17 November 2021 | The Great Sandy Straights
Jenny Gaskell | North, South , East and West mix
Do you remember Professor Julius Sumner Millar?
Well, the planning required to return to the Gold Coast is a complex mathematical equation.
I reckon He Who Hums needs a whiteboard so I can keep up with the calculations. The passage through The Great Sandy Straights behind Frazer Island is nothing short of a long division.
Wind, weather, depths, dates, tide, depths, moon, rain, depths, sunrise, sunset, timing, anchorages, depths. 🤓📱📈📆 (getting the picture?)
Anyone who is brave enough to take a large vessel through the shifting sands of the Straights with a 2.7 draft is either ---- or ----. Feel free to fill in the gaps.
You need to take a run through here with a GPS in one hand and a plumb bob in the other. 😂
On our way north we were right next to the chanel marker and our depth sounder read 4ft - next minute we felt sand but luckily skipped off.😳
It is in this region other sailors take photos of Condesa, not because she is photogenic, it's because there's a chance to make news should she get stuck on a sandbar. And no one wants to see a snap of themselves laying on their side in The Great Sandy Straights, trust me.
The alternative is to sail on the outside of Frazer Island, which takes another whiteboard equation with a trustworthy 5day weather forecasting plus everything else required for a 48hr straight sail to the GC seaway.
He Who Hums had lured me away from Bundaberg with a pit-stop promise at Kingfisher Bay Resort. Oh, we were going to hike, swim, rest (and pretty sure he said dine out), whilst waiting for the weather window. 🤗
However, as it turned out, that promise had to be aborted due to ridiculously uncomfortable anchorage conditions, (but those northerlies were helpful in blowing us there). 🌊 🌬 💨
By this stage his focus was fine tuned towards the ongoing calculations for the shallow Straights ahead and the Wide Bay Bar conditions further on. So I pretended I didn't see the resort palm trees as Condesa was blown past to anchor a few nautical miles further on. Calmer waters but right nearby one of the 23 ship wrecks on Frazer ☠️, just saying.
Here we perched and so achieved odd jobs like recalibrating our depth sounder, knowing as each day passes we have a even higher tide. The equation was making He Who Hums a tad more comfortable. We were in prime position to move through the straights first thing in the morning on the last of the incoming high tide at the trickiest spot. 🧑🏫👌
"Why is it so?"
It is a juggling act.🤹♂️ I weigh these moments against all the privileges we have enjoyed this sailing season and it doesn't take a physicist to see the scales have been tipped heavily in our favour. So we do what we need to do
out here, all compromises made with our eye on the prize.
The prize you ask?
= Our people!
🥰 See you all very soon!