Hope Island to Great Sandy Straits
02 August 2008 | Queensland, AU
August 1, 2008
25 deg. 35.5 S, 152 deg. 56.4 E
In the Sandy Straits behind Fraser Island
We returned from a wonderful five week visit to the States on May 12 and found that Silkie had survived our absence in fine fiddle, tied to the dock at Hope Island Resort Marina, no drama, no worries, as they say here in Ozzie Land. We spent the next two and a half months at Hope Island finishing the generator installation and a few other items left over from our stay at Gold Coast City Marina. This time also included a two week stay in Baton Rough LA for John while he helped his company get a new contract going. However, we did manage to get away from the dock twice to drop the hook at Dux Anchorage on the west side of South Stradbroke Island, just north of here; first for three days with friends Christine and Jim on Twelfth Night and later for five days all by ourselves. What a beautiful place. S. Stradbroke is a barrier island, long and narrow, with large ocean side dunes, a windswept coast with lots of shells and an interior forest full of roos and birds. We climbed dunes; collected shells, took pictures, watched armies of little round blue crabs march across the flats to be picked off by swooping shore birds. On July 26 we finally cut the bonds that held us to Hope Island (weakened significantly by the fact that we had just about exhausted the collection at the local DVD rental store), said goodbye to some very nice fellow boaters we had met there, and started our long delayed journey to the Whitsunday Islands, some 600 nm north of Brisbane.
After one night anchored at Peel Island in Morton Bay, we proceeded on to Mooloolaba and took a T-head slip at Mooloolaba Yacht Club Marina, about 30 miles N of Brisbane, waiting out some high winds/seas to move out so that we could proceed north over Wide Bar Bay at the bottom of Fraser Island. We stayed at Mooloolaba last November on our way south and it was very nice to stop there again. We walked again on the boardwalk which runs through the trees above the beach for almost the entire length of the beach and enjoyed the espresso at Gloria Jean's on the esplanade above the boardwalk.
Our trip on up the coast and over Wide Bay Bar was uneventful as the seas were almost flat with only a small swell, the sun bright and the recently revised GPS waypoints for the bar crossing carefully entered into the chart plotter. Nonetheless we were surprised to see the amount of wave action that existed over the Bar. We've heard that this Bar is a real killer- -Heaven help the careless sailor who tries to cross in other then favorable conditions. We have now crossed twice with no drama.
We are presently anchored at Moonboom, about two hours north of the Bar, in the Sandy Straits, waiting in a protected spot for predicted 30 knot winds to blow by tonight. Today's chores include reading, e-mailing, writing this blog entry and making our third loop with an end to end splice in three strand nylon rope. This one really looks good. I think we're getting the knack of it.
All is well on Silkie.
Susan and John