We did cross the Wide Bay Bar and we did ground the boat yesterday but fortunately not at the same time.... actually the grounding was just a small glance too but the tabloid news reporter in me couldn't resist the headline.
Had an uneventful night at the bay behind Double Island Point. You can see from the pics we are pretty close to the beach but we were still in 6 metres of water, so clear you could see the sea bed. The tall sand cliffs protected us from the southwest wind and just a mild swell rocked the boat very gently.
Headed over to explore the beach. A few 4WD passed us, struggling to get passed the dead trees on the shore that had fallen from the cliff-tops. Found a large lagoon on the beach with loads of weird creatures in them- like snails but without the shell... anyone know what they are?
Coming back to the boat, Naomi took off with dingy and pushed it sideways on to a wave, almost capsizing it ! As we approached the boat a flock of small cute birds were perched on the safety rails around the bow of the
Alex by the beach lagoon
in one of my T-shirt as his clothes were wet
boat.... I later found each one had had at least two craps while they were there!
Tried to talk to Tin Can Bay Coast Guard for the latest coordinates for crossing the bar but the VHF radio was not working. Fortunately had signal to call them on the mobile.
Took the hand-piece apart to find the switch to talk had broken apart from the hand-piece... managed to fix it just with a bigger screw, then struggled to put it back together again- very fiddly, and had one piece back to front in one attempt. This still doesn't fix the speaker problem though.
Once that was done it was time to leave to catch the incoming tide for the bar crossing.
The electric anchor winch had been failing to work at times - couldn't find the fault - but it failed again today so had to pull the anchor up by chain - some people pay for this sort of work out at a gym.
The bar conditions were very placid. Apart from the riding some mild swell over the shallow part and some occasional heavy rocking across the "Mad Mile" it was a piece of
had just crossed the shallowest part of the bar
cake. The Mad Mile was medicated that day. With the incoming current we approached Inskip Point at 8 knots.
Came round to Pelican Bay, which is just south of the very tip of Inskip Point, which is also where we anchored before crossing the bar the first time we did it 2 years ago on Limpopo. The depths change here very rapidly we rediscovered. We dropped the anchor in 5 m of water, but once the boat was settled hanging on the chain, Naomi shouted up to me that we were now in 2 m of water! Knowing the water would be dropping we decided to up-anchor and reposition ourselves.
No sooner had we decided when I felt the familiar bump of the boat hitting the sea-bed. But it was a gentle bump, in fact Naomi hadn't noticed it. A glancing blow as I had said - nothing new to someone used to sailing the Broadwater on the Gold Coast.
I was relieved the anchor winch had to decided to work until about half way up when it ground to a halt. Found that the stripper - a small piece of metal that pushes the chain off
Sundowner at Inskip
you can see the car ferry in the background
the winch - was bent out of place!... so I was back to hauling the chain up by hand again!
We dropped the anchor again in a better position and I found the bolt holding the stripper on was now 'S' shaped. With some encouragement with a hammer managed to unscrew it eventually. Might be able to fix this once I get the right sized bolt again.
Settled into the cockpit for a sundowner to watch the last of the cars getting the ferry to Fraser Island.
Although easy this time, relieved the bar crossing was done with.
Today was another chilly morning, but later in the morning went to investigate Inskip Point. The sandy spit is a place where I am normally more concerned about my 4WD getting stuck in the sand as I board the ferry, so not really taken the time to explore it before. There wasn't really much more to it but Alex enjoyed clambering through the deep tyre ruts.
Back to the boat for lunch. The water is glassy with barely a wisp of wind. Alex to bed, Naomi has been playing her PS Vita and is now
having a nap whilst I am sat in the cockpit typing up this blog. Looks like we'll be staying here again tonight.
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