Monday, 2 June 2008

Tangalooma to Fraser Island

Given the gorgeous weather, I was keen for a day sail, rather than our usual night departure. This had nothing to do with all the shoals, sand banks and reefs in our path out of Moreton Bay ... really. It did mean that if we wanted to visit Mooloolabah we would be arriving at low tide, coupled with the half hour "Securitee, Securitee" cry over the radio warning of changed bar conditions including shoals at 0.5m, I was keen to avoid this entrance. The next possible destination was an ocean anchorage at Noosa Heads, or Wide Bay Bar, the southern entrance to Fraser Island a distance of 84nm away. We opted for Wide Bay Bar. Neither of us have ever been to Fraser Island and the lure of calm water sailing in behind Fraser, long bush walks, great fishing, crabs aplenty and fresh water lakes was too much.

We slowly exited Moreton Bay via North East Channel on an incoming tide with good depths and no hassles, headed north, eased the main and cast out the lures. With limited supplies, no fresh fruit, vegetables or meats and our tinned and dry supplies run down at Tangalooma we were hoping to haul in a good feast. By lunch time Simon's fist victim was a Stripey Tuna - not highly rated for the quality of it's meat but we were more than willing to give it a go. Just after the sun had set, I called Simon on deck as the line took off again. Simon was convinced this was a big one and despite me pulling in all the sails in the end I needed to turn the boat before Simon could huffing and puffing bring it alongside. There were a few tense moments when the fish wouldn't fit into boarding net but in the dark we eventually brought it on deck assisted by the Pelican head lamp kindly donated to the expedition by Stuart. This LED head lamp according to the warranty offers a money back guaranty for everything except Bear attack, Shark bite and under 5 year olds! The catch, a 10kg Mackeral Tuna only just fitted in our empty fridge. Writing this 5 days on we are now sick of the site of Tuna for breakfast, lunch and tea!

We arrived at Wide Bay and anchored inside Double Island Point at midnight, only shortly after reading in the Lucas Guide, "Cruising the Coral Coast" that it is one of the most uncomfortable anchorages on the coast. Weather it was our terrible experience anchoring in the open ocean in 25kts at North Solitary Island, or the recent rolling at Tangalooma that had hardened us, but we were happy to enjoy a restful sleep in what we thought was calm conditions despite a 2-3m SE swell on the way in. When I dropped the anchor by torch light, the water was so crystal clear I could see it all the way to the bottom in 8mtrs of water! The next day we crossed Wide Bay Bar without incident, (why did I waste my time biting my finger nails all morning?) and headed down to Tin Can Bay and hopefully some shops.

After anchoring outside Snapper Creek we launched the dingy and went ashore where I got to feed a Dolphin at the boat ramp and collect some much needed fruit and veges etc. A new pair of crab pots also somehow found its way onto the shopping list.

After looking at the tourist brochures, a walk up to Carlos Sand Blow looked like a must. I managed to convince Simon to do the 1.5km walk by neglecting to the mention the 7k's to the start of the walk.

We had a picnic overlooking Wide Bay in the sun. Simon showed an interest in some of the wild life kicking himself for taking the binoculars of of the bag in the interest of saving weight.

As we finished lunch the wind picked up and and my legs got sandblasted as I ran for the shelter of the trees leaving Simon to pack up the picnic. The walk back was made shorter by the investment of a 6 pack of Coopers and we found a campground near the dingy where we could sneak into some showers to wash off the sand using surplus clothing as a towel.

Now we are provisioned and the supply of crabs in the bay severely depleted, we are moving on the the great sandy straights. As if we didn't get enough sand already.


theotherbear said...

I'm jealous of the crab haul you got! Sounds like you've been living it up around Fraser. It looks beautiful!

Anonymous said...

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All the best,