Friday, May 4, 2012

Bundaberg - 02/05/2012

We left Garry's Anchorage on the 29 April waiting for a couple of hours before high tide this gave us the benefit of going with the tide and having deeper water across the shallows of Sheridan Flats, there was a strong wind warning predicted so we decided to drop the anchor at Ungowa, South White Cliffs. You have to hunt around for the correct place to anchor because there is a sudden fall away into deep water not far from shore. We put plenty of cable out for the winds and also in case we moved out to deeper water on the turn of the tide. By the time we went back on the chain we were only just over a boat length away from the old wreck 'Ceratodus' an old dredge.
('Ceratodus' old drdge wreck)

(Chart showing the anchorage with optional anchorages in the area.)

(A River Kingfisher perched on the wreck)

We found it to be very sheltered from the wind as the winds were blowing 35-40 knots out at Double Island Point the only affect we had from that was an occasional gust of wind but not that strong and at high tide there were some slop waves coming through from Wide Bay Harbour through the shallows and causing a small rocking of the boat and wave slap on the hull.
(Soldier crabs have been busy all these small balls of sand from their diggings)

We stayed there for two nights then on the 1 April we sailed up to McKenzie's Jetty at North White Cliffs, the old jetty is a relic and only the pylons remain. We lowered the dinghy and went ashore for some exercise and take photos. I always marvel at the millions of soldier crabs on the beaches in the northern areas of the Straits, when you step ashore hundreds of soldier crabs scurry to hide in their holes. The beach at low tide shows the little round balls of sand where the soldier crab has dug the hole. They are very industrious and methodical. They bring the sand from the whole and place them in rows starting a fair way from the hole and they seem to know the correct distance so when the hole is complete the last round ball of sand is close to the hole. The tide comes in washes all away and fills the holes then at low tide they start again.
(Alana Rose anchored off McKenzie's Jetty, this is Yeenyargoor Creek fresh water flowing from Fraser Island and stained by the vegetation) 
(The old McKenzie's Jetty)

Just near the old jetty we found the remnants of an old tractor as you can see by the photos very old and very buried not sure of the story behind it may be it was from the old timber industry and just left there.
(Old tractor may have been an old Massey Ferguson)

(Sunset from McKenzie's Jetty)
After returning on board we checked weather predictions and decided that we would sail for Bundaberg the next morning at around 0500 hours near the change of the tide so we could ride with the tide giving an additional 2 knots speed. I woke at 0400 hours and got up to make cups of tea, took Nancy's down to the cabin and then rechecked the weather on the net. All looks good to go.

After I finish my cup of tea I started getting things ready, rolled up the covers in the cockpit, climbed up top and undid the mainsail bag, check all else and we are ready to go, first light is starting to show. But no first mate she is still in bed. So I decide the best way to get her attention is start the engines. She was up very quick, she asked, "Was starting the engine a hint for me to get out of bed?" I answered, "No the cup of tea was."

She run around and got organised as she does and we were underway. The wind outside the island was not showing itself as yet so we motored, we got to Big Woody Island before we felt any wind and we unfurled the genoa and started to sail, it was not great but under sail is good.

There was a monohull yacht that was a little in front of us under motor to start like us then went the genoa. As we neared the fairway buoy at the end at the Straits the wind died, the yacht in front set up a pole out for the sail to catch the little wind available. We do not have a pole to pole out but I used a similar method of using an extra two sheets (ropes) on the genoa through pulleys fore and aft to simulate a pole this usually works well but not today as the wind was not strong enough and the fact that we had mixed seas, east swell and S/SE wind waves makes for a simulated washing machine action and catamarans do not do well in these conditions. This wave action rocks the boat sharply causing any wind in the sails to shake out. If the wind had been a couple of knots stronger we could have tacked to get the benefit but it was not strong enough for that.

We ended up motoring or motor sailing the rest of the day. I only use the one engine when motor sailing or motoring when going a long distance so today we burnt a little fuel about 2.5 litres per hour. We arrived at Bundaberg early than expected and anchored near the marina we will go in there tomorrow for a couple of days before heading north again.
3 May 2012

We went alongside in a berth at Port Bundaberg Marina this morning at 0900 hours with the tide ripping out and the wind trying to blow us off the dock made it interesting but being placed on the end of the finger makes life a little easier as we did not have to worry about another boat alongside. This marina always has someone on dockside to help you tie up its one of the few marinas to offer this service without being asked.

Once secure we went to book in and the staff are always friendly and it was good to catch up with them again. We popped in to say hello to Kirsty in the chandlery, of course Richard and Sam are no longer there as they are now in New Zealand. We did learn some bad news regarding them from a fellow yachty, Sam has got terminal cancer of the curvex and that is sad, they had such plans selling the business and going sailing, our hearts go out to them both.

Once settled Nancy went to do the laundry and I gave the boat a wash down and went to the chandlery for my fix, love chandlery shops. I renewed our lifebuoys as the old ones were looking a little shabby.
(Sunset at Port Bundaberg Marina)

At the end of the day we showered and went up to Baltimore's for drinks and stayed for dinner the food is always good there and very well presented, I can recommend their rack of lamb, I think I have it nearly every time we go there.

4 May 2012

Nancy went shopping for stores this morning and I stayed aboard to do some small maintenance items we are having a quiet day the weather is not that great it is cool with scud showers coming and going. This afternoon Wayne from the yacht brokers here is hosting the Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club's monthly get together so we will attend that.

Tomorrow we are sailing for Lady Musgrave Island approximately 50 NMS north of us, the weather is supposed to be fine with very little wind on Sunday through to Wednesday ideal weather for there. We will be out of phone and internet range for that period of time, we will sail from there on Tuesday of Wednesday for Great Keppel Island. So this will be the last scribbles until then.


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