Wide Bay bar
Monday 15th May 2017
Distance run: 75 nmiles
As is often the case, Plan A turned into Plan B, and instead of leaving on Saturday evening we left yesterday evening instead. There were two main reasons for this – the winds were predicted to turn to the north on Saturday, and the swells were not calming down as quickly as hoped.
So we slipped the lines yesterday at 20:30 and in the dark headed out over the Mooloolaba bar and into a swelly sea. With no wind it was a rolly passage under engine until 0530 when enough wind picked up to sail by. The sky was clear and the waning gibbous moon and stars kept it light enough to see.
We made it to the Wide bay bar about an hour before high tide at 09:30 and had an easy crossing and entrance into the Great Sandy Strait, along with a whole armada of boats that had also been waiting out the bad weather. It was a little lively at times in the “mad mile” that followed the bar as waves broke enthusiastically along the edge of the channel, and it seemed to take forever to get to the calmer water inside.
Approaching Wide Bay bar behind an armada of sailboats. The least depth we had crossing the bar was 2.8 metres under the keel.
Waves breaking along the edge of the mad mile. They did not make it into the channel, but stirred the sea up a bit!
We then motored north along the main channel, making Garry’s anchorage around lunchtime. We dropped the anchor with just over 3 metres below the keel, allowing for a drop of 1.5 metres at low tide, and breathed a huge sigh of relief at having made it inside Fraser Island. North of here is Hervey Bay, and then out into open water protected by the beginning of the Great Barrier Reef. Now we’re getting somewhere!
A very calm Garry’s anchorage next to Fraser Island.
Once the boat was settled and we’d had lunch and a rest, we dropped the dinghy into the water, collected Sue & Bob and went for a spin around the anchorage. Turtles were constantly popping their heads out of the water and then disappearing again before anyone could point a camera towards them. As the tide fell, huge areas of mud flats were uncovered upon which birds gathered to feed. It really was a very pleasant anchorage. We all retired to Mawari for sundowners as we watched the sun set.
Mawari reflected in the calm water. Sunset at Garry’s anchorage.