Plan D

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 3 Jul 2019 06:13

Noon Position: 24 22.4 S  152 57.7 E
Course: WNW.  Speed: 6 knots
Wind: S;  F4,  moderate breeze
Sea: moderate   Swell: East 2 meters
Weather: mostly sunny, warm
Day’s run: 136 nm

The original concept was to cross Wide Bay Bar and enjoy a leisurely two or three day sojourn up the Great Sandy Strait inside Fraser Island, then perhaps do some whale watching in Hervey Bay before continuing up into the sparkling tropical waters of the Coral Coast. However, as noted yesterday, conditions across the bar were assessed as unsafe so we continued north around the outside of Fraser Island.

Plan B was to round the Breaksea Spit and then work our way down into Hervey Bay, there to pick up the second part of Plan A. However, as we approached the Spit it occurred to me that the Spit extended a long way north of Fraser Island (guess that’s why its called a ‘Spit’) and that it would be a long beat to windward to find a sheltered anchorage, especially with the fresh south easterly winds that were blowing. OK, Plan C: reach across the top of Hervey Bay to Burnett River and anchor inside its mouth for the night before continuing up to Bundaberg for a few days.  Crew consulted - all in favour? I count two hands and four paws. Bundaberg it is.

We round Breaksea Spit as close as I dared so as not to have to sail to windward any more than necessary. The tide was turning to the ebb as we approached which would have made for a strong contrary current and heavy overfalls. Fortunately, we made it across the shallows before the tide had fully turned and, in any event, we were on the lower of the day’s tides.  We settled on a close reach. ETA Burnett River – 1830. I leave the ship in Kate’s capable hands as I settle for a little catch up snooze. 

Lunch at 1330, toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches. My waistline is not getting any smaller. Kate reports that the wind has shifted more into the south. I look around. Bother! The wind has shifted into the SSW and we our heading is now W by N. We are not going to make Bundaberg either.  Second crew pow-wow.  We can tighten up and bash our way to Bundaberg or ease sheets and head for 1770, or Pancake Creek, or Gladstone, or … Amazingly, crew morale is still high. Kate is smiling and the Ship’s Cat (Acting) is licking his paws. Consensus is to try for 1770 or the first suitable anchorage beyond.  So, Plan D it is. I will let you know where we end up when we get there.

All is well.