We have reached Fraser Island! Last stop before we head out to the very south of the Great Barrier Reef and begin the next phase of our odyssey.
But let’s retrace our steps a bit, since we haven’t updated you for a while.
A few days spent at Mooloolaba while the wind was northerly allowed us to get medical supplies, reprovision the boat and get ready for our cruise to the Reef. We have been in shorts and t-shirts in the middle of the day there… oh what bliss!
Mind you, sailing to Moololaba from the tip of Moreton Island was a very soggy affair. We had to stay out in the cockpit in the rain because of the number of whales to watch out for! If it is not the containers, it is the Humpback Whales! They are incredibly numerous, and very inquisitive.
In the process of sailing in the rain, we came to realise that Wade’s Musto Offshore gear is no longer waterproof… a bit of a bummer given the price tag, but we guess he had over 12 years of use. Funny though, mine is fine! Better not say that too loudly or I’ll be the one doing all the work on deck! So Mr El Cheapo went to the Fishing Co-op shop and got himself this wonderful two piece PVC suit… the height of fashion!
Attractive isn’t he? He won’t get wet, but he might get very sweaty if we have to sail in the rain again.
We left Mooloolaba as soon as the southerly breeze returned, on Sunday 1st July, headed for Double Island Point. We had super light, misty conditions which were too light even for Big O at one stage, and had to do lots of motoring!
The next morning we made it through the Wide Bay Bar without bouncing on the bottom – always a good thing. We are now on the west coast of Fraser Island.
As we were going up the Sandy Straits, we were lucky enough to see two Ospreys on their nest – on top of a channel marker! Thanks to catamaran friends Paul & Sjany on Skellum, who let us know they were there. And what a nice catch up too!
And a little further along, just as we were coming to anchor, we spotted a dingo on the shore and heard him howl! A warning, maybe?
While on the shores of Fraser Island, we wanted to take the opportunity to fit our second Raymarine transducer (the one we had so much trouble with) before we start wandering around shallow lagoons at the Reef, which means beaching Take It Easy. It is always nerve-wracking to willingly steer your boat in the shallows till it stops, and sit high and dry on the sand for a few hours. In the end when we tried to take the existing transducer off, it was just too hard and too scary. So we decided to leave it until we take the boat out on the slipway somewhere and don’t have the time pressures of a soon to be rising tide! Better to be safe than sorry. Not much achieved, but another experience under our belt! It is not a big drama, because we are still able to use our original sounder in the other hull. What a joy it is to have back ups.
While we were beached, we thought we’d take Bengie for a run on the sandbank. No dogs nor dingos in sight, we were on a winner! She had been staring at the sand from the sugar scoops. But she was not that impressed. She would run off excitedly then rush back to the boat, looking up, a bit perturbed. “What is going on? What’s happened to my home? Where is all the wet stuff gone?”
We did eventually float off in the evening. It was even more nerve wracking to motor ever so slowly back into deeper water at 9.30 pm!
Although we don’t have a sounder in each hull, we are ready to go to the Reef and are pretty excited about this. We are slowly moving to the northern end of Fraser Island. We will map out our itinerary and will tell you a bit more about this in our next post, so stay tuned!