Sunday, 5 July 2015

Through the Great Sandy Strait

We left Tin Can Bay on Saturday heading North again.

The plan was to potter up the Great Sandy Strait to Bundaberg where we would re-provision again before heading further north and that's how it went.

The first stop was Pelican Anchorage again where we had stayed after crossing the Wide Bay Bar.  Heaps of room in there to anchor and we had a lazy afternoon watching the boats come and go.

Our next stop was Garry's Anchorage.  This is a channel between Fraser Island and Stewart Island protected from all points and well worth the stop.  We had a couple of nice lazy days there and took our first walk on Fraser Island.  I'm sure Terry will tell you about our Dingo encounter which was quite surreal to say the least.
Dawn at Garry's Anchorage

We headed off in the morning to catch a good tide through the shallows at  Tooth Island.  This is the point where the tide parts in the Sandy Strait with an outgoing tide flowing North on one side and South on the other.  The Navionics android application showed it's value here for the first time as the sand banks shift quite rapidly.  Crowd sourced data included in the application helped a lot as it showed one of the channel markers had been moved a good 200 meters whereas the chart on the main chart plotter showed the new marker position as solid ground.  It was quite weird watching our course on the chart plotter moving over solid ground when we were in 2 meters of water!

We anchored North of the shallows in South White Cliffs which is another really lovely spot, sheltered and picturesque before heading off in the morning to Kingfisher Resort

Venture at anchor off Kingfisher Resort
We took the dingy in to visit the resort the next day.  It was low tide and I'd calculated that we would be back after exploring around high tide which meant carting the dingy right up the beach to the high water mark.  It was about 100 meters or so and very tiring.  A couple of people were launching their dingy at the time and they kindly lent a hand hauling it up the beach.  We stood around chatting for few minutes before one of the chaps pointed out at the water and said "that's not our dingy is it?".  Unfortunately, they left their dingy just out of the water while they helped us up the beach and the tide had come in enough to float it off..  There was an offshore breeze so it was happily heading off to the mainland about 2 miles away.

One of the chaps stripped off and dived in trying to reach the boat but gave up pretty quickly.  So we hauled our dingy back down the beach and launched it on a rescue mission. 

Returning from the rescue mission escaping dingy in tow.
In the end, I think we hauled that dingy over 300 meters that day.  Not much fun but it did make us decide to get the dingy wheels out of our rear lazarette and bolt them on (this turned out a bit of a saga for another day).

We spent a couple of days anchored off the resort exploring and relaxing and then did the big push for Bundaberg.

We pulled the anchor up at about 6:00am on the Friday and headed off along with Acropora (Peter and Kath from Gelong) for Bundaberg.  Acropora is a Savage 42 built in Australia for use as charter boats.  It's a lovely centre cockpit, masthead sloop with good sheer lines and a traditional stern.  They poled out their big genny and sailed "goose wing" most of the way to Bunday while we struggled to keep up.  The wind was predicted to die right down to nothing so I didn't raise the main at all but sailed downwind with the staysail and yankee.  In the end, the wind stayed at around 10 knots all day but from right behind us.  I thought about pulling up the main a few times but it meant taking down the yankee and staysail and turning back into the wind and I got lazy and left it was it was.

We arrived in Bundy quite late in the arvo and pulled into a berth at the Marina at about 17:00 and crashed for the night.

Location: Burnett Heads QLD 4670, Australia
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  1. Getting very nautical in the language now. Will need interpreters soon. What's goose wing apart from flappy thing on a goose?

  2. Ahhh, well that's my job me hearty :-) I'm the technical blogger and Terry does all the really interesting stuff.

    Goose winged (AKA "wing on wing") is where the wind is directly behind you so you have the main sail all the way out to one side for the wind to push against. Normally, the sail at the front (the yankee in our case) would be pulled out on the same side as the main sail but that doesn't work so well when you are going directly down wind as the main sail takes all the wind from the front sail. So you pull the front sail out over the other side of the boat so the wind can push on that as well. And that's called goose winged :-)