1770 We’ve spent most of the past week at 1770, a charming anchorage between Gladstone and Bundaberg in Central Queensland. Joy and I rate it in our top 2-3 anchorages along the east coast.

While some “yuppification” has occurred since we were last here in 2004, it has a real charm, coupled the convenience of easy access to facilities and activities. We were there for 5 days not because of the unfavourable weather, but because we wanted to be there.

Our experience:

The entrance was easy at high tide with nothing less than 3 meters depth and clear marking . Beacon to Beacon 8th edition proved the best information source for navigation and anchoring. 

It is well sheltered from the South East and we had no problem anchoring. We anchored in water with never less than 2.2m depth. The local VMR, Round Hill, is knowledgeable and very helpful.

The camping ground sells essentials such as bread, milk and ice cream. The marina sells both unleaded and diesel fuel and some chandlery.

There is an excellent restaurant ashore, The Tree . More restaurants, shops, post office etc in Agnes Waters. The local taxi is at  (0417) 749 000 typically $20 for the ride to Agnes Waters.

And there is a chance to be a tourist, taking a “Lark” to Bustard Head or a tourist boat to Lady Musgrave. Despite that, it still largely looks like the place where Jimmy Cook landed in 1770. And it’s a pet friendly anchorage!

Maintaining Speed

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P9091591 We received the replacement speed transducer from Andersen Marine while we were in Mackay. I fitted it the other day and we can again see how much tidal currents contribute to our speed. Yes, as shown in the picture, we were getting up to 3.5 knots of current going down the Whitsunday passage today on a rising tide.

Actually, I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to do some maintenance to the boat while on this trip. Apart from fitting the new speed transducer, I’ve made up a new bridle, fender ropes and performed a regular service to both diesel engines. That’s on top of the repairs after our bit of trouble with the boom.

It’s difficult to express the experience of living on a boat for an extended period and taking it to wherever the mood takes you. A deserted island one day, a convenient marina the next. Which is to say that we’re enjoying ourselves.

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Occasionally something doesn’t quite go the way you expect it to (Joy’s phone went bloop in the plonk), but if it doesn’t can any worse than having to buy a new phone, we’re not complaining.

Another aspect of this cruise is that it has also been fun to meet up with other skipr users (and encouraging a few more to join). That’s been clearly worth the effort.

We might even be able to catch up with Mervyn, Joy’s cousin who is just ahead of us on Cool Change , anchored at Goldsmith Island.

Gladstone Bulk Carriers Entering Gladstone makes you feel like a big boat. You’re expected to notify Harbour Control of your entry on VHF channel 13. There are a 10 or so bulk carriers waiting outside for a berth and another 10 or so being loaded inside. Not exactly Rotterdam, but lively and industrial looking nevertheless. For us it’s a novelty, we’re here just to stay overnight and as a logical stop.

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OK, so the marina is a bit daggy and the town is a little run-down, but the sunrises are spectacular. We enjoy going inland wherever we can. We travelled up the Burnett river only an hour after low tide and at no time saw less than a meter under our (1.2m) keel.

The marina population here consists mainly of live-aboards who are friendly and very helpful. And of course the shops are within easy walking distance.  On our way back North, we hope to visit Maryborough by going up the Mary river.

We've really been enjoying the inland waterways on our way North this year. First Moreton Bay and now the Great Sandy Strait. Of course, Te Moana has an advantage here with its shallow draft. Nevertheless, with a bit of care most yachts can (and do) enjoy this area.

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And with a chart plotter, even a dog can find its way.

Across the Bar

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Garrys Anchorage

Yesterday we had a long but easy motor-sailing day from Mooloolaba, leaving at 0400. We crossed Wide Bay bar, which was looking flat and un-threatening (not as much fun as last time) and arrived at Garrys Anchorage behind Fraser Island in late afternoon.

This morning we awoke to a glorious morning. We briefly turned on the radio and breakfast television, but decided that the world was a better place when undisturbed by politics and argy bargy.