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Archive for the 'Mooloolaba … Queensland' Category


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.


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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 Three days in Mooloolaba was all Arianne and Srdjan wanted really and we took one of these days to visit `Crikey’ Steve `Crocodile’ Irwin’s Zoo, not far from Mooloolaba.  Worth a visit!  And A&S visited the Mooloolaba `Underwater World’ another day. 

* Steve Irwin’s (Deceased) Australia Zoo ... These tiger cubs were very large cubs ... but, they didn't know that! *

* Sucking milk through a teat ... BIG babies! *

That day, we noticed that Tsunami had developed a problem with a stud locking the telescopic table leg in the cockpit area in place … a stripped thread … and who came to mind as being the perfect man to fix it?  Engineer Brother Barry.  Arianne had already made contact with Barry (who lives near Mooloolaba) and arranged for him and his partner, Cheryl, to come on board the night we arrived.  After a very pleasant night with Barry and Cheryl, Barry took away the problem of how to fix the buggered nut and bolt.  Next day down came Brother Barry with an angle grinder and in 15 seconds (true) off came the U/S assembly!  Following day, down comes Brother Barry again, this time with an electric welder tucked under his arm, capable of welding stainless steel and in about two  minutes all was restored back to better than new … almost a miracle!  Thanks Barry!  We were invited by Barry and Cheryl for dinner the following night, at their home … which was excellent.  Promised to give more notice on my next visit.

* This was a lucky shot ... feeding chicken pieces to a `friendly' Crocodile ... there's really no such thing! *

* Brother Barry (the Master Welder) ... Lloyd ... Arianne. *

A&S spent two more days around the metropolis of Mooloolaba and all of a sudden it was time for them to head back West.  They couldn’t believe their time had come to an end so quickly and they were clearly sold 100% on the sailing lifestyle, finding it difficult to leave.  As I had to confess to them “It’s difficult … but someone has to do it … I’ll volunteer to carry-on!” 

They will be back!

* This is a BIG Croc ... probably four metres long. You definitely would not want to meet it in the wild! *



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