East Coast Cruising (2)
Tangalooma Wrecks, Moreton Island
|Date:||Jan. 23, 2018, 9 a.m.|
|Position Field:||27 9.89 S, 153 22.19 E|
We really enjoyed our time here especially because it was shared with good friends Scott & Sonja.
A mix of eleven old barges & dredges were deliberately scuttled between 1963 & 1984 in order to protect the beach from the harsh winter westerly winds & offer some protection for anchored boats. The result is some fantastic man-made snorkeling. The wrecks add a great dimension, the fish are very used to human interaction & are very inquisitive & fun & the coral is doing amazingly well despite the humans. Definitely recommend it!
Dockside Marina, Brisbane City
|Date:||Jan. 18, 2018, noon|
|Position Field:||27 28.28 S, 153 2.31 E|
We have just left Dockside Marina after a month, spending Christmas & New Year right in the heart of Brisbane City, what a treat! It was really nice to relax knowing Clawdette was very safe as we took advantage of all the festivities the City had on offer including a street parade, beach movies, carols, jazz bands, brass bands, fireworks & a light projection show. To get around we made great use of the City Hopper free ferry service that picked up & dropped off at a wharf only 100m away. Southbank was definitely one of our favourite spots & we spent many hours wallowing in the water at Streets Beach.
Wide Bay Bar
|Date:||Dec. 5, 2017, 6 a.m.|
|Position Field:||25 46.90 S, 153 8.42 E|
Another good crossing :-)
Great Keppel Island
|Date:||Dec. 1, 2017, 1 p.m.|
|Position Field:||23 10.92 S, 150 56.00 E|
GKI, as it is known as, is a great place to chill out due to it's lack of development which, is both good & bad. Bad because the local area suffers. It would enjoy, & benefit from, a huge boost in tourism & employment if there were to be a suitable development. Good because, from a cruising point of view it is quiet, pristine, has great beaches & clean, clear & warm water. Main beach is the only spot which sees any action as the ferries pull in there a couple of times a day. There is a bay to protect boats from most wind directions & only when it does blow strong persistently & the swell invades do you feel the need to retreat to Rosslyn Bay Marina, only 10NM away. The snorkeling is very good too, especially at Wreck Bay. We also caught up with NT cruising friends Garry & Lynne, who call GKI home. Needless to say we had a very nice time there
Whilst there, & just to keep us on our toes, a couple of storms rolled through, one bending our anchor! Also, a couple of our 9yo batteries decided to die & needed to be replaced which meant a spell in the marina.
Lady Musgrave Island
|Date:||Oct. 30, 2017, noon|
|Position Field:||23 54.37 S, 152 24.11 E|
What a fantastic place this is! Don't tell anyone! Let them keep passing it by whilst heading to the very popular Whitsundays!
This beautiful lagoon has everything, crystal clear water, fabulous snorkeling, a sandy island with shady trees & wonderful marine & bird life. We managed three separate trips out to this paradise, each time we were treated to new experiences. Simply stunning.
Hervey Bay Whales
|Date:||Sept. 15, 2017, noon|
|Position Field:||24 49.16 S, 153 8.73 E|
Platypus Bay, NW Fraser Island is the place to be to get up close & personal with humpback whales as they make their way back south. We spent many hours over three visits in the presence of these amazing animals & written words or photos will never match the real time experience. At one point we had nine whales within 100m of the boat. We were treated to tail slapping, pectoral slapping, spy hopping, breeching, 'snorting' & singing. The haunting sounds of their singing vibrating through our hulls was spine tingling.
We could easily spend the whole season there but unfortunately the area is quite exposed, luckily it is an easy & quick retreat into the Burnett River.
Fraser Island & Bundaberg
|Date:||Sept. 1, 2017, 1 p.m.|
|Position Field:||24 51.72 S, 152 21.22 E|
At the end of June we left the City lights behind & travelled north to The Great Sandy Straits & Hervey Bay. Crossing the troublesome Wide Bay Bar was planned meticulously & presented no problem :-) We caught up with friends Bruce & Kay in Garry's Anchorage & helped celebrate Kay's birthday, always fun to 'do' a birthday. After a few days exploring a little of southern Fraser Island & Kingfisher Resort we headed for Bundaberg Town Reach, approx. 11NM upstream on the Burnett River. There was a little 'weather' coming & we needed supplies so a good option. Town Reach is a very safe anchorage although at times a little 'tight' given the number of live-a-board locals that call it home. It is very close to everything & with a few sightseeing excursions thrown in, we had a very pleasant stay. Little did we know however, that it would revisit & that it would become 'home' for us longer than expected due to an issues with our anchor winch & sail batten ends which took two weeks to be ordered & made which meant we celebrated Roger's 70th birthday there, certainly not what we had planned!
Wide Bay Bar
|Date:||June 27, 2017, noon|
|Position Field:||25 46.90 S, 153 8.42 E|
Great, another well planned & safe crossing of this sometimes cantankerous bar ????
|Date:||June 19, 2017, 1 p.m.|
|Position Field:||27 28.15 S, 153 2.01 E|
Cruising up river was a bit of a thrill for Roger as he had dreamed of anchoring his own boat in Brisbane City after travelling to & from work on the river ferries in the 90s. The reality was a little different though given we were too big to tie up to the city piles & the river was flowing very strong which made dropping an anchor interesting. Luckily, we were provided with a mooring for the week by Noel, a great guy & now a good friend. The mooring made life very easy, we were not at all concern leaving the boat & going off all day sightseeing or, as it turned out, tracking down the best option for a new TV! Our existing analogue, which only worked through a digital set top box, decided not to! That said, we still had a great week walking & exploring & sharing drinks & meals with new friends.
Gold Coast & Southern Moreton Bay
|Date:||June 18, 2017, 1 p.m.|
|Position Field:||27 45.30 S, 153 20.88 E|
We were greeted at the Gold Coast by lovely weather so spent the first week or so 'hanging' around in 'Bums' Bay & Paradise Point, both lovely spots, especially 'low rise' Paradise Point which has a very nice village feel completely different to the hustle & bustle of the Gold Coast.
Moving onto Southern Moreton Bay & Jacobs Well &, many catch ups with our 2015 NT/Qld cruising friends, Bruce & Kay. We left the boat in Horizon Shores Marina which allowed us the freedom to travel around without any concerns.
As it turned out the marina proved a good decision as the weather deteriorated, turned cold, wet & windy so we extended our stay a few extra nights.
|Date:||June 2, 2017, 11 p.m.|
|Position Field:||28 37.65 S, 153 39.58 E|
Overnighting from Coffs to Gold Coast, rounding Cape Bryon
|Date:||May 29, 2017, 1 p.m.|
|Position Field:||30 18.26 S, 153 8.81 E|
In early May we headed for Coffs Harbour to leave the boat in the marina & head off to see 'family' & friends in Perth for two weeks. I must admit leaving the boat was a little unnerving given the storm there in June 2016 that reeked havoc with the marina & boats. In fact our good friends' boat, Singita, was there at the time & suffered damage. Chances of the same thing happening twice in successive years, slim we told ourselves! After a fabulous & busy time in Perth we were once again back on board & departing for the Gold Coast but not before spending a few days tripping around the area, courtesy of friends, Rob & Helen. We did a wonderful rainforest walk at Dorrigo, it was great to be 'out bush' again, something we don't get to do very often living coastal. Coffs has some beautiful beaches & the local area is also very scenic, we were very impressed. Add to a great climate & it would be a great place to live.
Slowly North, to Port Macquarie
|Date:||May 4, 2017, 1 p.m.|
|Position Field:||31 25.57 S, 152 54.45 E|
After a longer than expected wait in Port Stephens due to Cyclone Debbie & flooding on the NSW north coast we ventured out mid April & headed to Port Macquarie for a couple of weeks to catch up with an old friend of Roger's from his racing cars era. We haven't been to Port Macquarie before so, after a very exciting 'surf' across the bar entrance, it was great to learn from & be shown around by Rodger & Sally who have both lived in the area for many years. A loan of one of their cars, Rodger has 19 (!!), allowed us freedom to explore solo visiting 'Old Bottlebutt', a beautiful old tree & Wauchope to name a few.
Back on Board.....
|Date:||March 11, 2017, 2 p.m.|
Great times had in both Tasmania & Melbourne, really great to catch up with everyone. The Wooden Boat Festival (Hobart) was very enjoyable & so was the very loud (!!) Avalon Airshow in Melbourne, awesome!
Thanks to James, Elaine & their gorgeous girls, Emmi & Taylor, Ron & Peta, Dee, Wendy & Gil & Janelle & Wayne for letting us stay :-)
Now back on board with yet another few jobs to do prior to heading off again, this time slowly north. That said with the current weather situation we are not going anywhere, gale & strong wind warnings & loads of rain!
From Dipping to Mooring........
|Date:||Feb. 2, 2017, 1 p.m.|
After spending time in Lake Macquarie, Broken Bay & Sydney Harbour, all of which were fabulous, we are back at Oyster Cove Marine to leave Clawdette on one of their moorings out front whilst we travel & spend four weeks in Tasmania & one week in Melbourne. Haven't been to either for a while & the idea is to catch up with as many friends as possible.
Our initial plan was to sail down but decided given we had left it too late that we would wimp out due the cold weather & limited season left.
Back in the water :-)
|Date:||Nov. 3, 2016, 11:30 a.m.|
After six weeks in the works yard we have finally been relaunched! Admittedly, we did 'disappear' again for two weeks, so only four weeks of actual 'work'. Given Clawdette is now nine years young we wanted to take a little extra time to give her a full clean bill of health, which we have, so, with With new antifoul, new prop speed, a new prodder, a new mast head light & a good coat of polish, (yes, arms are aching!), we are once again ship shape & ready to be 'dipped'.
Plans are to spend a week or so in Lake Macquarie, another in Pittwater, then on to Sydney where we will stay, probably until just after Christmas.
Returning to Oyster Cove
|Date:||Sept. 19, 2016, 10 a.m.|
|Position Field:||32 44.07 S, 151 57.12 E|
We arrived back in Oz on the 15th & after a great couple of day wih friends Janelle & Wayne we are back on board and, luckily so far all is well. Clawdette looks great & has 'worn' well over the last five months, so far everything works okay!