Woody Island

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 24 Oct 2019 13:23

Position: 25 20.38 S  152 59.75 E
At anchor off Woody Island
Wind: ENE  F2 light breeze
Sea: calm  Swell: nil
Weather: warm, clear sky
Day’s run: 64 nm

Well today, much as I hate to admit it, I cannot say that Sylph, the sea and I were exactly in total harmony. Yesterday afternoon we had motored back out to Burnett Heads so as to be able to make use of the north east winds forecast for today. We made an early departure, sailing from anchor and pretty much drifting out of the Burnett River on the ebbing tide.  The plan was simple, sail to the northern entrance to the Frazer Island channel and anchor somewhere convenient for the night. However, the winds remained light and fickle for the whole morning and there was a small but persistent swell coming around the top of Frazer Island, invading Hervey Bay and then doing its best to push Sylph off course in the light headwind.

I persisted for several hours as I watched a veritable fleet of other boats, mostly large catamarans, motor sail past us. Nope, I was not going to cave in! Sylph sails.

However, at 13.10, after six hours of tacking back and forth and still no sign of the north east breeze, nor even the light easterly breeze, I finally admitted defeat. Cursing all and sundry (I can be a tad ‘ornary in a calm), I reluctantly started the BRM. We motored until 15.25 when at last the north east breeze filled in, though it still had quite a bit of east in it. We sailed until 20.50 making our way well into the channel. Then, with the wind fading and the ebb stream strengthening, I once again resorted to the BRM and motored Sylph to a shoal patch three cables to the south of Woody Island where we came to anchor in fifteen feet of water at 22.30.

Now it is time for some sleep.

All is well.