Wide Bay Bar and stuff: we made it through!

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So since you last heard from us we have sailed from Southport to Mooloolaba over night on Sunday night, which was a nice bit of sailing to start with but then as we have been accustomed to, the wind died in the middle of the night and we had to turn on the engine again. We arrived at Mooloolaba mid morning to find a dredge stuck in the channel and a few boats waiting to get through, so after a bit of a wait and a few nervous moments as we picked our way through the channel, hoping for enough depth under the keel we made it into the Harbour. We do love the advice provided by Queensland Maritime on approaching the channel: “Mariners are advised to take caution, always ensure that you have adequate water under you boat.” Well, ummmm der.

We spent a couple of nights in the marina to do the usual re-provision, laundry, refuel and enjoy a nice long hot shower, as well as tasting the fresh fish from the Fish Co-op. Our only hiccup was that Sophie doesn’t like wearing a hat and showed her distaste by throwing her hat over board in blustery conditions well out of reach, which then dutifully sunk to the bottom off B arm in the marina, so we also went hat shopping, this time for a hat with a string.

We set off from Mooloolaba on Wednesday night for Wide Bay Bar, as this notorious bar is best crossed in the early morning on a rising tide. We had only 50 nautical miles to cover and had a lovely sail up the coast for the majority of the night, which was much more pleasant without the noise and smell of the diesel engine. We arrived at Double Island point in time to anchor for a spot of breakfast and to regain our composure for the bar crossing; which in the end we managed with out too much hassle, as the conditions were right and we followed the directions of how to cross from Coast Guard Tin Can Bay to a tee.

We anchored for the night at Garry’s Anchorage, which is on the west side of Fraser Island near Lake Garry. It was a very quite still anchorage and a pleasant night sleep was had by all.

Friday morning we set off for the next treacherous part to our journey, crossing Sheridan Flats. There is a good reason that it is called ‘Flats’ as it is very shallow, thankfully our boat has a 1.7m draught and there was a 3m high tide, as there were places there where there was only tide height below us. It is also very disconcerting seeing water all around that looks deep enough and knowing from the charts that there is only a very small margin for error in the narrow channels through. But we made it through without any dramas and anchored off Kingfisher Bay Resort for the evening.

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