Slow Sailing

25 February 2020
29 November 2019 | Vero Beach
09 October 2019 | Washington, NC
27 September 2019
06 September 2019 | Norfolk, VA
07 August 2019 | Washington, NC
07 July 2019 | Washington
10 June 2019 | Washington, NC
15 May 2019 | St Augustine
30 April 2019 | Black Point, Exuma
16 April 2019 | Bahamas
02 April 2019 | Washington, NC
15 March 2019 | Washington, NC
10 February 2019 | Washington, NC
22 January 2019 | Washington, NC
07 January 2019 | Washington, NC
15 December 2018 | Washington, NC
03 November 2018 | Thetford, VT
21 September 2018 | Bradford, VT
13 August 2018 | Thetford, VT

Making the Most Of It

28 October 2014 | Redcliffe, near Brisbane
Heather
From Australia

From Australia

From Australia

From Australia

From Australia

From Australia

From Australia

We've been having tons of fun and really soaking up all that Australia has to offer- which is a lot! Given that it's light by 4:30 and the loud but lovely birds have already started singing by then, we find that we're up too. Lack of sleep is starting to catch up with us!

I think we've finally gotten most of the sand off the boat from Fraser Island but our socks & shoes will be forever gritty. Once we left Fraser, we had to move south through the Great Sandy Strait which reminded us a lot of the intracoastal waterway. Shallow spots, minding the markers carefully, moving with the high tide, it was easy but required attention. We moved down to a place called Tin Can Bay with a cute little town by the same name. Tin Can is known for it's estuarine dolphins- the Indo-Pacific Humpback dolphin live in the bay and somewhere along the line, it became popular to feed them. Overseen by the regulatory wildlife board, the dolphin center in the harbor is permitted to feed any dolphins that come up to the beach at the center each morning. They are only given a fraction of the fish that they need to eat in a day so the dolphin remain wild but at the same time, visitors get a chance to see & feed them at their feet. Of course, when there's fish around, the birds come too so along with a chance to closely study the 2 dolphins that showed up, we also got to mingle with very large pelicans & cormorants. When it came time to feed the dolphin, one of the staff ushered the birds over to another area and fed them to keep them distracted but it didn't last long and before you knew it they were back over with us & the dolphin. The dolphin were so polite when taking the fish. Very gentle & playful souls.

After playing with the dolphin, we hopped on our bikes and headed for Rainbow Beach, 40km away. We wanted to see the Carlo sand blow and the rainbow cliffs. Part of the way was a lovely bike path but another section was on a main road which we hate, but sometimes you can't get around it if you want to go places. It seems that much of the East coast of Australia is park, one park after another often linked by hiking or bike trails that go on & on. Once we got over to the park, a friendly ranger made some suggestions for how to plan our day and we got it all in. We biked on the firm sand beach at low tide to see the colorful reds & tans of the rainbow cliffs, had a picnic at an overlook and hiked up a wooded trail to the sand blow, nearly stepping on another snake along the way. Still following in good ol' Cap'n Cook's footsteps, he supposedly named the sand blow way back when and it is still visible today. It's basically a sand dune that gets blown out by high winds in a certain area that ultimately swallows up the surrounding area's vegetation or whatever is in its path amounting to a huge mass of sand. We watched paragliders launch, hover & land from the blow which was interesting.

When we started the 40k slog back, we stopped at a boardwalked stream to cool off and for the second time that day, someone asked us if they'd seen us in Tin Can earlier that morning. Why yes, doesn't everyone get to Rainbow Beach this way? Oh right, NO ONE does.. After a long chat, he offered us a ride back which was welcome. We find that the Australians have been so outgoing & friendly and are real conversationists.

Heading out of Tin Can Bay for the harbor of Maloolaba the following morning, we met up with Slip Away again to cross the Wide bay bar. Many of Australia's harbors have a sand bar running across them that is dangerous in any kind of wind due to big seas. So we had to pick calm weather and get an early start when the winds are light to cross the bar. It was no problemo and we were shocked at how about 25 cruising boats materialized out of adjacent anchorages- all were waiting for this same opportunity to cross. Running along the coast all day to get to Maloolaba, we noted the shoreline getting more built up but even so, it is full of parks. We also passed a lot of empty nautilus shells floating in the water. But when we pulled up to one of them, there was a little fish that had claimed it so we left him in his floating home. The canal like anchorage at Maloolaba reminded us so much of southern Florida- in the way we don't really care for. Touristy & lined with fancy homes, you wouldn't know you were in Australia. We couldn't get the anchor to set well but there was nowhere else to go but into a marina so we stayed put hoping it would sink into the soft mud.

Thanks to Jan & Rich, we joined them the next day to meet up with their friend Cory, who took us out for the day to tour around. Jan & I had really wanted to anchor at Noosa Heads, further north, but we had to sail by it because the wind direction wasn't right. But fortunately, Cory suggested we go there to see the park & wild koalas so off we went. We no sooner got out of the car and saw our first koala, way up in a eucalyptus tree. He was zonked out but very cute all curled up and such a delight to see. The cliffs & trail were beautiful too. When we were coming back to the boat in the dinghy at dusk after such a fine day, Evergreen was not where we'd left it. Instead, it had dragged all the way down the canal anchorage to stop meters away from some rich person's seawall. Sitting in 12 feet of water, it had miraculously not hit anything and not run aground but we were shaken. Also, the wind was blowing pretty hard and we had to move around in the dark in a tight anchorage looking for a new place to drop anchor. We ultimately got the Fortress anchor out and deployed that for a secure hold but we were exhausted.

But we still got up at 4am with Slip Away and busted out of Maloolaba headed for Brisbane in building north winds. It was a fast, fair current lovely sail to get to where we are now IN A SLIP at Newport Marin in Redcliffe, a town not too far from Brisbane. It felt so good to be tied up and have the boat secure. We met yet another couple- friend's of Jan's and have been hanging out with them while here since they are great hosts. The first night was dinner at their waterside condo and Laurie cooked kangaroo since they farm it here. It was actually really good, sort of like mild venison. The next day we all went for a bike ride around the Redcliffe peninsula which is really beautiful. Redcliffe, you might be interested to know, was the launch pad for the Bee Gees. They have a good sized monument area tracing their path to stardom. I keep wanting to put some on to reminisce some. Redlciffe was Queensland's first colony back in 1824 before it was literally abandoned in favor of Brisbane. It has golden sand beaches, some red cliffs of course and there's a bike path that circles the peninsula and actually goes all the way to Brisbane. We did a nice chunk of it.

Yesterday, Laurie took us all to the Lone Pine Koala (and much more) Sanctuary which I don't think I'll ever forget. I love that place! They have well over 100 koalas just hanging out in their eucalyptus branches sleeping their days away. They sleep about 20 hrs per day, mainly because the leaves that they eat are so toxic and low in nutrients that it takes time to break them down and they are starved for energy due to lack of nutrients. So they move slooooow and prop themselves up between the branches making for some ridiculous postures. We got to hold one, pat one, and look at all ages from moms with nursing babies to those that were in their golden years. Very endearing creatures for sure. I love the perfumy smell of the eucalyptus leaves wafting through the air.

There was also a large open area full of various species of tame kangaroos and you could just relax in there on their lovely grounds to pat & feed them. There were joeys popping various parts out of mom's pouches, very large well endowed males that were gentle as anything and lots of juveniles to play with. I think this was my favorite part of the day. But then we also saw platypus, Tasmanian devils, wombats, a beautiful extremely endangered cassowary, echidnas, snakes, lizards, parrots, owls, emus and even a sheep shearing demonstration! So aside from great whites and salt water crocs which we have no burning desire to see, we've gotten a good look at most of the animals that live in Australia.

In between all this sightseeing, we have waxing & varnishing projects going in the early morning hours. I'm often out there by 6:30 before the sun gets too hot to chip away at all the maintenance. Being at the slip right next to Jan & Rich, we keep each other company and have been trying out various flavors of Australian ice cream which is very yummy. Flavors like caramelized fig are new to us. Neither of us has checked the weather since we've been here. It's good to take a break from the constant worry but I imagine we'll get antsy eventually. But for now, things are good and we have plenty to see & do right here. And when we come back to the boat, it is exactly where we left it which is a good thing.


From Australia

From Australia

From Australia

From Australia

From Australia

From Australia

From Australia

From Australia
Comments
Vessel Name: EVERGREEN
Vessel Make/Model: Tashiba 40 Hull #158
Hailing Port: E. Thetford Vermont
Crew: Heather and Jon Turgeon
Extra:
Hello! We are Heather & Jon Turgeon of S/V Evergreen. We started sailing in 1994 on our first boat, a Cape Dory 31, then sought out a Tashiba 40 that could take us around the globe. It has been our home for 19 years. We've thoroughly cruised the East coast and Caribbean and just completed our [...]
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