August 2004 Archives

Rosslyn Bay to Mackay

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The past four days, traveling from Rosslyn Bay to Mackay have been some of the most beautiful to date. Countless small islands, many with inviting beaches and little evidence of "civilisation". Around here, tides are greater than six meters. That means very wide beaches at low tide and extra care while anchoring. Anyway, it looks very much like our country the way its original inhabitants knew it.


But people have a built-in urge to leave their mark. So it's a tradition for those who cruise North to stop off at Middle Percy and leave a momento of their trip at a couple of beach shacks.

It's now more than three weeks that we left Sydney. We've reached Mackay and to celebrate the birthday season, we're having a different kind of week. We're renting a car for the rest of the week and playing "proper tourist" rather than "part time nomad". Talk again soon.

Tropic of Capricorn

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Well... we crossed into the tropics when we passed Latitude 23 deg 30 mins a couple of days ago. Some would say, an appropriate time and place to read some Henry Miller. As we get further North, the nights are milder and the days are scrumpteous.

Early morning at Pancake Creek

But what really takes my breath away are the mornings. The copper quality of the light and water like liquid glass. Both 1770 and Pancake Creek were wonderful anchorages.

At present' we're on the marina in Rosslyn Bay, Yeppoon. Just inland is Rockhampton and just offshore is Great Keppel Island. I've posted a spreadsheet with an updated cruise schedule here. Tomorrow we'll depart for MacKay via Port Clinton via the Percy Islands as originally planned and we will stay in MacKay until 4 September, doing some day trips from there.

Of our companian cruisers, Sparkling Spirit is here at Rosslyn Bay. Belage is leaving Burnett Heads and Ellos is departing Keppel Island for Port Clinton today.

And yes, everything is going swimmingly for us. A few minor glitches have been easily overcome. They were no worse than a plastic bag around the prop (easily removed) and an uncomfortably "rolly" night at anchor on the weather side of Hummocky Island (we caught up next night).

Today (Wednesday), we'll catch up on some shopping and I finally get to try out the folding bike!


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Mid-Town marina, BundabergWe're in Bundaberg for a few days. We travelled up the Burnett river from the Port to do our shopping in town. It's what you would think a Queensland country town would look like. Grand old hotels with verandahs, but now serving Caffe Latte and muffins. The Mid-Town marina is situated right in the heart of town, more convenient than most.

Tomorrow we'll go on to the town whose name is a number, 1770. The next spot of civilisation we'll get to is Rosslyn Bay, around mid next week. Until then...

Big Woody

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Disused lighthouse on Big Woody Island Wednesday we stayed off Big Woody Island which features a nice old (disused) lighthouse. Tomorrow, off to Bundaberg...

The Bar

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Doug Ruttan behind the wheel crossing Wide Bay BarWith much anticipation, we set off from Mooloolaba at 2200 hrs on Monday night for Wide Bay Bar and our destination, Garry's Anchorage, behind Fraser Island. As often happens with highly anticipated events, it was somewhat of an anti-climax. The passage to Wide Bay Bar went according to plan without any hitches. It was Joy's first night sail and she survived it well. We arrived at the "Bar" around 7 am on Tuesday for an uneventful crossing. I think the expression is "plain sailing". Together with "Sparkling Spirit" we arrived at Garry's Anchorage at 0900 hrs. Ready for a sleep...

Moving on to the Bar

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Chart fragment, Fraser Island, Wide Bay BarLeaving Mooloolaba today! We'll make a start this evening at around 2200 hrs for a night sail, and expect to cross Wide Bay Bar tomorrow morning around 0700. We'll pass behind Fraser Island, staying at Garry's Anchorage on Tuesday night. Te Moana has been at Mooloolaba for a bit longer than expected, but we have used the time usefully to do very little. Let's face it, we're on holiday!

Mind you, I enjoyed getting proper internet access on the Marina here in Mooloolaba. If you're interested, I just posted a piece on one of my other weblogs, Random... about how I'm staying connected .

We expect to spend a few days around Fraser Island and Hervey Bay, hoping to see some whales and probably getting to Burnett Heads (Bundaberg) by Friday. Talk to you then!

Jake at Mooloolaba

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Jake asleep in cockpitI pickup up intrepid travellers, Joy and Jake from Sunshine Coast airport. Jake was none the worse for wear after his journey on the "Pet Hold" of a Boeing 737. He quickly settled back into his routine on Te Moana. Life is hard when you have to continually make decisions about where to put your head down.

Anyway, Mooloolaba seems pretty friendly towards pets. No problem having them on the marina at the Yacht Club and even the beach allows dogs (on leash). So Jake is settling into some serious dozing while we enjoy life on the sunshine coast for the next few days.

Te Moana at sunrise in MooloolabaWe arrived in Mooloolaba on Tuesday morning at 0530, making a total of 68 hours from Pittwater. Not in my wildest dreams had I expected as smooth and swift a journey. To be fair, we motor-sailed for 33 out of the 68 hours (whenever our boat speed dropped below 6 knots).

Te Moana exceeded my expectations in performance and Doug, Steve and Shane's companionship made it a pleasure, thanks guys. Now... we wait for Joy and Jake (our dog on his inaugural flight from Sydney).

Day Two and Three

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Tara, Sunset and Cape ByronThere are quite a few yachts moving up and down the coast. Either returning from the Sydney - Southport race or going up for Hamilton Island Race Week. It's nice when they pass close by and say hello. The picture on the left is of Tara, returning from Southport, taken around midday Sunday. This morning we heard that she had struck a rock at Seal Rocks and was badly damaged. All three crew were rescued. A not so gentle reminder to take care...

The weather has been extremely kind to us. Sunshine, Southwesterly breezes and beatiful sunsets. During the night the wind picked up gradually until at 4 am it was 25-30 knots. A single reef in the main meant Te Moana ran beautifully before the wind, occasionally reaching over 10 knots, surfing down the waves.

As I write this (Monday 9 August) we have just passed the most easterly part of Australia, Cape Byron with its famous lighthouse. From here it's only a short way to the Queensland border. We expect to be in Mooloolaba soon after day break on Tuesday, making it less than three days since we left Pittwater. Much faster than expected.



Day One

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Day OneAfter months of preparation and anticipation, the day of our departure for warmer waters finally arrived. As planned, Belage, one of the other boats making their way to Mooloolaba, got underway at sunrise. Peter Style and friends leading the way. Carol, like Joy will be flying up to Queensland to meet us next week.

Around 0900 hrs Te Moana's crew was complete. Apart from myself, there's Steve Couch (selected for his flying skills), Shane Kearns (only two days after returning from his triumph in the Sydney to Southport race) and Doug Ruttan, escaping grandchildren and getting a ride home to Noosa.

After a brief familiarisation of the booat for everyone, we said goodbye to Joy and regular crew member Jake, getting away around 0930. With a light westerly wind, we sailed for a while, but soon decided to get help from our friends from Volvo.

Apart from a lack of wind, a perfect winter's day developed. We settled into snacks, coffee, snacks and coffee as you do when spending 4 days at sea.

The dolphins kept us company provided entertainment, there is always magic to see them play around the bows of the boat. And one of these days I'll manage to get a picture of one jumping out of the water!

The weather is expected to be similar tomorrow, with perhaps some sailing in the morning and Mainly Motoring after that. A southerly change is due on Monday, so that will make for very different condidtions.

Keep in touch [Marius, off Lake Macquarie, 1600hrs]



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The August winds are with us in Sydney. Unfortunately last weekend, we moored Te Moana with her bow facing South-East. We should have known better... Yesterday, the wind was coming in from the North-West at up to 30 knots. And consequently, Te Moana was rocking and taking a lot of water over the stern.

Te Moana alongside at RPAYC

The wind is expected to moderate and turn South by the end of the week, so we should get a clean start to Mooloolaba.


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This page is an archive of entries from August 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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