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.
August 2010 Archives
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.
And with a chart plotter, even a dog can find its way.
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.
We enjoyed traveling North from Southport "behind" Stradbroke Island.
After receiving encouraging reports from others on the "Beyond Barrenjoey" mailing list, we decided to take the Canaipa Passage rather than the Main Passage. We were very pleased with the well marked track, only dropping a touch below 2.0 meters on a couple of occasions. We also received some excellent local advice from VMR Jacobs Well and bypassed the Jumpinpin area by using Whalleys Gutter and Mackenzie Channel. Beacon to Beacon is definitely a must-have here. A screendump from our chart plotter is reproduced below.
We left Southport today and Joy says we’ve really left now :-)
That is six days later than originally planned, but this was never going to be a “planned cruise” in the sense of needing to be anywhere on a certain date.
If you would like to keep up with where we are and what we’re doing, here are a bunch of ways to do so:
We've been snug on the Southport marina on the Gold Coast since Monday, so the poor weather this week hasn't bothered us. We now expect to take the "back road" behind Stradbroke Island, across Moreton Bay to Mooloolaba - departing Friday and getting there on Sunday.
We've been spending our time here doing all the little jobs on the boat which by rights we should have done before we left and taking a breather from the inevitable anxiety over whether “we turned off the gas”. As you can see on the photo above, Te Moana is ready to sail again.
Craig (who ‘delivered’ Joy and Jake to the boat) left today on his way home (via Broken Hill or somewhere). Bon Voyage Craig.
To the best of my knowledge, here is the sequence of events:
We had a rough night and the rope I was using as a preventer wore through, causing some unintentional gybes until we restored the preventer(Dark night, running South with 35-40 Knots gusts, 4 m seas).
Part of the gooseneck, attaching the boom to the mast, failed the next day in very mild conditions when Leon was "shaking out" the number one reef. It could be that the part had failed earlier and that our single line reefing system had prevented any drama - the boom was being supported by the reefing lines.
Was it longer term metal fatigue - the fracture showed a brittle quality rather than a clean break. When did the part actually break after being weakened?
What we do know:
- The line I was using as a preventer was not up to the task and wore through where I had attached it to the end of the boom.
- We should have reefed to #2 before conditions deteriorated, putting less strain on the gear.
- The boat handled the conditions really well and we were not aware of any breakage during the night.
- When the part really failed, it was not at all dramatic. The boat kept sailing on its downwind course and we had plenty of time to do a controlled drop of the sail.
We found someone in Southport this morning who is willing to build a replacement part at short notice.
[Update 11 August] Here is the result:
The repaired part fitted in quite easily. However, it took a fair bit of effort to tidy up the sail and lazy bag. And we found that the second batt from the top had disintegrated. Evolution Sails made up a new batt for us today and the boat is ready to continue on its way.
Mind you the weather is not looking that flash for the next 24 hours, so we might claim another lay day tomorrow (Thursday).
It was a bit of a rough night last night, particularly around Port Stephens and Seal Rocks with gusty winds up to 30 knots and rain squalls. While we were well equipped to handle it between the four of us, I was pretty tired this morning and took a nap at 0900. I was about to get up, when Leon called out: “Marius, the boom has come down”. Chris was quickly up on deck inspecting the damage.
Joy and I are going North for a couple of months. To give us head start, a few friends are helping take the boat half way – to Mooloolaba, just North of Brisbane. We just left and are currently motoring up Pittwater. We’re hoping to catch a Southerly and speed past Newcastle. Keep an eye on our track at Skipr.net.
Leon, MIchael, Chris and Marius just before departure (photo: Studio WIndsong)