ANDAMON GOES NORTH

The inside story on what its really like to cruise the east coast of Australia.

22 June 2008 | Airlie Beach
20 June 2008 | 'Hammo'
19 June 2008 | Hammilton Island
17 June 2008 | Mackay
16 June 2008 | Curlew Island
15 June 2008 | Middle Percy Island
14 June 2008 | Townshend Island
13 June 2008 | Pearl Bay
12 June 2008 | Yeppoon
11 June 2008 | Cape Capricorn
06 June 2008 | Bundaberg
05 June 2008 | Hervey Bay
31 May 2008 | Mooloolabah
27 May 2008 | At Mooloolaba
26 May 2008 | Tangalooma
24 May 2008 | Sanctuary Cove
15 May 2008 | Hope Harbour Marina
12 May 2008 | Ballina
02 May 2008 | Port Macquarie

Still at Mooloolaba

31 May 2008 | Mooloolabah
Cyclonic (i.e. not good)
This photo taken at Inskip Point looking towards the Wide Bay Bar - beyond the spume there are 5 metre waves breaking which unfortunately the camera didn't pick up.

We have been in Mooloolaba for 5 days, battling the symptoms of cabin fever, with no let up in the wind/rain/howling noise. Lyn is desperate to find more interesting people to talk to as I enthusiastically suggest 'but-this-forced-relaxation-is-good-for-you' idea. At least we both enjoy reading, and we have plenty of books on board.

Last Thursday we awoke at 5:00 am ready to sail north through the Wide Bay Bar, about 9 hours away. Peter and I immediately surfed all the usual Internet weather channels -bom.com.au, seabreeze.com.au, buoyweather.com - and made the executive decision to stay put - an eastern coast low was developing (i.e. bad).

For readers unfamiliar with the Wide Bay Bar, it is the shallow water between southern tip of Fraser Island and the Qld coast. It has legendary status amongst yachties and fisherman, many boats overturn by rogue waves and lives have been lost. The problem it seems (it consumes the conversations of all storm-waiting yachties in Mooloolabah), is that there are always breaking waves, but worse, to cross the bar you must make two turns, one 90 degrees, in the middle of the bar crossing because this follows the deepest part of the channel, and of course a 90 degree turn means the waves you were previously travelling with, now come at you on a broadside - resulting in unpleasantness. The crossing itself is much longer than other bars, and has the nickname 'the mad mile'.

Had we made the decision to go last thursday, we would have experienced winds up to 100km/h as the wind became severe during the day (and still is), and having reached the bar and not been able to enter, would have had to continue sailing on the outside of Fraser Island through the night and into even higher seas, as the waves grew because of the winds. One website estimated wave heights to hit 21 feet! This wind is still with us today (Sunday) so I am sure that such a passage might have dented Lyn's enthusiasm for offshore sailing.

So being holed up in Mooloolaba isn't so bad. Peter and Jane have gone back to the Southern Highlands. We have met plenty of people in the boats around us who like us are waiting for the weather to turn, including Dutch John, owner of a new Lagoon 42, Austrian John (its easy here as most people are called John), Peter and Paula who sail 'Valhalla' out of our home club, Cronulla, Mike, another Seawind owner. We hired a car for 2 days and travelled to Inskip Point, where we took photos of the Bar - see above, and to Hervey Bay, then to Eumundie markets, then to Noosa where we drank capuccinos conspicuously at Aroma's - waiting to be seen, but no one saw us.

The latest on the weather is that the wind is going to ease tomorrow, but the waves will be up for a few days on - we might get away mid week.

Comments
Vessel Name: Andamon
Vessel Make/Model: Seawind 1160
Hailing Port: Cronulla, NSW, Australia
Crew: Jon and Lyn
About:
This is a story about two really nice people who are heading north for the Australian winter. Jon has a background in IT and specialises in talking about sailing stuff to sailing friends. [...]
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Andamon's Photos -

ANDAMON

Who: Jon and Lyn
Port: Cronulla, NSW, Australia