Friday, September 28, 2012 - We're back!
We are now safely back in a berth at Scarborough Marina outside of Brisbane, arriving Friday afternoon, and are already planning our land travel here in Australia. Our trip down the coast from the Whitsundays was much faster than our trip up to the Whitsundays. It only took us ten days to return and included two, 1 night passages. Fortunately, we had some northeast winds which facilitated our run back.
After we beat our way in to Sandy Straits, we spent two leisurely days winding our way through this protected waterway.
|We are the little green boat in the middle|
|Mangroves and Crocs|
The timing here is important as at low tide there are places that deep keeled boats can go aground. We waited until the high tide was almost at its peak as we wove are away through the red and green markers. Only one of the markers seemed out of place on our CMaps. We were glad that we went through this area during the day so that we could actually see the markers or we may have run over one or gone aground. But actually, it was easy and we didn't touch ground anywhere. We stayed on our line from waypoint to waypoint.
The last night of our passage back was one of the most beautiful in our memories. We left Tin Can Bay during the rosey glow of sunset so that we could go across the shallow sand bar at high tide. The moon was already high in the sky.
|Moon is Already Up to Greet Us As We Go Over Wide Bay Bar|
|Good Bye Pelican Bay - Didn't Spot One Pelican|
|Breakwater Sunset Watchers|
|Gorgeous Night on the Sea|
The moon was almost full and a gentle breeze filled our sails on a smooth sea. Moon and starlight twinkled off the water, and a south setting current pushed us along. No other boats appeared and there were no threatening clouds. The only sounds were that of the swishing seas and the creaking of the boat. If only all of our night passages could be this lovely, and this could possibly be our last. Sadly around 2:00 a.m. the wind died, and we needed to lower the sails and turn on the motor.
At dawn we were just passing by Maloolabah. A northeast wind was beginning to pickup, but we were on the home stretch and motoring the rest of the way. By the time we reached Scarborough Marina the wind had kicked up to 30 knots. Fortunately, it was on our tail, and we were literally surfing through the channel into the marina which was a little scary. The boat zigzags somewhat uncontrollably when surfing. The markers are not very far apart and the channel is quite narrow. Just as we reached the last set of markers, a little sailboat came from outside the the channel and scooted right in front of us then slowed down. We nearly surfed on top of him. Not smart or considerate. Don't know what he was thinking! He wasn't thinking actually, and it put us all in a dangerous situation. Fortunately, we were able to slow the boat down, and sailor finally had the presence of mind as we were nearly on top of him to scoot over to the side in time for us to glide past him. Phew! Another bullet dodged.
By noon, we were snuggly in our slip. The wind howled through the rigging of the boats in the marina. We took care of the boat chores, had a glass of wine, ate dinner, and were sound asleep by 7:30.
So our Whitsunday adventure has come to an end. It's now onward to the next chapter of our Australian adventure. Russ is already working on plans for a Darwin to Alice Springs camping expedition, later this month. There probably won't be another blog until we embark on our next adventure as the 2 Land Travel R's.
Worrall Wind's Future.....Indonesia......or For Sale?
We are still undecided about our long range plans.....sail to Indonesia next season and hope the pirate situation either gets better or our investments do so that we can ship the boat to the Med, or we list the boat for sale here in Australia. Unfortunately, I think the later will win out. The charm of sailing long passages and keeping up the boat is beginning to wear on us. Sailing can be lovely but it is a slow way for us to see all that we want. Russ is wanting to expedite our travels, and no-hassle charters in the Med are looking very appealing.
In the meantime,
All is Well with the 2 Sail R's on SV Worrall Wind.