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Old 06-30-2009, 04:56 AM   #1
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Cruising North Queensland Australia

I was chatting with Leon and realised I should start a new thread.
The Boss and I left Mooloolaba last Thursday afternoon and headed north, crossed the Wide Bay Bar that night and anchored at Pelican Point (south end of Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world)
The next day we progressed up the inside passage and spent a couple of nights in the Susan River.
From there an 8 hr passage to Bundaberg where I am waiting for a new AVR for my gen set.
From here we will head further north to the Whitsunday Islands.
Normally we have a couple of nice anchorages in the Broadsound area, Pearl Bay, Island Head Creek but they are in a Military Training area and will be closed for 3 weeks as of Sunday, this may entail a straight 20 hr steam out wide to the Percy Islands.
Will attach some photos as we progress.

Benn
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:48 AM   #2
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RE: Cruising North Queensland Australia

Hi Benn,


Speaking of good walks in Hinchinbrook, you reminded me that I once walked the length of the island. *It certainly was beautiful and it took four days of walking and camping in different spots each night. *We were dropped off by boat at the southern end then picked up at the north end four days later. * Amazing beaches, rainforest and also lots of fresh water creeks that if you go up stream on you do not have to worry about the crocs.


The only negatives were some of the local critters, lots of insects and then these small native rats that would get your food unless you went to extreme lengths each night to secure it. *They would happily chew into your tent if they could smell food. *I seem to remember stringing our food up in bags hangng by fishing line from a tree each night. *They could not grip the fishing line so could not get to the food.


Keep updating as you go as the Queensland coast is a great area for cruising.


Cheers, Leon.
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:42 AM   #3
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RE: Cruising North Queensland Australia

Lookin forward to the stories and the pics!!!
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:08 AM   #4
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RE: Cruising North Queensland Australia

The trip north started in Mooloolaba on Thursday June the 25 th.
Gayle arrived up from Brisbane in the morning and we were off the wharf at 12 30 hrs.
Heading north we crossed the treacherous Wide Bay Bar at 20 30 hrs. A good crossing on a very dark night.
The boss wasnt happy but relieved once we were anchored at Pelican Point.

The next day we started up the Sandy Straights ( between Fraser Island and the Mainland) and into the Susan River where we were to stay a couple of nights due to strong NW to SW winds.
Experienced a problem with my generator and wasnt able to externally excite it with a battery so will have it seen to when we get to Bundaberg.
Headed of from the straights hugging the coast to keep out of the SW winds and arrived at the Bundaberg Port Marina at 1700 hrs on the 28 th.
A couple of days in Bundaberg while we waited for the supply of a new AVR for the gen set and we missed a couple of days of good motor boating weather.
New AVR and we departed Bundy with the intention of steaming overnight to Kepple Island.
We pushed into a stiff NEasterly and by 2330 hrs that night we were buggered so a quick left turn thru the 28 odd waiting Buaxite and Coal bulkies at anchor and we headed up the harbour of Gladstone to anchor and rest.
The next morning we had an early start and got out the North Entrance a tricky entrance without much water but the tides were right and we were out and back on track arriving in Wreck Bay Great Keppel Island at 1400 hrs.
This is a beautifull sandy beach bay with good SW protection.
Here we met up with some old friends who had sailed up from Tasmania.
John and Tracy on Midnight rambler used to run the Laguna Quays Marina up in the Whitsundays.
We traveled with them for the next couple of days from Keppel Island to Pearl Bay and then up to Marble Island.
These days were just pleasant motor boating weather with 10/15 knot SW winds and with this on the stern quarter we traveled well and we had to keep going to get north of the Army Training area of Broad Sound that was to close for 3 weeks as of midnight 4 th July.
On the 5 th we had a sloppy cruise up to a very beautiful anchorage on the north side of Curlew Is. We will stay here a couple of days to smell the roses and hopefully have enough time to catch a few fish.
From there we had a very pleasant cruise of about 5.5 hrs to Mackay, another serious coal loading port with about 27 bulkies at anchor.
Here for a few days to see afew old friends and restore.
We then have the daughter comming up for a few days and we will have a couple of days in Laguns Quays before we again start to head north.
When I resize them I will post a couple of photos.

Whilst in Bundaberg I had a look around a small boat builders yard who builds a very nice power Cat.
Lengths from 14.2 mts to 17 mts.
Some of them aree a bit squareish but one in paticular he has some nice curves and a very high standard of finnish.

Benn
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:13 AM   #5
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RE: Cruising North Queensland Australia

And a few more photos
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:11 AM   #6
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RE: Cruising North Queensland Australia

Hi Benn,

Thanks for the update, good to hear about the cruising and I am sure you will start catching Spanish Mackerel as you get a little further north. *Enjoy and keep posting your pictures.


Cheers, Leon.
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:09 AM   #7
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RE: Cruising North Queensland Australia

Hi Guys,
I am now a fair bit further north.
Tied up at magnetic Island just of the coast at Townsville.
Had a strong wind warning out and it is still on.
I am also waioting for a new motor for my water maker.
Bloody brand new and the motor is stuffed. (A waranty claim I hope)
had a walk over the Island today and saw one of the strangest craft , photo attached.
Actually heard about it a few days ago down at Cape Upstart, soon as i saw it I knew it was the boat.
We have had a terrific run of weather and real motor boatin seas.
With nice SE trades blowing I have been able to average about 8.2 knots for the last 30 odd hours of steaming.
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:20 AM   #8
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RE: Cruising North Queensland Australia

A few more photos
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:46 AM   #9
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RE: Cruising North Queensland Australia

It's not clear to me as to just exactly what your dinghy is. Are those ball fenders (yellow) over the tender's sides or are they some kind of full length flotation that are permanently attached to the boat?* Since I'm not a big RIB fan, your tender set up interests me.
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:25 PM   #10
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RE: Cruising North Queensland Australia

Seahorse,
They are a flotation device called Aerofloats Aerofloat.com.au
Inflateable units attached to the side of my tinny for flotation, fenders and also assist in getting in and out whilst free diving.
They are terrific.
When travelling in Northern parts of Australia a tinny is a better tender as RIBs are known as teething rings for Crocks.

Regards
Benn
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Old 08-15-2009, 04:30 AM   #11
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Cruising North Queensland Australia

I have been north of Townsville for about 10 days now and after cruising thru the Palm Group of Islands and an overnight at Orpheus we have stayed around Hinchinbrook Island.
This is one fantastic Island with an incredibly diverse eco system.
The fishing and crabing is awsome.
We entered the passage at the south end past the Lucinda Sugar loading wharf. It is that long it dips 6 feet due to the curvature of the earth.
Will stay up here for another week fishing the mangrove creeks and hope to catch a barramundi before we start to head south.


-- Edited by Tidahapah on Saturday 15th of August 2009 04:37:41 AM
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:27 AM   #12
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RE: Cruising North Queensland Australia

Great pictures Benn. *Hinchinbrook Island is a very very special place. *Good luck with the barra!Cheers, Leon.
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:22 AM   #13
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Cruising North Queensland Australia

Ben:

I tried Googling "AeroFloat but to no avail! Are you sure that the website is AeroFloat.Com.au?

Walt



-- Edited by SeaHorse II on Monday 17th of August 2009 09:23:14 AM
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:23 AM   #14
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RE: Cruising North Queensland Australia

Walt,
Sorry , just checked the site and it is www.aerofloat.com
Hope this is right.
Benn

Leon,
spending a bit more time up the creeks befor I turn round and head south again.
We have a strong wind warning out tonight so no better place to be but anchored up in the passage.
Was over in Zoe bay the other day and walked up to the falls and rock pools what a magneficent view and awsome place.
Benn
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:45 AM   #15
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RE: Cruising North Queensland Australia

Benn:

No cigar! I've tried everything I can think of on Google and to no avail. Did you buy yours from the manufacturer or through a dealer? I hate to be so persistent but my history with RIBS has been horrible. They leak, pulling them up on the beach abrades the bottom, they are "soft" in the morning, the sun plays havoc on the floats, etc.

I want an aluminum dinghy with floats!!!!

Walt
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:04 PM   #16
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Walt---

Check out the Bullfrog. *http://www.bullfrogboats.com/ *This is the dinghy that's hanging on the davits on Carey's lobsterboat. It combines the advantages of an inflatable (high load-carrying capacity, high stability, good buoyancy) with the advantages of a hardshell dingy (durable, no inflated tubes, no fabric, tough, replaceable aluminum bottom). Their only downside is they are heavier than an inflatable or simple hardshell. I've been in Carey's 10' model on several occasions and it's great.

The Bullfrog has solid foam "tubes" for flotation. Since they are not fabric air chambers, they don't have to be round. So the inside edges are cut straight down which adds considerably more user room to the inside of the dinghy. Carey had a custom fuel tank made up to be an integral part of the center seat so he doesn't even have to carry a gas can.

He has a 15hp Honda on his and it planes with the two of us with no problems. It's the best dinghy I've been in so far. Tough, buoyant, fast, stable, a good amount of room, looks good (they're available in white or gray). I'm sure Carey will chime in here with either additional benefits or things he's found he doesn't like, but it's a great little boat in my opinion.

-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 18th of August 2009 02:05:08 PM
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:44 PM   #17
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RE: Cruising North Queensland Australia

AllWhat Marin says of the Bullfrog is mostly true. Other than its weight, I love the boat. Just to clarify one thing however. The flotation tubes are high density polyethylene. They are hollow, and provide a great place for storage of smaller items, entered via screw hatches at several points. There is about 6" of foam lining the bottom of these flotation tubes just in case it were to spend a long time flooded. It will not sink. With just myself on board, it runs about twenty knots with the 15 horse. Although rated at a max 15 horse, most purchasers put a 20 horse on it anyway. They do fine.
Carey


PS-The forward seat is the eleven gallon aluminum fuel tank. It really helps getting on plane, and leaves the interior of the boat uncluttered.
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:39 PM   #18
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RE: Cruising North Queensland Australia

CAREY & MARIN:

Thanks for the info....it solves all the problems I've encountered with RIBs .
Although a little pricey, it appears to be the perfect tender for just about all known conditions.

I got a quote that included a Honda 9.9 and rigged with a SeaWise davit. Carey's davit, however, is more to my liking. What is it? I have no need for a 20 kt. tender but do you think the 9.9 is adequate?

Walt
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:47 PM   #19
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Carey designed the davits himself and had them fabricated by a machine shop in Bellingham. They are powder-coated aluminum.

Everybody (including me) starts out by saying that they have no need for a fast tender so a low-power motor will do just fine.* It's*bullsh*t.* I've found it takes about two uses to change your mind.* We have a very low-power dinghy (4hp) because I wanted to keep the weight down on our 36-year-old swimstep.* But putting along with a 4hp sucks big time.** Dinghies are no different than airplanes and boats.***Outside of the pansies who genuinely have some pathological obsession with conserving fuel, there is no such thing as too much power.* And even the tree-huggers secretly want to go fast.

Carey can be more precise, but in my opinion a 9.9 is not enough power for a 10' Bullfrog.* Sure it will move the boat along okay, but if you have a boat that will go fast, why not go fast?* I would say a 15hp is ideal in real life for the 10' Bullfrog although twenty would be even better if weight and launch and recovery is not an issue.* A friend of Carey's put a--- what was it, 45 hp?--- on his 10' Bullfrog.* I think he got from Bellingham to Friday Harbor in less than an hour.

One feature of Carey's Bullfrog you might want to investigate further.* The side grab rails, which are very handy, are placed in a position that makes it difficult, or impossible, to use the oars in the event the motor conks out.* Carey can explain this better, but it's the only thing I've heard him say he would do differently.


-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 18th of August 2009 04:08:32 PM
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:25 PM   #20
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WaltA 9.9 is fine, if your use consists of going from boat to dock, or out a few hundred feet to set a crab pot. If that is how you'll use it, even smaller will do a few knots. I like the speed, because I can run a few miles quickly, to fish, get groceries (meaning a fresh bottle of whiskey), or to a fishing spot. If I'm not in a hurry, I can putt along slowly with little fuel burn. The 10 horse won't plane the Bullfrog. It takes a 15 with Dolphins to get it on plane quickly. The only reason for not going to 15 horse that I can think of would be initial cost, and weight (if you will be manhandling the motor). The 20 horse Honda weighs no more than the fifteen, as the only difference is in the carburetor.
Marin is correct about my buddy's Bullfrog. He bought a blem from Bullfrog, put a center console in it, and mounted a 45 horse Honda. It is awesome. He has run all over the San Juans in a standing position wearing flotation coveralls.


Carey


PS- Don't get the side railing. It will not allow use of oars. I intend to cut out the middle section to allow that. I wanted them only as a means of tying down the dinghy to the stern. There are other ways to accomplish that.


-- Edited by Carey on Tuesday 18th of August 2009 05:30:41 PM
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