There’s some “weather” coming was the summary of the forecast for the next few days.
So the decision was made to continue to ge as far south as we could be before the big SE winds arrived. The weather forecast also read, as it had done for a few days, isolated thunderstorms, but we had barely seen any storm activity so we made for Burnett Heads (Bundaberg) the next day.
As we left Pancake Creek in the morning you guessed it. A storm smashed us. There’s something about being on the water, in a small boat, in a big sea, with wild winds and a storm coming that makes you realise how little control we have of the world, on land it is easier to get caught up in daily life and feel in control; on a boat: waves, wind, and weather there is little we can do about it.
So what do you do in a situation like this? We’d made preparations and decisions months ago. Plan A: don’t go out in a storm or if we knew one was coming. Plan B: if we were out there anyway and the storm was coming we needed a solid boat with the correct sails and safety equipment, amongst a large list of other items… check. Then more immediate preparations are made at the dock- life jackets and safety harnesses on, all items secured, hatches closed, the boat ship shape, make sure we had the passaged planned out with all contingencies and then all that can be done from there is to keep a weather eye. So as the storm approached we decreased the sail area that we had up and waited…
So storms are a little scary in a small boat, but the preparations had been made and all that we could do was trust the vessel that we were in and sit through it and hope that our mast didn’t become a lightening rod, panic only makes it difficult to make good, clear decisions.
So we got a little wet and it was a lit windy… oh well, no harm done. We battled on through the larger waves and swell, due to the storm, to Bundaberg; glad that another storm that was building had somehow gone completely over us and was all around us at one stage, but that didn’t effect us at all.
Port Bundaberg Marina was a welcome sight, our marina berth was a little interesting, however, the depth sounder showing 1.8m of water and the tide was still ebbing for a little longer… that’s only 10cm of water under the keel! We arrived just in time for Sundowners with the Alfreds boats that were already there to wait out the weather… how long we would be there, who would know?