15 November 2018 | Illuka. NSW
Plan A had been to hit Brisbane, clear in with the assorted Polis, see a few friends then take a short cut down the sheltered inside channels from Brissie to Southport, just as we did last year in Beige Bandit. That was the plan until Anne reminded me of a conversation back at early morning coffee time in Noumea when Paw Paw told us to watch out for low slung wires. Now, we didn't remember seeing any wires last year let alone some suffering from dropsy and I guess it slipped our minds - probably a filter in there somewhere so as not to screw up our perfectly prepared, and imagined, passage plan where we conjured up a leisurely cruise through the islands, sunshine, calm seas and fifteen knots from just aft the beam. Faced with the reality that we are now three or so metres taller than Beige Bandit, as old Time Bandit will now be known, we had to retrace our wake and head back north around Moreton Island, forty or fifty miles around the world's largest sand dune ....or some other claim to fame. Despite all this sand, you wouldn't want to sunbathe there. You won't get just get sand kicked in your eye. Judging by the number of 4WD vehicles thrashing along the beach you'll either get tyre tracks across your sun tan cream or buried in the output of spinning wheels.
Overnight we've ticked off the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. Both aptly named for their golden sands and year long, sunshine. We got the calm seas and the wind from back aft. We also got the full rays. As my aching head will testify, this is no country for bald men.