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South Passage Daily Report

CLIENT: General Public Voyage

VOYAGE NUMBER:  20230506

FROM: Manly to Hervey Bay

DATE: 8 May 2023

POSITION: Coongul Point, Fraser Is

REPORT:  Blue Watch

After spending a clear moonlit night in Wide Bay just north of Double Island Point, we watched the sun light up the beautiful sand cliffs near Rainbow Beach. We set off at dawn to make the high tide over Wide Bay bar near Inskip Point. Well protected by PFDs, we stowed our tray tables, fastened our seatbelts and sat on deck watching the swell pitch us (relatively gently) while the freezing wind blew sand off the beach and whitecaps over the sandbars. Once in the straits, careful and precise navigation took us through the narrows while Blue Watch took out the Honours in the rope competition (White Watch insists that we also mention their victories).

A hot breakfast took the chill off and warmed us up for some sail raising. Soon we were sailing up the channel (watching the depth gauge carefully) under the foresail and jib. With the lookouts watching for channel markers, mangroves on either side, we gybed and sailed until the wind dropped to the point where it was time to restart the motor to keep us on track. By lunchtime we were enjoying a balmy cloudless sky and warm sun.

As we approached Kingfisher Bay resort we were accompanied by dolphins, ospreys and a Brahminy kite while a delicious lunch was prepared by Cath. Soon the dinghy was launched and Bart ferried us safely across to the Resort. A quiet walk along the beach for us and bit of exploration of the resort worked off lunch. Too soon, we were piling back into the dinghy and back on board with no AWOLs. Despite Peter’s predictions of a flat calm, the wind picked up again and we got some beautiful calm sailing in as we glided up the west coast of K’gari to a sunset over the water at the north end of the island.

Pretty soon it was time to put the sails to bed but alas, not us as Blue Watch’s time started at 18:00 hours. Luckily dinner was the first part of the watch. As evening fell over a cloudless blue evening sky, Venus appeared and we watched the sun set with just a few gold clouds on the horizon. After checking out the dingo (and humans) on the beach, we prepared (but failed) to trounce White Watch in the final rope comp but luckily dinner was there to compensate. As we complete this, the first real duty of the watch, sticky date pudding awaits. As the moon won’t be up for a couple of hours, we’ll get some star gazing in and all too soon it’ll be lights out before our final day (for us, but not the crew).

I must go down to the sea again, the lonely sea and the sky.

All I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by.

(John Masefield)

Bernice and Ian

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