Friday 12th May 2017
Well, almost a week has flown by since we arrived here in Mooloolaba. We have been watching the weather and paying for two days at a time in the marina, but there has been no let-up in the awful conditions out there. Finally, today, the wind has dropped, and we did consider leaving this evening, but the swell hasn’t had time to flatten out and we don’t want to sail the 50 nmiles up the coast to find the Wide Bay bar too rough to cross. There are no bolt-holes along this stretch of coast, and we would have no option but to carry on and sail around the outside of Fraser Island – something we had already decided against.
So Plan A is to leave at high tide tomorrow evening when the wind will have all but died, but hopefully so will the swell. It may mean we will have to motor-sail the whole way, and there is 95% chance of rain, so we’re not expecting it to be a pleasant sail, but at least we will have the full moon – if we can see it through the rainclouds that is!
We haven’t wasted our waiting time here. We have used it to do some boat jobs while we have chandleries to hand, to catch up on laundry and shopping, and to complete and send off our visa applications for Indonesia. We have enjoyed being able to walk into town, after the isolation of Hope Island Marina, and a very attractive walk it is too, along a boardwalk and the Esplanade. Mooloolaba is a very pleasant seaside town, set along a sweeping bay, and the cafes that spill out onto the Esplanade are always busy.
Not too many people on the beach right now, as it’s a little cold! The bay sweeps round towards the river entrance and Point Cartwright.
We hired a car for a couple of days and went exploring in the Hinterland with Sue and Bob. The first day turned out to be very wet, so we drove up to look at a couple of towns, Montville and Maleny in the Blackall Range, with the hope of maybe seeing some views from the ridges on which they sit. Sadly, the ranges are high and the cloud was low, so not a lot could be seen of the surrounding countryside, but we enjoyed browsing some of the shops and the coffee and cake at the Edge cafe were still delicious even though we had to snuggle inside near the log fire rather than sit out on the verandah enjoying the view.
Cloud and rain. Beautiful autumn leaves in Montville main street.
The second day was much more friendly weather-wise and we headed off to the Glasshouse Mountains. The Lookout cafe offered lovely views over the peaks, and this time we really did enjoy our coffee and cake in beautiful surroundings. We drove first to the Visitor Centre which had informative displays about the formation of the peaks, which are volcanic plugs, and information on walks. Then to the lookout, where we enjoyed the views before doing a short walk through the rainforest before heading off to Wild Horse Mountain, the shortest peak at 123 metres. Here we did another short walk, this time very steep, to the lookout at the top of the mountain, where we were rewarded with magnificent views out over the rest of the peaks named by Lieutenant James Cook, after the buildings in which glass was made back home in his native Yorkshire.
Our view from the Lookout Cafe towards some of the peaks. From the Glasshouse Mountain Lookout.
I love these scribbly patterns. Taking in the view at Wild Horse Mountain while taking a breather.
The lookout on Wild Horse Mountain. The Glasshouse Mountains from Wild Horse Mountain lookout.
We found a picnic spot at the base of Mount Tibrogargan for lunch, and then set off on a walk around the base of the mountain. We could see two climbers making their way slowly to the summit – rather them than me! Halfway round, our path joined up with a longer walk, and we were tempted to follow that, but time was against us as it was now mid-afternoon and we would lose the light by 1730. The description of the walk said that there were sections that were poorly marked, so if we lost the track we would be lost in the dark. That would be far too much excitement for me, for sure, so we decided against it.
Lunch beneath Mount Tibrogargan
Back at the car, we decided to drive back to the Blackall Ranges to see the views that had been obscured yesterday, before heading back to Mooloolaba.
The magnificent view from Montville which we couldn’t quite see before.
Our stay in Mooloolaba has been very enjoyable, despite the wind and rain. Fingers crossed the weather is good for our departure tomorrow, we don’t want the lines getting sticky again...