Sunday, April 29, 2012
Garry's Anchorage - 29/04/2012
Yesterday was a very wet day so we kept the little generator ticking over and played on the computer and last night read a book. Due to the amount of rain that as occurred this summer and beginning of autumn there are a lot of insects about and Garry's Anchorage is always well known for sandflies and mossies so doors closed and a burner going in the cockpit to keep them at bay.
Garry's Anchorage is and all weather anchorage although it can stir up with SW winds and very strong southerlies. We had some SW winds during the night hours and that put us in a position of wind against tide so this held us side on to wind, tide and small wind waves which woke me due to different movement of the boat with a gentle rocking.
This morning looks good and we may take off a little further north to White Cliffs as we are still expecting strong winds this evening, so we need the anchorage with S/SE protection.
Goodmorning from Garry's Anchorage)
Rick and Michelle on 'Neriki' called this morning they have made the move for Bundaberg and asked us if we would be heading off to. We had not given it any thought and we could have done that if we thought of it earlier this morning, however, we are 25 NMS behind 'Neriki' as we have to go through the rest of Great Sandy Straits where they were already in the northern area. We may be in the Straits for a few days as the wind and seas pick up later today.
Garry's Anchorage is a very popular place when strong winds are forecast in the charter boat season the place can be packed and one thing one has to watch is these charter boats, mainly house boats will anchor a little close to you. Many do not understand that we swing with wind and tide on the anchor and each vessel behaves differently therefore we need space between boats especially during strong wind warnings. If you see someone coming politely tell them if they are getting too close.
At Garry's most boats will anchor were the red anchor with the yellow background is marked on the chart. This is the best place but it is where everyone congregates leaving little swing room, often go up near the starboard markers where I have marked the chart below with a red anchor.
Garry's has two entrances north and south, to go north access you need a shallow draft or a high tide, we have been through a few times and where I have marked shallow on the chart I have had very little water under me and we draw 1.4 metres. Always go through shallow waters before high tide then if you run aground you have still some tide to lift you off. Before attempting any shallow areas to investigate check that the following high tides are increasing not decreasing.
Some people have come to grief when going through shallow water at or near high tide and have not been able to get off on that high tide have been stuck for days or a week because the tides are at that time of the month that they are decreasing each day. Some years ago a yacht was entering a port and was not sure the path to take they followed a local catamaran unbeknown to its skipper, the catamaran took a short cut as it had little draft, the yacht with a keel giving it considerable draft in following the catamarans path ran aground and was stuck there for a long time, days. Trouble with those yachts is that they do not stand up when there is no water.
I have found over the last few years being a new bloke to sailing on the ocean that a lot of the work before sailing off somewhere is the planning and plotting, gathering information about the places you intend to visit. It is important that complacency does not set in. Things change, Mooloolaba is a perfect example we have been in and out of there the last few years but due to heavy rain and rough seas it is difficult to enter at the moment.
Another good example is that many boats do not talk to the coastguard for whatever reason and some sailors are still crossing the Wide Bay Bar at the old waypoints. Yesterday as we sat at our anchorage we heard an American call Tin Can Bay Coastguard he had intended to continue going south but decided to come across the bar. They told Coastguard that they were crossing and Coastguard asked them to let them know when they are at waypoint one, they did this, when they did Coastguard asked them to call them when a waypoint three, the skippers wife called back and said they could not find waypoint three in the book and coastguard gave the waypoints to them. This conversation rang alarm bells in my head, do the Americans have the correct waypoints. I phoned Coastguard with that query and the lady on shift then radioed the vessel. The American skipper was using the Beacon to Beacon book which is a guide put out by the Queensland Government the waypoints in that book are the old waypoints not the new ones they were lucky they did not run into trouble. At least now the Americans have the correct waypoints to cross the bar when they go back out.
Our playground can and is a dangerous place at times common sense needs to be used and the best information that is possible to get. If you go to a new place it is always a good thing to talk to the locals that know the waters this can be sailors, fishermen and the Coastguard. Guidebooks can be out of date the day they hit the store shelves as time since information was gathered and the time it takes to publish and get them on the shelves in the shops. We have spent days getting information in relation to this trip we are doing but there is still a lot we do not know and we will continue on our research as we go along.
It's all about safe sailing.