Meanders along Stradbroke Island

It has been nice to move again: gentle sails, catch ups with cruising buddies on Sengo, Anapa and Thor, dodging dugongs and storms and stopping at scenic spots. Even Bengie has been able to get off the boat for a few beach walks.

Sailing with just the screecher up on our way to Canaipa

It is a strange period at the moment, though. Ever since our haulout in December we have really just been killing time… in a holding pattern. It is uncomfortable because it feels a bit pointless and the wet season has made it even harder, not to mention the pandemic. We are about dreams and actions and don’t handle waiting around aimlessly very well. But in the end we do what we can until we can do what we want!

Meanders

During our slow descent to SE Queensland, we followed a series of channels which run from Moreton Bay along Stradbroke Island all the way back to the Broadwater on the Gold Coast. We had gone through a few times but never stopped and explored. There is a maze of big and small channels in between islands, sandbanks and mangrove. Stradbroke being the second largest sand island in Australia, it should come as no surprise that a few of the channels next to it are silting up, some sandbanks grow and new ones appear! So you need to time your passage along some parts with a rising tide and proceed with caution. But there are interesting views and very protected anchorages.

We stopped at Canaipa, right between Russell Island and North Stradbroke, where in addition to watching the bottom, you also need to watch your mast height as you go under power lines! We stayed there a couple of nights then moved to Slipping Sands, a stretch of golden sands that fall down to the waters edge.

The calm after the storm at Slipping Sands
First beach walk in weeks for Bengie

Next stop after a meander through tiny passages was Tiger Mullet. As the name suggests, the fishing is supposed to be good! We did not try, but flew the drone instead while the breeze was light for an aerial view of our surroundings, then hid from thunderstorms. This was a very pleasant anchorage to sit out heavy weather.

Taking shortcuts through the narrow and shallow channels on a rising tide!
Very close to the banks and the mangrove trees!
Made it to Tiger Mullet! You can see the network of channels behind the boat.
Change of tide at Tiger Mullet
Return from another little beach walk for Bengie

The Tiger Mullet Channel is right next to Jumpinpin, a passage between North and South Stradbroke. No we are not stuttering… The word Jumpinpin is of Aboriginal origin. It is derived from the word ‘oumpinin’, the sweetened roots of the wynnum (breadfruit) tree which was feasted on when tribes met in the area.

The view from the dunes at Jumpinpin

At least we are in scenic surroundings and have been fortunate to avoid the violent thunderstorms that have been creating havoc around the region. You’d see a very red and menacing mass approaching on the radar and brace for the worst, but somehow it would luckily split and pass on either side of our anchorage instead of slaughtering us! It happened several times and we thank our lucky star!

14 thoughts on “Meanders along Stradbroke Island

  1. Great that you’re navigating again. There must be a number of places to visit and explore. Just keep away from squalls or thunderstorms. Take care. 🙂

  2. Interesting places to stop and escape. Good to be moving again but now it is back to repairs at Boatworks. Maybe even explore the land a bit. Be safe when doing so,wear your masks. 😉

  3. It’s great to see that you all are venturing out some, including Bengie. I was very much struck by your sentence, Chris, “But in the end we do what we can until we can do what we want!” that pretty much sums up the proactive approach so many of us are trying to take during this pandemic. It seems much more productive to focus on those things that we are able to do rather than complain about the things we cannot do. I love the aerial shots that provide a really cool perspective that includes your beautiful boat.

    • Hello Mike, sometimes it is hard to stay positive when we are so hamstrung by the weather and pandemic, but we are trying to enjoy whatever we can.

      • This past year you certainly seem to have had more than your fair share of challenges, Chris, with equipment issues, inhospitable weather, and, of course, the pandemic. It is indeed remarkable that you have been able to weather all of those storms as well as you have. This new year is, I think, going to be full of challenges as well, but I am feeling cautiously optimistic that things will gradually get better for all of us.

    • Hi Peter – we were in a fairly open area so mozzies and midges were not too bad… closed hatches in the evening and mozzie coils in the cockpit. Are you back on Selah?

      • Yep we are back aboard in Launceston. She was dry as a bone and completely mould free after 9 months closed up. Happy campers! Next Saturday we head head downstream to Beauty Point for a bottom scrub, sea-trials, then looking for a window to make the crossing to Lakes. After that we are at the mercy of the weather and the COVID gods as we head north!

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