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Below is a list of links to the main pages about my yacht, Catlypso and My Yachting Adventures:
  • Purchase of Catlypso
  • Details about Catlypso
  • Cleaning/Repairing Catlypso
  • My Yachting Adventures.
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    Michael's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of my Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
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    Click here for an article about Home Brewing.
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    "Bare Island Isolated Reefs have sea dragons, red indianfish and sea horses"
    2017 Trip - May - South Stradbroke Island to Kingfisher Resort
    Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Sailing to Queensland, Winter 2017 - Part 2

    Latest update 15 May 2017

    Click here for previous part of this trip.

    Monday 1 May 2017 - Coffee Cliffs to Blakesleys Camp, North Stradbroke Island

    It rained during the night, probably only for 15 minutes or so, but otherwise it was calm. We get up at 0800 and Michael takes Veto to the beach while Kelly gets breakfast ready. It is another fantastic day, sunny, little wind and warming up. We have breakfast and then relax for most of the morning, apart from a short time when Kelly cleans the helm area.

    An early morning shot of Catlypso at Coffee CliffsThere were at least 35 boats here fishing

    We take Veto to the beach again for a run late in the morning. At 1210 we up anchor and head off north along Canaipa Passage again. We are going into the tidal flow. We had thought that once we got towards Canaipa Point the tide would be running in our favour as this is where the tides from north and south meet. However, we miscalculated and had to run into the tidal flow the whole trip. This varied from 1 to 2 knots, so we were going very slow the whole trip.

    As we near Canaipa Point, we pass the spot where we anchored almost 19 months ago. Just round the point there are some excellent anchoring spots, we should have stopped here then. As we enter the main channel, there are dozens of small boats fishing in the one spot. Michael counts over 35. They are all casting small nets into the water. We have no idea what they are trying to catch.

    Kelly takes one of the new kayaks for its first runCatlypso from the beach at Blakesleys Camp

    Along the main channel we have to be careful as there are plenty of crab traps. People just put them anywhere, even in the middle of the channel. We would not want to be here at night time as you would be sure to hook one up. We arrive at Blakesleys Camp at 1430 and anchor just over 100 metres off the shore. There are about 10 boats here, but we figure most will leave before sunset (which they do).

    This is a very nice spot, protected from any winds from north to south-east, and perhaps even south. We go on the foredeck and relax and read. Later Kelly decides to try out one of our new kayaks. We lower it into the water and Kelly goes for a short paddle. Success, she did not fall in! Later she takes Veto to shore in Thunderbird 2 and Michael paddles the kayak in.

    Michael paddling to shore in a kayakSpectacular cloud formations

    On shore it is a great spot as well, plenty of beach area and plenty of shade. Looks like it is a very popular spot, pity there are no toilets here. After being cloudy around lunch time, it has again become sunny. It really has been a nice day.

    We are back on board by 1615 and later have sundowners before Michael cooks T-bone steaks on the barbecue and Kelly makes some salad. Another great meal. We read for a while before going to bed early.

    Tomorrow we hope to contact the engine service company that has been recommended to us so we can make arrangements to fix the port starter motor. We plan to leave here about 0815 if possible. We will see what happens after we call them (remember today was a public holiday here).


  • Departure time: 1210
  • Arrival time: 1430
  • Distance covered: 9.0 nautical miles
  • Average speed: 3.7 knots
  • Maximum speed: 5.3 knots
  • Engine hours: 2.3 hours
  • Elapsed time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Position at night: S27º 34.599' E153º 24.546'
  • Tuesday 2 May 2017 - Blakesleys Camp, North Stradbroke Island, to Raby Bay

    Last night was one of the most perfect nights you could hope for on the water. Calm seas, no wind at all. When we got up at 0710 the water was like a mirror. One downside was that the whole outside of the boat was covered in the heaviest dew we have ever encountered. Kelly took Veto to the beach while Michael started getting tea and coffee made.

    A panoramic photograph of Blakesleys Camp

    Just after 0800 Kelly rings Moore Marine to see about getting the starter motor replaced. We make arrangements to go to Raby Bay about 1230 and meet the owner, Bruce Moore, there. We leave Blakesleys Camp at 1000 and motor over to Raby Bay via the southern side of Peel Island. No way we could have sailed, less than 5 knots of wind at the most. As we pass the west side of Peel Island we see Skedaddle, a 45 foot Lightwave owned by Geoff and Anne who previously owned Two Shea which we looked at buying in 2014. We wave at each other (he was going to Lightwave apparently).

    We called Bruce as we enter the channel to Raby Bay (the western one that leads to the marina) and at 1230, we tie up to the public wharf. This is the first time Michael has ever had to manoeuvre in a tight space with only one engine, but we come in perfectly and tie up. The wharf is a floating one, with room for two 12 metre boats along the main side and two small boats at either end. It does not seem to get too much use.

    Catlypso at the wharf at Raby BayBruce Moore from Moore Marine in the engine room

    Just as we tie up, Bruce arrives and soon has the starter motor out. It stinks and looks like it has burnt out. We opt to get a replacement aftermarket starter motor at $500 compared to the Yanmar $1000 one. He orders it but it will probably not arrive till tomorrow morning.

    While we are at the wharf, two people come and speak to us, Ennis (?) and Sue. They thought that our boat might be owned by their friends, guess who? Geoff and Anne from Skedaddle. Turns out that when we went to look at Two Shea three years ago, it was on their wharf! Talk about a small world.
    Kelly with Veto in the parkMichael and Eric

    At 1830 Eric arrives and we sit out the back having a few drinks. Kelly later rings the Italian restaurant a few hundred metres away (Mumma Mias) and orders dinner for us (Eric had already eaten). Not a bad pizza. Eric leaves at 2045 as he has to pick up Ethan from the Air Force Cadets.

    Despite the engine problems, it has turned out a nice day.


  • Departure time: 1000
  • Arrival time: 1230
  • Distance covered: 10.3 nautical miles
  • Average speed: 4.2 knots
  • Maximum speed: 5.3 knots
  • Engine hours: 2.5 hours
  • Elapsed time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Position at night: S27º 31.426' E153º 16.023'
  • Wednesday 3 May 2017 - Raby Bay to Tangalooma

    As you would expect in a location like this, it was very calm last night. Even though we were just off the main street, there was little noise. Kelly gets up at 0730 and takes Veto for a walk and Michael gets up at 0800. We have breakfast and then Kelly heads off to Coles to do some shopping. We have forgotten a few things and we also want fresh bread and a roast chicken.

    While she is gone, Bruce comes with the new starter motor. He quickly installs it and sure enough, the port engine kicks over first go. We try it a few times to make sure it is all working correctly. The cost has been $550 for the starter, $18 for freight and about 1.5 hours at $110 per hour. Very good service, so we can recommend Moores Marine if you are in the Brisbane area for engine work.

    The dead starter motorMore spectacular cloud formations over Moreton Bay

    Michael then transfers two containers of water to the forward starboard water tank. Kelly comes back soon after Bruce has finished. While she puts the food away, Michael takes Veto to the park. We then prepare to leave. At 1015 we leave the wharf and motor out on two engines. Once out of the channel that leads into the canal, we turn north and pull out the screecher. We motor sail at 2400 rpm and do about 5.6 knots into a 1.5 to 2 knot tidal flow, with wind of 12 to 17 knots.

    Later the wind increases to a more consistent 20 to 25 knots and we even see 33 knots a few times. The sea is about one metre at the most. We are doing about 6.3 knots with a 1.5 to 2 knot tide against us. We have a very comfortable trip apart from the last little bit when we turn off the main shipping channel in towards Moreton Island and we have the wind and seas on our beam.

    Veto relaxing as we sail todaySunset tonight

    We anchor at 1420 about 150 metres off the beach, about half a nautical mile south of the Tangalooma wharf. Our first effort puts us a bit shallow, so we try again and end up in 3.4 metres. It is blowing 15 to 17 knots here and while there is a bit of rocking, it is all on the nose. One thing we notice, the port engine hour counter is visible again, the first time we have been able to read it for over a year. Wonder how long it will last like this?

    We relax for the rest of the afternoon (Michael is already reading his fourth book of the trip). At 1630 we take Veto to the beach, this is a bit hard to do as there is a bit of wave action so we have to anchor T2 off the beach a little bit. We go back, have showers, the first for three days since the shower hot water only comes from the port engine. Kelly makes pumpkin gnocchi for dinner and we have this with some beers.

    Later we ring Ian Gowan who is coming onto the boat on Friday. Our plan is to sail to Mooloolaba tomorrow so long as the forecast wind is less than 25 knots. We plan to use the main shipping channel as we figure this will be a bit more protected than the eastern channel which we came in via two years ago. We will make this decision tomorrow morning.


  • Departure time: 1015
  • Arrival time: 1420
  • Distance covered: 21.8 nautical miles
  • Average speed: 5.4 knots
  • Maximum speed: 9.2 ? knots
  • Engine hours: 5.0 hours
  • Elapsed time: 4 hours 05 minutes
  • Position at night: S27º 11.312' E153º 21.998'
  • Thursday 4 May 2017 - Tangalooma to Mooloolaba

    Last night we did not have the best night's sleep. At least four times (maybe more, hard to remember), the anchor alarm went off. We did some 360s, moved at right angles to the wind and more. The worst time was from about 2300 till 0300 when we spent a lot of the time at 90 degrees to the wind. We got a bit of sleep, but it was interrupted many, many times. It also rained at least once.

    We get up at 0545 and after checking the forecast and actual wind, we decide to head off. The wind is 15 to 17 knots at Spitfire Channel and the forecast for about 20 knots maximum. Michael takes Veto to shore. This was the quickest ever trip, not even two minutes ashore, as there were small waves breaking and even with a lot of care, Thunderbird 2 gets a bit of water in her. Back on board, Kelly has made tea and coffee and at 0615 we leave Tangalooma. We motor out into the main shipping channel and head off out to the open sea.

    As soon as we are in the channel, we pull out the screecher and motor sail. We could have just sailed, but as the forecast was for 25 to 30 knots from around noon, we decide to go as fast as we can to make it to Mooloolaba before then. It is 40 nautical miles, so if we average just over 6 knots we will make it. Kelly logs on with Coast Guard Mooloolaba by phone as they could not hear us on VHF 73 (but could on 16). The wind is between 15 and 30 knots, but mostly 25 knots for the first bit. We are doing 8 knots or thereabouts with one engine on.

    Kelly at the helm in the main channelA bit rough off Caloundra

    Our speed mostly varies between 7.5 and 9 knots. After a couple of hours Michael makes tea and toast for breakfast. Kelly sees a two metre long hammerhead shark as she helmed the boat. Nearing the exit from the channel, a large oil tanker comes in from the ocean. Kelly calls them on the radio and tells the pilot of our intentions. He thanks us for having AIS and calling them. He also tells us that while it was a bit rough outside, the bar at Mooloolaba is flat.

    Once outside the wind drops a little to 14 to 28 knots and the seas are a bit better than before. We pull in the screecher as we come level with Mooloolaba but have problems. As has happened many times, the rope in the furler slips and the join gets caught in the furler. This means it can not be fully furled. We have to drop the whole sail on the deck and then pull it inside a window as far as possible. This delays us by about 45 minutes!

    We finally get it right and cross the bar, keeping to the western side as we heard a Securite alert yesterday that the bar is very shallow in the middle and on the eastern side. We motor around (passing a 45' Lightwave, Blue Spirit - the sixth Lightwave we have seen this trip already). We anchor about 60 metres from where we anchored in 2015.

    Part of the screecher pulled inside the saloonKelly walking Veto

    Michael takes Veto to the beach while Kelly makes some lunch. We then do some work trying to fix the screecher, but we will not be able to finalise it till the wind drops (it did not today). We do some tidying up and Michael works out why the AM/FM radio would not work (he had not turned on the main power switch!!!).

    At 1600 we go ashore and give Veto another run around. There is a water tap here (need a keyed tap handle). This is just past the second marina near the anchoring location. Back on board we have showers and then sundowners. From 1700 till 1830 we are entertained by a 45 foot catamaran's dozen attempts to anchor in at least four separate locations. No idea why they had so many problems. They finally anchor to the north end of the anchoring area.

    We have a great lamb steak dinner (Aldi marinated ones) with salad and listen to the radio till we go to bed. A great day's sailing! Tomorrow morning Ian Gowan arrives for a fortnight.


  • Departure time: 0615
  • Arrival time: 1210
  • Distance covered: 9.9 nautical miles
  • Average speed: 6.7 knots
  • Maximum speed: 10.7 knots
  • Engine hours: 7.4 hours
  • Elapsed time: 5 hours 55 minutes
  • Position at night: S26º 41.316' E153º 07.210'
  • Friday 5 May 2017 - Mooloolaba

    As would be expected, it was a very calm night and we caught up on the lost sleep from last night. We get up at 0720 as the wind was under 10 knots and we decide to take advantage and fix the screecher. We pull it back up, then pull it out a bit and roll it back up again. Then we drop it enough to reattach the sheets and do it again. It is now fairly good, but the sheets are a bit tangled. We will fix this tomorrow.

    Michael takes Veto to the beach while Kelly makes breakfast. After breakfast, Kelly rings the marine refrigeration mechanic. He says he will come in about 30 minutes. He calls us as he arrives and Michael goes and picks him up from the beach. We remove the fridge from its hole and Alex (Reliable Refrigeration) replaces the thermostat. We put it all back together and load all the food and drink back in (this will turn out not to be the problem).

    The screecher laid out on the foredeckMichael's lunch today!

    Michael and Veto take Alex back to the beach. At 1020 Ian rings as he is at the beach. Michael takes Kelly along with him. Kelly walks to the laundromat which is to the north of the beach (there is another one nearby as well). She does two loads of washing, our sheets, towels and some clothes. Might as well do them now. Cost was $5 for washing and $4 for drying (each load).

    Meanwhile Michael takes Ian back to Catlypso. They put all his things away and have morning tea. After Kelly comes back we go up the canal next to us to look for a supermarket. Kelly wants to buy a roast for dinner, saving the ones we have in the freezer. What a nice little canal, more like a tiny bay. At the head of the bay there are two small parks and you can access the main street via them (there is a nice pizza place here as well, we used it in October). There are lots of shops, cafes etc, but no supermarket, despite Google Maps showing one there.

    Catlypso anchored at MooloolabaIan, Kelly and Michael having sundowners

    We go back to the boat and get the keys to Ian's car and Kelly takes it to the local Coles to get the roast and a few other things (bread rolls, hot chicken). Meanwhile Michael, Ian and Veto go for a walk along the wharf area. We have lunch and relax. Later Ian and Michael take Veto for another walk. We have sundowners and then the roast pork and vegies that Kelly cooks. Excellent!

    It is not looking good to cross the Wide Bay Bay as the forecast at the moment is for 3.5 metre swells on Monday. Looks like we might be here till Friday. After dinner we watch the rugby league test between Australia and New Zealand, we won 30-12. Bed at 2200.

    Saturday 6 May 2017 - Mooloolaba

    We get up at 0745 after another calm night. It is sunny but the southerly is still blowing. Kelly takes Veto to the beach while Michael makes breakfast. After this Kelly packs up and at 0900 Michael and Veto take her to the beach. She drives Ian's car to the Sunshine Coast Airport and from there flies back to Sydney. She has to fly to Norfolk Island on Monday for five days for the audit committee that she is the chair of. Meanwhile Ian and Michael will hopefully take Catlypso to 1770.

    Back on the boat, Ian does the dishes (yes Sharon he can really do them) while Michael cleans the cockpit and barbecue area. Michael later flushes the watermaker (has to be done every five days if possible). He then phones Tin Can Bay Coast Guard to find out if anyone has crossed the bar lately and to get the new waypoints. They say at least one boat plans to cross this afternoon and they will email the file to us. Michael later gets it and then programs the waypoints into the chartplotter and updates the route for the trip from here to Garys Anchorage.

    The bar and entrance to the Moolaoolah River at Mooloolaba

    The bar crossing has moved about 500 metres or more north from where it was in 2015. The shallowest spot is said to be 3.1 metres at low tide. He also puts the waypoints into the netbook navigation software. After lunch, we put the petrol motor onto the compressor. It takes Michael a while to find all the parts, but eventually he gets it running. We put it back away.

    Michael, Ian and Veto then go for a walk to the end of the breakwater. This takes about 40 minutes and is a very nice walk. On the way back, we stop at the Wharf Tavern and have a couple of beers while watching the kids put away the small yachts they have been sailing. A bit expensive, $8 a schooner of 150 Lashes, but nice. At the pub Michael phones Tin Can BAy again and finds that a few boats crossed the bar this afternoon. They reported one metre swell and a "bit sloppy". However at this time it still does not look good for a Monday crossing.

    Michael and Veto on Thunderbird 2Ian and Michael having a beer at the tavern

    Once back on the boat, Michael starts the port engine to heat water for a shower and also to let us rung the rice maker (240 volt only). He then cooks massaman beef curry. We have showers and sundowners. Michael checks Willyweather and finds that the large seas forecast for Monday are now not coming till late in the day. For 0630 it is only 1.9 metres, about the same as today's forecast. After speaking to Kelly who checks the forecasts, we agree that unless it changes again tomorrow morning, Ian and Michael will head off tomorrow for Double Island Point.

    After we have the curry. Another great meal. After dinner Michael writes up this blog and we watch some television before going to bed early (2100) as we have to get up at 0530 or so.

    Sunday 7 May 2017 – Mooloolaba to Kauri Creek, Wide Bay

    We get up at 0540 and Michael checks the weather forecast. The winds are still looking good for today and tomorrow, but again, the swell for Monday has again gone up to over the three metre mark at 7 am in the morning. The winds are supposed to be about 12 to 15 knots at the Wide Bay Bar today at about 1600, so we decide to go for it and do the whole trip in one go. The bar is the crossing from the ocean into the protected area between Fraser Island (the world’s biggest sand island) and the mainland at Inskip Point.

    The problem with this section of the trip (for non-sailors) is that the Wide Bay Bar is notorious for boats, especially yachts, rolling and sinking as they attempt to cross. One reason it is so bad is that the correct line continually changes and it is so long. Most river bars are perhaps 300 to 500 metres long at the most. Wide Bay Bay is about 1.5 nautical miles, that is, about 2900 metres! Even once you are across, you then have to run inside but parallel to breaking waves on the Mad Mile (which is really about 2.5 miles). This is normally very uncomfortable but not dangerous.

    We head off at 0615 and go across the Mooloolaba bar at 0630. We have already logged on with the coast guard for the trip. Once outside we pull out the screecher and motor sail. We need to get to Wide Bay Bar no later than 1600 as you have to cross it on an incoming tide and preferably within about 2.5 to 3 hours of high (which is about 1830). We are doing 5.5 to 6.5 knots with one engine on in 10 to 18 knots of southerly wind.

    A really nice powerboat called Cadeau passes usDouble Island Point

    At 0745 a very large power boat called Cadeau passes us, it was anchored to the north of us last night. Around this time the wind increases to 15 to 22 knots and we speed up to 7 to 8 knots. The swell is about 1.5 to 2 metres with some larger ones. At 0945 we turn off the engine as we are doing 7 to 7.5 knots (there is a current of 0.5 to 1.5 against us all day). At 1050 we have to swap the screecher to the port side as the wind has moved more south-east. It rained heavily for about 30 minutes around this time.

    Kelly calls up to check on us, we promise to phone as soon as we cross the bar. At 1300 we pull in the screecher as we are going too fast and will arrive at the bar too early. When we do this we again have problems with the furling line and have about 1.5 metres of sail flapping. Nothing we can do in this wind and seas. We pull out the genoa and still do 5 to 5.5 knots. We pass Double Island Point and head towards the bar. The wind drops to 12 knots and the seas are much calmer, even though we really are not too much in its protection.

    As we near the bar, we start both engines and pull in the genoa. Unfortunately, the wind has increased in the past 30 minutes to 25 to 28 knots! Bugger, the seas are now very rough and uncomfortable. It is about 1515 when we approach waypoint 1. Cadeau and a yacht crossed before us (we watched on AIS) and appeared to have no trouble, so we decide to go early.

    The Queensland hydrographic survey of the Wide Bay Bar

    We put on our lifejackets (Veto as well). As you can see from the above hydrographers survey from a few weeks ago, it gets very shallow right at the start. The depth given is 3.7 metres at low tide. As we approach this spot, the waves are breaking on both sides of the marked channel (there is a white light to use to aim at). As we pass over the shallow section, we have 3.7 metres under our keels at the shallowest part. Luckily no waves are breaking on the sides at this time.

    The green track is when we crossed the bar this year. The other two are where we crossed in 2015. The waypoints you use are obvious

    Once past the shallow bit, we have a very nasty beam on swell. One wave crashes against the port bow and splashes right up over the main cabin and later another one hits the stern hull and comes into the cockpit. Luckily Ian saw it coming and moved away. We are running both engines at 3000 rpm and we are doing over 7 knots. The only real problem Michael has is the strong southerly winds mean he has to angle to the south-west to stay on the marked line.

    Finally we are across the bar and can turn to head down the Mad Mile. It has taken about 15 minutes to completely cross. The Mad Mile is very rough as the waves are breaking right over the sand bar to our left and it is uncomfortable till we turn to the west again in the main run to Inskip Point. Wow, we are glad that is over. Once inside, Michael calls Kelly to tell her that we are safe.

    We motor up past the Inskip ferry which takes cars over to Fraser Island. Once we are in a protected location and the wind has dropped to about 12 knots, we drop the screecher onto the deck and then continue motoring along. We decide to go to Kauri Creek which is to the west of the Inskip ferry. This is quite shallow at the start but can be crossed at or near high tide. We see 0.7 metres near the start (that is about 1.8 metres total depth).

    Looking out to the ocean from the Mad Mile, it is rough and breaking all along the sand bar Sunset at Kauri Creek

    We end up anchoring off the small island on the left, about half way along. There is a house boat about 100 metres further along. It is 3.2 metres deep. We anchor at 1700. Michael takes Veto to the small beach (lots of mosquitos) and once back on board, we tidy up the screecher as per previous methods. We have showers, sundowners and then a pumpkin gnocchi that Kelly made before she left.

    Well, it has been a very big day, a very fast run from Mooloolaba and then a wild crossing of the Wide Bay Bar. We go to bed early as due to the tides, we again have to get up early to move.


  • Departure time: 0615
  • Arrival time: 1700
  • Distance covered: 65.9 nautical miles
  • Average speed: 6.2 knots
  • Maximum speed: 11.0 knots
  • Engine hours: 8.6 hours
  • Elapsed time: 10 hours 45 minutes
  • Position at night: S25º 48.114' E152º 58.532'
  • Monday 8 May 2017 – Kauri Creek to Garrys Anchorage

    As we need high tide to get out of this creek, we get up at 0550 and leave at 0610. We motor on one engine all the way. The tide changes about 0710. We run the watermaker as we leave but later notice it is leaking from the filter. Michael turns it off after making about 12 litres.

    We end up following Seawindow which crossed the bar after us yesterday. They anchored on the western side of Fraser Island. We arrive at Garrys Anchorage to find there as well as a few other boats. We anchor in close in 3.0 metres. It later goes down to 0.7 metres before the tide changes. This was on the hull closest to the shore, so we had plenty of water under us.

    Sunrise as we leave Kauri CreekAnchored at Garrys Anchorage

    It has been a cold and windy morning and later it rains for about 20 minutes. The sun comes out every now and then. Michael takes Veto to the beach and then once back on board, we have breakfast and do a few things. Michael tries the watermaker again, but it is not working properly. He gives up! Maybe tomorrow! He also transfers 25 litres of water to the forward tank and 46 litres of diesel to the main tank.

    Michael writes up this blog and we have lunch. About 1400 we go for a walk along the track to the south. We walk for about 30 minutes and come back. There is still a sign saying that the road is closed because the bridge is damaged. This is the same as two years ago!!! We pass the bridge which has been repaired (and from memory it was repaired two years ago - you can see the old timber nearby). Someone is telling lies I think.

    Thunderbird 2 and Catlypso from the beachSunset at Garrys Anchorage

    At 1700 I take Veto to the beach and when I get back I cut my hair. No way to get it cut any other way out here! Ian has a beer or two but I decide to have a dry day, my first for about three weeks. We have showers and then I cook dinner, sausages and sweet potato and normal potato chips. Simple but nice. We listen to the radio and read. It starts rocking a bit at 1900 as the tide changes (it is high) and at 1925 it starts raining. We go to bed at 2100.


  • Departure time: 0610
  • Arrival time: 0900
  • Distance covered: 12.6 nautical miles
  • Average speed: 4.2knots
  • Maximum speed: 5.8 knots
  • Engine hours: 3.3 hours
  • Elapsed time: 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Position at night: S25º 37.783' E152º 58.456'
  • Tuesday 9 May 2017 – Garrys Anchorage

    For the first time in three days we get the chance to sleep in. Last night it started raining heavily at 0200 and this continued for at least 30 minutes. This was just after the tide changed and we turned 180 degrees (the anchor alarm of course went off). We get up at 0800 and Michael takes Veto to the beach while Ian makes tea and coffee. We have a leisurely breakfast.

    As it looks like raining more today, we put up the rear solid cockpit cover. For the first time ever (apart from a test), we also put up the "doors" that lead to the transoms. Sure enough, it soon starts raining. This stops most of the water coming into the cockpit, but Michael will need to make a few minor adjustments as a couple of the clips do not fit in place. A problem we have had before but done nothing about is a lot of the water runs off the saloon/cockpit roof and down the steps and some of this then comes down to near the winches and then runs into the cockpit via the side seats. We need to put something like a low strip to divert this water to the back steps.

    Inside the cockpit showing the rear solid covers in place

    We read for the rest of the morning, the plan to go ashore put on hold as it is raining again and radar shows more coming. After lunch it stops for a short while before drizzling on and off for the next two hours. Michael puts the generator on at 1340 as he wants to make rice in the rice maker and also boost the batteries as we have had virtually no sun at all today and we are going backwards in battery power. We also need to charge up laptops etc.

    A shot of the outside showing the covers

    Well, our plan to go for a walk is ruined by more rain coming. There is a small gap at 1700 so Michael takes Veto to the beach for a few minutes. Back on the boat we have some nibblies (Michael has another dry day) and then the curried chicken and rice Michael has made from a leftover roast chicken.

    After dinner we read and listen to the radio. At 2000 it gets rocky like last night. This is right at high tide, so we figure wind waves from the main channel must get over the sand flats from the south (it is still blowing around 20 knots out of the protection of the anchorage).

    The water runs down from near the hatch to between the winch
    and the step, then to the right of the winch and down to the seat
    Close to the shore at Garrys Anchorage

    We are still not sure of our plan over the coming days as the forecast is not all that clear yet. We will move to Kingfisher Resort at North White Cliffs, about 18 nautical miles further north along Fraser Island. We have to do this right at high tide, so we plan to leave about 0800 to catch the incoming tide to the point where the north and south tides meet and then the outgoing tide to Kingfisher.

    We go to bed about 2100. It has finally stopped raining!

    Wednesday 10 May 2017 – Garrys Anchorage to South White Cliffs

    It rained nearly all night, sometimes heavily. It is very cool when we get up at 0720, 17.5⁰C and windy and wet. Michael takes Veto to beach while Ian gets tea and coffee underway. Back on the boat we have breakfast and at 0805 we up anchor and head off out through the northern entrance to Garrys Anchorage. The shallowest we have at high tide is about 1.3 metres under our keels.

    We have current with us till we reach the main channel and then we have to battle into a 1.5 to 2 knot current. Based on the tide tables and what is contained in our cruising guide, we should have the current with us till about 0850 or a bit later. This is not the case. The rain continues as we travel the Great Sandy Straits.

    Michael checks the weather forecast for the next two days and it is apparent that the weather on Thursday now will be worse than forecast and a bit too iffy for us to sail to Bundaberg. We decide to go to South White Cliffs for tonight rather than Kingfisher Resort which is further north up Fraser Island.

    The tides here come from north and south and are supposed to meet near Boonlye Point. However, the tide does not change till we are almost at South White Cliffs. We head in close to the beach and run up and down. We find a spot with water only 6 metres deep rather than the 11 or more elsewhere. When we hang back, we are only in 2.2 metres. This is a problem as the tide will drop at least 2.5 metres to low. We re-anchor a bit further off in 11 metres and end up okay.

    Ian on the beach at South White CliffsWe are hanging very close to the beach at low tide

    It is 1055 when we are finally anchored. After a cuppa we take Veto to the beach for a run. It is raining again after a bit of a break, so we read some more (not much else we can do). The wind has dropped to about 5 knots, a check of the winds along the coast shows it to be a lot lower than earlier. We actually hear on the VHF two boats leave Mooloolaba, one for Wide Bay Bar (they end up at Double Island Point) and one for Tea Tree Bay at Noosa.

    Michael calls VMR Round Hill to find out about the bar at 1770. He learns that it has changed a lot since we were last there in 2015. They confirm that we should be able to cross at our planned time on Saturday (between 1200 and 1300).

    The depth under us drops to 8.5 metres at low, exactly what we expected. However, for a while we turn and the stern is only 11 metres from the sand and we are probably 7 metres from water about one metre deep. In the end it is okay, but we are perhaps a bit close. When the tide finally starts coming in, we swing back into much deeper water.

    Kelly phones from Norfolk Island, her meeting is over and all has gone well. At 1615 Michael takes Veto to the beach for a long run. She really loves beaches. We have showers and sundowners. Michael makes garlic bread and creamy garlic pasta for dinner. He even has a couple of beers after his abstinence of the past two days. It is still raining and we read till bed at 2100.

    In bed Michael reads his book. Just before 2130 the wind picks up from 5 knots and is really roaring. Later we notice it is blowing 26 plus knots. The boat turns side on to the wind as the tide is also changing. The anchor alarm soon goes off, but this was expected. Michael checks and we are now facing the shore, but pulling back away from the shore. Again, this is what Michael expected to happen. He resets the alarm.

    A few moments later, it goes off again, a check shows the same situation. A minute later it goes off again. This is funny, it should not go off again as we have not moved back to the original location. Michael then notices that the GPS (our anchor alarm) is showing we are moving at over one knot. Shit! We are moving.

    Michael goes to the helm, turns on the instruments and calls out to Ian to come up from his cabin. He starts the engines and informs Ian we are dragging anchor. Ian goes forward and we pull up the (considerable) anchor chain. It is now blowing well over 26 knots southerly. We motor around to seek a new location to anchor. We drop it but waiting ages for it to catch, we think we end up too close to the shore (reviewing the GPS we probably were not) so we pull it up again.

    We motor south a bit looking for shallower water (it is 13.6 metres everywhere) but get too close to the other boats here. We go back and end up anchoring in 13.6 metres 250 metres from the shore. This time the anchor bites quickly. We put out 50 metres of chain at least. We wait 15 minutes to confirm we are not moving before turning off the engines.

    We finally go to bed at 2230, but decide to stay awake and read for a while. The wind drops back to 15 knots and at 2315 we go to sleep. What a night!

    The problem was caused by a combination of factors. First, we were anchored in 11 metres next to a channel which is over 13 metres. Second, we anchored into an outgoing tide, but the tide when we pulled was incoming, so our anchor was obviously facing the wrong direction. Combined with the very strong winds at 45 degrees, it pushed us out into deeper water. Not sure what we really could have done to stop this, just happy that we always set an anchor alarm. See the photo in tomorrow’s post to show the tracks.


  • Departure time: 0805
  • Arrival time: 1055
  • Distance covered: 10.3 nautical miles
  • Average speed: 3.6 knots
  • Maximum speed: 5.1 knots
  • Engine hours: 3.4 hours
  • Elapsed time: 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Position at night: S25º 31.222' E152º 58.462'
  • Thursday 11 May 2017 – South White Cliffs to Kingfisher Resort

    We had a restful night after the above adventures apart from about 0500 when the tide changed again and the alarm went off as we turned around. No problems. We get up at 0800 and Michael takes Veto to the beach. Ian makes tea and coffee and we then have breakfast. After this Michael pulls down the side protection covers as it is now sunny (first day for about a week). It is still cool, 18.6⁰C.

    The GPS track from last night. We started at far right. The new
    line to left is where the GPS started recording once turned on.
    We drifted left and then once anchor was up, went back to right,
    then towards bottom and then back to the left where we finally anchored
    Catlypso from the beach

    Michael rings his nephew Scott Barry who celebrated his 24th birthday yesterday. He tried to call him yesterday but missed him. Today he is at Sydney Airport on the way to South Africa with his girlfriend Lauren and her family. They are going to a wedding and of course doing the tourist things. One is surfing at Jefferies Bay, the location famous for its surf and possible great white shark encounters. Michael implores Scott to be safe, no surfing early in the morning or late afternoon.

    At 1115 we depart South White Cliffs on the outgoing tide. We motor the 9 nautical miles to Kingfisher Resort, anchoring a bit over 300 metres south of the wharf at 1300. Interestingly, the signs proclaiming there is a submarine cable in this area are no longer there. We anchor in 8 metres about 200 metres from the shore.

    Despite having about 22 knots of wind on the way, it is calm here. We should have come here yesterday! We have lunch, Ian actually made it (see Sharon, he can do things like this!). It is nice an sunny and about 27⁰C. After lunch we take Veto to the beach for a run. Ian walks to the resort while Michael and Veto go up and down the beach. Veto rolls in the sand many times, she is totally covered in sand! At low tide the sand is very, very soft, with lots of mud, we sink to almost our knees when pushing T2 back out to deeper water.

    The beach at Kingfisher ResortMichael washing Veto

    Back on the boat, Michael washes Veto and then swaps the watermaker filter for a new one and turns it on. It is working again! He then uses the deck wash to clean the old filter, the amount of dirt that comes off it cannot be believed. We tighten the screecher halyard which is a bit loose. The watermaker makes about 20 litres in 52 minutes, close to its specifications. We put the generator on so that we can keep the watermaker going.

    We take Veto to the beach again for a quick run. Back on the boat, the watermaker is again not working properly. Michael realises there is another filter, this is the second one (out of three). He takes this out and it is also filthy. He uses the deck wash to clean it. He puts the watermaker back on but it is still not working as it should. He transfers about 40 litres of water he has made over the past few days into the forward starboard tank.

    The third and finest filter after it has been cleaned with the dirty waterThe second filter

    We have showers and then sundowners. Michael makes chicken schnitzel and salad for dinner. We listen to the radio, Ian watches rugby league on his tablet and Michael writes up the blog. We go to bed at 2200.


  • Departure time: 1115
  • Arrival time: 1300
  • Distance covered: 9.2 nautical miles
  • Average speed: 5.3 knots
  • Maximum speed: 6.7 knots
  • Engine hours: 2.0 hours
  • Elapsed time: 1 hours 45 minutes
  • Position at night: S25º 23.479' E153º 01.445'
  • Click here for next part of this trip.

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