Continue on to Hervey Bay
Friday 20thMarch 2009
As per the usual, AR is given the last berth on the finger, way out on the end just sitting to the side of the main boat movement channel in and out of the harbour. I really don’t mind this spot; it is away from the sticky beaks in the marina, AR get to keep a slight rolling feeling which keeps my equilibrium in check and it is away from the sandflies which hide out under the walkways closer to the shoreline. I keep telling myself that it is not that far to walk each day and just think of the exercise that I am getting...!!
Two bays in from AR is ZIANNA ROSE, Bill and Val Wilson’s boat. Bill and Val were from Alice Springs; Bill had worked in the Power Station with MrJ many years ago. ZIANNA ROSE had also been in the same marina in Manly and is also doing the north trip this season so we will be crossing paths with them many more times. Another boat that I had recognizeD as having seen before, FORTUNA, was tied up at the same marina. Her owner had flown back to Perth and would be returning in early April.
Saturday morning, on foot, MrJ and I leave the marina to find the nearest local school where they hold the polling booths for everyone to cast their vote for the Queensland State elections. All the ticker-tape people are out the front, like street peddlers try to sell their wares. MrJ and I push on through as we have to put in an absentee vote and will be voting for an entirely different set of people. From the school we continue our walk further up the street to venture into a local shopping mall to get some fresh food supplies for the boat. With our bags loaded MrJ and I head back to the boat harbour.
During our week long stay I went for early morning walks along the esplanade and the beach front that faces Hervey bay. Many people were out and about on the beach, walking their dogs, walking for exercise e or just walking for fun. There were a few early morning people fishing of the long jetty that stretches for nearly a kilometre out into the bay. Some morning I would walk out there too. In these early hours it is very calm and peaceful with the glistening sun’s rays beginning to sparkle and stretch across the deep blue water of Hervey Bay.
On the Sunday Bill and Val invited us on board ZR for a cooked lunch and this is when I was introduced to The Shuttle Chef. The Shuttle Chef is a Thermal Cooker that Val had purchased from one of those Boating and Camping Shows. This cooker slowly cooks most things thermally – the first part of the cooking is done on the stovetop in a large billy like pot; this is the inside container, then this pot is transferred to the outside unit, sealed and left to thermally cook for several hours. It is using the same principal as an electric slow cooker but without the power. Great little invention; I had to have one....but had to wait until Bundaberg to find a camping shop that did sell the cooker.
Monday 23rd April
It was 0700h when I let go AR’s lines and MrJ steered her out of Urangan Harbour. We were now heading for Bundy, where our Oz experience first started last year, 2008, in July when MrJ and I (with passenger Dusty on board) sailed into Oz from our gigantic Pacific crossing. The passage up to Bundy was a little choppy but we did get some sailing in, the wind being 15k most of the way. It was still the usual upset headache for me but I think I am just learning to live with this now.
As AR approaches the river entrance we can see the swirl of the water where the tide is sweeping out. With a little bit of surfing and a little bit of fishtailing, MrJ helms AR safely into the mouth of the Burnett River.
1500h I dropped the anchor in the river just off the Port Bundaberg Marina and AR sat while MrJ and I waited for a berth placing from the marina office. By now the wind was howling in from the SE at 18/20 something knots. MrJ rowed ashore, against the strong outgoing current; the motor was still on the rack and it was too hard in these condition to much about trying to pull the motor off the rack and secure it to the back of the dingy. I watched and waited, standing by the radio, keeping an eye on the anchor rode and a lookout for any shipping traffic on the river. Sometime later MrJ dingy’s back to AR; we have a berth......you guessed it.......on the end.....!!