Pancake Creek to Gladstone

Another day arrived and at it was off to Gladstone to visit a friend and to pick up a uni text book that I discovered I needed. Our plan when we got there was to see if we could anchor off at Tannum Sands (where they live) or go down the Boyne River. Third choice was the marina.

We pulled up the anchor around 7am. The sail to Tannum was fantastic, we were skipping along at 6 knots and the swell was small. Along the way we marvelled at the fantastic coast line and wondered how long you could get away with living in a little camp along here before anyone noticed. Obviously a deep keel yacht would not be the mode of transportation of choice for discreetness or practicality!

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Lady Musgrave to Pancake Creek

Well after a great day snorkelling in the lagoon the following morning it was time to say goodbye to this magical place and head back to the mainland for the turn of the weather. We knew the wind was expected to be light but it ended up very light. After dropping down to 2 knots for a while with no change in sight  and a 40nm trip ahead on went the motor to help us along. Also for the first time this trip the auto pilot went on…well after Radha gave it a bit of service with Inox.

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Bundaberg to Lady Musgrave

It may not have been the biggest weather window to go all the way out to Lady Musgrave, but we were going to take it. The forecast was showing 3 days okay, so 1 day travelling there, one day of snorkelling, one day travelling back.  We left Bundaberg at 1:35am allowing for 4 knots per hour which would have us there a) before dark and b) with the tide going in for our entry into the lagoon. So off we set in the darkness. Entering and leaving the Bundaberg river mouth at night is really easy to do, the channel is lit up like an airplane runway so pretty straight forward.

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Hanging in Bundaberg

Although it takes a bit of extra time to get into Town Reach it was an awesome place to sit out the strong wind warnings and re-provision. We ended up hanging here for 4 nights waiting for the wind to ease off and looking for a window of opportunity to head off to Lady Musgrave.

Even though it is in the town centre Bundaberg is a quiet town and rather peaceful. There is a public jetty which you can tie your tender up to. It is good practise to lock up your tender here, especially on the weekends or after dark. It is not so much thieving but the fact that sometimes tenders are ‘let go’ around here, leaving the owner stranded. Anyway, just a local tip we were given so we followed it. Also at the jetty is a hose that runs down from the tap up higher, another thank you to the local liveaboards for this one, making it easy to fill up your water cans.

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Sandy Straights To Bundaberg Town Reach

We were looking at around a 12 hour trip to Bundaberg and wanted to get the incoming tide into the river mouth so we left around 3 am. Besides we had to beat Gypsy Girl and they were in a power boat that cruised at 6 knots. Well the race was on, up came the anchor and off we went. What a lively sail to start the dark hours of the morning off with. The swell and chop was a bit more than expected as we made our way across Harvey Bay. But we soon got used to it and as daylight appeared the sea also seemed to settle down. We were getting quite excited with our speed and were pretty sure that we were going to beat our power cruising buddies. Of course they didn’t know they were in a race and they were going to be leaving at 7, but hey, minor details and that is part of the fun!

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The Sandy Straights

After leaving Tin Can Bay just after lunch we went again on the hunt for the allusive Parni, this time though being successful. With mission complete we set off North to spend the night at Inskip point. The bank raises here quite steep and our GPS was showing we were on land, although common sense prevailed that we weren’t. To double check how we would go over night with the tides we went back to the rock and string method to check our depths both forward and aft and concluded that all was cool. After dinner and some kirtan meditation off we went to sleep.

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