A Travellerspoint blog

Tin Can to Mooloolaba

Tuesday 20th: Once again MrJ and I are ready to head out, across the Wide Bay Bar and south to Brissie. Before getting away there is the little matter of getting some more diesel for AR’s two fuel tanks. The usual trick is to take your boat alongside the fuel dock and fill from the marina bowsers. The lady at the chandlers office, the chandlers have the rights to the fuel dock, informs MrJ that they may not have enough fuel in their tanks and no one has dipped the tank as yet that morning. You get that “real old country feeling”; something like “island time”. Not to worry us, MrJ and I load all our Gerry cans into two trolleys and cart enough fuel back to AR; 194litres to be exact. And they said they did not have much fuel!
Time to move; water on the ebb tide is getting away. We can use this ebb tide to get us out of the Tin Can Inlet and all the way to Inskip Point where Mr J and I will anchor AR for the night while waiting to cross the bar.
Gosh! It’s not very hard to see that the holidays are still with us; just look at all the pleasure craft on the water today. Not only the usual hired houseboats and some, there are doted everywhere, small sail boats, little party boats and of course, noisy jet skis. Holiday people are taking advantage of the beautiful warn sunny QLD weather and the glorious waterways of Tin Can Inlet, Wide Bay Harbour, The Great Sandy Straits and Hervey Bay.

Inskip 2 Mooloolaba
Wednesday 21st: Hide tide was at 0516h this morning at Waddy Point, which is on the south eastern side of Fraser Island and is the tide reading for the Wide Bay Bar. To cross the bar at the Coast Guards recommended “better time”, which is one hour before high tide. MrJ and I were up at 0315h; before the alarm went off which was set for 0330h anyway. I helped MrJ pull the covers down and stow them in the forward locker then while MrJ was checking the engines, instruments and electronics, I had the kettle on for a welcomes cup of tea, some bread in the grill for early morning toast, closing hatches, securing any lose items that might go flying during our passage and preparing the log and chart work for the day. I don’t even know if I was fully awake; the body was working on auto.
The morning’s sunrise was not as early as the last time that AR had made this crossing; only a month ago, the morning was still dark. The weather called for N/NE wind 10/15k increasing to 15/20k off shore later in the morning with a 1.09mt swell.
0435h: In the dim grey light of the early morning dawn AR slipped out of her anchorage into the rolly waters of the Wide Bay Inlet; light rain was falling and Nancy was very nervous. No longer half asleep but on full alert!
0515h and AR was at the inside waypoint (W3). The water was not so calm for this only our third crossing; the swell came in over the bar creating 1mt rollers through the inlet which AR was heading into. At this stage there was enough dawn light for MrJ to see the water’s surface and to be able to tell what changes were happening on that water surface or in the distance where the swell had hit the solid mass of the sand bars and was breaking with great rolls of foaming white surf. During the past few days, the bar had been unpassable, with the weather condition steeping the seas and making a real mess over the sand bars and through the inlet. This was the first reasonable day for a crossing. 0540h; AR was passing the middle waypoint (W2); the swell rolled in at the same consistency, a little higher and several of the wavelets were standing up to form little breakers. AR ploughed through and sometimes up and over but my tummy was not acting up. Maybe it was the toast?
There were two other yachts and a small motor boat doing the crossing with us this morning. Of the two yachts, one was a smaller and much lighter racing type boat and the other; would you believe it was the ketch that backed into AR up near Kingfisher. Both these yachts were heading into the breaking swells, their bows would dip way down in the white water only to reappear a few moments later out of the water. It looked probably much worse than what was really happening on board; the yachts seem to be making better time than AR through the crossing as MrJ was timing how AR hit each wave as not to throw us of balance at the wrong moment so we were progressing a little slower and AR was handling this very well. (And for once, so was I).The motor boat disappeared through “Fisherman’s Gutter”, a pass through the sand bars on the south side of the bar just past W2.
0555h: AR passed the outside waypoint (W1); at 0600h I was able to raise Coast Guard Tin Can Bay on the radio and we were on our way south.
The wind was still from the NE, maybe more to the NNE and the sea was still up and making our passage very lumpy. MrJ and I pulled out the genoa; AR was rocking too much with the messy swell to put up the main as the motion of the boat would rock the wind out of the mainsail. Sometimes we would be under sail alone, sometime we had to motor sail; it all depended on the strength of the wind which varied from anything from 5-16k.
AR had rounded Double Island Point by 0730h; I tried to have a rest some time later then taking over the helm at 1030h for MrJ for him to get a rest which didn’t really happen. Who can sleep on a lumpy sea?
I was watching another small yacht coming down the coast behind AR; he was under full sail power and doing short tacks all the way. This yacht did not seem to be doing any better than AR but then again she was not getting left behind. MrJ thought that this might be a good plan that we could also try. First the genoa had come down before we could hoist the main; with me on the helm and MrJ on the main halyard up she went, all 50foot of her. MrJ and I once again rolled out the genny and AR was on her way again heading for a new course for a starboard tack. We spent two hours doing short tacks, starboard to port, before the wind died and the one of the motors had to be started to give AR a push along. When AR was about a hour out of Mooloolaba MrJ and I brought in all our sail to motor through the breaking swell as we enter the break-wall at the entrance to the Mooloolaba River and our safe haven for the night. Coming over the surf rollers into this entrance is very daunting, especial with the surf beach so close, or to me it appears to be extremely close.
Once inside the entrance to the Mooloolaba River you would think that we would be “home free”; but this was not to be. It was our intention to drop our pick up stream from the marina, Mooloolaba and Wharf, around the bend from Minyama Island, which would put us just outside the official harbour limits. Hum...............................................!
Every other buggar who does not choose to go into a marina, for whatever reason, has done the same. With me standing “on guard” at the bow, MrJ wanders AR around and through this maze of boats, some of which have been anchored here for a long time. We drop the pick in about 2mt of water, this highest level that MrJ can find but it is near on high tide and that means that AR will be sitting on the bottom at low tide. Not liking this! And neither was MrJ so I haul up the anchor, which is so hard to do (not!) as AR does have an electric winch and we move off. There are no other deeper holes, they all have been taken; we cannot or should I say “I will not” put back to sea, I am too tired and could not stand a night passage. I need my sleep!
The only thing to do is ring the marinas and beg for somewhere to tie up for the night. Good on the Mooloolaba Marina; thank you, thank you, thank you, for coming to our rescue. Mooloolaba Marina had one no show, and only that one space left for our size boat. After coming alongside you could that this was true, the marina was full to the brim. I ran around deck like a chook with it head cut off getting lines and fender out of locker and getting all secured while MrJ had to negotiate AR back down the river through incoming late afternoon boating traffic; not just a few boats but people on kayaks and in tinnies. All just in a day’s work!
AR had the outside berth on the end of E (Yellow) finger; MrJ and I found it and with the help of Bruce, who we had met last time in, another yachtie on the same finger, and a bit of hassle with the wind blowing AR off the pontoon,; again and again and again, as I watch other boats coming precariously close as they came up the river, we were in for the night.
My only thoughts then turned to a nice long cold shower, food in my tummy and a good night’s sleep!

Posted by nancyjean 11:59 Archived in Australia Tagged boating Comments (0)

Time to Move Out

Time to Get Going
Tuesday 13/01/09, time to head out! All the cleaning is done, enough marina time to last me a while and all the provisions on board to last us a month if needed. 1040h MrJ and I leave the marina, setting a course for Kauri Crk, not too far up the road. We have 30kn winds from the SE; the tide had just turned and the current is now flowing out (ebb tide) against the wind. This makes the little waves stand up as were motor sail past the entrance to the Wide Bay Harbour as we begin to push against the ebb tide. Leaving the entrance behind AR is now swirling around in the rolling waves as we approach the entrance marker to Kauri Crk. One thing I did notice out here is that except for one house boat who was running for cover, further back, into Teebar Crk, MrJ and I are the only other silly buggars out on the water. We anchor up in Kauri Crk for our first night and the moon appears, peaking from over the top of the trees to light up our evening.

0740h Wednesday 14/01/09, I winch the anchor up, MrJ sets our course for South White Cliffs some 20n/m north, through the “Flats”. I may have mentioned before that the “Flats” is the shallowest section on the marked channel through the Great Sandy Straits call Sheridan Flats. This area includes not only Sheridan Flats but the islands of Moonboom and Boonlye Point. Tidal flows in the Great Sandy Straits meet generally in the vicinity of Sheridan Flats. North of Sheridan ebb tides tend to flow out to the north, whilst south of Sheridan ebb tides generally flow south. The reverse applies to flood tides.
1120h AR is now anchored in 9mts of water between South White Cliffs and Yankee Jack Crk. Most of the little coloured anchor chain markers have fallen off, whenever, and I have made a note in my log book to replace them as soon as possible. But now MrJ tells me that we cannot get this kind of marker here in OZ. Hum.................................! A little research is needed.
The anchorage is calm; the setting sun put on a good show as it slowly sinks behind the mainland in the distance.

0545h Thursday 15/01/09; AR is on the move again to anchor a little further up the line at south Kingfisher Bay where we should get some protection from the NE winds. Wouldn’t you know it! The wind shifts round to the N/NNW and is staying there. (How unusual!!!!) It is a flood tide, coming in with the wind and that is okay for now. There are two other yachts at the southern anchorage, both some distance away from AR.
While MrJ and I were taking advantage of the relative calm morning to relax, mainly reading and writing, the yacht in front of AR has decided to up anchor and move on. The first MrJ and I am aware of this is when MrJ sees this boat backing into our bow. The next thing I feel this thud and am awoken out of my own little world to full alert. “Sh*t” is the least of the things I say! No major damage is done; their dingy which is up on their davit, has pushed into the “dolphin catcher” (bow A frame) and bent the nave light guard. How the hell this yacht managed to do this is beyond me? The response was “we had drifted”. Maybe so, but how could a boat drift half nautical mile or more without the people on board noticing where they were going? Is it that hard to pull up ones anchor? Just goes to show that it does pay to be on watch, alert even when at rest.
The wind is not shifting from the NNW; by lunchtime the tide has changed (ebb) and we are now getting a choppy swell hitting us on the side. Not very comfortable at all!
1400hs, MrJ and I pull up anchor; we make an afternoon run across to Sth Big Woody Island, passing close by Duck and Picnic Islands on the way. One yacht (not the boat that backed into us – they have probably headed back to Urangan Harbour by now) and three other motor boats are already in there. This is our first time that MrJ and I have anchored in this southern anchorage. South Point anchorage on Big Woody is a wide gutter along the SW coast of the island. At high tide some boat can travel right through to the top of the island but not on low tide. I am very surprised at the make-up of Big Woody on this south western corner. This part of the island is not like the muddy shores of the mainland, nor like the sandy banks of Fraser Island. Big Woody not only has dense tree coverage, as the name suggests, but it also has a very rocky foreshore. Big Woody’s rocky foreshore extends way out into the water so I am also surprise that AR anchor took hold first go. Lucky me; I hit a mud hollow!
The couple in one of the small motor boats must be having some sort of a domestic or something (????). “Her” and a boy jump into the dingy and off they go, racing away; “he” in the main boat takes off in another direction, he then comes back at high speed, she dingies a little closer, and then takes off again. All this goes on and on for at least an hour before the situation seems to be settled and everyone is back on board the main boat. Just another afternoon’s entertainment to MrJ and me!

Our intention was to head up into Hervey Bay and follow the coast of Fraser Island to the top but the weather is not going to let us do this. MrJ has to be in Brisbane on the 30th January and AR is booked into East Coast Marina on the 27th January. For us to meet this deadline we need to take the weather window next Tuesday or Wednesday to cross the Wide Bay Bar and transit south either calling into Mooloolaba on the way south or doing an over nighter strait through to Brisbane. To do this MrJ and I need to get AR back down the Straits into a closer position to take advantage of this weather window when and if it happens.

1230h Friday 16/01/09: The anchor is hauled up and AR is on the move once more. MrJ takes a short cut across the channel to Fraser Island near the badge landing at Wanggoolba Crk. We are under sail, well the genoa at least. The winds are still from the NW; pushing AR along with the help of a flood tide at 5knots. Once AR gets through the “Flats the tide will be on the ebb and AR will be going with it out the southern side; we do need the motors running to get past this spot. Motor-sailing at 6.4knots past marker S30 off Moonboom Island; 1530h in the afternoon and all’s quite on the water, only two other vessels insight. One is a yacht sail following in the far off distance and another is a private house boat heading in the same direction as us just north of the “Flats”.
MrJ has his mind set on anchoring at Fig Tree Crk, one n/m south of the entrance to Garry’s but there is another large motor cruise in there (I think it’s ACCALIA from TCB Marina), right at the best spot. Fig Tree Crk has depths from 10mt up and the shallowest spot in where the motor cruiser is. MrJ brings AR in a little closer to shore on the northern boundary but I am not happy and MrJ is not happy; too deep and too close in to a possible rocky shore. It is now too late to make a run for Kauri Crk so it is back to Garry’s, 1700h, for the night.

Saturday 17/01/09: Am I awake? If it was not for a toilet stop I would still be in bed! Now that I am up and MrJ is moving about it looks like a good time to get moving again. While I stumble around in the half light to close all hatches MrJ turns on the electronics and starts the motors. By this time (o430h) I am ready at the anchor winch with torch in hand. Baby its dark outside! No, not really, everything just looks dark when looking down through the anchor hatch far into the black water below. Buggar! The stern light is not working (????????). Thank goodness for the LED garden lights AR has on either side on the stern.
There is a moderate breeze from the NW; MrJ and I roll out the genoa and will the help of the ebb tide AR gently sails along at 4-5knots. How peaceful it is out on the water in the wee hours of the morning. No other boat moving across the water-ways; only the visions, the sounds and movements of Mother Nature to keep us company. As the sun sneaks up from behind Fraser Island, it spreads its yellow through to red colours of the “sailor’s warning” across the morning sky. The weather is on the change; we have been told by the weather reports and now this change is being confirmed.
The morning lightens as I roll in the genoa; MrJ starts the engines and heads AR into Kauri Crk. The tide is nearly out, the entrance to Kauri Crk is very shallow, the sand bar near the first marker has shifted slightly north and AR touches bottom. Hum....................! More choice words! At a higher tide MrJ has taken AR across this sand bar with no problem; we are following out exact route on the chart plotter, but this time we touch. Not for long; with a little extra power from AR’s two 40hp Yanmars, MrJ has us backed off and heading into the creek. Sandflies here we come!
AR’s anchor is dropped and set firm on the sandy mud bottom in 3-4mts of water, the hatches are opened, the covers are put up and it is time to relax once more and watch the forces of Mother Nature unravel again. Funny thing; AR must be tucked away in “her” clutches as this is the only spot that the boat does not have wi-fi coverage. MrJ does his skippers exam paper while I write and read. Such a hard life!

Sunday 18/01/09: This morning I wake up to another glorious day!
When AR arrived in Kauri Crk yesterday morning there was only one other boat there, one of the tourist houseboats; by the time I went to bed last night there were two houseboats, a small motor boat and three small motor cruisers, all settled in to hide from the bad weather that was unfolding. The weather forecast warned of strong winds, 25-30kn, gusting up to a 40% more with rain showers and a chance of thunder storms.
MrJ and I had pulled down the covers, pulled in the cushion and stowed mats. MrJ decided to lengthen the anchor chain from a 5:1 ratio to a 7:1; this might make us swing a bit more but it will be a stronger hold and I will be able to sleep better. Well maybe!
The second houseboat in must be new at this game; just on dark they were trying to re-anchor. It was on low tide and maybe they had swung over the sand-bar in the middle of the creek. Who knows? It certainly made for good evening entertainment for everyone else around; to see and hear this houseboat roaming around in the half dark putting the anchor up and down in several places. Our dingy was secure on its davit, otherwise MrJ would have been out there helping and I was too busy watching the numerous turtle families our grazing for the evening feed.
It is amazing how many sea turtles there are in this area and as “Murphy’s law” would have it, the minute a camera is produced not a turtle can be found. This morning is no exception.
At the top of the tide when the current lulls, MrJ and I are over the side and in the water with scrapper and scourers in hand. This is to clean some of the barnacle and moss which has grown on AR’s hulls. I have secured a line to the bow and run it with a float attached down through the middle of our two hulls to the stern where MrJ ties the line off. MrJ and I hang onto this line with one hand, to stop ourselves from being swept away in the current as we slowly make our way along each hull with brush, scourers or scrapper in the other hand. It makes for good exercise if you keep your mouth shut and don’t swallow too much salt water like I usually do.

Monday 19/01/09: Back to the TCB, just for one night.
To catch the ebb tide out of Kauri Creek and Wide Bay Harbour, MrJ and I up anchor at 0530h and sneak out into the early sunrise. AR is the only boat on the water this glistening morning. We set the sails and glide through the calm water where the only sound you can hear in the whoosh of the water passing along the bows and the shrill cry of the sea birds upon high in the sky.
Our blissful moments came to an end when it was time to change direction to head up the Tin Can Inlet and what little wind we did have was right up our bums. MrJ turned the key to ignite one of AR’s 40horse motors. The quite morning had ended as the old engine came to life and AR motor-sailed closer to our destination, Snapper creek and the Tin Can Bay Marina.
It was still early as MrJ snuck AR into the anchorage at Norman Point, just on the entrance to Snapper Creek. As I set the anchor I could see several small fishing boat heading out, but no one else was moving. By this time my poor old tummy was growling; I was starving for breakfast having only had two cups of tea to survive on since early dawn. Bacon and eggs, it was to be, with thick toast and loads of pepper. Yum oh!
0830h MrJ phoned the marina, making sure that they were able to take us for the night. 0900h I had the anchor up and AR was heading up Snapper Creek. We were tied alongside by 0930h.

Posted by nancyjean 11:57 Archived in Australia Tagged boating Comments (0)

Christmas - New Year Visitors

Christmas in the Great Sandy Straits
Garry’s Anchorage seems to me to be our “home away from home”; even though we carry our home around with us.
Is that liking us to the turtles that I see or is it that I see of us as sea gypsies; the latter, I think?
Garry’s is an estuary that runs between Fraser and Stewart Islands; it keeps a strong current ands tidal flow. All along the waterway there are many places for a boat to put down anchor; it is an extremely popular spot with both tourist and local boats, the anchorages are filled quickly in the busy times.
From you boat you can dingy ashore, onto Fraser Island, to explore the wilds or take you dingy up or down stream to enjoy all the waterway wilderness; maybe putting in a line or two and if you are lucky and pick the right spot at the right time of day you may even catch you supper. This happening has eluded us so far; every time MrJ and I have put in our line we come up with “Puffer Fish”, an ugly green back and yellow/white bellied fish that bloats itself when in distress, which of course is when you hook it on your line.
MrJ and I have taken many walks on shore; at this time of year you do need to lather up and protect your skin from the hoards of mossies and especial for me the sneaky, silent invisible sand flies. Close by the most popular spot to anchor is a sandy beach and back off the beach, in the shade of the trees is a small picnic ground that has been provided by Parks and Wildlife Services. There is a sand bush track that runs along most of the foreshore of Fraser; this is for the Rangers who service the island but it makes for a good track to hike without having to fight your way through the thick bushland. Best time to do these walks is in the early morning, before the heart of the day (even though this is a bad time for bites) and defiantly not during the peak holiday times.
Another favourite pastime of mine is to swim off the back of the boat; the current may be strong but I can usually hang onto a small line attached to the ladder. One day I may even get strong enough to swim with the line. I wish! Ha, ha, ha!
Christmas for MrJ and I is quite time, just the two of us on Alana Rose in a water wonderland. I do have a small silver frosted Christmas tree sitting on the ledge in the salon with two small presents underneath and a heap of Christmas cards from our families and friends. And that is as much decorating as I will be doing; long gone are the days of elaborate decoration back in Meek Street.
MrJ always has the Christmas spirit, he can’t help himself; if he sees someone in trouble he has to help and this is good. If there is someone to say hello to he will and this is good; this is how we get to meet so many interesting people out there.
Christmas Eve, on one of our walks on shore, MrJ and I met a young couple sitting in the shade just off the beach. They were friends off a boat in the anchorage (skipper Ned was left onboard). As it happens, later that day we end up lending my baking tray for their roast duck dinner. Ned’s wife (and for the life of me do you think I can remember her name?) and friend Rolland are German and they are having a traditional Christmas Eve dinner on board. Ned tells us that they will also celebrate the Ozy Christmas the next day and the boaties Christmas on Boxing Day. Good on them!
Garry’ is always a haven for the charted house boats and this is peak time (summer school holiday); we are lucky this time that not too many are out and about over the Christmas days. Out of the twelve boats that I have counted along the waterway, only two or three are house boats. One particular house boat, about three boats around the bend from us, has at least two families on board. There are several adults, loads of kids, a dog or two and behind they are towing two jet skis as well as a dingy.
One day MrJ noticed one of the “dad’s” on shore trying to drag one of the jet skis, it had broken down. Immediately MrJ launches our dingy to offer help and we end up towing the stranded Jet Ski back to their house boat. I was right about all the critters on board!
A day or so later it was the same house board that belonged to the boat hook that made MrJ launch the dingy again to fish the hook out of the water as it went floating by. MrJ can’t help himself and this is good!
We did meet a few other boaties over our Christmas stay; one local couple, Jo and Darryl, who we did have on board for sundowners one afternoon, told us of how they have also travelled the world. Jo worked for a Super Yacht company in the Caribbean and Darryl worked on charter boats when they first met. They have sailed the world and are now making a land base home somewhere out of Gympie for Jo to grow a garden. Lovely couple and I do hope we will meet again out here one day.
Christmas over and it is time to make tracks for the marina in Tin Can Bay; family are wanting to come on board so the marina make a good as place as any to pick and put down as well as to do some provisioning from. I do not think our land-lubber families would like to be transport by dingy on their first visit. (????)

New Year and Visitors 2009
Okay, a bit of catch up is needed here; I’m slack and have not been writing my blog.

Wednesday 31/12/08, New Years Eve AR picked up Cherie and Tarryn from TCB Marina, sailed up the inlet then drifted back and then motored south to Judd Point which is two nautical miles from TCB’s Snapper Crk, for the night. A good possie to watch the town fireworks! At Judd Point the dingy was lowered for a trip ashore and a swim. The tide was out which exposed some of the muddy areas; maybe next time we go ashore at high tide for a better sandy swim. Back on board while the adults relaxed and set a couple of lines, Tarryn spent most of the time jumping off the back steps into the strong current. This was good fun, having to swim hard to catch the back of the boat. The fireworks over and everyone tired out it was early to bed to be ready for another busy day.
Next morning MrJ motored AR back to the marina where MrJ and I hosed her down, had showers and lunch at the cafe, Cod Father Two. The kids drove back to the Sunshine Coast while it was clean AR and do the linen washing for us for the next day we had more visitors arriving. I now know what it is like to be a charter boat!

Sunday 04/01/09, Kerrin and Mark came on board, MrJ started the motors, I through the lines off and we were away. No time for mucking about; we were off and running, sailing up the Straits and through the Flats to anchor just north of Yankee Jacks Crk on Fraser Island. MrJ motor-sailed most of the way, the weather was not good and the rain fell most of the time. Kerrin and Mark were not perturbed; they quite enjoyed just being on the water. Two nights at Yankee Jacks; the first morning provided the best weather. Early sunrise brightened the grey morning and warmed the day till mid afternoon when the grey weather set in again. Nothing that a good old glass or two of red would not fix! WE had all done our bit of swimming, lazing in the sun and trying to fish; line were put out but not even a nibble. Definitely red time!
The boat that ran out of fuel and was trying to get back to Twan was a story in its self. Small cabin cruiser, nine people on board whom five of these were kids, out in Hervey Bay fishing for the day, on their way home are running on empty. It is after dark and we hear the distress call to Coast Guard Sandy Straits. What can one do but try to help; we gave them what unleaded fuel we had and so did another boat, Fortuna. The little boat still did not make it all the way back before running out of fuel completely and then having to wait for the recues boat to be maned and launch. It was midnight by then.
Back at the marina; MrJ and I had three day to get everything shipshape for the next visitation. This time a lot more had to be washed down after all the rain that somehow always seems to find a way in somewhere.

Wednesday 07/01/09, Lindy, Steve and Sam came on board early afternoon with not only themselves but a huge array of luggage in tow. Food and drinks which is always welcome, a large suitcase full of cloths for all three, a box of toys for the boy and a small fold out lounge for the boy (this was not going to fit on the floor anywhere) but it all go stowed inside, sort of. Underway once more; Inskip is the first anchorage for a swim on the sandy white beach. I stay on board, the condition a not so good, very rough and choppy; MrJ takes the dingy ashore. The family have a lovely swim and paddle along the beach while the young people with their kite boards sail past and the friendly birdlife look on. Back on board, a quick was down on the back steps, up comes the anchor and AR head for Bullock Point which is a little further in from Inskip. MrJ decides that this anchorage is too shallow so out AR comes and we make a bee-line for Kauri Crk across on the mainland. There are already several houseboats moored or anchored up but there is still plenty of room for AR and good protection from the SE wind and swells. Before breakfast the next day, AR was heading north to Garry’s. This was a good choice for our little family on board; lots of time spent on shore exploring and swimming. Earlier start the next morning, marina bound by lunchtime and the clean-up can wait till the next day.

Posted by nancyjean 11:55 Archived in Australia Tagged boating Comments (0)

Heading Back to Tin Can

17/12/2008
Leaving Brisbane
A quick trip over to Tangalooma on Moreton Island for an overnight stay with two kids on board – Kerrin and Tarryn was the first leg.
Tangalooma is always a good spot for the tourist; long white sandy bay side beaches, clear cooling waters with no rolling surf. The scenery in intensified by the huge sand hills on shore and the impressive sunken ship wreaks, that act as an artificial reef, lying with their top halves exposed in the waters off the beach. Many a boat anchors here all year round. There is only a couple of drawbacks; one is that the current runs fairly fast, too fast and dangerous to dive or snorkel the wreaks and the wreaks have not made any real protection from the swell or the weather if it comes in from the NW to SW, which SW is where most of Brisbane’s storms come in from. Otherwise it is a glorious location.
Tarryn slept part of the way but Kerrin was out on deck to enjoy the ride. Moreton Bay was relatively calm; it was an easy passage.
Our next destination was Mooloolaba, a ten hour passage up the coast.
Up anchor early; 0545, under way and Tarryn was left to sleep. There was a 2mt swell coming in from the SE and a gentle breeze from the N/NW, making conditions a little rollie, but not too hard to handle. Conditions picked up a bit after Caloundra and off Point Cartwright making our passage a little lumpy.
Alana Rose was not the only boat out today. We sighted or passed at least half a dozen big ships in the main shipping lane; there were several other yachts out and about as well as all the small motor boat on the water.
Tarryn slept on her bunk for most of the trip. No one knew that she was sea sick and Tarryn did not tell anyone. Tarryn did get to have a swim at Tangalooma and did have the catch of the day; 5 sand whiting all during the last evening. It’s just the sea travel that does not agree with her. Next time, if she ever wants another time, we will dose her up on sea sick pills.
Kerrin enjoyed the whole trip and it did give us some quality time with her. MrJ helmed all the way which gave me the chance to chat away.
Our trip ended at 1400 as I tied Alana Rose to the Mooloolaba Marina berth. This was the end of the trip for Kerrin and Tarryn but only the halfway mark for MrJ and me.

23/12/2008
2 Tin Can Bay
Our stay in Mooloolaba Marina panned out to five day; as usually waiting on the right weather conditions. Is there ever “just the right conditions”?
Mooloolaba Marina is an alright place but one marina is just like another in my books. Not everyone is as friendly as you would like them to be and some of the ones who are over friendly are a pain in the butt. I do carry on some! Not everyone that we have met in the marinas are like that, some people are really very friendly and nice to boot, it make a refreshing change when you least expect it. I have found that it is usually the people who do a lot of cruising, mostly offshore, to be the most welcoming. We all come from different walks of life but we all experience the same things. Humans are such clicky people!
0645; Heading out the river I radioed Coast Guard Mooloolaba of our intended passage to Double Island Point and the Wide Bay Bar. We were expecting early SE winds 5/10 and that’s what we had, with seas to about 1mt. MrJ had the genoa out and was using the port engine to assist. Motor-sailing again!
The sea was a brilliant dark blue with a small rolling swell on our starboard side. There is not much to do on days like these but to just sit back, appreciate the view and enjoy the ride. We were just off Noosa, somewhere, (0815) when MrJ spotted the large dark grey dolphin playing between our bows. These beautiful creatures seek out the bow wave of passing boat to play and roll with the movement. We pass a couple of yachts heading south and there is always the odd tanker or two.
It was 1230 when Alana Rose rounded Double Island Point. The seas had changed to close on a 3mt swell with the wind increased to 20knots, which made for wind wave on top of the swell. Not the best condition for crossing the Bar. After radio contact with Tin Can Bay Coast Guard and conformation from another vessel off Wolf Rock that the Bar was not wonderful; MrJ made a skippers decision to anchor off Double Island Point for the night and to transit the Bar in the morning when weather and sea was predicted to be calmer.
The anchorage at Double Island Point is not the place in the world either. The point hooks around to give some protection from the S/SE winds and seas but it is still very rolly with the swell hooking around the point. It was Hiva Oa all over again. Not much sleep was had by skipper and crew (me); the swell may have been only 1mt in there but it hit on the beam rocking and rolling Alana Rose all night. This of course had everything creaking and clanging; both skipper and crew were on silent anchor watch in our bunk.
To get across the Wide Bay Bar at the supposed “just right” time; an hour before a flood tide (1 hour before high tide at 0457), we need to be up early. MrJ and I had the anchor up and were underway at 0315 the next morning – maybe not early enough but we were hoping it would be okay. The sea was a lot calmer in this darkness before the dawn; a 1mt swell and an 8/10knot breeze from the NE. It stayed that way as MrJ steered Alana Rose to the Bar’s first waypoint at 0455.
Two minutes before high tide and everything was in a lull. Well nearly, there were no waves standing up anywhere, just a bit of minor turbulence as we pass from waypoint one to waypoint two. I did try calling Coast Guard Tin Can Bay on channel 82 with nothing heard; it’s too early for the station to be open 9operates from 0600 – 1800 each day on 82). I know that people have got their ears out there and I repeat my message to Coast Guard with what we are doing. Someone will hear us and know that we are crossing. We boaties are a curious lot!
There are other boat on the Bar this morning, a cruiser-launch, a motor-sailor and another catamaran, all heading out, punching into the swell and over the turbulence. Not as calm as our last trip out.
By the third callas we pass the last waypoint I get a reply from Tin Can Coast Guard (0525), someone was listening.
Another call to Coast Guard Sandy Straits at 0655, we are heading up the Straits to Garry’s Anchorage. (I feel like this is my new address since MrJ and I have been back in OZ; it seems to be a favourite hangout.)
It was a brilliant warm sunny day, slight cool breeze and hardly a cloud in the sky. What a welcome!

Posted by nancyjean 11:53 Archived in Australia Tagged boating Comments (0)

Life in the Manly Marina

Life in the Marina
6th October
Life on a boat is not all glam and glitz, nor sunshine and sun bathed bods on the deck. Living on a boat can be similar to living in a land dwelling except the space is smaller, smaller lounge area, smaller galley area and smaller shower and toilet area. There is not a great deal of locker space to put your dearly beloved things so you tend not to be in the shops too often. The fridge/freezer is small, the stove is small and you do most of your grilling on a small barbeque. Without pointing out the obvious, not all boats are the same. Alana Rose does have a great cockpit area, just like a patio, and there is a good size deck area up forward with two tramp section which are ideal for lazing about and relaxing. In the past JJ and I have had to use this forward deck to do some repairs to the mainsail; there is plenty of space to spread things out, even room for a bod or two to sprawl and catch the sea breeze through the tramps.
JJ and I have been in Manly Boat Harbour for over a month. We are in Brisbane to not only catch up with family and friends but this is the time of the year for our medical/dental etc check-ups. JJ has found a Doctor just up the road from the marina – funny but it is the same doctor that JJ used to see when he had lived in Alice Springs – small world. The dentist and the hearing place are a little further away; we are lucky enough to have the use of Ange’s 4wheel drive. This car we can use to go to the big shopping plaza that we would have to catch a bus or train to get to. Otherwise I usually do our food shopping at the local IGA. The IGA has a great range of products and I have found that because it is a small shop that the fresh food has a faster turn over and is always fresher than anywhere else, even the local Sunday markets.
Friday the 31st Oct the main street of Manly and most of the esplanade was closed off to traffic for a huge Halloween Party. The place was packed like sardines with thousands of people, men women and children, several fun rides, face-painting, food stalls, novelty stalls, an entertainment stage, a float parade, kids fun in the park activates and fireworks. Ange and Alison came with JJ and me as we prised our way through the crowd, finally getting to the pub for a meal. The street were still packed and thronging sometime later when we emerged from the pub and fought our way through the maze of scary characters back to Alana Rose where there was plenty of space to relax with a nice glass of wine while watching the spectacular fireworks display in comfort.
Visitors
My days are filled with an early sunrise with a cup of tea, a long walk along the esplanade, a quick shower, a relaxing breakfast with another cup of tea, morning chores or off to the docs/dentist etc with JJ and a lazy afternoon of either reading, knitting or playing on the computer followed by sundowners and dinner in the cockpit, maybe watch a DVD later and early to bed by about 2200h. Wednesday and Friday evenings (not all the time) there has been a communal barbeque over at MBTBC Marina; JJ and I have been over a few times and this is where we met other people who live on board in the marinas; Andy, Cath and daughter Morgan, Michael and Virginia, Geoffrey, Paul and now at Eat Coast we have run into Bill and Val, who JJ once knew in Alice Springs (more people from the Territory!).
While in the marina Alana Rose has had the occasional family member come visit. Ange was done the first weekend in port, staying overnight and just chilling out. Her next visit was to be an overnight trip out to Tangalooma. Tangalooma is a great anchorage on Moreton Island where the port authorities have dropped several old boats to make a man-made reef. We were lucky enough to be there on a Friday, a week day, as when it came time to up anchor and return to the Boat Harbour on the Saturday afternoon the place had been inundated by a variety of small watercraft and a heap of people camping on Moreton Island. Our less crowded day was filled with watching sea turtles – one came right up to the boat, snorkelling the boat-reef, walking the pristine long sand beach and watching the sun set over the water while relaxing in the gentle sea breeze of the evening.
Then came Melinda and Sam for an afternoon relax; with their second visit, the same afternoon that Cherie and Tarryn came down from Mooloolaba bring Cherie’s mother along, Steve came on board too. (This was the weekend that I had travelled to Dubbo to see the kids - Maslen family and Cassandra). Steve, Melinda and Sam also came out to Peel Island for a day trip last Monday. JJ and I try to pick a nice day to take people out and in doing this we are not always blessed with enough wind to totally go by sail only. Oh well, such is life!
Our third visit was from Carla Corey and girls, Isabella and Olivia who stayed overnight using the boat as their base while in Brisbane. Ange and I spent the day out at Australia Zoo with Carla, Cor and girls, and then it was back to Alana Rose for showers in the amenities block, dinner (fish and chips from the shop) and relax time. Isabella and Olivia clambered everywhere, keeping Carla on her toes. Olivia had been sick and did not want a bar to do with anyone else but her mum, not even Cor and if poor old JJ even poked his head in the door or went anywhere near Olivia, there would be all hell let lose. Isabella was easier, striking up a good conversation with everyone and totally excited just being on the boat and seeing Nanny and Poppy. Cor through a line over the back, mainly for something to do and amuse Bella. Would you believe it? Cor actually caught a fish, a large cat-fish, which he threw back once Bella had had a good look and the photo was taken. Cor currently hold the record for the biggest fish caught off the back of Alana Rose.

Posted by nancyjean 11:50 Archived in Australia Tagged boating Comments (0)

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