Wide Bay Bar to the Gold Coast

Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Tue 27 Oct 2015 06:42
27:58.17s 153:25.49e    Wide Bay Bar  to The Gold Coast
At first light we headed down to the Wide Bar Bar, to exit the Great Sandy Straits back into the ocean. This is one of many notorious bar crossings on the Australian coast, but it gave us no trouble at all. We had the weigh-points from the coast guard, followed the “dogs leg” path and were out in the ocean by about 7.30am.  
wide bar chart small
Our route across the bar – shallowest we saw was 400mm under the keel
Our problem now, was how to do the 140nm to the Gold Coast seaway ... in at least 20 hours, getting us to the Gold Coast Seaway no earlier than 3.30am.    This seaway also has tidal and depth implications, so we had to enter 2 hours after low tide.  The ebb tide creates standing waves, that the surfers love, but not the boats!
So do the math ..140nm in 20 hours, means we cannot go above 7knots for the whole trip – tricky given that the wind was blowing from the north at 20knots and the current runs south.
Our first bright idea to make the timing work, was to drop anchor a Noosa, a beach town, some way down the coast. There we could have lunch and a little nap, and then continue again at 6pm – getting us to the seaway closer to dawn. We would then have ideal tidal conditions and would have some light. Well that did not work, as the sea was rough and the anchorage untenable. So up came the anchor and south we went.  The wind continued to pick up and the current pushed us. Coming around the top of Morton island, we were going at 9knots!  This running the engine at only 1100r.p.m which usually puts as around 6.5knots.  Big problem, if we got to the seaway to early, we would have to turn around and go in circles – not a good idea in lumpy seas and fairly high winds.  And then the rain and lightening started.  Yuk!
Next bright idea ... start to zig-zag ... which we did for a few hours and managed to slow the boat down and increase distance covered, so that at 3.30am we were on the lead lights for the entrance.
As we came in,  the rain stopped and the full moon gave us a lot of light. Mike was able to go into the waterway (Broadwater) and take the 2nm channel down to the marina. We had arranged with the marina to tie up on their fuel dock, which was a very easy side tie. And there we slept until the marina phoned at about 8am and asked us to move into our proper berth.
goldie from gecko
Seaway entrance and the marinas (top right) – thanks to gecko.com.au for pic
Mariners Cove Marina is in a great position, and we are happy to be on “The Goldie” – as this area is affectionately known.
marinaers cove
On the dock with some of the many skyscrapers in the distance – this place feels like Fort Lauderdale