Wednesday, 1 July 2015

I think I prefer bars that serve alcohol and more on the hungry prop

We left Double Island Point at distressingly early o'clock (sorry Terry) to get up to the first waypoint for the bar crossing just before high tide.

Sunrise on the way to Wide Bay
It actually wasn't a problem getting up early as we had a horrible night due to a 1 to 2 metre north easterly swell coming into the bay.  I had a stern anchor out which did a pretty good job of holding the stern into the swell but the boat was still pitching a lot and the very loud periodic groaning and complaints from the snubbers at both ends was extremely disconcerting.

I also got the impression that the all-rope stern anchor rode was stretching a lot and springing us back putting even more tension periodically on the bow snubber.  Difficult to prove but I suspect it was one of the issues.

We've been in some rolly places before (Farm Cove by the Opera House springs to mind) but this was an order of magnitude worse.

I had to get up around midnight and sat at the bow for a while trying to figure out a way to reduce the noise.  I eventually put out a bridle consisting of two mooring lines, one from each hawsepipe at the bow and attached the snubber to them to take the strain off the bow roller.  That did reduce the noise a bit but it reduced my anxiety a lot more which let me sleep for a couple of hours.  I don't like seeing those sort of loads on the bowsprit.

Terry got up at about 1:00am anyway and eventually kipped on the sea berth as it was a bit quieter there.  We decided not to stay in rolly anchorages ever again!

Wide Bay Bar is navigated using two waypoints (A and B) supplied by Coastguard Tin Can Bay.  I had these plotted on our chart plotter and also allowed about 100m room around waypoint B as suggested by the Coastguard as the sand bar is moving north apparently.

We arrived at the first waypoint spot-on 6:45am, half an hour before high tide along with 4 other boats and headed in towards waypoint B.  We managed to get behind them all so we could watch the fun and they could break the trail.

In the end it wasn't too bad.  It was very rolly after the turn at waypoint B with some big waves every now and then and it was pretty disconcerting to see large breaking waves about 100 meters off the port side at a couple of points but we had confidence in the coastguard people and we actually had smiles on our faces for most of the trip in.

Having said that, a bar serving ale is most definitely much more entertaining and far less stressful!

Some video of the crossing.


We dropped anchor again just around the corner in Pelican anchorage at about 8:30am, had some breakfast and went directly to bed for a few hours well deserved sleep.

Oh and do you remember from the last blog post that we lost our paravane and lure to the god of fisherfolk and a hungry prop?  Here's a pic of me in the water cutting the line off the prop.

Tired and very wet cutting about 30 meters of 50lb fishing line from the hungry prop

And you'll never believe it but, when I pulled up the stern anchor, the paravane and lure along with about 10 metres of line were snuggly attached to it :-)

So who's smiling now fisherfolk gods!


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