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The Adventure ....


ships log
Friday 16th November, 2007
Mooloolaba, Queensland

Hello everyone,

Sorry for the long delay since last posting. Don’t know where the time goes! Well actually I do – it’s lost in an alcoholic haze. The winter trek north for yachties is a popular route, result is you keep meeting up with the same boats in different places, and with yachties being a friendly lot (and mostly not impartial to the odd rum or ten) it’s been a busy social scene.

Typical arrival at an anchorage might go something like this – drop anchor, settle down for a bit of R&R, pretty soon someone comes past in a tender to say hello and a chat, mentions that a few boats are planning to go ashore for a get together. Generally, if the time is around lunchtime it’s called a ‘picnic’, if around mid afternoon it’s ‘sundowners’. Either way, it’s the same thing - greet old friends, meet some new ones, and laughter gets louder as the cooler box /esky/ chulli-bun (depends where you’re from) gets lighter. So, the circle of friends expands all the time, all lovely people from different backgrounds, but with a common interest (that would be cruising!).

Of course if there’s a patch of bad weather, necessitating a ‘wait for it to get better’ sailing strategy – then it all gets busier. Sometimes I think we should have a diary to ‘book’ our social calendar, but then that would mean I’d have to know what day it is – scrap that idea. But we did finally get around to producing a ‘business card’ with our name and contact details (ordered them on-line from printers and had them sent c/o Airlie Beach Post Office) - so now we can flash the card around at gatherings – also handy if we have a memory lapse re: which boat we’re trying to get back to. Thanks to Pam from ‘Dancing Light’ for taking the pic of Destiny under sail.

In case I’ve given the idea that it’s one big booze up, I should tell you that we’ve been enjoying walks on the Islands - notable were South Molle Island, up the Bustard Head Lighthouse from Pancake Creek (photo below is of Jenny Lind Creek, viewed from Bustard Head Lighthouse. The photo has been “stitched” together so apologies if sections don’t line up 100%. Click on this photo to view in a larger scale), and an unsuccessful assault on Whitsunday Peak (on this last one I’m claiming dud info from Andy and Geoff – both said “You can’t miss finding the track” – well guess what?).

Whilst on exercise matters, I met the ‘Irukandji lady’ from Jim Cook Uni – seems these minute critters can kill you in 6 seconds. Scared the hell out of me and haven’t been swimming since. So walking is now the preferred method of staying in peak condition – does result in a terrible thirst though.

Anyhow, back to ‘where are we’ - last time we wrote we were in the Whitsundays (delightful – pity about all the charter boats). We also went a little further North – up thru Gloucester passage to Bowen. This was stunning, much less crowded than the Airlie Beach area. Many of our friends were already starting to head south for summer – a few reasons for this, including, getting out of the cyclone area, weather starts to get uncomfortably hot, and some northerly winds start to develop around this time of year. So a bit of an exodus south, and we thought we may as well join in!

We’ve had some glorious sails, and our route was (approximately) Bowen, Woodwark Bay, Airlie Beach, Cid Harbour, Tongue Bay (Whitsunday Island), Brampton Island, St Bees Island, Percy Islands, Pt Clinton, Great Keppel Island, through the Narrows to Gladstone, Pancake Creek, Bundaberg, Kingfisher Bay, Garry’s Anchorage.

Recent weather has been strong winds & big seas from the wrong direction, so for the past week we’ve waited for this to clear while enjoying the Tin Can Bay / Great Sandy Straits area. The bad weather resulted in a huge assembly of yachts gathered together, all just waiting for the infamous Wide Bay Bar to be slightly less scary than Cape Horn, before continuing south again. That happened on Wed 14th November when around 20 yachts all left at the same time – mostly for Mooloolaba. Turned into a bit of a rally, but unfortunately we missed the start gun (possibly due to a sleep-in after some ‘fairly average port’ the night before).

So here we are, anchored in the Mooloolaba River for a few days, out of the tropics, with the last few nights being a bit cooler – had to break out the tracky daks, etc. – the first time we’ve been out of shorts and tee shirts for months (are we going soft, or what?).

Went ashore yesterday for a delightful lunch at the Surf Club, celebrating a small windfall that helps keep the wolf from the door, and was inspired to maybe write an article along the lines of “My 10 best pubs on the East Coast” – will continue to research this one, but ‘The Moo’ is definitely right up there.

We’re both well, and enjoying ourselves immensely, here’s a bunch of pics, will try to update the site more often now that we’re in "internet" range more regularly.

Cheers for now !
B & G

Jenny Lind Creek - click to enlarge