Akuna Bay Cruising Club

Sez-Am heads north - Part 2

Friday 11 June, 2010

After a stopover of several days at the Southport Yacht Club, during which time Bob played lot of golf, Margaret flew in, Keith flew home and returned with Jenny. We then spent a day at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show, catching up with several other members of the Cruising Club whilst enjoying the atmosphere of the show.

The following trip notes are loosely taken from the log that Captain Bob maintained daily.

Friday, May 21st.
"Sez-Am" left the security of the Southport Yacht Club at 7.30am for the next leg north to Mooloolaba. Leaving the Gold Coast Seaway in grey and overcast conditions, we experienced a low swell and consistent rain, occasionally torrential. Fortunately during the last 25 miles the weather lifted, and our arrival at Mooloolaba Wharf Marina was in almost perfect conditions. Our berth at the Wharf Marina was very comfortable, and we spent the afternoon wandering around this pretty seaside town, followed by a barbeque dinner on the "Sez-Am" with Bill and Stephen who were berthed nearby on "My Dream".
Day's journey: 89 nautical miles
Running Time: 4hrs 50 minutes
Average Speed: 21.6 knots
Fuel Used: 689.5 litres.

Saturday, May 22nd.
"Sez-Am" departed Mooloolaba at 11.30am in absolutely perfect weather, accompanied by "My Dream". We headed north to Wide Bay, where we anchored off the pristine beach for a cuppa while waiting for the best tide conditions to cross the bar into the Great Sandy Straits, which separate Fraser Island from the mainland.
We then followed "My Dream" across the bar, an exhilarating ride into the calm waters of the straits. At this point Bill opted to head north, while we headed south to the quaint little village of Tin Can Bay for our overnight stop. What a bonus this was, a fabulous marina in a tiny little village full of charm and character, but not much else. An additional surprise was the restaurant at the marina, which had come highly recommended by the crew from "Galene" who had dined there the previous night, a sensational meal at a budget price in a unique environment. Can this get any better??
Day's Journey: 65 nautical miles
Running time: 4.25 hours
Fuel Used: 524 litres

Sunday, May 23rd.
As today's plan was only a only a short distance up the straits to Garry's Anchorage, we were in no rush to depart Tin Can Bay, so we enjoyed breakfast with the dolphins at the local wharf before a short walk around the area to find a local bakery. We left the marina at 11.40am on a rising tide for our next stopover, on anchor at Garry's Anchorage, where we launched the dingy for a short break on Fraser Island before enjoying a barbeque while watching another wonderful sunset. A strong tidal flow and southerly winds with some showers made for a noisy night, but when you're having this much fun, who cares?

Monday, May 24th.
We departed Garry's Anchorage at 7.20am to catch the tide, for another short run up to the Great Sandy Straits Marina at Urangan (Hervey Bay). The trip was fascinating, following the GPS and watching the channel markers in overcast conditions. The main channels, though well marked, can be confusing, but with the combined intelligence of the crew we reached the marina unscathed at 9.45am.
Coincidentally we reached the fuel wharf only moments before "Galene", so for a brief moment there were two Akuna Bay boats sharing the fuel wharf at Urangan. We had planned a night on the marina, while "Galene" was heading for Lady Musgrave Island that day, a run of about 110 nautical miles.
After securing our berth, we had a very late breakfast on the marina, and wandered downtown to stock up on some groceries. Dinner was enjoyed at a restaurant on the marina before retiring after another great day.
From Tin Can Bay we had covered 48.4 nautical miles
Fuel used: 360 litres

Tuesday, May 25th.
The original plan had been to head for Lady Musgrave Island and rendezvous with "Galene" and "My Dream", however the marine weather forecast was not encouraging, and as there is little weather protection in the lagoon at Lady Musgrave, we decided to head for Gladstone. A decision we later found was well vindicated, after catching up with "Galene" a few days later at Yepoon.
Our trip to Gladstone was effortless in almost dead calm seas, spoilt only by occasional showers. The marina and its facilities in Gladstone are excellent, and are administered by the local Ports Authority, as Gladstone is a major shipping port. We even had to radio Harbour Control to advise them of our movements in the shipping channel.
Bob cooked up a storm in the Cobb and we settled down for another comfortable night on the boat.
Day's journey: 125.5 nautical miles
Running time: 6:10 hours
Fuel used: 949.5 litres

Wednesday, May 26th.
We wandered up the hill into Gladstone town, about a 20 minute walk, had a nice cooked brekky before heading back to the boat for the next leg north to Yepoon. Departing the marina at 10.50am, we ran into bumpy seas and an uncomfortable north westerly wind, this slowed us a little and meant we were continually drenched from the port bow. Fortunately "Sez-Am" is watertight, and whilst a little uncomfortable at times we tied up in the Rosslyn Bay Marina at about 3:10pm.
"My Dream" was already securely berthed, and "Galene" arrived a little later after three very uncomfortable days at Lady Musgrave Island (but that's their story to tell). After 10 of us had a great dinner at the local restaurant, the Turners retired to their motel room awaiting the arrival the following day of the transport for the next leg north, David and Viv Marlow's new Riviera 61 "Classique".

At this point Jenny and I would like to express our sincere thanks to Bob and Margaret for their wonderful hospitality, and allowing us to once again enjoy the experience of several days coastal cruising with great mates..........thanks heaps guys.

To be continued..........