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MOOLOOABA CONTACT WITH SEAWIND OWNER … NANETTE … APRIL 21ST ’05 -

During our stay in Mooloolaba, we agreed to share the expense of staying in a marina attached to the Moolooaba Yacht Club ($50.50 per night – much too expensive really) giving us the opportunity to get the engineering job done as well as getting ourselves a much needed a shower! 

• * Leaving Nanettes’ waterfront house ... for a short journey to Tin Can Bay, Queensland, Australia. *

During this period another Seawind 1000 catamaran pulled into the marina, owned by a member of the Mooloolaba Yacht Club … a 68 year young woman called Nanette Black.  She was quick to introduce herself as she was very keen to discuss a couple of features of my yacht which hers didn’t have.  Nanette races her yacht twice a week from the yacht club, with a crew.  I think she found it hard to believe I sail mine solo. 

This was the day A&S were leaving and I mentioned to Nanette I was leaving the marina due to the high cost and going onto an anchor until the weather improved.  In a flash I found Tsunami rafted up against her boat, KINA, (don’t ask) on a pontoon, in a man made canal development … outside a rather swish house. 

* Nanette leaving Deja vu at Tin Can Bay ...low tide! *

To cut a long story short … after enjoying a great deal of hospitality from Nanette and husband Ian … Nanette came on board as crew for my next leg to Wide Bay, in the Great Sandy Straits, west of Fraser Island.  (Back to the map, please.)  Being a gun with her own Seawind 1000, she was of great assistance on this journey and great company.

APRIL 23RD ’05 – MOOLOOABA TO TIN CAN BAY, GREAT SANDY STRAITS

Now … to get into Wide Bay one must cross the most notoriously dangerous sand bar on the east coast … the Wide Bay Bar!  I don’t mind admitting I was not looking forward to this one bit having experienced nasty, smaller sand bars further south … and not enjoyed any of them at all!  Nanette had been across this particular bar before and it had been no problem … (it seems to be a bar with a personality) … I had not been anywhere near it … and as the saying goes `experience breeds confidence and I was about to gather a bucket-full’!  I had the best advice from the Tin Can Bay (map) Coast Guard and the word was – cross the bar at 08:30 tomorrow morning and it will be OK! 

We did … and it was!

Some people reading this statement will be thinking … “what’s so scary about a sandbar; I’ve paddled on plenty in my lifetime”.  Almost every small river or outlet to the ocean, many formed by human planning and engineering, seem almost without exception to create a sandbar at the point where the outgoing water meets the ocean.  Something to do with silt being dumped when the fast out flowing water meets the slow moving ocean waters …  plus the movement of sand along the coast by ocean currents.  The result is a sandbar which is usually very shallow … down to 1 metre or less at low tide.  What happens next is a sort of tsunami effect (everybody knows what a tsunami is now) … where incoming ocean swells hit the shallow sandbar and a high, sometimes curling, breaking wave is created.  We in West Australia know them as `King Waves’ and they have claimed many people, primarily fishermen/women from low lying coastal rocks … many have been lost from the Carnarvon region. 

For boats/yachts trying to cross these sandbars the obvious problem of loss of control of a boat/yacht’s steering is the most frightening scenario … for example, I have had a wave break into the cockpit area of Tsunami, as it rolled past!  So now you can better understand the trepidation and the relief that nothing went wrong.

* Because of a hard sandy bottom and good tidal movement … Tin Can Bay is a great spot to go aground to clean Deja vu's bottoms! *

Nanette’s husband was in Tin Can Bay at 15:00 the day of our crossing to pickup my crew member, his wife … and agreed to drop me in a little country town called `Pomona’ (map).  I had been invited to stay there with two yachting friends (Bill and Barbara Hastings mentioned earlier) on their 17 acre country retreat. 

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ooOoo

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