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Pushing the Tide
24/07/2009, stone Marina

We have just tied up to the Gladstone marina after a motor from Graham Creek against a 3 knot current. Not the recommended thing to-do but we only want to stay here 1 night and Noel has kindly offered drive us to the shops to replace our crab traps.
We had a very quite and calm night at Graham Creek last night and Geoff tried to catch a fish but all he managed was to snare a little crab. Talking of Geoff I was sure I would never meet another person as bad as Heather with dissatisfaction with hairdressers but Geoff's your man. On every trip with Geoff when we have had our hair cut in some coastal place I hear the complaints every morning when he combs his hair. As I am not sure who reads this I could not begin to describe his complaints verbatim.
We will leave here tomorrow on the tide this time and go to Pancake Creek about 30 miles south. Don't think I will have reception there so I may not post a blog again until Bundaberg.

27/07/2009 | Jan 'n' Pete
Hi Phil,

Just checked our your blog, really interesting, sounds a great trip. Heather wouldn't complain about her hair would she???? We are loving the US, don't seem to get time to do the newsletters but will try again today or tomorrow. Our weather is hot and beautiful. Love Jan
29/07/2009 | Rob and Jo Clough
Geoff, at your age you should be thankful you have hair so stop bloody whinging. Good to hear the weather's kind to you. We're both fine down here in sunny (freezing) Dunolly.
If he keeps complaining Phil, feed the fishes with him
All our love
Rob and Jo
Shallow Water
23/07/2009, Graham Creek

We left the marina at 0730 yesterday and motored to Pacific Creek which puts us in striking distance of the Narrows. The Narrows is a route between the mainland and Curtis Island to Gladstone. You have to cross when the tide is its highest as it totally dries out and is used as a cattle crossing at low tide. As usual I was a little apprehensive but this is where Geoff's experience really comes to the fore. We got through with no issues and are now heading for Graham Creek to spend the afternoon and night before heading into Gladstone. The bad news is we lost both crab traps in Pacific Creek last night, swept away by the tide we presume and we just know they would have had a great haul of crabs in them, maybe!
Geoff has some friends at Gladstone so we will catch up with them we hope

A Great Marina
21/07/2009, Rosslyn Bay

We have been in Rosslyn Bay for 2 days stocking up on fuel, food and water and will South tomorrow. This is only the 3rd marina we have stayed at on this trip but its my favourite. Its well run very clean and friendly. They even have a courtesy car you can borrow free of charge for 2 hours. This is a great help with the shopping. We gave the Laundromat a fair workout yesterday. Today it's back into Yeppoon on the bus for a haircut (well overdue) and lunch at the sailing club. The weather is warm and a little overcast with light winds

22/07/2009 | Noel & Olive
Code Red. Gladstone is on high alert for any and all infiltrators, notably boat people.
Clear Clear Water
20/07/2009, Lady Musgrove Island

17th July 09
I have been out of touch with either phone or internet for some days and am using the HF radio for weather forecasts. I am really missing not being able to talk to Heather. We have been at Lady Musgrove Island for 2 days and the wind has been coming in from the SE at about 20 Knots and quite cool. This has curtailed the snorkelling I had hoped for but the forecast is for the winds to decrease. The days are sunny and clear. There is a tour boat that comes out from 1770 (a town on the mainland about 50 miles away) and Jim decided to leave Kirralaa and start the trip home as he has some commitments later in the week. We will not be near a jump off place again in time for him to be home to meet them. I took Jim across to the tour boat in the dinghy and with chop on the water it was a wet trip but I am sure he found the bar onboard and had a little something to warm up. It is worth you looking at the google earth feature on this blog at this location to appreciate what a fabulous place this is. The water is so clear you can see the large turtles swimming below the boat at a depth of 6 meters. The only plan for the next couple of days is no plan so as usual the weather will dictate.

Back to the Mainland
19/07/2009, Cape Capricorn

19th July 09
Fitzroy Reef is an interesting place (worth a look on earth google) as you sit in the middle of the reef surrounded by ocean with no land in sight and are quite comfortable. Entering the reef takes some caution as there is only one narrow entrance. When we arrived we were the only boat but by nightfall 3 other cruisers had arrived. We had some of the freshly caught Spanish mackerel for dinner. It was a quite night but we awoke to overcast skies and some showers so I decided to leave early and head for Cape Capricorn which is on the mainland about 50 miles away so will be an all day sail.
Next Morning : After a great reach all the way we arrived about1600 but we did not get the nice calm night we were expecting as a surge rolled around the headland and rolled us a bit. There is a place called yellow patch quite near to here which I have only visited by dinghy and would like to get Kirrilaa into although its entrance channel is very narrow and shallow and unmarked.. We need to work the tide on this one so may go up to Roslyn Bay for a couple of days and come back.

I am to old for all this excitement
18/07/2009, Fitzroy Reef

18th July 09
Fitzroy Reef
Today could be classified as interesting to say the least. We awoke to a nice morning with 10 to 15 knots from the South. I decided to leave for Fitzroy Reef at about 0830 and when bringing in the anchor discovered the chain had wrapped itself around a large piece of coral and we could not retrieve the anchor. This was bad news as my back up anchor and chain would not have been good enough for us to continue the islands and reefs out here. After several hours of trying and me snorkelling over it we gave up and cut the chain loosing the entire rig. We fitted a buoy to it and started to leave the island. I radioed a patrol boat in the area asking who we should report it to and another boat just outside the reef radioed back and offered to dive on the chain and retrieve it. Phew!
After we had all the gear on board and thanked the American couple who had helped (they would not accept any payment) we left for the 20 mile sail to Fitzroy Reef. About an hour into the sail the fishing line went and we had a Spanish mackerel on the line which when we finally got it in was over a meter long. Geoff got to work on it and before long the cockpit of Kirralaa looked like something out of a horror movie but eventually we got it cleaned up and now have a large supply of fish in the freezer. The remainder of the trip was uneventful but we sure enjoyed that anchoring beer on arrival.

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Who: Phil
Port: Sydney Australia
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