Coomera to Mooloolaba

Sunday afternoon (16th May) we headed to The Galley and met up with Sandra and Nigel. After a delicious lunch we headed back to Morphie for a few more drinks and lots of laughs onboard. In fact we were having so much fun we forgot to take photos LOL. We said our farewells and promised to be in touch when we return to this neck of the woods later in the year.

Monday morning we went to the office to report the missing courtesy car key. They have a spare but it is not going to be inexpensive as this was an electronic key that opens / locks / alarms the car. Oh well, nothing we can do, as we really couldn’t find it and had turned the boat inside out looking. We settled our final Boatworks marina bill (or at least until they charge us for the replacement key) and headed into The Galley for breakfast bumping into Ernest on the way. We invited him to join us for breakfast and we enjoyed catching up with him – it certainly made a change from sitting around on broken chairs in the boatyard LOL. Very naughtily he paid for our breakfast despite our arguments and just wouldn’t take no for an answer. So thank you again, Ernest, much appreciated and see you out on the water some day soon.

Around 11am we slipped away from The Boatworks and headed down the river. The conditions were pretty calm and, when we arrived at Tipplers, we decided that we could continue up towards The Huts anchorage inside Canaipa Passage. Was a lovely day out on the water and we enjoyed watching the birds resting on the sand banks which uncover at low tide; the ‘jellyfish’ clouds; the wallaby on the beach; and wondered what the story was behind the latest sunken boat. We couldn’t go any further than this anchorage because of the shallow spots and the falling tide so we enjoyed a lovely serene evening on anchor with no other boats around us.

Tuesday morning we had to wait for the tide before we could leave so around 10am we picked up anchor and started up the river system. It was pretty skinny in places (often with less than 2 feet below the keel) but we made it through OK although we did have to do some sharp manoeuvring to avoid a complete idiot in a motorboat in the narrow channel. He was going at least 10-12 knots and clearly didn’t know that you are supposed to pass port to port in a channel. Basic stuff! In fact, with the shallow water to one side and him bearing down on us so fast, we actually had to turn to port to get out of his way and stay safe. If we had gone to starboard he definitely would have t-boned us and we would probably have run aground. We shouted and swore at him but he just carried on regardless. Was a bit of a dodgy moment!

Trying to get our hearts back to their normal pace we continued slowly through and out of Canaipa Passage into Moreton Bay. At this point we were on a downwind run so we got the genoa out and sailed all the way to The Sandhills anchorage on Moreton Island including executing a few jibes. Was a really good run and we both enjoyed it.

As the anchorage was relatively empty we decided to chuck out a lot of chain (as we had some rusty spots) and was glad we had done so when the wind picked up which meant the wind generator earnt his keep topping up the batteries. We enjoyed a great sunset and retired down below. Annoyingly the wind then switched due south which meant that we had very little protection from the fetch so we had a bit of a disturbed night as we nodded up and down.

Wednesday morning we were up early and had weighed anchor by 6.40 am. It was cloudy and raining with limited visibility but the wind was about 15 knots sustained with higher gusts and we enjoyed sailing just outside but parallel with the shipping channels through the top of Moreton Bay and into the ocean. It was freezing though! We were not far offshore but the sea state became quite swelly and as we were running downwind it was a bit wet and feisty with us reaching speeds up to 8 knots surfing down the waves at the northern entrance of Bribie Island. Although not at any risk both of us felt uncomfortable with the constant side to side movement. There was quite a lot of big ship movement out there too which, luckily, were nowhere near when we had to cross the shipping channels although I did change course at one point for a big tug boat.

Eventually we rounded the headland to go into Mooloolaba. This is a river entrance between two walls and can offer some shallow and challenging conditions. So we headed into the bay and got our fenders and lines ready (having already made a reservation in the marina whilst underway) and started our entrance lining up with the leading lights and made it through at slack high tide (and avoiding the dredger that was working in the entrance). So we were very pleased to have completed this 45 mile trip and be tied to our slip by 2pm,

Yes another marina…. The proposed next leg after Mooloolaba involves going through the Wide Bay Bar which needs settled conditions as it can be very tricky and we need to sit out the current strong winds and swells for a while. We really enjoyed our land trip here so decided this was as good a spot as any to wait it out….

Having checked into the marina we had showers and headed over to Pier 33 for a couple of beers to celebrate our arrival.

Then back on board for dinner and a Netflix evening. Oh yes and I spotted that our tracker had not followed us on our passage which really annoyed me. I had not changed any settings from the previous day when it had worked perfectly well, so ‘pinged’ our GPS coordinates so that, although it just shows a straight line from ‘a’ to ‘b’ at least it actually is showing our current location. I think I have fixed this now so fingers crossed for the next passage – looks like another problem caused by an update to the app.

Thursday morning it was a lovely calm day and we had a late start. Richard fixed the bow wash down pump as it had come adrift the previous morning. We then headed to the fresh seafood markets to purchase some fresh fish – this is stocked from the trawlers which come into port directly behind the market. They had a great selection so we stocked up with about eight meals worth.

We returned to Morphie and put the fish in the freezer before then walking into Mooloolaba via the waterfront and the Wharf. We spotted the bus stop and decided to head to the nearest shopping mall to get the rest of the things that still remained on the shopping list. We got off the bus at Kawana and managed to get everything on our list and even avoided the very busy food court LOL.

On the way back to Morphie we had a couple of drinks in the pub on the Wharf before having a quiet night on board.

Friday morning we had another leisurely start. It remained sunny (despite the forecast for rain) but the wind had picked up and we were creaking on the dock. The conditions were currently looking favourable for a Wide Bay Bar crossing on Thursday so fingers crossed. In the meantime we are going to enjoy being based in a different location. We then did a few jobs like the laundry; fixing Richard’s flip flops; fixing my Gill jacket; and eventually we were lured out of the boat to the fish market again for a takeaway of fish and chips and the battered red band snapper was absolutely delicious. We then had a quiet night on board.

Saturday morning we were going on a fuel run – there is no fuel dock here in Mooloolaba – but there is a floating one for small boats up one of the canals. So we got some cans off the rail and left the dock and as we meandered up the river the outboard conked out.

We couldn’t believe it. It is only months since we had had this serviced and repaired along with a large bill – so really not happy! We rowed back (thankfully wind assisted) and tied up to the back of Morphie. Richard spent most of the day trying to work it out. He changed the spark plugs; changed the fuel lines and connectors; cleaned the carburettor; and even changed the fuel. But it just won’t work. So after a very wasteful day we gave up and returned dink to the davits and we’ll see if we can find a mechanic on Monday. Damn….

We then walked back into town and joined the Surf Club as members. We enjoyed sitting outside (wrapped up warm) watching the sun going down. We were surprised that there were people in the sea as it was freezing cold! Eventually we were driven back indoors by the cold and had some dinner before returning back to Morphie.

Today, Sunday, and I’m blogging while Richard is reading. We had a list of jobs to do today but, of course, it’s raining and thunderstorms are forecast for later. There is live music at the Surf Club this afternoon so we might go and spend a few hours there enjoying the entertainment.

Still keeping a watchful eye on you all at home and hope that you are enjoying the easing of the restrictions. Nothing new to report here about international borders so we remain uncertain about what is going to happen next – but we have decided to park it until we return from this trip north, looking for some fun in the sun, before we have to run back south for cyclone season. Today you can have a virtual hug from me….

Bye for now, Jan