Serene Sandy Straits

Do you prefer serene or exciting? Would rather wait or do? Well we have been serenely waiting for more exciting things to do! This last week we have been in the Great Sandy Straits, a 70 km long waterway that separates mainland Queensland from World Heritage listed Fraser Island.

You enter the Straits by crossing the infamous Wide Bay Bar. There is a distinct change of pace once through the Mad Mile as it is often referred to. From Inskip Point to the Sandy Straits along Fraser Island, you are in protected waters: calmer conditions, gentle scenery, a feeling of tranquility.

Here are a few images taken at Inskip Point on the mainland where we anchored overnight to time our entry into the Straits with the rising tide the next day. The bar can be wild and treacherous but not that morning!

Inskip Point, mainland side of the Wide Bay Bar
Rainbow Beach with Double Island Point in the distance, where we have come from.

Into the Straits

With about 10 days to kill before being able to head off to the Reef, we have again been in waiting mode, stagnating and feeling rather bored. After four months of sitting around we are going stir crazy! The tranquility of the images in this post belies the sense of anticipation we feel about the weeks ahead! For Bengie, no excitement, just contentment at being in flat water in the sun.

Bengie luxuriating in the sun on deck!

Although we can’t wait to shift gear, we have made the most of a very scenic region. The Sandy Straits are a complex network of channels, sand banks, mangroves, mud islands, salt marshes and seagrass beds. It is quite shallow and it pays to stay alert as you make your way through the maze. Some areas are only accessible at high water, but reveal extraordinary patterns of ripples, furrows and grooves at low tide. The drone came in handy to show the sculptural sand spits and the vast waterways around our anchorage at White Cliffs.

Low tide reveals beautiful patterns in the sand banks
Looking north
Looking south, a maze of gutters
Too shallow for Anui but fun in the dinghy

Stunning sunsets are the hallmark of this quiet place. Every night at White Cliffs, we got a different show of colours and moods.

And finally, we got out of the Straits at Moon Point, anchored there for the night, topped up our fresh water tanks and walked the beach, then onto Burnett Heads the next day!

Anchored on the northern shores of Moon Point
Bengie feeling adventurous underway
Okay, time to get down!

Guests for the Reef!

Today as we post this, we are motoring up the Burnett River to the town of Bundaberg for serious provisioning. If you are wondering why we have not rushed off to the Reef yet, it is for two reasons: a medical appointment on 3rd May for Wade and also because we are welcoming Wade’s brother Murray and his wife Maree on board. They are joining us for two or three weeks to share our Southern Reefs adventure at the Capricorn & Bunker Group. It is always great fun to have friends or family on Anui and they were quick to organize themselves at short notice to come up from Melbourne so there is excitement all round! Four more sleeps and we are off to our happy place.

17 thoughts on “Serene Sandy Straits

  1. Wow guys, so many beautiful photos and views! Have a wonderful time with your family in your paradise. ❤️🌞🇦🇺

  2. Wonderful as ever, great photos and drone shots of the area, I could feel it all

    The reefs are calling, enjoy it all and hoping to see some wonderful shots of the manta rays at Walangingi/Lady Musgrave

    Envy but so happy your on your way

    Enormous hugs lovelies ⛵️❤️⛵️

  3. Hi guys, when I come back to this earth I want to be a pussy cat..😎
    Nice pics as always Chris, the drone is such a useful tool.
    Smooth sailing.
    R and C

    • Hey Rusty! Good to hear from you. Hope all is well. Are you sailing or has it got too cold now?
      Yes Miss Bengie has a good life. She is getting older but seems happy.
      The drone gives you a different perspective. It’s good fun when it is not too windy, scary to land on the boat if it is!

      • Yep, we’re both well, moved into the new shack at Xmas so have had more time to go sailing, yay😎 but not enough as work got busy. Should be out this week as the weather in Melbourne is superb..

  4. Beautiful pictures, Chris! Seems like you’re on your way to have lots of fun with family! 🙂

  5. More adventure and family fun awaits, enjoy. loved the pics of the straits, sand magnificent. Fascinating. The water does amazing things.

    • The sand grooves were deep and looked amazing from the air. So glad we had the drone as the ruts looked quite uninspiring from the ground! Wind and tide at work… I remember beaching TIE there… no wonder it was sitting at a funny angle!

  6. Chris – do you ever feel the need to call out to Wade ‘You know where Bengie is ?’ . . . I do not remember how many lives a cat is supposed to have but that character does take a few risks . . . oh, have a great time with ‘company’ on board: how fun !!!

    • Bengie has been known to hide in the boom bag while underway, and when at anchor get inadvertently trapped in the engine lockers, or inside the cockpit lockers where she regularly explores… anything that’s left open is fair game; plaintive meows after a while give a clue about where she is hiding! She is a bit less troublesome as she ages.

      Our guests arrive on Sunday night… can’t wait!

    • Hi Mike, yes the new found way of using the drone opens up the wider views. As for Bengie because we were unable to take her on beach walks at Fraser Island with the dingoes, she has been doing a bit more deck ‘patrols’!

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