The Shipping News

06 November 2007 | Bundaberg
18 October 2007 | Bundaberg
13 October 2007 | 1770 and Agnes Water
06 October 2007 | Gladstone Queensland Australia

The 'Blooming' Coral Reef

06 November 2007 | Bundaberg
Robyn
We waited long enough to get the tide with us, and set off down the channel to open water. There was quite a stiff breeze on the nose but once at sea we were able to motor sail most of the way and arrived at Pancake Creek, 30 nm to the south, well before dusk. We anchored pretty much where we had been on our way North, this time with a little 35ft catamaran for company.
We had met this couple and their two rather boisterous little girls in Gladstone, and admired their determination to enjoy a holiday in very confined conditions with a couple of under fives, who seemed to have adapted to the lack of space by converting their energy from kinetic to vocal. Not long after they arrived, we saw him depart with the two for a romp on the sandbank at the mouth of the creek, where they ran and dance and rolled in the knee high surf with delight. I could picture the mum back on the boat lying glazed-eyed on her bunk, surrounded by the detritus of the day's sailing, longing for the family home with TV and a big back yard.
The next day, the wind decided to help us along a bit and backed round from SE to NE. With less wind, (about 12 knots) and calmer seas it was more comfortable than the day before, and the sun shone, so despite our concern to get to Bunaberg before the forecast SE change on Wednesday, we enjoyed the day's motor sail. There were huge pools of Coral Bloom on the surface, which at times, looked like blue and gold marbled paper on the backing pages of leatherbound books. Coral Bloom happens in late October, 4 or 5 days after the full moon, when sunlight hours, moonlight, water temperature and goodness knows what other subtle signs in nature persuade the coral of the Barrier Reef, that the time is ripe for procreation. Where it was thickest, an organic, rotting, stench rose up from the huge tiger stripes of the stuff, drifting inshore from the Reef.
We finally reached Bundaberg, just on sunset, and tied up coincidentally beside 'Tamoure' aided by Peter and Misty, a Scottish couple we had chatted to once in Savusavu in 2006. The biggest hurdle over, we now had a week to prepare Dallandra for a 4 month lay-over and get down to Brisbane to catch our flight back to New Zealand.

A Change of Plans

18 October 2007 | Bundaberg
Robyn
Health problems in foreign countries, even with our Aussie cussies, get complicated. After diverting to Gladstone on our way North, to consult a doctor about Ron's all too evident kidney stone, we sat for 3 weeks, and so did the stone evidently. Untold litres of Dr Grewal's kidney flushing brew, (soda water, lemonade and a smidgeon of light ale) improved the situation, but didn't solve it. It was fast becoming an inescapable truth, that this was an expensive and unpleasant exercise. Despite a reciprocal agreement between NZ and Oz for medical care, without a Medicare card Kiwis pay top dollar, unless they are admitted to a Base Hospital. Gladstone's allure had begun to wear a bit thin.(I think it was the coal dust on the freshly cleaned upholstery that did it for me, or maybe the realisation that our lungs would be looking pretty much like our streaky, blackened deck every morning.) Anyway a change of plans (how unlike us) was in order. After a few phone calls to ascertain the best deal for leaving Dallandra in a safe, clean marina, we decided to bring our trip home to NZ forward a couple of months. This meant heading South again to Bundaberg 80 nm down the coast, preparing Dallandra for a 3-4 month layover and then flying back to NZ on Oct 24.
Of course Murphy stepped in once again - he's been rather busy in our lives this year, and ordered a Southerly change, with thunderstorms and strong winds. We waited out the next 3 days. Finally on Monday a weather window opened and we headed out, hoping that the Southerly would be gentle with us and particularly with Ron who was still feeling off colour.

A Tribute to Jim Cook

13 October 2007 | 1770 and Agnes Water
Robyn
Suffering from an excess of insect repellant, heat and cabin fever, we hired a car for a drive down the coast to the historic township of 1770, so named because Jim Cook stopped off here briefly on his way up the coast on May 24 1770, along with shipmate Joe Banks.
1770 is a sleepy little holiday village of perhaps 100 batches - some of which are still the modest little fribrolite constructions of the 1960s, while others, with the developer's discovery of this coastal gem in the late 1990s are enormous highset luxurious mansions. The place is built around the edge of an estuary, with a shallow sand bank strewn bay, which reminded us of Waikawa, below the Catlins, although the temperature is probably on average 20 degrees higher!
Jim didn't actually do anything at 1770 - he didn't even name the place - that came much later to cash in on his brief stop, however, there is a memorial to mark his stopover. Set in a garden with very nautical wooden bollards, the monument looks remarkably like an outhouse for a Mongolian yurt. Constructed from mortar and riverstones it struggles with the concept of symmetry and is about as in tune with it's purpose and surroundings as Dr Who's Tardis would be if it landed in Antarctica. The bronze plaque records a very succinct statement to the effect that Jim was anchored under the point and that is it. No information displays, and historical notes, no pictures of the Endeavour or pertinent quotes from his log, not even a clear picture of where he anchored. I couldn't help thinking they needed DOC to take them in hand.
Vessel Name: Dallandra
Vessel Make/Model: 47ft custom-built Carroff
Hailing Port: Dunedin New Zealand
Crew: Ron and Robyn Brady
About:
In Dec 2003, Ron and Robyn retired from the Fishing Industry and primary teaching, sold their North Otago farm and moved onboard S.V.Dallandra,their 47ft French designed and built ketch. Sailing from Otago Harbour in 2004, they meandered North to other NZ ports before venturing offshore in 2005. [...]
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Dallandra's Photos -

The Shipping News

Who: Ron and Robyn Brady
Port: Dunedin New Zealand