Log of the Argonaut

25 July 2012 | Orcas Island
19 October 2011 | Orcas Island
04 August 2011 | Orcas Island, U.S. San Juan Islands
14 June 2011 | U.S. Southwest
20 May 2011 | Durango, Co
19 May 2011 | Durango Colorado
21 March 2011 | Washington State
24 February 2011 | Between South and North
13 February 2011 | Aussie
17 January 2011 | Bundaberg, Australia
24 November 2010 | Bundaberg Australia
18 October 2010 | Noumea
06 October 2010 | Port Vila, Vanuatu
09 September 2010 | Between Port Resolution and Port Vila, Vanuatu
03 September 2010 | Tanna Island, Vanuatu
27 July 2010 | Mamanuka Islands, Fiji
21 May 2010 | Malolo Island
05 April 2010 | EnZed
06 March 2010 | Marlborough District
26 February 2010 | EnZed: South Island

I'll take a pass

17 January 2011 | Bundaberg, Australia
Take a pass

If you're thinking of sailing to Australia, you might think about taking a pass. At least as far as Queensland goes. The flooding and storms made a mess up there. We checked into Bundaberg and promptly motored the six miles up river to Midtown Marina and took a mooring ball in the heart of the city. Not bad, at first. Cheap as Chips claimed a Kiwi friend before he flew home for Christmas. He was on of the first to lose his boat to the flood in the Burnett River.

Bundaberg itself is a fair sized town with good infrastructure. It's a bit of a hick town where some of the ugliest tattoos decorate some of the fattest people we've seen in a long time... and we've been to Samoa and Tonga! I read that Australia has finally surpassed the US in the gross weight of its people.

The real shocker came as the rain fell and the Burnett River started to rise. Along with the velocity of the current, were ever increasing piles of hyacinth, mangrove and logs coming downstream. Soon it was boats. We didn't have to wait long for boats to start dragging their moorings and disappearing downstream. Nothing much we could do with our wee little outboard dinghies and it quickly became evident that no official agency was going to lift a finger to help.

Something like six people went in the water from overturned dinghies and were rescued by other yachties. None died., a miracle in itself as the current reached over ten knots in places. Many more yachties tried to snag runaway boats as they flew past. To date, I think the Customs Service is looking for 24 boats, many out to sea or sunk along the way. Without yachties providing assistance in lieu of the government, they'd be looking for a hell of a lot more.

We managed to stay anchored farther downstream, clearing beaver dam sized piles of bush off the bow 24/7 while watching our neighbors drag anchor all around us. Ok. I admit it. I'm pissed because we couldn't get off the boat. Christmas dinner was a can of chili. I'll never get the stains out of my T-shirt. The week was by far worse than any ocean passage we've made. Including Bora Bora.

To top it off, VMR (Vessel Marine rescue) has gone from a government agency to a volunteer babysitting service that sat in their tower watching boats being flushed down the river and out to sea. Yer on yer own, mate is their attitude as their rescue boat(?) sits safely on a trailer. The long and short of it is: There is no meaningful rescue service anywhere in Australia to provide real time assistance to yachties in trouble.

So... what do I think of Australia? I haven't had the chance to see much of it but I'd likely pass it up for another trip to NZ next time. Personally, I'm sorry we left Fiji..

Vessel Name: Argonaut
Vessel Make/Model: Cal-40
Hailing Port: Seattle
Crew: Mike & Liz
Mike: I guess I've been sailing for more than 40 years; always with the idea of cruising to far away ports firmly embeded in the back of my mind. Reality, in the form of raising a family and making a living kept me out of the game until one day... [...]
Extra: It has been an amazing journey. I could have stayed home, or gone no farther than Mexico but I knew I'd never see this any other way. If there were only re-runs... The lesson is: If you wait until you're ready, you'll never go. So get off your butt and do it - whatever IT is.
Argonaut's Photos - Wishful thinking (Main)
Looking back at five years voyaging across the Pacific
12 Photos
Created 25 July 2012
Mix of Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival and home re-do project
25 Photos
Created 28 October 2011
Around the house
20 Photos
Created 4 August 2011
Tiki Tour through the Southwest
16 Photos
Created 14 June 2011
Trip on the Railroad
7 Photos
Created 20 May 2011
Seattle to Durango Colorado
12 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
Pacific Nortwest
13 Photos
Created 21 March 2011
On our way home. Australia to Seattle
6 Photos
Created 24 February 2011
Oz from Bundaberg to Sydney
23 Photos
Created 13 February 2011
My Adventures in Oz
8 Photos
Created 19 January 2011
Noumea New Caledonia
22 Photos
Created 18 October 2010
Port Vila to Port Sandwich
29 Photos
Created 6 October 2010
Port Resolution to Port Vila
12 Photos
Created 10 September 2010
Tanna Island, Vanuatu
29 Photos
Created 3 September 2010
Touring: Dunedin to Picton
17 Photos
Created 25 March 2010
South Island road trip
16 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 26 February 2010
8 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 30 January 2010
Continuation of New Zealand travel 2009/2110
40 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 13 January 2010
New Zealand 2009/2010
22 Photos
Created 19 December 2009
City and Raintree Park
19 Photos
Created 14 December 2009
A Yankee Thanksgiving in Kiwi Land
12 Photos
Created 7 December 2009
Tropical flowers
28 Photos
Created 14 November 2009
Boat ride, hike and lunch.
15 Photos
Created 3 November 2009
Foods from across the Pacific. From the Marquesas to Fiji and New Zealand
30 Photos
Created 25 October 2009
Samoa/Tonga/Vanuatu quakes
3 Photos
Created 20 October 2009
Likuri Island
6 Photos
Created 15 October 2009
Musket Cove Regatta Week
22 Photos
Created 11 September 2009
North from Musket Cove
25 Photos
Created 11 August 2009
Musket Cove: Mamanuka Islands, Fiji
13 Photos
Created 7 August 2009
Viti Levu/Mamanukas
16 Photos
Created 16 July 2009
First days in FIji
6 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 17 June 2009
1 Photo | 1 Sub-Album
Created 1 May 2009
Minerva Reef shirts and maintenance projects
12 Photos
Created 29 April 2009
Chacala, Guayabitos, Los Ayala, Lo de Marco, San Pancho, Saulita
36 Photos
Created 21 April 2009
In and around San Blas. Didn't take many pics. Too busy doing damn little.
9 Photos
Created 14 April 2009
Mazatlan to San Blas
27 Photos
Created 10 April 2009
Boatyard Wars
21 Photos
Created 30 March 2009
End of the road trip 2009
21 Photos
Created 25 March 2009
City, museum and gardens
18 Photos
Created 26 February 2009
Pics of our road trip
29 Photos
Created 23 February 2009
Hiking along the geothermal Highway
15 Photos
Created 19 February 2009
Hauraki Gulf. Classic Yacht Regatta and AC boats
17 Photos
Created 17 February 2009
Mexico to the South Pacific
52 Photos
Created 1 February 2009
8 Photos
Created 22 January 2009
15 Photos
Created 6 January 2009
Independent Samoa
12 Photos
Created 6 January 2009
Pacific Festival of the Arts/Pago Pago
12 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 6 January 2009