06/11/2020

Got up at 6am found the sun was a bit harsh already. We left Humpybong at 7am and headed towards the Brisbane River. Mustang has a shallow draft so we decided to take the short cut in shallow area, only 5 feet deep of water. I can’t imagine going through this area with Dagmar.

Once in the river channel the wind stopped, so mostly we were motoring. Passing those big giraffe cranes, huge cargo ships, rumbling factories, we were slowly making our way back into industrial civilisation. I was tempted to turn the boat around and head back out to sea, but I’d better go onshore and take a shower first.

Back in Bulimba at 10:30 am and we found not much had been changed since we left, except that Di’s boat was on Dagmar’s mooring and Kevin’s mooring had an unseen boat on it… later Kevin came out of the new boat and told us he changed the little sail boat to this. We were allocated on Doug’s mooring, which is closer to shore.

After settling the boat, we had a big hug on the deck to celebrate the completion of our journey which lasted four and a half months. My heart was fulfilled. Thanks to the captain for bringing me along so I was able to discover and love this wonderful lifestyle. The sea has taught me a lot. I returned to be a braver, stronger and gentler person.

When I told my parents we arrived safely, they asked me to open a bottle of champagne and go have ice cream to celebrate. I said I’ll wait until Trump was voted out. Mum replied ‘it will be real soon!’

Went to Vietnamese Mint for dinner tonight and I had my favourite wok fried kuey teow.

05/11/2020

The first thing I did this morning was to check if that disgusting orange thing had been voted out, but the result was still unclear. It was disappointing and scary to see nearly half of the US people let the dark side of human challenge righteousness. This is also a test for me to see who is still committed to justice and righteousness, and I have blocked all those who showed their support for Trump. It is not a pity at all to lose some “friends” who are pro racism, sexism, religious bigotry, xenophobia, homophobia, corruption, environmental destruction, and anti-science… In short, I don’t trust Trump supporters.

Bob’s boat had disappeared and we were ready to head south. We left Double Island Point at 7am, passing again the beautiful white lighthouse with red top on the cliff. This marked the final chapter of our trip.

The morning breeze was from the northwest of the land and the remaining swells from yesterday’s southeast wind were getting gentler. The boat seemed to be going over liquid hills one after another, a bit like watching slow TV.

Jibed once at 10:30am as wind shifted slightly to the north. Still maintaining a speed of about 7 knots. The wind was getting stronger and stronger, making 8-9 knots of boat speed. There was a boat that had been tailgating us for a while. Now we left it behind a long way. At 2pm the wind reached up 30+ knots and we were surfing again! Speeds reached a new high of 15+ knots with the goose wings. Still going pretty steady and smooth.

I challenged the scallion pancake again for lunch, this time it looked a little prettier.

After passing Calondra we adjusted the jib to the same side of the mainsail with wind blowing from north-northeast. Big waves were catching up from behind and the auto-pilot was a bit slow to react. So the caption took tiller and navigated through the waves with skill, only being carried away once or twice, and the centrifugal force causing some items fall out of the shelf in cabin, but the rest was intact.

J said he was very pleased with Mustang’s performance in strong wind and waves, which exceeded his expectations. It was very easy to handle, keeping speed well steadily. The average sailing speed for the following two hours was around 10 knots. Felt like taking off when we passed the corner of Bribie Island. Wish someone had taken a picture or video of our boat from the beach, it would have been awesome!

The wind dropped before sunset, 5-6 knots of speed we all found it slow, and the wind almost stopped for the last part. Went around all the obstacles on the water (buoys, lights, crab pots…) We anchored at Humpybong’s harbor just before dark. In the evening, we had Singapore noodles. Delicious.

We sailed a total of 85 nautical miles in one day. It took us one day and night on the way up. what a ride!

An episode after dinner, we noticed the wind blowing from the side when it picked up a little. Found the anchor rope got caught under the starboard dagger board which we forgot to pull up. Now it was harder to pull up while the rope was pulling under. J used another rope to bear the pulling force, then gradually released more of the anchor rope. Finally it went around and the boat nosed to wind again. Then we pulled both dagger boards up. It’s a lesson for us to remember.

04/11/2020

Had a perfect breakfast made by J this morning and plan to spend the day at leisure.

Bob said he would be sailing from Mooloolaba to Tin Can Bay today with the southeasterly, we were planning to go on land to watch him sail his new boat through the Wide Bay Bar, then follow him into Tin Can Bay. Later J spoke to him on the phone and learned that his headsail was not in good shape, it was deteriorating bit by bit, and the wind was trending down. He might not arrive at the expected time. So we changed our plan and decided to meet him at Double Island Point, which meant it was our turn to go through Wide Bay Bar first.

The decision was made at 9.30am and the high tide was at 10am. We acted quickly, making preparations while sailing out of Pelican Bay, clearing the deck, securing the dinghy, making sure things won’t fall in the cabin. We contacted Coast Guard Tin Can Bay via VHF before passing. I could already feel the swells when approaching to the exit. Were using only the mainsail and engine until we reached the first point, and then jib was up during the first and second points, to reduce the bumpy movements with gained speed. Between the second and third point it was a bit gentler at some spots. From the third point to the fourth point we were going into headwind, so we made a couple of tacks and eventually went through the pass, and gradually made our way out of the notorious wide bay bar. To be honest, I felt more nervous about the US election result than crossing the bar.

At around 2pm, we made it into the lagoon of Double Island Point, a perfect shelter for boats. We anchored in 6 feet of water right next to Bob’s new boat, ‘So Good’.

Once settled, we couldn’t wait to get on Bob’s boat and take a look. J checked on his broken headsail, which could only be described as a mess. Bob bought it from the previous owner for $350 and it started to fall apart after only a short while. We all condemned the previous owner for his dishonesty and felt how lucky that we met such an honest and lovely seller like Bob! He kept working on Mustang even though it had already been sold to us. The boat was ready to go when handed to us.

It would be very difficult to sail Bob’s boat without a headsail, because the mainsail is too heavy and not curved enough. Luckily we have two spare headsails on our boat. We brought them to Bob’s and they fit ok. Bob asked if he could buy them from us. J said you can keep them, they cost one packet of TimTam. Bob said I’ll give you two! He had a look of gratitude in his eyes…

We invited Bob for dinner, and he came with two packets of TimTam wrapped in a plastic bag. When he got himself onboard, he said ’I think I know this boat’.

Not much variety of food left on our boat so I made stir fry pumpkin with veggies protein. We all enjoyed it. Bob said the previous owner of ‘So Good’ wasn’t happy with his offer and even got angry with Bob, so that he took everything he could off the boat and sold Bob a trashy headsail… (the guy was ridiculous, he could have refused to sell it to Bob if he’s not happy with the offer). Looks like Bob’s new boat needs more gear and improvements. He said he would stay at Tin Can Bay for the whole cyclone season to do the job. Bob mentioned again he probably should have kept Mustang… I felt sorry to hear about his disappointment on the new boat, but I’m sure he’ll be able to make So Good good again, because he’s a handyman.

After tea he rowed his dinghy back and disappeared into the night air. Tomorrow morning we’re going separate ways and I don’t think we’ll see each other again until next year… Good bye and good luck Solo Bob!