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S/V Bluebottle
Garry's Anchorage, Fraser Island

Friday 19, 9:45

The relief of having passed through miles of shallow water - sometimes as little as 60 cm under the keel - and close enough to islands to scratch your arm on the scrub, is palpable, and we had a beer to celebrate, as I always do when I drop anchor, even though it's only nine-forty-five in the morning.

Garry's anchorage is quiet, peaceful, bushy, with the sound of cicadas (as if the bush had tinnitus!) and we are here - until the hard sou'easter comes and goes.

I'm delighted - "stoked" - to have good internet again, and I'm amazed you can get Telstra in such out-of-the-way places. That's why I'm checking in with you every 10 seconds.

PS With a boost from the tide we were doing 8.1 knots over the ground for a while!

Pic: S/V Kool Sid at Garry's Anchorage

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11/19/2010 | Colin and Jackie
Hi Joe, I looked up frazer island as you suggested and ended up in western oz, that's a big jump I thought. So I checked your position on sailblog map and found you in the middle of the sahara desert. mmm GPS maybe not all it's cracked up to be, time to get out the sextant me thinks.

Friday 19, early morning ...

It;s 5:17am, a silvery gray day, all quiet. The loudest sound is Adrienne putting away the washing up I did last night. This morning the tide will be highest at 0738 and we'll be underway by then, so we can catch and ride it over the shallowest section of the Great Sandy Straits. It's only a few miles - maybe five - and it wends and winds, with red and green markers to port and starboard. Our thanks to those who charted and signposted these waters. If it wasn't for the chartlets and the markers it would be near impossible to find the channel, because the wide waters look as though they're deep everywhere. Yesterday, with us squirting along at over 6 knots, I happened to look at the depth sounder - it read 3.2 feet under the keel! Less than a metre. Running hard aground at that speed you just don't want to imagine.

Adrienne makes a pot of leaf tea, warming the mugs. You can tell I'm an Aussie, she says, because I'm very careful how I make tea. She comes from America, the land of coffee, but she's lived more than half her life in Oz.

Quiet. Just the whir of the laptop fan blending with my tinnitus, the tick of the tiny clock, and the slurping of my Bushell's tea.

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11/18/2010 | Philip Lowe
God bless all those who chart and signpost the safe channels of life.
Can You Read This Message?

These two men in a boat are clearly trying to signal some sort of message.

Also clearly visible in this photo taken today is the curvature of the earth! (Flat-Earthers turn away!)

All comments welcome.

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Dropped anchor 10 minutes ago, 3:30pm. Averaged 6 knots, which is better than motor alone, got a good push from the tidal stream. The tide is still running in, I notice the anchor chain has its own little bow wave. White cliffs, gray skies, metallic gray water, a few other yachts here, it's quiet, a wilderness. But even in the wilderness, though, take note there is mobile phone coverage and internet!

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7 knots Past Kingfisher Bay!

Well, it's 2 o'clock, and we are here much earlier than expected; the tide has given us a boost and for some of the time we've been sailing. Right now we're doing 6.5 knots. So the decision is to keep right on going, until we reach Ungowa, 7 miles further down south. At the rate we're going, with the making tide barging us, we should be at anchor by 3:30pm, time enough to go ashore, to buy some milk, bread and fruit. It puts us within easy reach of the shallows which we must cross at high tide tomorrow, 7 am. 6.8 knots now! 6.9!! Hey, 7. Love that tide.

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Nearly to Fraser Island

It's 11:13, Thursday, 18th November (in spite of the date above).

Can see the cardinal mark, a post out in the bay, just ahead, the GPS has it 1.4 miles ahead, 15 minutes. When we get to it I'll log out with Marine Rescue Bundaberg and log in with marine Rescue Hervey Hay, on the VHF radio. Each coast guard station down the coast will keep track of us, just as the PacSea net did as we crossed oceans.

Now past the cardinal mark. the next waypoint will put us between Moon Bank and Woody Island, right in the thick of it, so my next logon will be when we anchor. Talk to you later.

Pic: trawler passes, we wave ...

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Who: Adrienne Godsmark and Joe Blake
Port: Hobart
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