Departed Mooloolaba

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 2 Jul 2019 04:10

Noon Position: 26 15.5 S  153 15.0 E
Course: North.  Speed: 6 knots
Wind: SSE;  F4,  moderate breeze
Sea: moderate   Swell: East 3 meters
Weather: overcast, warm
Day’s run: 28 nm


It was a relatively early start this morning so as to enable a departure on the high tide at 0715. On arising, I donned clothes and walked ashore across the spit to the beach.  From the beach I could see the entrance to the river and assess the conditions on the bar. The break looked relatively benign so I hastened back on board, roused the crew, started the engine and got Sylph under way. We cleared the breakwaters at 0720 and were followed out by two other boats; the Astrid, a 40 foot Beneteau (I think), and the Four Winds, a little Swan 28. Kate had spoken to Four Winds prior to departure and her crew told her that they were aiming for Sandy Bay, by which I presume they intended to cross the notorious Wide Bay Bar. We were also hoping to cross the bar and into the Great Sandy Strait behind Fraser Island but, with the swell running relatively high, I thought it likely that the bar might be too dangerous to cross. Consequently, I was expecting that we would have to continue north around the outside of Fraser Island.

Once we had settled on the desired heading, running wing-on-wing before the southerly breeze again, I contacted Tin Can Bay Volunteer Marine Rescue for some local advice.  The operator told me that a large trawler and a catamaran had gone out that morning but had turned back as the bar was breaking all the way across. His advice was to take the long way round Fraser Island.  So this is what we have resigned ourselves to do, to spend a couple of nights at sea rolling rather sharply to the short three meter easterly swell. When we get a bit further north past the Breaksea Spit, we will be able to put the swell more on the quarter and hopefully the motion will improve, but that is twelve hours away. In the meantime we are making ourselves as comfortable as possible. Oli, for one, is doing a pretty good job.

All is well.