We have reached Fraser Island!

We have reached Fraser Island! Last stop before we head out to the very south of the Great Barrier Reef and begin the next phase of our odyssey.

But let’s retrace our steps a bit, since we haven’t updated you for a while.

Fraser

A few days spent at Mooloolaba while the wind was northerly allowed us to get medical supplies, reprovision the boat and get ready for our cruise to the Reef. We have been in shorts and t-shirts in the middle of the day there… oh what bliss!

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Anchored in the Mooloolaba River with many other yachts

Mind you, sailing to Moololaba from the tip of Moreton Island was a very soggy affair. We had to stay out in the cockpit in the rain because of the number of whales to watch out for! If it is not the containers, it is the Humpback Whales! They are incredibly numerous, and very inquisitive.

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This one is chasing us!

In the process of sailing in the rain, we came to realise that Wade’s Musto Offshore gear is no longer waterproof… a bit of a bummer given the price tag, but we guess he had over 12 years of use. Funny though, mine is fine! Better not say that too loudly or I’ll be the one doing all the work on deck!  So Mr El Cheapo went to the Fishing Co-op shop and got himself this wonderful two piece PVC suit… the height of fashion!

Attractive isn’t he? He won’t get wet, but he might get very sweaty if we have to sail in the rain again.

We left Mooloolaba as soon as the southerly breeze returned, on Sunday 1st July, headed for Double Island Point. We had super light, misty conditions which were too light even for Big O at one stage, and had to do lots of motoring!

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Arrival at Double Island Point under threatening skies!

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Rainbow Beach and its colored sands

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This one is for Pete & Deb who are building the deck of their Easy catamaran Selah!

The next morning we made it through the Wide Bay Bar without bouncing on the bottom – always a good thing. We are now on the west coast of Fraser Island.

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One of the Wide Bay Bar breakers – at a distance!

As we were going up the Sandy Straits, we were lucky enough to see two Ospreys on their nest – on top of a channel marker! Thanks to catamaran friends Paul & Sjany on Skellum, who let us know they were there. And what a nice catch up too!

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And a little further along, just as we were coming to anchor, we spotted a dingo on the shore and heard him howl! A warning, maybe?

Fraser -7504While on the shores of Fraser Island, we wanted to take the opportunity to fit our second Raymarine transducer (the one we had so much trouble with) before we start wandering around shallow lagoons at the Reef, which means beaching Take It Easy. It is always nerve-wracking to willingly steer your boat in the shallows till it stops, and sit high and dry on the sand for a few hours. In the end when we tried to take the existing transducer off, it was just too hard and too scary.  So we decided to leave it until we take the boat out on the slipway somewhere and don’t have the time pressures of a soon to be rising tide! Better to be safe than sorry. Not much achieved, but another experience under our belt! It is not a big drama, because we are still able to use our original sounder in the other hull. What a joy it is to have back ups.

While we were beached, we thought we’d take Bengie for a run on the sandbank. No dogs nor dingos in sight, we were on a winner! She had been staring at the sand from the sugar scoops. But she was not that impressed. She would run off excitedly then rush back to the boat, looking up, a bit perturbed. “What is going on? What’s happened to my home? Where is all the wet stuff gone?”

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We did eventually float off in the evening. It was even more nerve wracking to motor ever so slowly back into deeper water at 9.30 pm!

Although we don’t have a sounder in each hull, we are ready to go to the Reef and are pretty excited about this. We are slowly moving to the northern end of Fraser Island. We will map out our itinerary and will tell you a bit more about this in our next post, so stay tuned!

30 thoughts on “We have reached Fraser Island!

    • He was running along the shore, looked at us as we were quite close and started howling! First time we have seen and photographed one in the wild.

  1. It’s always a treat to see how you guys are doing! It’s so weird to see your big boat high and dry on the sand. Seems like it would damage the rudders and maybe the keel a bit? Poor Bengie, looking a little confused! Safe travels. 👍🏻😎🌴

    • Hi John – that’s the beauty about cats, you can beach them. The bottom of the mini keels and the rudders are at the same level so you should be able to sit flat on the sand… but in the instance the sand was up and down so we were on a funny angle. Bengie was very funny. She often patrols the deck looking at the water, but this time she got down to the sugar scoops, meowing at the sight of the sand and puddles!

      • Oh, that’s what Sugar Scoops are! Being a boater since I was a kid, seeing any boat aground brings up concern for hull, strut and propeller damage.

      • Ah, well in our case we have outboards that lift out of the water when sailing or not in use, and they also are slightly above the bottom of the rudder and mini keels. So little risk of damaging them when grounded.

  2. I see that every minute of your trip is so interesting and filled with adventures, even comedy! That Offshore gear was your time to tease Wade and I bet you were LOL! It was funny!
    There is so much to learn about a sailing boat a Cat in this case. I see the picture where Bengie is in charge of doing a “Cat-scan”! Take care Chris! 🙂

  3. Lots of cool images, Chris, like the whales, the ospreys, and the howling dingo (and, of course, I loved the shots of Bengi. It was definitely strange to see you boat beached like that–I’ll have to trust you that it does no harm to it.

    • Hi Mike – the wildlife along the way is amazing and when it is unexpected, like the ospreys and the dingo, it is quite special. Beaching TIE is not something we want to do every day, but it is one of the handy features of a catamaran. Although we did not succeed in swapping the sounders, it made cleaning the hulls easy!

  4. I was wondering whether you cleaned the hulls while beached, good thinking and easier. Loved all the wildlife pics. What a privilege. Wadie, you have to be kidding, that gear looks horrendous. At least we can laugh with you as you wear it around the reefs. Have fun S 🐬

    • The gear… yes agreed,Sue! I even offered to buy him an early birthday present (Musto gear) but no, he had to go and get himself that horror!

      The wildlife is pretty good, isn’t it. And the weather is so much better. We are enjoying a few days along the Fraser shores, waiting for light conditions for the reef.

  5. It’s good to hear of your reaching the Great Sandy Straits, and your experiences there. Close to your target country. Funny to hear of Bengie’s puzzlement !
    Baruch is not far from you at present; she left Port Bundaberg yesterday. I think the owner, Glenn Watson is enjoying some cruising on his own boat! He is normally a racing-only guy !
    All the best.

    • Ah, we’ll keep an eye out for Baruch. We are at Fraser Island for a week or so, then off to the Reef when we get the right conditions. Back from Jervis? How did the trip go?

      • Yes, back from Jervis, and had a great time, and enjoyed the warmer nights and days.
        Coming home we had some drama, whilst the car engine began to ‘miss’ badly after Cann River, eventually refusing to climb a certain hill 40km from Orbost. Fortunately we had mobile cover and an RACV truck came, put the car on the tray, and hooked-up the van behind for a ride to Orbost.
        We had a ride home in another vehicle on Friday, and our car and van arrived Bairnsdale today. (Tuesday)

  6. Nice to see Take it Easy having a little rest on some nice clean sand. 🙂
    Excellent rain gear Mister!

      • I heard someone say recently how lovely they are and considerate, that they are careful around boats, I don’t know how true it is.

      • They know you are there. We are finding that sometimes the youngsters born the previous year can be quite inquisitive and playful, and approach us. They are quite big already, nearly the length of our boat and much heavier, so you have to be careful!

  7. How was the wide bay bar? was it easy to stay in the deeper water and avoid any breakers? What was the minimum depth you had between keels and sand? We are planning a similar trip from Metung in 18 months. But we draw 1.8m.

    • Hi guys, The bar was calm and we went through a couple of hours before high tide in the morning. Actual depth no less than 3.5m. There are two sets of waypoints you can obtain from Tin Can Bay VMR. They are regularly updated so just call them and they will text you the reference. Like any bar, it is fine in the right conditions. We have gone through there a few times and have never had any problem.

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