Goodbye Moreton Bay

We have started our trek north in earnest and said goodbye to Moreton Bay on Monday! We are now at K’gari (Fraser Island), keeping an eye on the weather forecasts for the Southern Reefs.

The last of Moreton Bay

We had a gorgeous weekend at Moreton Island with our friends Wendy and Alex from Gipsy and a couple of their marina mates, a great way to finally say ‘see ya later’. Sundowners, climbs up the Sandhills, barbecue on the beach at Lucinda, sharing of experiences, feelings and hopes… There is a special connection between us all, but who knows when we will meet again. It could be a few months or a few years! These guys will be heading off in the deep blue sea in September, not sure for how long or how far. That is the strange aspect of cruising friendships: precious, intense moments, but you are never quite sure when these will be repeated.

Here are a few images from that weekend.

From Lucinda we made our way to Scarborough to hide from the forecast southwesterly and thunderstorms.  The view towards the Glass House Mountains as we were sailing across Moreton Bay was stunning. These are a group of towering craggy peaks, the remnant of volcanic activity that occurred more than 25 million years ago.

The Glass House Mountains

We stayed anchored in the bay at Scarborough overnight, a first for us, with 40 knots blowing during the night easing to 20-25 knots by dawn. We were keyed up but safe.

D Day

Monday was D Day… D for departure, discovery, detox, daring… It was cccold: 12oC! Yes, we have spent too long in the tropics and have gone soft… Out came the warm gear including the Ugg boots. It was good training for Tasmania at the end of the year. The thought did cross our mind we might find it a bit too chilly down south! We were pushed along by a strong and gusty WSW. It was a lively sail in difficult conditions with gusts from 15 to well over 30 knots.

The photo of the navigation instruments below shows our position along the coast on the big screen with our speed (11.05 knots), the small Nke screen on the right underneath shows the apparent wind speed (27.1), true wind speed (28.2) – rather high! The graphic also shows the apparent wind angle which was about 90 degrees. The small screen on the left is our AIS (Australian Identification System), which enables vessels to send and receive identification information. So we can see the boats around us, their name, speed, direction and whether we are on a collision course. On the left the vertical Nke panel shows the outside temperature (18.3oC), true wind angle (port side 10.7o) and water depth (12.1m). All these are our sailing settings. We typically change what is displayed when at anchor.

The instruments as we approach Mooloolaba

We hugged the coast all the way, scooting along in flat seas with two reefs in the main and a few twirls in the jib. It certainly blew the cobwebs off! The wind lightened during the afternoon which slowed us down and meant we anchored at Double Island Point (DIP) on dusk. The days are getting shorter and all you can expect now is 12 hours of daylight. But still, 90nm in 12 hours isn’t too shabby.

Arrival at Double Island Point at sunset

For once we did not anchor inside the DIP lagoon, not convinced we would be able to exit when it suited us and get through the Wide Bay Bar with a rising tide the next morning. The lagoon entrance has shifted to the west, is currently right against the beach and narrowing a little more each time we see it. Here is a shot taken by Seair Pacific 10 days ago showing the lagoon at high water. It is likely we would be locked in at low tide! It is also likely the lagoon will turn into a pond soon.

Double Island Point by Seair Pacific

West coast of K’gari (Fraser Island)

We got through the Wide Bay Bar the next morning a couple of hours before high tide, with 1.5m swell and 20 knots of WSW wind. It was one of our more boisterous crossings, and we would not have wanted more swell or wind along The mad Mile! Once in we kept going up the Sandy Straits in totally calm conditions… no wind, flat water… go figure!

The Mad Mile

We spent a few days along the western shores of Fraser Island while the wind offshore was too strong to venture out to the Southern Reefs. We stopped at White Cliffs, then just south of Kingfisher Bay. We stretched (actually overstretched) our legs with a long 15 kms walk to Lake McKenzie yesterday and today as we post this we are sailing to Burnett Heads to top up our fresh food for the reef.

Anchored next to the McKenzie’s ruined jetty
Panoramic at Lake McKenzie

We are happy to be underway, are making good progress even though the weather is playing hard to get!

18 thoughts on “Goodbye Moreton Bay

  1. Absolutely beautiful photos especially those at the beginning and end of day! They belong in a book! Do appreciate the instrument panel . . . did not realize exactly what was instantly available . . . glad you are on the move . . .

  2. Beautiful pics Chris. Love the sun set.
    And terrific display and description of the instrument panel. Nice!!
    We are enjoying a gentle rocking motion anchored on a small reef overnight aboard MV Adora before we head off early to get further South to the Southern Atoll region. Going to surf “Mushrooms” tomorrow once we reach our destination. Hope you are both doing really well. Lisa’s still asleep and I’m going to do some Yoga now. Cheers

  3. Those waves wrapping around the sand behind Double Island Point look nicely cleaned up for a high quality surf. Did Wade get out the surfboard when you were nearby?

    • No, we did not stay there, just came in at dusk and left the next morning. The photo of DIP was taken by a light plane 10 days before as mentioned in the post… a very different day to what we had. We were on a mission to get into the Sandy Straits before the conditions were too strong to cross the bar.

      • Great photo of the lagoon, it’s such a shame it’s closed up for now it was such a great hide out whilst waiting for the bar to clean up.
        We can’t go north for a while have a great trip .

      • Hi John, the lagoon is still open… there were 5 boats in there when we arrived. We stayed on the outside together with half a dozen other vessels. It is just getting hard to time your entrance and exit with the tides.

  4. As always stunning photos, exciting times ahead, looking forward to living vicariously through your adventures while we prepare Gipsy to head off ⛵️ we will catch you in a few months ⛵️ huge hugs always

    • Hello Wendy, so nice to connect via the posts. Thinking of you a lot… reframing is on my mind after our chat. We have some good adventures coming up if the weather plays nice. 😘

  5. Nice, one idyllic area after another! Lagoons at Double Island Point looked amazing ….. imaging waking up in there and finding you need to shovel a few tonnes of sand!

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