Last night there was not a hint of wind and the boat was motionless, felt like we were on the ground again. This morning however was blowing a good southeast wind which would make it hard to cross Wide Bay Bar today.
In the morning J phoned his friend James who had spent 12 days sailing alone from New Zealand back to Australia, arriving at Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, and was told not allowed to come in, but had he flown from New Zealand, he could easily come in, as New South Wales has opened its borders to New Zealand(apparently only by air). The government rules are simply unbelievably ridiculous and he now has no choice but to appeal to the media.
Trying to make scallion pancakes for lunch, the ideal product looks like this.
And I made something like this.
Fortunately, the taste was great, so I just ignored the look.
In the afternoon, I caught a blue swimmer crab using stinky chicken hearts as bait, and in the evening I made crab noodles.
Discovered Mustang’s bottom line this morning. Woke up at 6am to find the bottom was almost on the bank in the knee deep water. A small part of the rudder was in the mud. It must be yesterday we dropped the anchor at the bank while the hulls were still in deeper water. Over night the boat swang to bank and sat there in low tide. No wonder it felt dead still last night at sleep, because we were simply on flat ground. Luckily the tide was rising and there was only little breeze in the morning. J moved the anchor to a deeper area and poured water into the dinghy on the front deck hoping the stern would be lifted, while I kept tightening the anchor rope until the rudder was eventually pulled out of the mud.
We reached the mouth of the river past the high tide also past the time to cross the Wide Bay Bar, so we had to stay in Pelican Bay for a day or two to wait for the best time to cross the bar. It is peaceful and pleasant here, I don’t mind to stay for a few more days.
In the afternoon, we went to the shore, the landing side was inside Pelican Bay, the wind was calm.
Went through some bush, there’s a road, 4WD vehicles kept coming and going. Across the road there was a campground, and then the beach where you could see Wide Bay Bar. As it was a Sunday, the beach was crowded with people, 4WD vehicles whizzed by, and it felt easier to be run over here than in the city.
Looking out over the sea, there are some areas where waves were particularly high because of the raised sand banks underneath. Even though it had passed the best time to pass, there were still boats taking the plunge, bouncing up and down. Actually, there was a shortcut called fisherman’s gutter for shallow drafts, but it increased the risk of running aground.
Having seen enough of the waves and the crowds, we returned to the quiet side of paradise. Cooked up an ultimate version of instant noodles. The base used was a pack of pork bone flavored ramen noodles. First marinate some textured veggie protein with its sauce packet. Shredded beef heart cabbage, sautéed in chicken fat with baby corn and bamboo shoots, and sprinkled little bit of the seasoning from the Shin ramen. I added extra egg noodle to make 2 serves. When the noodles were almost done, I added the Kaneshichi shirakedashi mushroom powder, replacing it with the seasoning powder that came with the package. Next, added the marinated veggie protein and cooked until softened. Added the vegetables, then sprinkle with spring onions and drizzle with sesame oil to finish.
For dinner we had Mapo tofu. Used up the last carton of long life tofu.
Got up at 6am, we started the preparation to sail. The wind was blowing a bit hard, so we only need a part of the mainsail (one reef), there were some rope works to do. We haven’t tried it on this boat yet, so it took a while to figure out. Finally the ropes were sorted out and we set off.
We raced along with the rising tide, keeping our speed at about 8 knots. Two knots were contributed by the tide.
When we were passing through a very narrow and winding channel, there were several boats in front of us, and the nearest one seemed to be closer and closer. But it wasn’t a good time to overtake, so we had to slow down a bit and wait for it to go around a marker. Then we could gradually pass it. When we passed, J chatted (yelled) to the owner of the other boat about how busy the traffic was today, like a weekend market.
We reached at the tide dividing line a little after 9am, just when the tide was at its highest. Passing that point we were able to continue go with an ebb tide. Once again J made perfect timing!
It was much easier to sail Mustang across the Great Sandy Straight than Dagmar as we didn’t have to worry too much about running aground. Even if we run aground the hull won’t be leaning over. What we would have to do is wait for the rising tide to lift the boat again.
The next few hours of sailing were literally like surfing, topping out at 11+ knots. We overtook another sailboat!
We entered Tin Can Bay before 12pm. It was not easy to find a suitable anchorage there, either too exposed to the wind, or the channel was too narrow and shallow on both sides. Finally we managed to anchor near a green marker, a bit in the channel, which might hinder the traffic. In the late afternoon wind was weakened, we adjusted our position slightly away from the channel. Today we sailed for 5.5 hours and 40 nautical miles. Within one morning we finished the distance that took us days to sail.
In the afternoon Steve, Mustang’s previous previous owner, came to visit. He told us about the many improvements he made to the boat and some small incidents he had in the past. His Lady friend was waiting for him on shore, as she had been seasick on Mustang, which was one of the reasons why Steve sold it. Unfortunately while he was inspecting the boat, a gust of wind blew away his sunglasses which had been placed on the deck. We felt very sorry.
Talked to Bob on the phone in the evening. He was at Mooloolaba improving his new boat. A storm that avoided us was heading for his direction. He said he’s been spending a lot on the new boat and sometimes wished he hadn’t sold Mustang. I hope he’s just not used to the new boat yet, just like J wasn’t used to the Mustang in the first place… Bob also said he and his brother stopped talking to each other because of an extra $20,000 inheritance. His brother even got the whole family against Bob, and said some very nasty words to him… I really wanted to give Bob a hug when I heard that… He said he lost his family but still has lots of good sailing friends, and those were the friends you can choose.
I found Bob’s face on our boat and he was watching us all the time.