Posted by: glenswatman | June 13, 2010

20100601-10 AUSTRALIA Qld

201006

TUESDAY 1 JUNE
2010 –
Our last day on land, we hope. 
Pop to the shops to pick up a pair of gloves for me, just in case I need
them when handling ropes.  End up buying
a snorkel and goggles for Steve and a fancy watch, earrings ring and necklace
set for me (I really only wanted a watch but the set at $10, $6, was too cheap
to resist).  Ken seems to be feeling much
better so we sit out playing cards in the afternoon until we get “the
call”.  Nice N Easy is just fuelling up
and will be with us shortly.  It is a
real pleasure to see the yacht appear round the corner then dock in front of
Ken & Kay’s.  Kay & I have
prepared a cottage pie and bread and butter pudding for supper so we eat
together and begin to get to know each other. 
Sam is a New Zealand girl who has done a lot of sailing, www.thesailingadventure.com and
has lots to tell us in between Jim filling us in on a bit more about
himself.  We have a bit of a laugh when
we see “Bonking Chamber” written over our cabin, as the only couple on board
this has to have been done specially for us. 
We find heaps of storage space compared to a motorhome and it is easy to
unpack and store our stuff away.  Sam
briefs me on the toilet usage, basically you press a switch then wait for the
sea water to run into the bowl whilst the hatch is open and a macerator sucks
it out.  Sounds a bit like when you go to
the loo on a plane.  Our bed a plenty big
enough but I am too excited to sleep and conscious of lots of strange noises.

NICE N EASY 1, DOCKED AT MINYAMA

 

WEDNESDAY 2 JUNE –
Jim is up just before first light at 5.30am, so we join him.  Ken & Kay have given us their key so
Steve & I walk up to the apartment as they tell us they get up at first
light.  Not so today as we find them both
fast asleep.  They are happy to get up
and wave us off.  Leaving the moorings we
head out past luxury homes with their yachts anchored outside (see I am getting
to grips with the terminology and say anchored rather than parked up!).  Steve steers us through the last of the inlet
whilst Jim is running up the sails and then we are sailing proper.  We’ve a stowaway on board, a green frog on
the roof!  Running north parallel to the
coast we have good views and even see a few dolphins.  Sam & I set too cleaning up the cooker
whilst Jim gets to work on an electrical problem.  Can already see that boating involves much
more work than motorhoming so – no I very much doubt we will be looking to buy
one later.   We have a long journey today and the wind is
not strong so we end up motoring for most of the day.  It is really relaxing sitting out reading and
enjoying the sun.  The deal with us being
on board is that we will pay our share of the food and bring our own
alcohol.  Sam tells us the initial
stocking up of food works out at $200 (£120) each and judging by the amount of
stuff this could easily last us at least a month.  I cook us a pork noodle stir fry for
lunch.  Late afternoon we round the head
into Rainbow Beach, short of our hoped for destination but a safe
anchorage.  During happy hour we have a
magnificent orange sunset.  Jim has come
well prepared with 40 litres of homemade whiskey.  We have sausage sandwiches and trifle for
tea, play a bit of rummy kub and all retire at 8.30pm.

NICE N EASY 2, RAINBOW BEACH

 

THURSDAY 3 JUNE – The
wind has got up and waves are crashing into the yacht.  At midnight I give up trying to sleep and
move up into the salon.  Jim is out and
about securing lines and checking on things. 
Finally at 4.30am he gives up, starts the motor and sets the auto pilot
to take us further.  Luckily it is
daylight by the time we have to round the break into the Great Sandy Strait.   Sailing past Inskip point we see all the
people in the caravan park.  Just past
the ferry we anchor up in a channel, have breakfast and then a nap.  It is then a couple of hours motoring up to
Garrys Anchorage on Fraser Island.  En
route we see turtles bobbing out of the water. 
This is a beautiful spot and a few other yachts are already making the
most of it.  After omelette for lunch Jim
takes us ashore in the tinny (a small tin boat).  Fraser is the largest sand island in the
world with no proper roads and only access for a 4wd vehicle.  The “road” to our right is closed so we head
off in the opposite direction, and a few minutes later think why bearing in
mind we are walking!  Anyway the track
reveals nothing other than views of the water and forest so we back track along
the closed road for more of the same. 
The mosquitoes are beginning to bite so we return to Nice “N” Easy for a
shower.     After
happy hour and a beautiful sunset we eat. 
Jim is the other cook and he treats us to a nice beef in black bean stir
fry, can see we are not going to starve on board and the diet may just have to
begin tomorrow. Round off the evening playing Euchre.  The water is like a mill pond and we could
easily be on land as there is no movement at all on board making for a good
sleep.

NICE N EASY 3, FRASER ISLAND GARRYS ANCHORAGE

 

FRIDAY 4 JUNE – When
we get up around 7am the skies are blue and the decks are wet with condensation
so Steve sets too swabbing them.  Our
destination is South White Cliffs, further up the Fraser Island coast.  It is another nice journey with opportunity
to bask up on deck.  Unfortunately when
we arrive the wind is coming from a bad direction and coupled with the tide the
boat keeps spinning on its anchor which is not good.  Jim and Sam decide we should move to a more sheltered
place but Jim is not sure where.  By
chance I’ve been reading “Cruising the coral coast” which is on board.  It is a bit like a camping guide pointing out
all the anchorages in Queensland plus info on predominant wind direction and
things to do in the area.  Within Hervey
Bay on the mainland is the Mary River with Susan River attached and this sounds
like good shelter in the northerlies.  Unfortunately
the river entrance is also very windy but just outside we find calm waters by
the ferry ramp.  It is mid afternoon so
after a cool drink the lads begin a spot of fishing. First catch to Jim but it
is a toad fish, the type that puff up, and not use for eating or bait.  Between them they catch about a dozen toads,
Jim a whiting and Steve a queenie and a grinner but none big enough to eat.  Pork chops for supper tonight! Sam teaches me
a couple of the main knots used to fasten lines around the boat whilst Steve
learns a bit about navigation.  Round
things off with a nice competitive close game of Canasta.

NICE N EASY 4, MOUTH OF MARY AND SUSAN RIVERS, NORTH HEAD
RIVER HEADS

 

SATURDAY 5 JUNE – Heading
off we get stuck on a sand bank.  The
tide is going out so Jim calculates we have 1-hour to low tide then just over
1-hour more before we will re float. 
However towards the end he does a bit of jiggling using the motors and
has us afloat.  Cutting back across
Hervey Bay we return to Fraser Island at the Eco designed Kingfisher
Resort.  It is a very nice area where you
can rent accommodation or buy bungalows, all very expensive.  However visitors can use a public area with a
bar and small pools but the water is extremely cold.  After lunch we find ourselves crowded out
with yachts so Jim heads of to Woody Island in the middle of the Bay.  Alone again we settle in for a bit of
sunbathing and fishing.  Sam & Jim
head to bed early whilst we stay up watching a movie.

NICE N EASY 5, WOODY ISLAND

 

SUNDAY 6 JUNE – It
turns out to be Jim’s birthday but we did not know about it in time to do
anything for him.  He doesn’t seem the
least worried and once we have moved further up the coast he anchors up and
begins painting the decks.  Steve tries a
bit of fishing but just catches small fish including one known as the “happy
moment” as once you get it close you realise it is covered in spines that can poison
you.  The boat was packed up quickly when
Joan & Jim found themselves running out of time so each day Sam & I try
to find a cupboard to reorganise or to re locate some of the food.   So far there has not been time to be bored
at all.

NICE N EASY 6, NORTH END OF WOODY ISLAND

 

MONDAY 7 JUNE – One
of the brackets that hold the starboard engine in place is broken so Jim plans
to go into Urangan Marina in Hervey Bay to get it fixed.  First we pull up to the diesel pump for fuel
with Steve holding a piece of wood on top of the engine to steady it whilst Jim
manoeuvres.  Next we anchor in the
marina.  Overnight fees seem steep at $50
(£30).  Jim is happy to find a
replacement bracket for $50 (£30) and he soon has it fixed in place.  Steve, Sam and I walk over 1km to the
shopping centre to pick up a few important things, such as a can opener!  One of the downsides of being on a yacht is
that you don’t have land transport.  Make
full use of the shower and laundry facilities in the marina.  Just up the road is “Colonial Village YHA”
with a happy hour from 6pm – 7.30pm. 
We’ve arranged to meet our friends Errol and Jackie there.  They live in Hervey Bay and we haven’t seen
them since 2005 when we were together for “Christmas in July” at Taylorwood.  It is a very nice backpacker’s hostel but
with double rooms at $50 and double en-suite at $75 far from cheap.  They do an evening salad buffet for $5 (£3)
and for $8 (£4.80) you can have the buffet and a burger which most of us do.  Steve & Jim show a couple of youngsters
how to play pool then Steve helps them with info on South America where they
are heading.  They all comment on how
expensive Australia is, think it is a combination of increased prices and the
exchange rate.  We have a good time
chatting to Errol & Jackie who are both extremely active for people in
their 60’s.  Back to the marina at 8.30pm
and early to bed, although not that early as we seem to be the only ones still
up.

NICE N EASY 7, URANGAN MARINA

 

TUESDAY 8 JUNE – It
is still drizzling a bit when we get up. 
Jim manages at 6.30am getaway and we are rewarded with a beautiful
rainbow over Hervey Bay.  Manage to sail
for most of the voyage notching up a top speed of 7.4 knots.  Steve takes the help for most of it and
really enjoys himself.  Heading into the
Burnett River Jim finds we have an engine problem again as we cannot get it to
start.  Once we have anchored up he sets
about checking the problem and at once stage I think we should be moving the
“bonking chamber” sign to the area where he is working as there is so much
f…ing coming up from there!  Steve is
fascinated watching a huge sea eagle diving into the water to catch fish, the
ones that got away from his rod.

NICE N EASY 8, PORT OF BUNDABERG, BURNETT RIVER

 

WEDNESDAY 9 JUNE –
We move up river to the marina area where Jim makes some calls about
the engine problem.  Jim takes us to land
in the dinghy so we can catch the bus into Bundaberg, $1.80 (£1.10). There are
signs up saying “swearing or offensive language will not be tolerated on this
swear free bus”.  It is a long journey
into Bundaberg as we go via the coast.   I bought a new laptop power supply before we
left England and it has broken so I need to find a replacement.  In fact we have a very productive shop and by
luck the power supply I select turns out to be on special reduced from $80 to
$60 (£36).  Now all I have to do is work
out how to get a refund from Maplins in England!  Back on the boat Jim has been unable to sort
out the engine so will deal with it once we get to Yeppoon.  Jim makes use of the new roasting bags to
cook us a roast lamb supper after which we play euchre, the girls whitewashing
the lads 2-0.

NICE N EASY 9, PORT OF BUNDABERG, BURNETT RIVER 2

 

THURSDAY 10 JUNE –
We are all up early but the forecast if for strong winds.  Our next destination is directly out to sea
to some islands so this would not be good. 
Decision I made to stay on another day. 
I cook up a roast beef for lunch and we don’t have time to get bored as
we read, do puzzles and play cards the rest of the day.  In the evening we begin to learn the card
game “500”, a kind of mid way between Euchre and Bridge with the hardest part
being learning the bidding.

NICE N EASY 10, PORT OF BUNDABERG, BURNETT RIVER 3

 

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