Today marks four weeks underway and it has been a week since we last posted on this blog. The week has been rather busy, but now that we have arrived in Mooloolaba, we are catching up with everything – emails, laundry, shopping etc.
Last Monday was spent sorting out admin, re-vittling and motoring back to Bum’s Bay near the Gold Coast seaway. After doing a long walk along the spit, we motored up the Broadwater to pick up a mooring at Paradise Point, conveniently close to Danie and Esme Maritz’s house.
We haven’t seen them for quite a while, so their visit for sundowners on board, turned into dinner and a very late night. This was repeated the following night at their place to return the compliment. Having recovered, we decided to take the route North, inside South and North Stradbroke Islands to Moreton Bay.
There are a number of channels between a maze of islands and mangrove forests, so we took the main channel which we thought could accommodate Esprit’s 2.20m draft. Early in the piece we struck the sand bank shoals off Woogoompah island and had to spend an hour waiting for the tide to reach it’s maximum level, to get through.
The channels, although well marked, silt up and is not for the faint hearted deep draft boat sailor. We eventually entered Moreton Bay in the South and motored in a strong Northerly into the lee of Peel Island where we put down the anchor at 4pm. This was a welcome stop followed by a few calming whisky’s.
The following morning dawned beautifully with a light wind and we had a long walk on the southern shores of the island. We were amazed by the thousands of blue crabs scurrying along the low water mark as we walked past.
Moreton Bay is a huge stretch of water with many shoals and sandbanks – not an easy place to sail. We nevertheless hoisted the sails and gingerly worked our way around the channel markers to sail North to Moreton Island. We were tempted to sail up the Brisbane river to the city and the South Bank, but having visited Brisbane many times, decided we would rather see the Tangalooma wrecks off Moreton Island. We anchored behind the wrecks at 3pm.
The 300m line of wrecks of 15 harbour work vessels were dumped between 1964-1984 to form an emergency harbour on that side of the bay. Today it is a very popular dive site. “Tight Lines” Schady thought it would be a good spot for fishing, so I rowed the dinghy around the wrecks while she tried to fish. Against the tide and wind, the going was slow.
There was a beautiful sunset whilst we BBQ’d some lamb chops and vegies on the Baby Q, washed down with Cab Sav.
Saturday dawned clear and sunny with zero wind, so the 54 hp Yanmar was started, for a 6 hour journey, following the shipping channels out of Moreton Bay, past Caloundra to Mooloolaba. On the way, we passed the Glasshouse mountains inland and arrived in Mooloolaba at 2:30pm to anchor.
Today we will explore Mooloolaba, which is a pretty coastal centre and visit the laundromat, supermarket and bottle shop. During the four weeks of our trip we have tied up in marina’s for four nights at a cost of $40/night.
Accommodation for the month: $160!