Tue 17 Nov 2009 04:32
Sunday, 15th November
Location: Bum's Bay, The Broadwater, Gold Coast. 27:56.8S 153:38.25E
Arrived here yesterday at dawn, after a frustrating but at least peaceful night at sea. I was hoping to rush up here on a southerly change, but the weather system did indeed stall, and all I got this far north was a couple of hours of ten knots of southerly wind before the whole thing collapsed into a total calm, by which time we were out of the Richmond River, and a couple of miles up the coast. With northerlies forecast for the next week, there was really nothing to do but press on, and with calm seas, Fleck made good progress into the current which was as strong up here as anywhere further down the coast, over two knots at times. No sleep, with my oven timer going off at 20 min intervals, and lots of trawlers about. The anchorage here is very satisfactory, sheltered and when I arrived there was lots of room. Since then it has completely filled with weekend power boats out from the many many marinas around here. Four big gin palaces are rafted up together about a hundred yards away: BBQ and big sound system going, but only until 10pm which was quite a relief!. Ashore the sandspit which encloses the anchorage is an interesting little ecosystem, and lots of wild flowers are begining to put me back in a painting frame of mind. So far none of them have survived the perilous journey back to the boat in my little rucksack.The spit is also home to about a million weekending Gold Coast residents: it is amazing how they disappear into the landscape during the day, sheltering under the trees along the beaches, but completely block the spit road with traffic jams in the evening. We didn't explore this area on the way down, but there are some good watering holes on the ends of the various Marinas, and the freshest fish Co-op yet: the trawlers tie up, and you go down the jetty and buy off the boats. By 10am they are all sold out. I've had some fresh tiger prawns, and for tonight, a fillet of barramundi. The only problem with this place is the 4 mile walk to town: two miles to our previous luxury berth at the Southport Yacht Club, then another two miles to Surfers or Southport.I discovered that Southport is quite a pleasant area: previously we had only got as far as the back entrance to Coles Supermarket, but the Town faces inland, and there are pleasant boulevards and lots ot trees. I think that this is where those gold rich residients go to shop: Surfers is really just for the backpackers!
Plan now is to head back up inside the Islands where I can work the tides back up to Brisbane. I am having my liferaft serviced, which is expensive, but I suppose it is no good having one if it doesn't work when you really need it. Brisbane and Sydney are the only places where this sort of thing can be done.