Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Scarborough to Cape Capricorn

Hi all

We left Scarborough Marina on Monday 5th May with fine seas playing Graeme Connors “I get a little further north each year”. We had our two doggies on board and the weather was so fine we motored all the way to Caloundra where we caught some good wind and had a lovely sail into Mooloolaba where we anchored in the river just off Underwater World. We had four wonderful days with our dogs which made it all the harder to say goodbye when Amy came to collect them on the Friday. It left a big gap on the boat and in our time.

We left Mooloolaba on the Saturday and spent the night at Double Island Point which despite all we had heard about it was a great place to be. Crossed the Wide Bay Bar on Mother’s day and headed for Garry’s Anchorage – a nice sail up. The following day it was through the Sandy Straits to Kingfisher Bay where we spent a couple of nights in not entirely pleasant weather. Our bush walk was in the rain soaking wet!! But we did it!

Bundaberg was the next port of call and we stayed in the Marina longer than we intended – seems to always be that way so we have decided to avoid the marina in future if we can. First there were light to no winds then there was a strong wind warning the morning we were going to go and as it was blowing a gale at 4am we decided that bed was a better option! Got out of the marina at 4pm the next day and anchored in the river for an early start.

Arose really early on Monday 19th ready to head off – checked the weather at 4am and the strong wind warning was still current though the wind didn’t seem to be as bad. Finally decided to go at 6am only to have a pilot boat say clear the river, there is a container ship coming down. That held us up another half an hour so didn’t actually get away till 6.30 and were heading for Pancake Creek about 12 hours away and not a place to be entered in the dark!

Started off having a lovely sail then about midday the winds died off altogether and we had to motor. They called off the strong wind warning at 3pm!!!!

Arrived at the entrance to Pancake Creek just before dark and were very gingerly making our way in when thank goodness for a boat called Windsong IV – she roared past us obviously done it many times before so we charged after her and pulled up just in front of her in the anchorage just as the light faded. When we woke up the next morning and saw where we were we went oh my goodness!!! A very narrow channel and thats about all when the tide is out. Anyway we only touched bottom once and glanced off one red beacon (and no Dell was not at the helm!!!)

Tried to find our way up to the Bustard Head lighthouse but had a bit of a problem till we realised that you head across the swamp to the holey jocks on the tree and bushbash for 20 metres or so and there is the track! Had a wonderful trek up and were greeted at the lighthouse by the acting caretakers and shown around. Certainly worth the trek up.

Left Pancake Creek on an incoming tide at 7am on Wednesday 21st – very gingerly I might add! The sea was like glass so we motor sailed all the way to Cape Capricorn. A big black dolphin played under our bow for a little while and as we had the self steering working we could both go forward to watch. Magic. Peter was also happy as after five strikes he managed to catch a rather large tuna. As we rounded Cape Capricorn the lighthouse called us up and wanted to know if we wanted to go up. Quite exciting getting a call from the lighthouse!!

Stayed the night in a little cove around from the lighthouse and went up there this morning. It looks absolutely desolate from the ocean and we thought they must have needed some company but there is a guest house or two up there and the people very kindly showed us round. The view was 360 degrees and amazing. We are currently anchored in another gorgeous little cove in the lee of Hummocky Island and tomorrow we head for Great Keppel which is something like 30 nm away so should be a nice sail.

Well that has brought you all up to date on our exploits. From here on in the sailing days should be a lot shorter between stops. And this is a great office to be working from!!

Dell & Peter Osterhage
Pacific Express

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May 2009