Burnett Heads to South Stradbroke Island/Gold coast
17 August 2017 | South Stradbroke
Burnett Heads to South Stradbroke Island/Gold coast
We lifted anchor at 3 am on 4th July and set off to Fraser Island. We had variable winds 5-10 knots, hence we motor sailed all the way. Arriving at Platypus Bay/Fraser Island 1300hrs. We had our first sightings of humpbacks whale migrating north. Was great to see them breaching, bloody hard to take photos due to yacht movement tho. I gave up after many attempts and just enjoyed the moment. I started on my new motion sickness tablets, stugeron, so far so good.
We had 4 different anchorages along Fraser Island, enjoying the rainbow colours of the sand, making for great photos. We are noticing the cooler weather, with the winter clothes coming out of the lockers, and the billy getting boiled to add to our shower water. We are yet to experience a winter onboard Kestrel. My hot water bottle has been put to use. . We didn’t have much luck with fishing, catching a Ginner & Toad fish, both uneatable.
Lifting anchor from Pelican Bay/Fraser Island we did had our first bar crossing, Wide Bay Bar, this crossing all went to plan and we had an uneventful crossing, yay. We then did an overnight passage to Moreton Island, 118 nm/24 hrs, taking 4 hourly shifts at the helm. Once again we motored sailed, winds 5-10 knots. During my shift on the helm I had a bit of traffic and markers to identify and avoid. Identifying lights at night time sure as hell keeps one alert, I was rather pleased when my shift ended that night, as rather stressful. However all ended well. We stayed several nights at Moreton Island before lifting anchor and motor sailed to South Stradbroke Island where we are anchored at present.
We are anchored by Currigee camping ground. Great spot. Excellent holding ground for anchoring. We are only a short dinghy ride across the channel to Runaway bay shopping centre. This would have to be the most welcoming shopping centre for yacht and tender users we have ever come across. They have a pontoon in which ones dinghy can be locked to so we can go about our shopping without the worry of security of the dinghy. There is a laundromat 20min walk from shopping centre which we use. The camping ground on Stradbroke allows live on-board anchored by them to use their shower facilities, and I tell you they are the best hot showers I’ve come across. Good fishing here. The locals say best spot in the Goldcoast. One has the option of fishing in quite waters of the estuary or walking across Stradbroke to ocean beach for some surf casting. Both places of which we have caught bream & whiting. Gerd use successful with catching squid one morning off the bow, much to his delight.
Our anchorage here is for longer than anticipated. However the good thing about cursing at present we have no time restrictions. I have needed a week and half of physio on my shoulder and we have had some urgent applications that needed attending to. So being anchored here meant we had good use of library for printing, GP and other medical services.
We have explored the water channels here in the dinghy and attended the cultural festival at Southport and the Farmer markets in Surfers paradise. Also caught up with some old work contacts, was great seeing you both Helen & David. Cousin Nicki made a special visit from Brisbane to see us, Thanks Nicki was so great to see you and catch up with all the family news. Best of all we had a VIP guest on-board, Mum, all the way from NZ. She just happened to be in the area on a golf tournament, was great to show her our home on the water.
Don't forget to check out our photos posted in the Gallery.
03 July 2017 | Bundaberg
As I sit here in the cabin and type, we are anchored in The Burnett River, opposite Bundaberg rum distillery. We have been anchored here since 21 June.
Just a quick recap, after our Germany holiday, I went to Derby and had a 3 month working stint in the Dialysis Unit. Gerd stayed upon Kestrel, berthed in Bundaberg Marina, where he stayed until 2nd May. On departing from the Marina he motored up the Burnett River to Bundaberg Slipway where Kestrel was hoisted out onto the dry stand. During this time Kestrel got below the water line sand blasted and repainted, also a new paint job above the water line. We used cork chips for an anti-slip on the deck areas then painted over these. The wheel house roof also got a new paint job. Gerd also replaced our broken head pump, fixed a diesel leak and painted inside the diesel day tank. It all sounds such easy tasks typing it, however, trust me it was not the case, one said good-bye to $10,000 overnight. I guess that was the reason I was away working.
After my 3 month contract in Derby, I returned to Bundaberg to find Kestrel looking a million dollars after all Gerd's hard work. I was only back for 1 week when a much needed trip to NZ was required to visit our first Grandson, Cole James Graham, proud parents Scott and Laura. We spent 5 weeks back home visiting family and friends. This time went really quick and before we knew it we were returning to Kestrel on the dry stand in Bundy.
On returning to Kestrel, we were heartbroken to discover Kestrel covered in bird shit as hundreds of lorikeets had taken to roosting in the evening in the gum trees she was parked under while we were away. 30 mins into returning, a water blaster was borrowed and the cleaning job begun. So much for Kestrel looking a million dollars. Washing down the boat became a morning chore for myself, despite setting up a sprinkler system on the main mast and leaving the anchor light on overnight, the lorikeets refused to move on. Oh well that's life.
So after one coat of primer and 2 coats of anti-foul on below the water line, Kestrel was all set to go back in the water. On 21 June we were back in the water and anchored in Burnett River. We didn't have any luck with fishing, however we were successful with crabbing and very much enjoyed crap for dinner one evening.
Tomorrow 3 July, we plan to lift anchor and motor to the river mouth and anchor overnight, ready for departure Tuesday morning to Fraser Island. The weather predicted for Tuesday is Westerlies 10-15 knots, with Wed & Thurs much the same. I have my new motion tablets "Stugeron" all ready to go, bring it on :)
16 February 2017
Much needed holiday
It was decided we needed a holiday and booked tickets to Germany to have Christmas with Gerds mum, Heidi. Our trip back to Germany was for 5 weeks. It was a long trip there, not arriving to Heidi’s, in Bietigheim-Bissingen until 48 hrs after leaving Bundaberg. We had a 4 hour drive to Brisbane airport with a 4 hour check in wait, then 3x7 hour flights, with no lengthy transfer time in-between flights, then a 2 hour train trip to Bietigheim-Bissingen. Heidi was not aware we were arriving, so a knock on her door at 1030pm was quite a surprise, to say the least.
It was the start of winter so we had hopes for a white Christmas. This we didn’t get however we did get a white new year’s making the surroundings beautiful. Coming from temperatures of 36-40 degrees we were now experiencing -12 degrees. We embraced this climate change, enjoying wearing a winter wardrobe, eating winter foods and drinking Gluhwein (mulled wine).
On arriving the Christmas markets were in full swing. These were great to go to. The effort the stall holders went to to decorate their stalls to set the scene and create the Christmas atmosphere was amazing. The highlight for us was the food stalls and Gluhwein. With many snacks/meals had of traditional German foods, not to mention the Gluhwein which when the weather is really cold one really appreciates.
Not only did we embraced the weather, we 200% embraced the bakery’s; bread, buns, sweet pastries, pretzels, these are all to die for, not to mention the beer & wine, and sausages, yum yum yum, hence our waist circumference grew a little.
We had several visits to the thermal saunas. These were just magnificent. Once again really appreciated in the cold weather/snow. Great for detoxing after Christmas and New Year indulgences. In fact after bakery, beer & wine indulgencies. In other words our daily indulgencies.
We made good use of the train system, however the train stations were bloody cold to stand around in waiting for ones train.
The last few days of our trip we spent in Biebergemuend-lanzingen, near Frankfurt with friends Fuch & Mel and their 8 husky dogs. Beautiful dogs who each roam the house like it’s there kingdom, well I guess it is their kingdom.
From Frankfurt we flew home to Bundaberg to find Kestrel still safely afloat in the Marina. On inspection she had held up well being locked up for 5 weeks.
So one might ask where to from here………….. It was decided I would have a 3 month working stint to top up our travel kitty, so as I write this blog I am in Derby, WA working in Derby Renal Unit for 3 months. On finishing this contract we have a trip booked to NZ to meet our first grandchild which is due to Scott & Laura any day now. OMG so exciting, can’t wait.
After our NZ trip we plan to set sail again and continue cursing south down the east coast of Australia.
Port Bundaberg Marina
04 February 2017
Port Bundaberg Marina.
On arriving to Port Bundaberg Marina, on request, we were greeted by 2 staff members to help us catch our lines and guild us into our berth. This was greatly appreciated as on arrival we were both rather tired & exhausted (read previous blog).
The first 4 days were spent recovering, not only physically but mentally as our dream felt like it had come crashing down. With the last two passages feeling like a journey to hell. I guess you have to take the good with the bad.
Our first impressions of the Marina have been all good. The staff are friendly and helpful. The prices they charge are ok and we are paying for and have the berth size required for Kestrel, not like the previous Marina, we were charged for a 13 metre berth, however placed in only a 10 metre berth.
The Marina has a lovely social area ‘cruisers cove’, which has loungers, TV, fridge, BBQ, notice board and free Wi-Fi. The grounds are kept lovely (see pictures). They offer a daily courtesy ride to town and Sunday morning courtesy ride to the farmers markets. Both of which we have taken advantage of as we do not have a vehicle.
We have caught up with friends Olga & Pete as they are living in Coral Cove, not far away. Was great to see them both again after many years.
The area is known as the 'Southern Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. South of Bundaberg is Fraser Island. We are yet to explore these waters.
After 1 week in the Marina we had a trip to town on the courtesy bus. What we thought was a trip to town to pick up a few bits and pieces, resulted in the purchase of return tickets to Germany to have Christmas with Heidi, Gerds mum.
Yay, we are off on holiday for 5 weeks, leaving kestrel berthed safely in the Marina. This also giving us time to re-visit/ re-think/ recover and re-dream our sailing plans.
Heaven and Hell
12 December 2016
Heaven and Hell 13/12/2016
Heaven and Hell, these are my (Julie's) words to describe our sailing adventure. HELL explains our last 2 long passages during which it felt like I was in hell due to experiencing bad motion sickness on both long passages. Despite wearing Sea Bands, eating ginger, earplugs and taking motion sickness drugs.
Heaven, is all the great time we have had and there has been many, many moments.
The story goes as follows........
We departed from MacKay Marina knowing we had a long passage ahead of us due to northerlies, and no sheltered anchorages along the way. After 162 nm/43 hours motor sailing we reached North Keppel Island. Arriving 2000hrs, thus having to anchor in the dark, something we try to avoid if possible.
The wind was variable, up to 12 knots only with horrible rolling swells which played havoc with my sensory organs, sending mixed messages to my brain causing motion sickness despite taking my tablets, add a migraine to this and I was incapable of functioning. Leaving me curled in the cabin praying for this misery hell hole I was in to end. Which it did, after 12 long, agonising hours.
The anchorage at North Keppel Island was lovely and calm allowing us a recovery period. The next morning we lifted anchor and motor sailed to Great Keppel Island which was only 8nm away. Once underway, Gerd on the helm I lay down to continue my recovery. We spent 2 nights anchored at Great Keppel Island. A lovely Island, however as still recovering, I didn't have the physical or emotional strength to get out and about and explore. It took me all of 2 days to recover. While at Great Keppel Island/Yeppoon we were able to reunite with Lyn and Gary, fellow sailors we meet along the way earlier in the year.
After this passage it was time to rethink our sailing adventure plan, I had been feeling miserable. We made the decision to motor sail to Yeppoon Marina, only 9nm away. We spent 2 nights in the Marina, contemplating what we wanted to do, throw in the towel, sell the boat was on the list. My mind was in a body not handling the sea conditions very well causing some very unpleasant moments on Kestrel, adding extra pressure for Gerd as when I was down, I was down, non-functional.
Still wanting to undertake this sailing adventure I ordered some recommended motion sickness tablets from US (as not sold in Aus). "Stugeron". I had read about these in several different articles/ sailing forums. After talking to our sailing friends, they swear by them. So, an order was placed. As postage cost was high, I ordered 200 tablets. Here's hoping they work. They were going to take 7 days to arrive.
Not wanting to sit in the marina paying $53 per night we headed back out to Great Keppel Island. On waking the next morning anchored at Great Keppel Island and looking at the weather forecast, and having by now recovered fully, I was all geared up to continue sailing. Feeling confident knowing I had yet another motion sickness tablet I had not yet tried (Paihia Bombs, from NZ. Also highly recommended by different fisherman) up my sleeve. So I popped a pill and we set sail. Yet again, we knew we had another long passage.
This passage was another visit to Hell. This tablet was to be taken every 24 hours, however after 12 hours, motion sickness was starting to creep back upon me. Having no choice, as not wanting to suffer in hell again I took another tablet 12 hours into our travel. This kept me semi functional. We had winds 15knots/gusts up to 20, which was fine, however we has swells abeam for a good part of the passage. These were horrible, as we were rocked from side to side for a good 15 hrs.
That's it, after a second visit to hell, I was calling it quits with my sailing adventure. I had had enough.
On arriving into Bundaberg Marina we were both willing to walk off the boat. We were both very tired and exhausted after our second long shitty passage. This adventure was no longer fun.
However, we have been 1 week in the marina and all is well. We have made no knee jerking decision and plan to sit the cyclone season (until March) out here in Bundaberg Marina. My new tablets are due to arrive this week. This gives us plenty of time to hash out different options.
Stuck in MacKay
22 November 2016
Stuck in MacKay 23/11/2016
What was supposed to be a one night stay in MacKay Marina resulted in 10 nights due to the low weather system on the east coast causing rough seas with S/SE winds. We decided some things are worth paying for. It cost us 50.00 per night to stay here. This ate a little hole in our travel funds. However after walking on the shore line and watching the rough seas, we were very pleased to be in this sheltered Marina. MacKay doesn’t offer much in the way of anchorages. While in MacKay I was able to catch up with Joy, a friend I met while working in Mount Isa. Was great to catch up.
On two occasions we caught the bus to Caneland shopping centre for provisions & booze. We pickled the water maker while in the Marina as we didn’t want to use while berthed. Gerd made another batch of beer. We did a few small jobs on-board. The sewing machine came out and I had a morning mending and making a rag & bag bag to store these items.
Our early xmas present arrived, an inflatable kayak. Yay, there has been many anchorages that I have often commented to Gerd, “if only we had Kayak” “, “kayaking is such good exercise” “ are you sure we don’t have room for one”, ………………………
Hmmmm is guess he must have been listening to me after all. The kayak has had good use while we have been in the marina as paddling around the marina would be about 1 km. Doing two laps , with the tide & wind against you, is a good workout. I have also taken advantage of being onshore and got back into my walking and it has been nice to do my yoga on still ground beneath me.
We plugged into shore power while here. Allowing us to run the freezer at -18 instead of -11 degrees, which we normally do when running off the battery. The TV has also had a run, allowing us to catch up on all the rubbish viewed. We have taken total advantage of running hot showers and the laundromat. Not to mention a couple of feeds of hot chips.
Today, Wednesday 23 Nov, is spent preparing for departure tomorrow morning.
My list goes as follows:
Write Blog and post it.
Deflate kayak and stow.
Last load of washing, cost $6.00 per load and $1.00 per 5 minute to dry. Not a cheap exercise.
Prepare easy travel meals and snacks, as we think we may do 2 overnights, with the plan on reaching Frazer Island Saturday. Cooking list; green chicken curry, bolognaise, yoghurt, bread, boil eggs, prepare easy reach snacks.
Secure all deck items/prepare inside for cruising.
Remove and clean Hull speed reader.
Check weather report again and hope it hasn’t changed for the worst.
Then, have a long hot shower.