To Wide Bar Bay

Fri 27 Nov 2009 02:56
27th November 2009
Norman point, Tin Can Inlet, Great Sandy Strait. 25:54.6S 153:01.7E
Goodness, my memory! Can't seem to remember how I got here, so will gather my thoughts over a cup of the magic vanilla latte, and perhaps catch up with events in the 'Australian' as I do so. What a life, but somebody has to use these waterways?
Well now, down to work. Back in Mooloolaba I calculated, creatively perhaps, that there was time ashore on Wednesday morning to dump rubbish, and for a visit to Coles for fresh food, and to the seafront for coffee and a breakfast cake. No, there is no such thing as breakfast cake, but almond croissants don't seem to have migrated any further north than Brisbane. Cake is cake, whenever you have it, but if it is carrot cake, and if it comes with ice cream, it tastes just as good for breakfast as it would for any other meal. Charlie understands my eating plan. I indulge in exactly what I like, plus five a day. The plentiful supply of mangos certainly helps with the five a day, and my veggie curries and stir fries generally do the rest. I have really enjoyed Mark's canned tomato and curry paste jobs, and the boat doesn't stink of curry for days afterwards if you don't fry your own paste. Oh, rubbish: Australia provides bins everywhere, one for rubbish, and another for recycling. It seems that they are able/willing to provide public services on a scale that is unimaginable in the UK. On a boat you are acutely aware of the packaging problem, and indeed of the worldwide problem af garbage management. Never mind, it seems that Copenhagen is going to be the usual disaster, so why worry about garbage? In future we can just dump it in the equatorial countries as, in turn, they become uninhabitable. 
Anyway the anchor came up, with bucketfuls of black mud, at 10.50 hrs, 25th November, and we set off for The Great Sandy Strait, via Wolf Rock, Double Island Point, in all about 65 miles to the north. I labelled that GPS Waypoint 'Wolf Hall' such has been the impact of Hilary Mantel's novel on my little life. A good sail apart from some early seasickness, as again the close fetch seemed to bring out a particularly stomach churning twist and lurch effect from the seas and shallow water. So no cooking, and an excuse for Hart sandwiches (cheese, pickle and apple) once more. Progress was so good that we were soon ahead of the clock, and therefore of the tide gate on the Wide Bay Bar, to slow down I had to pull down all the reefs: which made the boat even more rolly. After dark I retreated to my bunk and the kitchen timer, but later the wind also died down and with that the seas quietened as well. Then the moon came out and for an hour it was very pleasant indeed. Finally the wind died completely but by then it was time to motor in. All the leading lights lined up nicely, and with the calm night sea, no dramas as we carried the flood tide quickly through the 'Mad Mile'  (Charlie and Mark will remember that bit: their introduction to waves!). Just as well, as by then the moon had set, the skies had clouded over, and it was unusually dark. I could hear, but not see, the breaking waves over South Spit, a cable or so to windward. It was difficult to locate a good anchorage inside Pelican Bay, as there were shelving sand banks and a number of other anchored boats, so I anchored off, a bit in the fairway, but hopefully not in the path of the Fraser Island car ferries. By then it was 03.30: high time for bed.
Yesterday the wind was still good to make a return visit down to Tin Can Inlet: I was hoping to catch a bus from there to Maryborough, an interesting old town about twenty miles inland. Unfortunately the bus now only goes to Gimpie, population 10,000, and nothing to see or do, so I will stay here. We came before to see the dolphins being fed, so I don't need to get up early to do that again. I have however now found the Shopping Centre which is more than adequate with an IGA supermarket, and a fresh fish shop, I also revisited the pub that we all went to and where Mark was so interested in the barmaid. He will be pleased to hear that she is well, and that she has not changed her attire in any way that I could, after cafeful inspection, discern. I offer this last comment with some caution, having just read 'If one of us is missing or dead' and recognised chunks of myself in the various male characters held up for scorn, ridicule and presumably worse (it is in the feminist style) in this rather badly written story of abuse!
I have booked my hurricane season berth on the hardstand in Bundaberg, and it is now largely a question of retracing my steps through Sandy Dtrait and Hervey Bay. I hope to be in Bundaberg by the middle of next week. There are many jobs to be done as I pack up to go home, so maybe not many more blogs!