I could see was lots of splashing around the marker, as we came closer the whale must have moved on as there was no more signs of them.
JJ and I followed the main shipping lane all the way down, past Caloundra, Bribie Island and into the top end of Moreton Bay. This is where the other yacht when in, maybe heading for either Scarborough or Newport Marinas. JJ kept Alana Rose in the Eastern Channel till we were past Tangalooma on Moreton than instead of following the channel into the Port of Brisbane, up the Brisbane River, we headed a little further south past Mud Island, between St Helena and Green Islands and on into Manly Boat Harbour.
It is Wednesday after noon and Wednesday afternoon means WAGS on the water – afternoon general sailing races. Surrounding the entrance to the channel into Manly Boat Harbour and all around this part of the bay are a multitude of sailing boats, all of different sizes and race categories, dashing back and forth, up and down and around special floating markers which have been dropped in place by various small motor craft. This is what JJ had to manoeuvre through before Alana Rose was safely in. It is the little sail boats that you have to watch out for, the ones that are maned by young people. It is not that they are not looking where they are going so much or what may be coming up behind, it is that they cannot always get out of the way and can be very slow when heading right up the middle of the fairway. It’s a catch 22 – we are under motor going up the harbour entrance fairway channel, we have to keep in between the markers as the water depth outside the channel maybe too shallow for our draft, we keep as far as possible to the starboard side of the channel but came move over to the port side if need be, the little sail boats do not need any depth of water to glide over but they insist in following the channel dead center and because the wind is not in their favour – them being sail/wind driver only, the boats are dead ahead nearly at a stop. This means that JJ has to almost stop Alana Rose right in the middle of the channel until the path is clear. And this sort of jostling goes on for other boats every week, twice a week, every Wednesday and Saturday; not only in Manly but out of a lots of other boat harbours all round the world.
Manly Boat Harbour
The Manly Boat Harbour is the largest recreational boat harbour (1,450 vessels) on the eastern seaboard and at present is extending the marina by adding another 300 pontoons where the old pole mooring used to be. It was the first boat harbour in Australia to receive national environmental accreditation from Clean Marinas Australia, a division of the Marina Association of Australia, for each of its five marinas; all are proudly flying their Clean Marina flags.
The boat harbour has jetties, recreational marinas with Clubhouses, slipway facilities, a cafe on the WM Gunn Jetty called the Jetty Kiosk; JJ and I had the odd coffee or two or three at the Jetty Kiosk where we could catch the breeze from the bay. In the harbour there are two public boat ramps - one on the northern side of the harbour, and one on the southern side. The southern boat ramp has a queuing pontoon. The northern break-water of Manly Boat Harbour on Norfolk Point provides the public with a view of the harbour and has been upgraded with landscaping and cycle/walking paths along Trafalgar Street. There are table and seating shelters at the Point and buildings for the Coast Guard and the Multihull Yacht Club QLD. The Moreton Bay Trailer Boat Club has a large well equipped building with a huge car-park between the Gunn Jetty and Trafalgar Street. Like so many other seaside villages, all along the waterfront esplanade of Manly there is a cycle/walking path, parkland and picnic areas; these paths JJ and I use extensively to keep our fitness up. Near the entrance to the walkways and park is a public swimming pool enclosure.
The four main marinas in the Boat Harbour are the MBTBC Marina where JJ and I had an outside berth for a month, East Coast Marina where Alana Rose is now; on the courtesy dock for two weeks, Wynnum Manly Yacht Club Marina which is between MBTBC and East Coast and then there is the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron with its lavish clubhouse and facilities or should I say, “expensive”.
I personally prefer the MBTBC Marina for it has a more relaxed feel with excellent security and amenities. One cannot afford the Royal!
Something I read this morning:
"It takes so much to be a full human being that there are very few who have the enlightenment, or courage, to pay the price....
One has to abandon altogether the search for security, and reach out to the risks of living with both arms.
One has to embrace the world as a lover.
One has to accept pain as a condition of existence.
One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing.
One needs a will, stubborn in conflict, but apt always to total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying."
Morris West in "The Shoes of a Fisherman"