Back to the Gold Coast

We have spent the last week coming south, back to the Gold Coast for some body and boat maintenance preparation.

This is our track:

Double Island Point

We have a love-hate relationship with some of the anchorages we stop at, and nothing is more the case than at Double Island Point, just south of Fraser Island, where a beautiful lagoon formed a few years ago, an excellent shelter for shallow draft vessels.

We love the lagoon, the setting, the colourful cliffs, the peace and quiet in the early mornings and late afternoons. We love the fact you are protected in there in all weathers. It could be blowing a gale outside, but you are snug inside, sitting in totally flat water.

The hate side you ask? We are not fans of the virtual public car park along the beach formed by hundreds of 4WDs which line up during the day, especially on weekends, but most of all we hate the jet skis zooming around at 20 knots, ignoring the 6-knot speed limit, the noise they make and wakes they create as they zoom around the lagoon among the anchored boats. One of these did not have a muffler and was particularly obnoxious.

To us it is a real turn off but the lagoon is a convenient and scenic spot to stop at on the way south. And this time we even caught up with a friend who rode his bike from Noosa along the beach to spend the day with us. This we really enjoyed!

This is what the lagoon and entrance look like now:

We keep wondering how long the lagoon will be accessible for. Every visit to DIP as we call it, reveals the sand spit has broadened and extended, the entrance has moved, the depth inside has changed. The entrance this time was right against the beach, getting narrower and shallower with each big tide. Maybe the next large blow will close it off, trapping a few catamarans inside! Maybe another lagoon will form at the very top near the Point. Nature is ever changing.

Moreton Bay

We left DIP on Sunday at 5am. It was dead low tide and we did not have much to spare under our rudders! We were bound for Moreton Bay, unsure of how far south we would get.

Leaving Double Island Point at dawn

We had to motor for a few hours, then the northerly picked up and we sailed under screecher to Moreton Bay. By the time we were inside, the whole of the bay was emptying out and we had 3 knots of current against us, slowing us right down. And then thunderstorms and heavy rain got us so we stopped just south of Tangalooma. “That will do” said Wade, after a long 77nm passage. Here is how it looked as we settled in for a well earned G&T – very moody with more thunderstorms to come.

Our overnight anchorage south of Tangalooma

A few drips appeared inside after the downpour. The never ending job of resealing hatches was on again the next morning!

Seals touch up job!

Next hop: the Canaipa Passage, replenishing the fresh food supplies at Russell Island and going for a much needed leg stretch.

This Osprey has established residence on the channel marker just up from the anchorage. You can see why, with a frame to hold the twigs in and a perch to check out those fishes from up high!

The perfect setting for a nest!

This is what this part of the bay looks like from the air: a maze of channels and mangrove islets.

Canaipa Passage
Looking south from Canaipa

South Straddie

With a strong southerly change forecast, we motored down the passage to South Stradbroke Island to shelter. When 40 knots winds blow and rain falls, all you can do is hunker down and wait until lighter conditions return. As we post this, we are hidden at Tiger Mullet, one of the channels among the mangrove islets.

Tiger Mullet before the wind picked up

And now it’s cold, wet and we are boat bound. The piano is in the saloon, we are overdosing on Netflix and the ‘goat’ throw is out for warmth. At least one member of the crew loves the cooler conditions and gets lots of cuddles. Beware, cuteness overload coming! As a friend put it: “snug as a bug in a rug”.

We will move on to Paradise Point on the Gold Coast when the weather allows, for a week or two of medical and tradies’ appointments then back north we go for a bit!

19 thoughts on “Back to the Gold Coast

  1. Bengie knows how to make the best of the cooler weather! Glad that you are safely sheltered. The shifting sands of the coastline is fascinating…lots of it going on here in the Pumicestone Passage – even more so since the break through of Bribie Island last February.

    • Hi Jan, lots of changes along the coast in these volatile times.
      We are actually enjoying the cooler weather too, sleeping better, much more comfortable with less humidity!

  2. I think we got out of the Gold Coast just in time with that weather you’ve had. Agree about DIP & those 4WDs. We were fortunate enough to be there during the week so it wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately we are overdosing on Netflix too. We arrived home with Covid! Haven’t seen anyone yet. Stay healthy! It isn’t much fun.

    • Oh no, Covid after all this time! Where do you think you got it?
      And you were so looking forward to catching up with your land friends! Look after yourselves.

  3. I loved all pictures, especially the portraits of Bengie, she is so beautiful. Thank you, Chris. 🙂

  4. Enjoy your stay in Brisvegas guys …. funny to see you all rugged up in Qld in Nov! We arrived back in Scotland this week to 0 deg! This after a max of 37 and nice beach weather at Sawtell in our last week over.

      • Family, friends, holiday ….. had an amazing family reunion staying at the farm motel I built in another life time (1980). See pic of me, my kids and all grandchildren on FB, in the treehouse I built (still standing after all these years).

  5. I certainly echo your comments on DIP. On my last trip Nth, some mongrel stole my kayak from the beach. After getting back from a big day walk to the lighthouse, that was a shock!. Never recovered, despite a police report. Very luckily, a friend in the lagoon gave me a lift back to my boat and a loan of a SUP, until I was able to get a replacement kayak/tender at Urangan.
    I was inside Bribie passage, having negotiated the new bar, when I “saw” you heading south on AIS. It was a wild storm. My anchor snagged an abandoned crab pot and dragged. Luckily got it to reset before I ended up in the mangroves. However did better than a 36′ power boat that was anchored 300m from me. He sank at his mooring.

    • Oh Graham, the theft of your kayak is bad. It is poor when we have to lock up everything. We don’t trust anyone anymore especially in popular spots. Too many stories of stuff disappearing. We certainly lock up Anui and the dinghy, but not so easy with a kayak!

      The rain was coming in horizontal when we were in the storm. Fortunately all sails were down! Funny enough we considered the bottom of Bribie but decided against it when a friend told us about the horrendous currents and shifting sandbanks.

  6. Hi there, I enjoy following your newsletters.
    Just a quick question, we are due for a skin check up and are currently anchored near the Spit at the Gold Coast.
    You mentioned a computerised skin check up, can you please share with me where you went for this?
    TYIA 😊
    Fair Winds & Favourable Seas!

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