This is the second part of my blogging of Logic‘s sail down from Cairns to Brisbane.
The first part has us at day 3 of a 5 day stay in the Mackay Marina, while we waited for a southerly blow to go over and the return of the northerlies.
I was continuing with a daily tutorial for Len and David, as I passed on my 6 years of knowledge on Mumby maintenance.
Day 4’s was rudder shaft greasing
The tides in Mackay are not the 2mt ones I am use to, they are 5mts plus which turns the gangway off the marina into a heart beat lifting gradientwe joined the other live-aboards for their friday evening get-together/barbeque the Day 5 tutorial, was aligning the propeller shafts with the engines
The northerlies were back, so we were off at 3 in the morning, to maximize the benefit of that tidal movement(my track back is the outer one, my trip up is the inner)
the sun rose as we were sailing through the anchorage area, for the bulk carriers waiting to load coal from the terminal at Hay Point which made for a very unusual image on the radarand the AIS, on the plotter all up there were 24 empty bulk carriers on anchor, waiting for their turn at the 4 berth loading terminal Hay Point export metalogical coal, used in the making of steel. It is a higher quality coal than thermal coal, used for making electricity. It is worth 3.5 times as much as thermal coal. 0.9 tons of metalogical coal are used to make 1 ton of steel.
To feed the coal terminal there are massive trains coming from the coal mines, pulling 2 kilometers of carriages full of coal.
We got to Middle Percy Island in the early afternoon. Anchoring off the iconic A frame
where cruisers who have stopped in, have left mementos
Robyn’s boat, the Joshua C was in the lagoon
we needed to maximize the northerly weather window, so we were off early the next morning to do a 180 mile overnighter to Lady Musgrave Island.
Having breakfast as we went past South Percy Island We were doing the miles un-eventfully until mid afternoon. One of the 6 global weather forecasting models had a 2 hour period of 35kt gusts from the south, which the other 5 did not show. The odd one out was the correct one!
The rain squalls started appearing on the radar then the wind swung 100 degrees, with horizontal rain
luckily I had intuitively furled the screecher and reefed the mainsail, when I saw the bank of grey clouds approaching, as the wind gage sat on 30-35kts for a big part of the next 2 hours. Then as quickly as it had started, the wind died out as it swung back to the north and we made dinner.
We got to Lady Musgrave Island, mid-morning the next day it is a coral cay, on the western side of a coral lagoon it is unique, in that there is a passage through the coral into the lagoon, with enough water in the lagoon for boats to anchor the passage is not very wide, but is well beaconed. You go through the outer red and green, then turn around the second green, before you hit the big coral bommie the middle beacon is on
We picked up a public mooring
and went ashore. to check out the roosting birds.
The shearwaters (mutton birds) had been burrowing away, building their undergrown nests
The black Noddie terns were sitting in their nests in the Pisonia Trees
The Noddies had stripped the ground of leaf litter to use in their nests
The Pisonia Trees produce sticky seeds which stick to the Noddies feathers preventing them form flying. Everywhere on the ground were grounded Noddies, waiting to die.
The Pisonia seeds stick so thoroughly there was nothing we could do (as the sign we read subsequently stated)
We walked back along the beach
Going past the very obvious tracks were the female sea turtles had been going up the sand to lay their eggs
Len wet a line as the sun set One of the saying from the cruising life is “repairs and maintenance in exotic location”. Lady Musgrave was no exception. The port dagger-board was filling up with water, so out it came finally after a few years of looking for it, the crack that was letting the water in became obvious and we rigged up a patch, to tidy it over, until I can get it to a welderthen it was time for a snorkel, with the turtles
and the fish
The boys went off for a fish but came back empty handed Great sunsets
Next up, was a quick sail, to Platypus Bay on Fraser Island with enough time for a walk ashore, before the sun set
down to Gary’s Anchorage the next day
Yet another southerly change was forecast to come through in the middle of the next day. The no-see-ems and mosquitos were plentifully in Gary’s Anchorage, so we decided to use the light conditions to get across the Wide Bay Bar and then see out the southerly in the lagoon created by the recent sandbar behind Double Island Point.
Going past the vehicle ferry over to Fraser Island on our way to the Bar crossinga very well protected anchorage from all wind angles.because Logic only draws 900mm, I could tuck in a lot further than most of the other boats
it blew 20-25kt and rained intermittently for the 3 days we were there,
somewhere in the rain haze is the colored sands of Rainbow Beach we did an 8.5km walk, taking in the lighthouse on Double Island Point (no I was not drunk when I drew in the route, I did it when we were sailing in a swell)
The overcast condition were ideal light for taking photos, so I photo journaled the walk.
It started off with a walking track that joined the vehicle track, running behind Double Island Point, complete with a billabong in the middle of the road. going down to the surf side (glad to not be out in the swell)then a walk along the beachthere are a lot of 4 wheel drive recreation vehicles driving on the sand
then up the track from the beach to the lighthouse looking south down the cooloola beachthen walked down the other sidethe pantry was starting to get light, so the next day we decided to go back to surf beach to get a feed of pippies.
The quickest route there, looked to be the low area to the right in this photo it would have been, if the vegetation was not so dense that we ended up crawling a lot of the way, along the tracks the wallabies had made
when we got to the beach the pippies were few and far between, enough for an aperitif Finally there was a day with enough east in the forecast for the last 85 miles to Morton Bay a big pod of Common Dolphins swam past putting on big show for us
the later half of the sail had more consistent wind, Logic made good time with the screeched up as we came into Morton Bay
we anchored north of the wrecks, with the aim of going for a snorkel on the wrecks the next morning, before the last 23 miles up the Brisbane River to the Marinathe next day was wet and miserable, so I passed on the snorkel, but it did not stop the boysthe rain unexpectedly stopped, so we quickly made our way across Morton Baygoing past the commercial port docks spending the night on the fuel dock, waiting for the slack tide to enter our marina berth in the morningLen and David were flying back to Cairns the next day, so it was appropriate to have our “last supper” at my favorite craft brewery pub Brewdog, a 10 minute walk from the marina, through the park on the river bank. Brewdog has stopped brewing my favorite beer Zombie Cake, so I needed some taster, while I fine tuned my decision on my next favorite the jury is still out on my favorite, although the old second favorite Elvis Juice is still appreciated by my taste buds.a Louis fix (he’s grown a few centimeters over the last 4 weeks)a visit to my parents next
then back to Logic in the marina, it’s nice to have my home with me in Brisbane, after staying at Kate and Jackson’s on my 5 flying in visits this year.