Friday, September 20, 2019

South Towards Brisbane

We arrived at Double Island Point in the mid afternoon. Like a lot of the Australian coast so far, the coast is a sandy beach. It appeared as though a couple of surfing schools arrived about the same time as we did. We heard that under the right conditions, people can ride the wave coming in from the point for about two kilometres. It is some sort of protected park here, so people have to drive in a ways to get here. We didn't bother going ashore and had a restful evening. In the morning we saw a small pod of dolphins nearby. They must have been hunting because they stayed at about the same spot and just kept diving.
Surfing students

Morning dolphins
The weather was cooperating so we continued south and sailed for a few hours to Noosa. Most sailors do not stop at Noosa as it is known for being a rolly anchorage with big waves. Surfers, on the other hand, love it. The headland and cliffs of Noosa are home to the Noosa National Park which is (supposedly) home to koalas. We arrived in the afternoon, went around the shark nets and dropped the anchor. We could not take Tubby ashore due to the large waves breaking on the sandy beach and it was quite rolly. The second day was the same, plus wind and rain, and the third day we decided to continue south to Mooloolaba. In Mooloolaba we could get the rigging inspected and perhaps rent a car to head back to Noosa to see the koalas.
Another sandy Australian beach
We entered the river at Mooloolaba and anchored in the “Duck Pond” for the night. The entire river basin has been built into canals so people can buy waterfront homes. Many of these homes have docks out front with their own boats. We motored up one of the canals to the Kawana Marina and once at the dock we had the rig inspected by the team at Colin Quin Rigging and Sailmaking. After almost 6 years of good use, the report was not too bad! We had a deflector placed on the top of the furling unit to avoid twisting the genoa halyard around the forestay when we furl/unfurl the genoa, replaced the mainsail halyard sheave, the forestay pin and the 4 lower shrouds (3 of the 4 had a broken wire). The Colin Quin team were professional, agile, personable and were wonderful at sharing their considerable knowledge.
Rigging inspection
The next morning we started the engine to motor back to anchor in the Duck Pond when the throttle stuck in neutral. Malcolm shut off the engine, Dina jumped back aboard, and after 15 minutes of investigation we discovered the internal mechanism was jammed. So we grabbed the wallet and walked to Whitworths, the local chandlery. Incredibly, they sold the exact same throttle mechanism. We returned to the boat and in about 40 minutes, Malcolm had swapped out the old for the new! It is shocking that the part hasn't been modified in 30 years!

The next morning we left the marina, anchored back in the Duck Pond and spent the next 3 weeks there. We tackled small boat projects (like varnishing), had the repairs done on the rigging, went to the beach and waited for the winds to come from the north so we could comfortably sail downwind, south towards Brisbane.
Tubby gets a set of wheels

Before varnishing
After varnishing

One day, we took the bus to Noosa and walked the entirety of the 23 square kilometres of the national park and didn't see a single koala! Our necks were so sore from looking up into the trees all day that we didn't notice how tired our legs were.
We saw birds, but no Koalas

Beach time
Mooloolaba Beach
After exploring Noosa, the beaches at Caloundra, Buddina, Alexandra and Mooloolaba, the winds came from the north and we had a lovely downwind sail to Bongaree, a town on the north side of Deception Bay. We saw some humpback whales along the way and lots of very loud birds in Bongaree.  Deception Bay also had some large, dinner plate sized, blue jellyfish. They’re apparently a sign of spring and are harmless. We had some fun picking up the mooring in Bongaree as we didn't have a boat hook. Between the two of us, we finally grabbed the rope attached to the mooring using the handle end of the SUP paddle!
Big blue jellyfish

We spent one night on the mooring in Bongaree and motored across to the south side of the very shallow Deception Bay to Newport Marina, close to Scarborough and Redcliffe, just north of Brisbane. One of the first things we did when we arrived at the marina in Newport was purchase a boat hook! We had Gary Saxby of UK Sails come to measure the boat for a new genoa sail and to make a deck bag for the solent sail. He would have it ready in about three weeks, which worked out well as we had guests flying into and out of Brisbane.
Guestroom is ready