Friday, July 31, 2015

Brisbane to Bundaberg - Nearly nonstop!

We left Brisbane on the 15th of July and motored down the Brisbane river against the last of the incoming tide.

On the way down we passed another Lagoon 42 TPI - Connect Four, and a range of spectacular properties before we made it to the industrial area of Port Brisbane. The change in scenery along the banks of the river is dramatic and its great to see ships, tug boats, factories and container loading facilities near the mouth of the river. Sydney has lost a lot of this character with most of the city's waterfront now converted to luxury residences.

There was no wind at all when we arrived at Moreton Bay, but ever hopeful we pulled up our new mainsail and set off north via the small boat channel south of Bribe Island. Ryan used the traditional method to pull up the mainsail while Nick used his new electric winch handle - a WinchRite from Sailology- to save energy for more important tasks!

The kids entertained themselves in the cockpit and we were all treated to a spectacular sunset on the way  to Double Island Point. We arrived around midnight in pitch-black (there was no moon and plenty of low cloud that blocked out the stars) and anchored in six metres of water.

We woke early on the 16th to dash across the last eight nautical miles to the first waypoint of the Wide Bay Bar. We wanted to make the crossing while the tide was rising, but also wanted to wait for first light so we had everything working in our favour.

Wide Bar Bar was tranquil with no breaking waves in the shallow channel and we were pulled rapidly into the waters behind Fraser Island. We love to hitch a lift when we can as it's nice to see Lucey Blue traveling at about nine knots over the ground when we are only moving at seven through the water!

We decided to try and ride the tide all the way through the narrow channels behind Fraser Island to Hervey Bay. The conditions were perfect, but we needed to maintain the tidal advantage if we were going to clear the shallows near Boonlye Point. We nearly ran aground there last time and had no desire to get stuck.

We passed a number of yachts along the way and managed to sneak through the worst bits just on high tide. By the time we had cleared the Fairway light on Hervey Bay our boat speed across the ground had hit ten knots. We had been sucked in at one end of Fraser Island and spat out the other end in a day which is a record for us.

The crew of Lucey Blue kept their eyes peeled for sealife on Harvey Bay and Eric spent hours seagazing with Dad on the front trampolines, but the whales alluded us this time.

We arrived off Burrent Heads at dusk and gently pulled into the Bundaberg Port Marina at around 18:00 with the help of another yachtie - Gayle from Electra.

No comments: