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.
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.
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.
A few drips appeared inside after the downpour. The never ending job of resealing hatches was on again the next morning!
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!
This is what this part of the bay looks like from the air: a maze of channels and mangrove islets.
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.
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!