aka – Catch up part III.
If only life was all smooth sailing. I sometimes think that lately I don’t get my ducks in a row, it’s more like lemons lined up.
After a long busy weekend installing the fuel bladder and getting the engine going it was time to drive home. Of course there had to be a compulsory stop to fuel up both body and car before the two hour drive. As I walked back to the car I noticed the front registration plate was missing – no big deal it must have come off on my rough 1km long driveway or on the drive up to Gladstone a few days ago. I’ll drop into Dept of Transport and get a new set – easy fix. A few weeks later I was surprised with the receipt of a speeding camera infringement notice for 145 kmph in a 100 zone – $1,200 fine and immediate suspension of driver’s licence. ‘Mild’ panic set in as I viewed the image of a small grey BMW with my rego number. A few beers later and closer inspection revealed it’s not my car – stolen plates.
It was then to be a matter of another trip to ‘Gladdy’ to make a return voyage to Bundy. The appropriate weekend was chosen, an extra day or two organised off work, another one-way car hire and all set. Car hire is another story – on arrival at the rental office I was greeted with ‘we’ve upgraded your hire because we have to get this car to Gladstone for repairs’. The rental person showed us the bumps and scratches that needed attention and took photos so we were not to be held responsible for them. Sounds ok – bigger car easier to fit more stuff in. No radio, cruise control didn’t work and the brakes shuddered when needing them. We were glad to be out of it and even the rentals manager in Gladstone appeared a little shocked (or was it all an act) with the vehicle as he drove us back to the marina.
The plan was for an overnight motor-sail from Gladstone all the way to Rooney’s Point, Fraser Island. Everything went well!!!! It was a long overnight journey mostly under sail once we were away from Gladstone harbour and approaches. An overnight anchor would have been nice but our draught is too deep to get into Pancake Creek and it isn’t an entrance I would consider in the dark. So it was to be a 20 hour voyage to Rooney’s.
The night sail was lovely. We were blessed with good seas, a starry night and a bright moon. The plethora of lights of the bulk carriers at anchor outside of Gladstone settled under the horizon to our stern and the lights of the small towns along the coast and in the hills slowly slipped by down our starboard side. An occasional light of another boat or larger ship kept company a little further out to sea to port.
A few boats were already at anchor but the Fraser Island coast is long and an anchorage well away from any other boat was easily found. After the long night the day at rest was most welcome. From there it was 50nm trip across the top reaches of Hervey Bay to get back to Bundaberg. After a full day sail we entered the mouth of the river as the sun was setting. Fatigue of another long day and not wanting to tempt fate by going into the berth at night it was decided there was to be another night at anchor in the river and go alongside the next day, finally getting back home.
I will have to force myself to take more photos in the future. For now it’s maintenance and journey planning.
More of that for next time…………..
I like Gladstone and the marina and surrounds are a delight – but not three weeks next time! It will be terrific to sail to Frazer without the 20 hours and how lovely it will be to finally start the #cruisingqld life!
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