Monday 28 May 2018
The anchor was lifted at 0810hrs off the seabed at Yankee Jacks as the tide began to ebb. With an ebb tide we'll be swept north towards Scarness in Hervey Bay, our intended overnight stop before proceeding to Bundaberg on Tuesday. A 10 knot south-easterly wind got behind us and with the tide we were doing 6-8 knots SOG along our intended rhumb line.
Without incident nor fuss we navigated the shoals of the Great Sandy Straits and the mud bank off Scarness to drop anchor shortly before 1300hrs, having completed the 26nm zig-zag journey.
Scarness, Torquay and Pialba are holiday/retirement towns along the southern shoreline of Hervey Bay with lots of shops, caravan parks and manicured foreshore parks.
The anchorage is shallow - we anchored with just 1.0m below our keel at low tide. On the flooding tide, once the mud bank goes underwater, swell invades the anchorage, and at about 1900hrs (two hours before the top of the tide) we rolled a bit. By 2100hrs, the tide was ebbing again and the anchorage went dead flat again, which was great for sleeping.
Tuesday 29 May 2018
After a brilliant sunset last night we woke to a decidedly gray sky with showers driven by a southerly wind of 10 knots. It was cool too. The official weather forecast was for winds S-SE 10-15 knots. We got SW 10-15 knots for the first 8 hours of the day. Only around 1400 did the wind shift SE. But what a ride! Leaving Scarness anchorage at 0710 we unfurled the headsail and made our way towards the shallow water that afforded "some" protection from the ocean swell. After doglegging it around the shoals, First Contact was free to navigate a direct course to the Bundaberg channel leads. Up went the full rig, and she was off ....
We are going to Bundaberg and stopping in the marina for one reason only - things don't always go to plan. Our plan has been interrupted due to a small oil leak which, in a high pressure line, could become a major issue quickly. We'd discovered this leak a few days previous and had immediately ordered parts be sent from Sydney to Bundaberg. So this is a pit-stop.
We arrived at the marina with calm conditions and a low tide. First Contact entered the berth nose in, and then stopped about a meter short of the walkway - we were on terra firma. A thrust from the engine, and a pull on the bow line, and she was in. We bought her alongside and ran springers for when she lifted herself out of the mud. This is home for the next few days. Tonight is a full moon. Awoooooooh!
After 7 days out tonight gives us both a long hot shower. Cold wine. A roast dinner. Abundant power. No rocking or rolling. No threat of being blown off an anchor or being hit by anyone else. We are tucked up and grateful our little 27 year old engine gave us a small warning sign before it decided to become a big problem. The weather forecast for the next few days looks ordinary so it's a bonus we're here and not out there.
Tomorrow is a new day. Full of tight spaces, grazed knuckles, oil everywhere and no doubt lots of swearing.
She looks after us when we are at sea. It's our turn to look after her in port.