What do you do when you have the green light from the Doc to go and play (benign biopsy results for Wade), but the weather is recalcitrant and causes disarray with our original plans to sail a little way north? You mill around Moreton Bay, with lots of other boats!
The unseasonal, strong and persistent southeasterlies allow you to easily go north, but they promise to be a challenge to come back south to The Boat Works at the end of January. We have major works planned during our haul-out so can’t afford to be back late! When we look at the long range forecasts, there is no break in the wind direction. So our hope of spending time at Fraser Island and the Southern Reefs for January are thwarted. As you might guess, we feel a bit ho hum. We are not good at hanging around without much to do, feeling trapped and bored. There is only so much reading and watching Netflix we can do!
This week, we have made the most of a fairly ordinary time. First we got away from the Gold Coast on Christmas Day, anchored off the western side of Peel Island, at the southern end of Moreton Bay, something we had not done before, and with calm conditions, sent the drone up for a look. We were there by ourselves, while at Horseshoe Bay dozens of boats floated around the “normal” yet exposed anchorage in a Southeast.
The next stop where we still are was at the Southern End of Moreton Island, to Little and Big Sandhills. It was a rewarding view from the top after a sand blasting as we climbed up the steep dunes. We wish we could have flown the drone, but in 20 knots it is not a good idea! So the Canon camera had to do! Having it is a blessing as it helps focus our attention on the beauty of the seascapes, rather than the overwhelming sense of loss Chris feels at every hard climb we do. Chronic medical conditions have a way of drastically reducing physical capacity. We all experience this to some degree as we get older, but there is more to it than aging for Chris. Our life and health circumstances are constantly changing and we are forced to let go of parts of ourselves we used to take for granted. Finding one bit of magic you carry can be a life saver and minimize the heartbreak. In Chris’s words:
Even when I feel unwell or broken, even when I am angry or depressed I have something to hold onto: photography and sharing the wonder of what is around us, of our unconventional life onboard Anui.
Here is a gallery from Little Sandhill. Click on the first image to view each photo in full screen.
We walked up the Big Sandhill the next day, thinking at 1.5 times the height of Little Sandhill, it would be a tough climb, but it was much easier! Why? Because it rained during the night, making the sand cooler and harder. We did not sink deep and slip down at every step, and we also followed the ridge line up, for a gentler incline.
The views were breathtaking as we climbed up.
Check out the mesmerising patterns in the sand:
We also took the opportunity to clean Anui’s warterline yet again, as the green monsters had come back with a vengeance! Staying at anchor without much sailing for a month does that, but the last time we antifouled was 18 months ago, so we can’t complain too much. The dinghy remains as disgusting as ever. We will deal with it at the Boat Works! A good dose of citric acid is needed to get rid of the green muck.
The Sandhills is a comfortable anchorage which allows us to get ashore so we are staying here while the conditions remain strong from the southeast. Although there are many boats during the day, they are mainly day trippers which are gone by mid afternoon leaving us to enjoy the sunset in peace.