Great Sandy Strait
Tuesday 16th May 2017
Distance run: 20 nmiles
After a very calm and peaceful night during which we both slept like logs, we set off at 10:00 this morning to catch the rising tide. The aim for today was to get safely across the Sheridan Flats, an area of very shallow water in the Great Sandy Strait, the southern stretch of water that separates Fraser Island from the mainland. To do this we needed to be at the Flats at the top of the tide.
The Great Sandy Strait (in blue) to the left of Fraser Island. Yesterday we entered the Strait via Wide Bay harbour at the southern tip of Fraser Island.
The beginning of the shallows – we had to wind our way through
the waterway – the blue shading is shallow water.
The Straits were filling from the North, the way we were headed, so although on a rising tide, we had it against us, making the going slow.
Boat speed (left) shows us going over 6 knots through the water, but only 4.5 knots over the ground. Like running up the down escalator!
With the tidal flow against us pretty much all the way it was slow going, but it was a beautiful sunny day and we enjoyed the passing scenery.
Passing South White Cliffs, sea and sky azure blue. Fraser Island to the right of Mawari, and Hervey Bay beyond.
We made it over the shallowest spot with a little over a metre below the keel, and arrived at Kingfisher Bay around 14:30. After a quick lunch, we lowered the dinghy and went ashore to do a reccy. Our reason for stopping here is to join one of the resort’s trips around the island, which we have booked for tomorrow, and with an early start we want to be sure we know where to go for the pick-up in the morning. It was interesting getting ashore, as it was by now near to low tide, and we were thankful Bob and Sue were with us as we had to haul the dinghy up a long stretch of wet mud. We were amazed to see hundreds of tiny crabs running away from us as we approached.
Tiny blue crabs scuttled away as we approached the shore.
We found where we needed to be for the pick-up, and by the time we got back to the dinghy the tide had gone even further out, so it was even more fun getting it back in the water. We were definitely ready for a beer by the time we got back to the boat!
Big Woody Island, the last island before Hervey Bay. S-F at anchor (centre) in calm water in Kingfisher Bay, Big Woody to the right.