Sunday 7th May 2017
Distance run: 95 nm
Shortly after the alarm woke us at 0500 yesterday morning, the phone rang. It was Bob from Mawari, with whom we planned to sail in company to Bundaberg. “We’ve looked at the forecast this morning and the weather is deteriorating earlier than we thought. We’re not happy to go straight for Bundaberg now. We’re putting off leaving until midday, and then making for Mooloolaba, where the tide will be just right for the bar at first light.”
This is not unusual in sailing. It is always wise to check the weather forecast before setting off, even if it is only a few hours after you last checked. We had a look for ourselves, and agreed it didn’t look good. So we switched to Bob’s plan B, and went back to bed.
We lifted the anchor at 1130, slack tide, and made our way out of the seaway into a rather lumpy and confused sea. Great. Very welcome for our first sail in almost a year. Need to get those sea legs back quick smart! On the upside there was a good 15-20 knot breeze blowing over the starboard quarter so we unfurled the sails, switched off the engine and let the old girl do what she does best.
A lovely photo of Scott-Free as she leaves Surfer’s Paradise and the hills beyond,
taken by Sue on Mawari.
Straight away we were making good speed, even in the lumpy seas, and we knew this was going to be a fast trip in which we would probably have to slow down at the end in order to time our entry into the Mooloolah River at high tide. The sand bar across the entrance has a minimum depth of 2 metres, and as we have a draft of 2 metres we would need the tide to keep us off the bottom.
We were sailing well and enjoying the afternoon sunshine when suddenly there was a bang as the block on the kicker broke. This was very annoying as we had only replaced it two years ago in New Zealand. Steve tied the kicker down temporarily while I went below to unearth the spare block (an old repaired one), and in ten minutes all was sorted. We then crossed fingers that the repaired one would hold out until we got to Mooloolaba.
The rest of the passage was uneventful but very wet. As the afternoon wore on, the sky filled with squalls which kept coming one after the other all night long, making for a wet and miserable night. The frustrating thing was that we had to slow down and stay out in them because we had to wait for the 0540 high tide.
After what seemed like a very long night, we crossed the bar with 1.5 metres least depth below us and pulled into berth D27 in Mooloolaba Marina just after 0700. Neither of us had felt like eating much on passage, so now we were ravenous. Breakfast of bacon butties was very welcome before hanging all the wet kit up to dry and retiring to bed to catch up on a fews hours’ kip.