Adventuring in Australia with Tackless II
Tackless II is a CSY 44' sailboat in its tenth year cruising the world.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
27 October 2008 - Day 7 on the Road to Oz
Our last night the wind went aft meaning that for the first time on a voyage on which we expected to sail downwind most of the way, we were sailing down wind for the FIRST TIME! It became rolly and obnoxious and made us really appreciate the several exceptionally nice days of sailing we did have...even with the spate of bad weather. In the morning, we encountered east Australia's southbound current, which, like America's Gulf Stream, can stir up quite a nasty sea in any southerly wind. Actually, it was for this reason we'd picked the weather window we did, since the winds were relatively light as we crossed. Still we were glad to push out the other side and get smoother sailing as we approached and rounded Break Sea Spit into Hervey Bay.

Actually, except for calmer seas, bottom soundings, and a few more seabirds, there was nothing to suggest we were approaching land of any size, let a lone a huge continent. Hervey Bay is a big wedge of water off the Queensland coast that is framed by Frasier Island, the worlds largest sand island. Again, no sight of it. The wind went light, and in our impatience to arrive, we fired up the engine. Night fell after another handsome sunset and still no hint of Australia. Finally about 8pm local time, we began to see some lights in the general direction of our waypoint.

The last leg of our trip, four miles up the approach channel of the Burnett River in the dark, was surreal. The channel is marked by pairs of powerful flashing green and red lights which leaves you feeling like you are landing a 747 on a runway, and because the channel extends well out into the bay, most of its length you still have water on either side! Once inside the lights were fewer and the dark darker. We actually passed the quarantine anchorage on the first go and then had to backtrack. Although the Port Bundaberg Marina just upriver was brightly lit, it actually made it harder to nose our way in to the small anchorage where three other boats already had the hook down. We shut down, toasted our arrival with a celebratory cocktail, and put our heads down, Don grousing that he would have to keep some kind of watch during the night in such close quarters. The next thing we knew, it was daylight!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
yea, safe and sound - now please go count the women vs men so I will know whether to fly over there - ha ha :):) Congratulations on another safe passage.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
OK - have not heard from you - can't be that many women that it takes this long to count them :) I suspect you are in the Bundeberg jail - is it co-ed??? I know you know this but just a reminder - OZ was a penal colony and I suspect they still have that mental attitude - will gladly fly over to make bail :):) Doing this via my new Vorizon card on my laptop - yes indeed!
Uncle Bill

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