Monday, 29 June 2015

1770 to Rosslyn Bay

Daisie watches Bristol Rose leaving 1770

The next long leg for the crew of Bristol Rose is 1770 to Rosslyn Bay, Yeppoon, with stops at Pancake Creek and Cape Capricorn.  Robert and Elliot dinghy Daisie and I over to the dock.  

We jump in the car and drive up to Round Hill Head to see them safely out through the very narrow bar to the open ocean.  

By road it is an easy drive to Rockhampton.  The big challenge is finding a pet friendly place for Daisie and I to spend a couple of nights.  We spent one night in a rather unfortunate hotel in Rockhampton and moved on early the next morning to Yeppoon.  I found an accommodating Tourist/Caravan Park where we spent a peaceful night in a 1950's style fibro semi-detached "cabin".  When Daisie and I walked the next morning I was surprised to see a notice attached to the outside wall "DANGER ASBESTOS".  Do not drill or ....".  Luckily we had not expected to do any renovations and had left the tools at home.  The best of both accommodations was the genuinely friendly people we encountered.

We checked out early to get breakfast and a good look at the Kepple Bay Marina in Rosslyn Bay, where we'd meet Bristol Rose in a few hours.  So what is there to do while we wait?  There's only so much walking and coffee...  I could drive up to Byfield where there is a pottery artist's studio and giftshop.  Right up my alley, it's set in beautiful bushland and the owners encourage visitors to walk around the property.  Despite the owner's dog roaming the giftshop, visiting dogs are not welcome beyond the carpark, so my browsing was a lot shorter than it otherwise might have been.

Our stay at Kepple Bay Marina has been a little longer than planned but we had time to explore and get the usual jobs done like laundry, shopping, etc.  We had an unexpectedly excellent meal at the Marina.  The restaurant is first class, with a matching price tag - but what the heck!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Mooloolaba to 1770

Sunrise walkers.  The Mooloolaba light and bar can be seen between the trees.
Elliot and Robert make a pre-dawn departure from Mooloolaba sailing Bristol Rose to Fraser Island.  I'm driving to my sister's home at Carters Ridge, just a couple of hours away.

Fraser Island is such a special place it would be a shame to rush through.  Over the next five days Bristol Rose makes her way through the shoals of Fraser Island, stopping to fish and rest at Snout Point, Garrys Anchorage and Bennett Creek, then up the Burnett River to Bundaberg.

Daisie and I are at the lookout on Round Hill to watch the sailors bring Bristol Rose into the anchorage at the small town of 1770.  1770 is the first of Captain Cook's landing sites on the Queensland coast (the second in Australia).  Cook's ship The Endeavour was anchored about two miles off shore.  There is a stone monument in honour of the event in 1770.  The inscription reads:
Under the lee of This Point, 
Lieutenant James Cook, R.N.
on 24th May 1770

Robert and Elliot did well navigating their way in, which should only be attempted on high tide.  We noticed most of the fleet anchored at 1770 were smaller vessels.  The creek is shallow with a lot of shoaling and most cruisers bypass it for Pancake Creek, the next inlet north.  Pancake Creek is very popular with cruising boats, perhaps because it feels so remote, so peaceful and protected.  We met a Canadian cruiser who bypassed Pancake and 1770 in favour of Rodds Harbour where he was alone in the quiet anchorage.  

I found the local people to be some of the most friendly.  1770 is a popular fishing destination.  Fishermen bob about in tinnies, looking hungry for a bite.  The mangrove creeks of 1770 are so peppered with crab pots we're not sure if that's good or bad.  Turns out it's good for us.

Elliot has caught an astounding variety of fish in the area including Bream, Flounder, Whiting, Cat Fish, Flathead, a few we don't recognize and a mud crab.  We caught enough keepers to feed the three of us in style.  Miss Daisie has never fancied seafood much so it's dog food again for her.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Catching Up With Elliot

From the beach it's just a short walk across the road to the Mooloolaba Marina  on the river.

There's a nice little chandlery here just next to the marina so we do our best to boost the local economy.  It's time to bin the old yellow sailing jacket that's served Robert so well, how about a nice new red Musto, perfect fit!  There's always a reason to shop so we keep ourselves busy through the day with a few lingering "to dos".  The walk into the shopping centre in Mooloolaba is a bit further than we thought so shopping will be limited by what we can schlep back.  

It's just on sunset and Elliot's calling to tell us he's at the marina.  Fantastic!  We put him straight to work running errands in the car.  There are no passengers on this boat, only crew and Elliot is expert.  Over dinner at a local fish 'n chips joint we catch up on all his latest news about his studies and uni life.  Life is good.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Tangalooma to Mooloolaba

Anchored off the wrecks, Tangalooma, Moreton Bay

At dawn a sense of adventure compensates for loss of sleep.  Daisie Dog is not so sure.

In the early light the buoys marking the swimming beach are obvious.  We can't afford much time lingering over coffee to congratulate ourselves on getting the hook down safely off the wrecks in the dark last night.  We are on our way to Mooloolaba.  Elliot is on his way from Townsville to Brisbane to pick up the car and some of his things from the house.  It's uni semester break and we're looking forward to cruising Queensland's Great Barrier Reef and The Whitsundays islands with him.

We've motored through the rain today with no wind to sail.  The sun is shining over Mooloolaba, seas are calm, as we approach the river bar.  It always feels good to arrive and this arrival is one of the easiest, as we quietly approach our slip at Mooloolaba Marina.  A friendly liveaboard takes our lines and we are in.  Mooloolaba feels good to us!

Monday, 15 June 2015

Moreton Bay Roll

Daisie can always be counted on to lend a helping hand.

The last few months have been a blur of boat activity, home responsibilities, car purchasing, and hours driving back and forth on the Brisbane to Gold Coast Motorway. Balancing the needs of a boat and the demands of a rural property can bring on a case of split personalities.

Tonight we are anchored off the wrecks at Tangalooma, Moreton Island. We dropped the hook in the dark. A sigh of relief, we made it. After four and a half years of service as an "apartment", Bristol Rose is free to sail again.

During the rainy night we are reminded of some of the worst (most rolly/uncomfortable) anchorages we've experienced. Sleep comes in short shifts.