Scarborough to Great Sandy Straits Marina

Opal Lady was gleaming and all dressed in nice new clothes before we undressed her and left the dock at Scarborough. Whilst having our warranty work completed we engaged Paul from AT SEA Marine and Auto Trimming, Redcliffe Qld

that did an amazing job of providing us with midgie proof white screens for all windows and also Midgie proof black screen doors for every door, as well as a fantastic awning that fits under the pilothouse brow and fits forward to the bow allowing us to have the foward hatches open and not allowing rain or extra heat to intrude. We would recommend his work to anybody.

Jim and Martha Lyle owners of Special Blend N43 had arrived back from the US to resume their cruising life a few days before and we enjoyed an Aussie Prawn Lunch while discussing idyllic locations and our Nordhavn 43s. They kindly threw off our docklines and took some photos as we left.

Aboard for the trip we had Don and Mike from the Nordhavn office at Scarborough, they were eager to experience being at sea on a Nordhavn as they are only new to the breed!

We set off at 9am in beautiful Queensland sunshine, a 15-20 knt Sou’easter heading for Bribie Island, around Skirmish Point and into the Skirmish Passage. This passage is almost parrallel to the main shipping channel for Moreton Bay. This gave us a wonderful view of the Bribie Island east coast and the Glass House Mountains as we sat and enjoyed fresh baked bread rolls and roast chicken for lunch! The boys were amazed at the comfort as we had lunch with 2m seas on our aft starboard quarter. Once we rounded Coloundra Head to was only 12nm to Point Cartwright Lighthouse and the turn into Mooloolaba. The entrance is well marked and was easy to navigate through. We made our way up the river to our berth at the marina. Our docking pattern involves ALL guests to ‘Sit down, shut up. . . ! And as Doug labelled it, hold on!!) But we have found it more successful to do it this way as my view from the helm chair aft through the Saloon Starboard windows is crucial in the reversing process, and sometimes guests get in that view whilst trying to help and don’t realise!

Our lines were taken by nearby boat owners with the cry ‘Not another Nordhavn!’ Moana Kuewa N55 Christine Bauman (US boat) had left the dock at 11am that morning.

After farwelling Don and Mike we walked back to the boat and saw Harmonic, Karyn and Bill whom we had met 2 years ago whilst bringing Catherine Mary (Alan’s Catamaran) down the coast, we invited them for Happy Hour and enyoyed hearing about their travels in the past few years.

It was early to bed as tomorrow our crossing of Wide Bay Bar needed to be at 11am to get the tide right. This bar known as one of the most treacherous in Australia. At 3am we were up and underway, sneaking out of the marina trying not to waken our fellow yachties, this meant not using the bowthrusters! With calm seas it was very uneventful, we turned just past Double Island Point at 10am for the appoach to the leads. We made contact with Tin Can Bay VMR (Volunteer Marine Rescue) to obtain the most up to date waypoints for the bar, we crossed without incidence in a 2m swell! Once inside we crossed the paths of the several Car Ferries that transport everyone onto Fraser Island. The worlds largest sand island!

Calm waters and sunshine made for a most scenic trip north through the Sandy Straits to Gary’s Anchorage. This is one of the safest anchorages in this region, although be careful to protect yourself from the sandflies (midges). We use a Raid Outdoor Can (self emmitting spray) with our new screens down. In the morning the cockpit had a thick carpet of dead midges over it.

http://www.cooloola.org.au/Destinations/Eco_Destinations/Fraser_Island/Fraser_Island.aspxhere

We spent a few relaxing days there before leaving on the outgoing tide and making our way to Kingfisher Bay. This bay has one of the most used access points to the island with several vehicle and passenger ferries arriving daily. They service the large Eco Resort and Yachtie Friendly Resort.

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