Tee Bar Creek
Next morning JJ and I up anchor again and leaving Kauri Creek this time we are heading for Tee Bar Creek, we hit bottom getting past the house boats; JJ has missed judged the mud bank. Alana Rose is not stuck and we are soon motoring out. This is not the only place where we tangle with the muddy banks.
Tee Bar Creek which is about 5n/m south of Kauri Creek is our next destination. Tee Bar has good protection against southerly weather but is very shallow. Before being part of the Military Reserve Tee Bar was once a site for a dugong boiling works and had mango farms on the northern side.
The tide has been going out fairly fast and I think JJ’s timing is out. The Garmin chart plotter is not so accurate for Tee Bar and Alana Rose digs into the mud bank at the third marker, half way into Tee Bar Creek. It is low tide and Alana Rose runs aground twice; the second time she is here to stay or at least until the tide comes in a little.
Nancy is not feeling to good; but the feeling does not last. I can see we are not in danger and all there is to do is sit and wait. I don’t seem to feel the panic once we have hit bottom and have to wait for the tide to rise; that does not bother me. It’s the before the incident that I get uptight; I worry in case something might happen.
An hour or so later the tide has come in a little way, enough for JJ to pull the anchor out in the dingy to a deeper part of the channel and drop the anchor over. With the aid of the anchor pulling Alana Rose away from the mud bank and the help of JJ on both engines, Alana Rose clears off the mud bank. JJ and I choose not to keep going into the creek; instead JJ turns Alana Rose around and heads out to follow the main channel further up the Tin Can Bay Inlet.
Going Further South
Alana Rose had cleared the special maker at the entrance to Tee Bar when another yacht came to view; this yacht was a beautiful older wooden style yacht that was anchored to the side of the main channel. Alana Rose came closer and when we were a beam of her JJ and I realized who we had found. The name on the hull was now clear enough for us to read. It is Jill Knight and her yacht “Cooee”. JJ calls out her name and we both give her a big wave; Jill turns and waves back. JJ and I keep moving, not wanting to disturb her any further; as we motor away I notice that Jill picks up her binoculars to check us out. This short encounter leaves me with a warm feeling.
The weather is not looking very good and there is no other real sheltered spot left to run to. If we get Alana Rose further up the inlet between the mainland on the western side of Rainbow Beach and the mainland eastern side of the township of Tin Can Bay maybe the waterway will not be too rough? There are several places along the Tin Can Inlet that have a number of moored boats; JJ and I do not want to anchor amongst these. JJ susses out a part of the inlet that is around a slight bend and behind a small sand bar; closer to the Rainbow Beach side. It was just south of Judd Point and nearly opposite Crab Creek on the Tin Can town side. This may not be the most comfortable anchorage, 8meters of water under Alana Rose, with the anchor set firm and plenty of chain out. We have sat in worse!
Judd Point off Crab Creek (25*55'53 S / 153*01'67 E)
On the chart there is supposed to be a shop of some kind at Toolara which is a dingy ride past the moored boats at the mouth of Crab Creek (Teewah Creek). The tide is “mid flood”, halfway coming in, there would be enough water over the mud flats for JJ and I to make to the little boat ramp on the point. I help JJ lower the dingy and attach outboard motor for what looks like a pleasant trip. The channel through the mud flats is very narrow and shallow; we get verbal assistance from an old man out fishing in his tinny. This fisherman points to where two old tree branches have been stuck in the mud to indicate the passage of the channel to the boat ramp and JJ and I make it all the way without hitting the mud. The next testing problem is that the motor will not tilt forward and this will leave the propeller scraping on the rock bottom. JJ doesn’t know why the motor will not tilt and this is not the time and place to be trying to do a repair job. I secure a forward line to an old wooden pole alongside the bottom of the boat ramp and JJ tethers another line from the aft; this will hold the dingy in deep enough water to keep the propeller clear until we get back from our little shopping expedition. Poor JJ, even with his tracky pants rolled up to his knees, he still manages to get the soaked. My long shorts roll nearly all the way up my thighs. The so call shop turns out to be no longer a shop but has been upgraded, or downgraded, depending which way you look at things, to a trendy little cafe with a reasonable a la carte menu. Good for us though, JJ and I had a coffee and open burger, I bought their entire supply (6) of homemade muffins and the girl through in half a loaf of grain bread. Bonus!
JJ and I had not stayed for very long, long enough to have our meal and then head back to the dingy. We knew that the tide was still coming in and even to us, what seems to be a short time could mean a swim to retrieve the dingy. Luck was on our side; both JJ and I could stretch our legs into the dingy from the bottom of the boat ramp without having to get back into the water.
Safely on our way we wave to the man who is still fishing and head the dingy out the narrow channel back to where Alana Rose is waiting. The wind has picked up and the water is a bit choppy; JJ heads the dingy straight into the little white topped wavelets and we both get splashed several times before getting to Alana Rose.
First is to stow our treasures and second is to help haul up the motor and dingy. Looks like we are in for that storm and some rain; a shower of rain has passed over Tin Can Bay just to the north of us and there looks like more is coming and coming our way. JJ and I make sure all hatches are secure, bring in from the cockpit anything that is not tied down and make ourselves comfortable inside the salon. The wind is the first thing that hits, howling through like a freight train; it gets up to 32knots. After the wind comes the rain, sheets of it, rain that is pelting down so heavy that it blankets out the mainland. Alana Rose’s new covers are holding up through the strain and force of this wind and rain storm and all we can do is sit this one out.
The storm passes and once again JJ and I can come out of our cave to do the mopping up. Evening is approaching and with it comes the sight of a brilliant red sunset splashing across the heavens. I’m still doing some of the clean-up when I hear a faint gurgling noise and the sound of swirling water to our starboard side. As I lean out to investigate I am greeted by the presence of two greyish dolphins; they surface twice more before disappearing towards the north end of the Tin Can Inlet. This answers my puzzle! These must have been the same species of dolphin that I had encountered last week in Kingfisher Bay.
The next morning JJ sets about fixing the problem with the out board motor. I have the radio tuned into the local station to catch the news and weather reports; I’m not too fond of all the talk back programs. I would rather play one of our music CDs or have nothing for the sound of the world outside. The early news broadcast tells us that the authorities have scaled down the search for “Blessed B”. The families of Bruce Glasson and Gary are asking for the public’s help; anyone sighting any debris out there to report it to the authorities. JJ has been speaking to our friend, Charles, who had been with Blessed B up till Fiji but was now back in OZ working. He has been assisting the authorities with their search and helping to identify any stuff that has been brought in. So far, to date, nothing has been found or even sited; not even the remotest radio call. What has happened to Blessed B, we will probably never know?