Cruising Log - Bundaberg to Tangalooma (Morton Bay) (16th to 19th December 2006)

Saturday 16th December 2006 Bundaberg to Urangan (Hervey Bay)

We set off about 07:15 and arrive at the Great Sandy Strait Marina about 14:00. Again we cruise with "A Vos Sante" who put up their spinnaker for the cruise down to Urangan. As we motorsail out of Bundaberg we pass Charlie & Betty on their yacht "Seventh Heaven". They call us on the VHF. They are just going in to refuel and continue to Urangan, so we arrange to meet there. On the way we see Neville & Barbara on their yacht "True Story". They are friends of "A Vos Sante".

Later in the afternoon we catch up with Peter from the Tasman C35 "Blue Dolphin II". Peter does whale and dolphin watching cruises. A big rainsquall arrives just as we are about to walk over to the Boat Club to meet Paul & Maree, Neville & Barbara, and Charlie & Betty for dinner. After half an hour the main storm front dissipates and we meet up with our friends and have dinner. We all are headed to Brisbane/Gold Coast so we arrange to go together.

Sunday 17th December 2006 Urangan (Hervey Bay)

There are wind warnings out so we all stay put for the day. We decide to leave for Pelican Point which is just inside the Wide Bay Bar on Monday morning early so we will have the tide with us for the trip down the Sandy Straits (inside of Fraser island). Peter gives us the waypoints for the shorter trip on the southern side of Woody Island.

Monday 18th December 2006 Urangan to Pelican Point (Wide Bay Bar)

We depart the marina early but by the time we refuel it is 06:20. The waypoints Peter has given us are great and we cut off about 40 minutes on our trip over to Kingfisher. On our way down the Straits we see Bev & Buddy on their power cat "Sea Eagle". So we motor over and have a quick chat before continuing on. As we approach the bottom of Fraser Island, the seas become quite choppy and short. We have to slow down so this part of the trip takes much longer. We finally get through the chop and drop anchor with our friends on "A Vos Sante", "Seventh Heaven" and "True Story" anchored nearby. The wind warning has now been cancelled and the seas are expected to subside overnight so we arrange to check the bar at 05:30 in the morning while the tide is suitable for a crossing.

Tuesday 19th December 2006 Pelican Point to Tangalooma (Morton Island)

We up anchor at 05:40 and are led across the bar by 3 Riveria type power boats, followed by our group of 2 cats and 2 monos, together with another 2 cats and a mono. The bar is a little lumpy but quite safe so over we go. Before we get to the bar we log on with CG Tin Can Bay and once outside the bar we confirm we are safely outside with CG Tin Can Bay and give them a report of the bar conditions. Soon we have the sails up and are motor-sailing on our way south. As we approach Double Island Point I notice a discrepancy with the rocks off the point. Our C-Map cartridge (which is just over 2 years old) shows the rocks on the chartplotter correctly, but as we zoom in on our PC based C-Map (CD version 9 months old) we notice the rocks disappear. I quickly check the paper charts and yes, they are there. The C-Map just doesn't show them as you zoom in. I have now marked them as a waypoint "Rocks" and will report this to C-Map.

In the morning we are forced to tack out from the coast a few times because the wind is SE. But as the morning goes by the wind gradually shifts towards the E allowing us to gradually turn out from the coast. By early afternoon the breeze is in the E and we are able to ease the sails for a course to Tangalooma.

As we near Coloundra we see a ship on a close course to ours and we call it up on VHF 16 and check his intentions. After confirming it is safe for us to pass close to his stern we do so. Soon we pass a turtle. It seems to be exhausted and is 10M from the coast in deep water - at last we get our prize - a turtle photo!

As we approach Tangalooma we note the large number of ships going down the channels for Brisbane Harbour. Their course takes them close to Tanglooma and we keep a close watch on them. While we are logging of with CG Redcliffe our friends Bill & Tony on their Grand Banks "Beva" hear us and call up to find out where we are. They are anchored at Tangalooma and we are only 30 minutes away. As soon as we anchor, they dinghy over and we have sundowners onboard. It was so great to catch up with them again.

As I went to drop the anchor, it didn't sound right so I went forward to see the problem. It didn't take long to realise that we no longer have an anchor. Apparently the swivel shackle had come undone. I had noticed the wire holding the pins had broken when we were on the hardstand at Mackay. I put cable ties on for a temporary measure as I didn't have any wire onboard - take note - need some wire to lash shackles. We were lucky we only lost the anchor on our way and not overnight while anchored somewhere! However, also note that the shackles hadn't come undone in the last 2 3/4 years. Anyway, that is why we carry a spare anchor of the same size/type so I quickly shackled the spare on to our chain and we were soon anchored safely. It is worthwhile noting that the bridle shackles on the bows regularly get lose, particularly while we are on a marina. A friend on "Tinkerbell" has confirmed the same happens on his boat. Is it the shackle or is there some vibration that occurs when tied up at the marina???