Our last post from Byron Bay showed a photo of huge Cumulus clouds rolling in from the East. This was a precursor to an East Coast low developing right here.
When the wind turned East, we realised that it was time to get to Tweed Heads or the Gold Coast Seaway to get to shelter. We sailed through a number of squalls on the way.
Tweed Heads bar was a mess of breaking waves, so we pushed on to the Gold Coast, occasionally getting a view of the high rise buildings, between squalls.
After passing some of Australia’s tallest apartment buildings we motored into the manmade Gold Coast Seaway to put down an anchor in Bum’s Bay for Thursday night.
On Friday our computers delivered the following alert:
Annie made a few calls to the various marinas close to us and secured a berth at the Southport Yacht Club for two nights. Esprit looked somewhat lost in the superyacht berth allocated to her, but we made sure we she was well tied up. By 5 pm the first wind and rains hit us, just as Marty and Sue who we had invited to dinner, arrived in their dinghy. They managed to get a berth at Mariners Cove Marina next to us.
The rain and the wind was mind boggling, but we had a jolly dinner until they found a short lull in the rain at about 10 pm to motor back to their boat. At about 11 pm we became aware of a persistent cannon like sound near us. On the next marina arm was a yacht busy losing it’s jib as the self furler was unwinding and the wind flogging the sail to pieces. I was looking for a break in the sheets of rain to try and rewind the furler for the absent owner, but this was not to be. Lesson for all yachties: wind your jib sheets at least 5 times around the furled sail in severe winds.
This morning dawned with the sail in shreds and the wind still howling. In the meantime, a bleak Southport is in our stern view. The wind is expected to peak at about 4pm before a Westerly will kick in, bringing sunshine by Monday. A day for catching up with emails and reading, enjoying great coffee from our little Aldi coffee maker!