Gold Coast based for the pre sailing season preparations.
We spent three months home on the Gold Coast with Barry covering most of the boat jobs while I worked a couple of days a week and helped out getting Vera Jean ready with the cleaning and provisions. The big addition to Vera Jean was our brand new Head Sail!!
I also got around the coast catching up with people when possible. It was difficult saying goodbye to our dear friends and family again but adventure on the ocean and reefs await!!
The Adventure Begins……..
Departed Southport at 5.45 am on the 4th of May with the rising tide to assist our sail north along South and North Stradbroke Islands into Moreton Bay.
We had an uneventful first morning, however that was to change when we were beaten by a front passing across us as we passed the Port of Brisbane. Luckily it was all over without any damage or set backs to our journey.
We were treated to a spectacular sunset as we anchored for the night near the Redcliffe jetty.
The next morning we departed at dawn and made excellent progress underway with our big beautiful MPS (multi-purpose sail) to anchor for the night at Noosa.
We had friends following our journey past Sunshine Beach as they waved from their balcony. That was a real highlight Sally!
After a reasonable stay out the front of Noosa Main Beach we continued our journey north to the stepping off point for the Wide Bay Bar, which is Double Island Point and Rainbow Beach.
Double Island Point – Rainbow Beach
The coloured sands of Rainbow beach are spectacular and as it was calm we anchored in the lagoon behind the sandbar I found time to begin my Art of Sailing Journal………
Wide Bay Bar
After a very pleasant night’s sleep in the lagoon we woke before dawn to sail the final couple of hours to the first way point of the Wide Bay Bar.
The Wide Bay Bar is fairly notorious among Queensland’s coastal sailors for ships coming to grief when crossing at the wrong stage of the tide or in less than fair conditions. Here are the contact details for the VMR Tin Can Bay who will provide the latest way points and to log on for your crossing.
Call Sign: VMR417 Call Sign Name: Coast Guard Tin Can Bay 27mhz: 88 & 90 VHF: 16, 67, 80, 82 Mobile: 0419 798 651
While Frankie joined us on the deck with life jacket firmly in place Pamellie stretched herself out staying cosy in her quarters.
Fraser Island, The World’s Largest Sand Island!
Once through the bar we made our way using the tides up to our first anchorage at Fraser Island.
Yankee Jacks – Our first anchorage in the Great Sandy Straits
We spend a couple of nights here recovering from our four day sailing trip and enjoy the calm waters and stunning sunsets.
Frankie gets to stretch out having fun with some sand bar and paddle board activities.
Moon Point – Fraser Island
Our next stop is the large sandbar to the north west of Moon Point. We spend the day anchored in the crystal clear waters on the western side of the bank.
We were spoilt with the stunning colours of the sunsets across to the west on the mainland of Hervey Bay.
Up The Creek at Moon Point
Knowing we were in for a few days of wind warnings and unpleasant sea conditions we chose to join some sailing friends, Adele and Paul who sail on board their catamaran ‘Saltpeter’ who were taking shelter up the creek near Moon Point. We have enjoyed their great company while waiting out the blow.
The waterways on the western side of Fraser Island are teeming with life. As we paddled up the creek at Moon Point we skimmed over sting rays and saw schools of bream and whiting with an occasional flathead lurking in the shallows of the sandbanks. The Northern entrance is only navigable at high tide by canoe, paddle board or very tentatively by tender as there is some very nasty tree debris throughout which would cause some pretty bad damage if struck.
Here is a pic of Saltpeter and some taken of the paddle Adele I did up the creek.
The Dingoes of Fraser Island
We sighted dingoes everyday in and around Moon Point. “Dingoes are protected across Queensland’s national parks, conservation parks, recreation areas and lands in marine parks. These dingoes are defined under the various Acts as ‘wildlife’ or ‘native wildlife’ and should be left to live wild. They should never be confused with or treated as domestic dogs. In fact, dingoes cannot be kept as pets in Queensland at all.” https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/fraser/pdf/be-dingo-safe-flyer.pdf
Farewell to Moon Point
Spectacular Wathumba Creek and Platypus Bay, the Humpbacks Paradise
We had a fabulous day sailing from Moon Point to Wathumba Creek at the southern end of Platypus Bay. Wathumba has changed every time I have visited in the past 30 years. Years of tides, cyclones and weather events constantly shift the creek’s channel and the sandbanks into the key hole. It is advised to scout the channel and depths prior to entering and is recommended for shallow drought vessels only. We were too early in the season for sighting any Humpbacks but we know they won’t be far behind us…..
With it’s ever changing and shifting sand banks Wathumba has contrasts of dark chocolate tannin to crystal clear aqua and ocean blue colours. It’s an artist’s paradise and motivates me to capture the hues and moods of the sky and waters as I paddle out on the rising tide.
Next time on Board Vera Jean………………
Fraser to Rum Town!
Stay tuned for our next leg as we sail up the Burnett River to the rum town of Bundaberg and out to the Southern Great Barrier Reef.