Paul's Around Australia Trip 2011

Leg 2 Brisbane to Rosslyn Bay


Graeme Sharp

Jon Barber

Ross Haupt


Day 4 of Leg Two – Brisbane to Rockhampton (Rosslyn Bay)

As I write this I am anchored near mangroves in the great sandy straits which is the waterway between Frazer island and the mainland. Crab pots out and catching up on sleep and emails etc. There are several yachts in view and we are located in a creek to one side of the main channel. It is  so good to stay put for two nights and relax as the continual moving is tiring. We were up at 4 am yesterday so we could sail 70 miles from Mooloolaba and catch the high tide and find a spot to anchor before dark. Crab score three: but one big female (not allowed) and two smaller males (not big enough). Fish are still swimming free waiting till the afternoon tide.

We came through the notorious “Tin Can Bay Bar” late yesterday. I was a bit anxious as when I asked a local for advise his advise was “don’t do it! It has breaking waves evident as you have to  negotiate three specific way points obtained from the coast guard. The bar shoals to 5m and then you turn sharp and parallel the coast with waves to your side.

We travelled close to the coast yesterday and went by Noosa Heads and the famous sand cliffs at Rainbow Beach. On board are Jon Barber and Ross Haupt – both  mining engineers.  It is a bit of a worry having three engineers on board! We also had Graeme Sharp, an old school mate. Unfortunately Graeme injured his back and the rolling motion of the yacht was a bit much so he left us at Mooloolaba. We are all disappointed as Graeme was getting his sea legs and was really enjoying the experience.

We have had some great sailing days. The winds have all been from the  south and as we are generally going north this has made things easy. For example from Moreton Bay to Mooloolaba we had six hours of sailing on one tack and  averaged 7 knots over the ground  and covered 44 miles. Guinevere likes winds around 15 knots from behind.

Guinevere stayed at the Manly Marina which is a suburb of Brisbane for the period between leg one and two as the facilities on the Brisbane river were washed away with the floods. It is huge! Only $50 per night and a short walk to supermarket and other shops. I was able to do washing and get things sorted and stowed in the couple of free days.

I had a few visitors including Cam Davidson, his son Ben and wife Barbara. They are joining  Guinevere in Adelaide and Cam also sailed with us  from Southport to Manly. Eamonne Browne and his daughter came for lunch and Jenny Attreed, her son Leo and mother also dropped by. Leo loved it and crawled through everywhere and touched everything. A great playground for a 4 year old. Ross Haupts family also dropped by. Nanna (Ross’s mum) tasted one of Mias Anzac cookies which inspired her to give Ross jams and more homemade cookies,  which we are still eating. YUM!

On the first day out we stayed on a very rolling mooring off Moreton Island near what are known as the Tangalooma Wrecks. This is an artificial reef where there are 10 or so old wrecks sunk in a line. We had some lovely walks on the beach.

From there a short hop to Mooloolaba where we stayed at a marina. Interesting to see the fishing fleet.  I could not help myself and had to buy oysters, prawns (local and fresh) as well as mullet and fish carcasses for the crab pots.

Some high points of the last few days: seeing a Manta  Ray make several flying jumps of over a metre  in the air; sailing at 7 knots for 6 hours on one tack with the sun shining and seas calm; getting though the Tin Can Bay Bar.

Low point: saying goodbye to Graeme at Mooloolaba. Having  2.2 m on the depth gauge when you know your  draft is 2.2m! (North end of Moreton Island at night when current and wind were combining so we were a bit off our course in a narrow channel)

Moreton Bay is a stressful place as it is full of shallow muddy bits. What’s left has big ships in the water to contend with.  We all could not believe how narrow some of the channels are and  how shallow it is. It looks all the same from the surface. Sydney is easy in comparison. Throw in  tidal flow and it is easy to stuff up.

I must admit I thought I would have more free time to read and reflect. No sooner do we get somewhere when out come the maps and shopping list for the next day. I must schedule some recharge time otherwise I will burn out before I get to Cairns.

A walk is on offer so rubber duckie here I come and we will check out Frazer Island – and be careful of the dingoes. Rosco has more meat and is the best target so can lead the way.

Urangan to Rosslyn Bay

After letting Graeme off at Mooloolaba we picked up a replacement at Urangan. We were lucky that Terry was available on short notice and better still was a passionate astronomer and excellent photographer.

The sandy  Straits were an interesting difference to the ocean. Basically Fraser Island is a  150 km lump of sand, so coming inside means  calm water fo a long distance. The tides a great if you pick them right and adds several knots to your speed.

Ross’s brother in law and sister live at Hervey Bay and were our hosts for two days. Washing got done; shopping completed and spares parts sourced. Alan gave us a tour of the region was interesting and very informative. Thanks Leah and Alan.

Next Port was Lady Musgrave which was an overnight passage. We had to slow down as we would have arrived in the dark. It is a  tight entrance  and  the lagoon is much larger than we imagined.  At high tide the swell was larger as it came over reef so it the bumped and bounced a lot.

Rosco caught the fish of the leg – a beautiful corral  trout which we baked in the oven. Some tomato onion and cheese for extra flavour. Gourmet eating in the middle of the ocean!

From Lady  Musgrave to Rosslyn Bay (near Rockhampton) via Keppel Island as we were ahead of schedule so decided to  anchor for 6 hours to get some sleep.

Cleaned the yacht and mid afternoon Judy Ben and Hannah had a quick hi and goodbye to Terry Jon and Ross and Leg 3 begins.