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Old 06-10-2018, 04:41 PM   #21
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We visited last autumn but hit unlucky with the weather up around Cairns for our trip out to the reef, overcast and poor visibility.
Later in our holiday my son hired a catamaran and we enjoyed our week cruising around the Whitsundays, a big change from our normal cruising on the French canals and the Med.
Have a safe and happy cruise.
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Old 06-10-2018, 04:57 PM   #22
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We visited last autumn but hit unlucky with the weather up around Cairns for our trip out to the reef, overcast and poor visibility.
Later in our holiday my son hired a catamaran and we enjoyed our week cruising around the Whitsundays, a big change from our normal cruising on the French canals and the Med.
Have a safe and happy cruise.
I did notice your posts during your visit. Weather more often than not is less than ideal. The SE trade winds blow most of the winter season at around 15 kn. When they take a break it can be fabulous. I'm enjoying zero wind at present in Garry's anchorage at the southern end of the Great Sandy Straits. A pity I'm not farther up the coast to be out on the reef, but I'll get some good days over the next few months I'm sure. I'm cooling my heels a little as some deliveries to my daughters place at Hervey Bay are still a week out. I'm OK with a few days at a marina in Urangan, but prefer to anchor out.

There's always a bit of maintenance to do to keep myself amused. eg Today I'm going to try and re-attach a shaft brush that broke off my bonding system.
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Old 06-11-2018, 03:05 AM   #23
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The beauty of it is that if your not on a tight schedule its nice to stay for a few days here and there. As you say it gives a chance to catch up on those 'just a five minute jobs cherie' that always seem to pop up when cruising.
The other upside is that the admiral gets time to do girlie things when we're busy playing with big boys toys. I hope you enjoy your cruise as much as I did when we visited your beautiful country.
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Old 06-11-2018, 02:35 PM   #24
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I'm cooling my heels a little as some deliveries to my daughters place at Hervey Bay are still a week out. I'm OK with a few days at a marina in Urangan, but prefer to anchor out.
We anchored for several days south of the little island ( round is) a mile opposite the marina.
Bumpy bottom, strong current but no dramas holding.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:01 PM   #25
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We anchored for several days south of the little island ( round is) a mile opposite the marina.
Bumpy bottom, strong current but no dramas holding.
Thanks, I might end up trying that spot out. I moved up to Shell Gutter at the top of Turkey Island this morning. There were usually 6-12 boats at Garry's (and room for more) but I'm by myself in the gutter, and it should be fine for a couple of days with only light NW forecast.

With two freezers running as well as the reefer I can only get 2-3 nights at anchor. I need to get further north to get more output from the solar panels. The winter sun is a bit weak!

Last night my dingy winch spontaneously started to operate. By the time I figured out what was happening the winch line had snapped. A little while ago I had crushed the plug connection against the RIB during a rotation of the unit a while back, and did a temporary solder repair of wires to pins. But some movement must have shorted one of the pin connections. I can 'repair the repair' enough to get the line repaired. Hopefully! So yet another part order to wait for delivery of. I'll also see if I can relocate the socket on the winch to avoid a repeat crushing event. It only happens if I am using the winch to put the kayak in the water with the RIB still on-board, but could happen again.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:58 PM   #26
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Thats a bummer
If you are getting stuff sent this may be of interest to you Brian.

Get stuff sent and held at the next convenient post office
Once you join, choose what post offices you want to use and get your own individual address
Something free from Aus post and it actually works.

https://auspost.com.au/delivery-opti...d=p13837021420
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:26 PM   #27
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Thats a bummer
If you are getting stuff sent this may be of interest to you Brian.

Get stuff sent and held at the next convenient post office
Once you join, choose what post offices you want to use and get your own individual address
Something free from Aus post and it actually works.

https://auspost.com.au/delivery-opti...d=p13837021420
I have setup the account and have used the Parcel Locker option. It works very well, but you only get 48 hours to collect or they take it back to the nearest PO. Choosing a PO to begin with does give more time and flexibility, so yes I agree that its something to consider for later in the cruise. Once I leave Hervey Bay I don't plan on stopping at any towns for quite a while.

Winch plug is now repaired with heat shrink on the wire I re-soldered. Works fine, but I will still replace the plug. The spectra winch line is now 2.5m shorter, but still plenty long enough, so all is good.

Tomorrow I fix the diaphragm pump that sucks the bilge dry, well almost dry. Much lower than the Rule pumps can go anyway. I have replaced the rubber diaphragm flaps before. The have SS washers each side that stiffens the flap action, and the rivets holding the washers fail.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:49 PM   #28
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Brian: Do you need a Yankee to help out on any leg's of your trip. I own a Selene 53 which I keep in Key West Florida for now and travel the Bahamas chain when I can. Always wanted to hang in your neck of the seas.
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Old 06-15-2018, 06:04 PM   #29
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Brian: Do you need a Yankee to help out on any leg's of your trip. I own a Selene 53 which I keep in Key West Florida for now and travel the Bahamas chain when I can. Always wanted to hang in your neck of the seas.
I keep the legs pretty short, and wait for suitable weather. No help required, but thanks for the offer.
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Old 06-17-2018, 11:46 PM   #30
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Brian,
Enjoy your trip north. Weather has been a bit flukey the last couple of days but with all this west wind close to the beach is good.
Looks like I won’t be going north this year, first time in 24 years, will try and get to the Bunkers or the Swains in November to get my Xmas fish supplies.
Tidahapah is presently down at the Gold Coast City Marina getting ready for some minor work and haul out.
Gayle and I are off to Europe this week for about 5 weeks so boat work will probably be delayed until my return.
It’s a good thing to bypass Garry’s Anchorage this time of the year as there are to many boats in there, my preference is to carry the tide over the Sheridan flats and then anchor at Kingfisher bay, can’t beat the pizza and beer at the barefoot bar.
Have a good safe trip and I hope you make it up to Lizard.
Cheers
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Old 06-18-2018, 04:37 AM   #31
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Benn
Enjoy Europe, with luck you will be ahead of the summer crowds! I suspect you are right: Doug has so much work that if you aren't there then some others will get in the queue ahead of your job. Plus its nice to be in the vicinity to get involved with the little decisions that arise.

I'm currently at Urangan, and will leave at the end of the week after collecting the last of my deliveries. I took my daughter and a bunch of her friends out for a day trip yesterday. We went to Kingfisher Bay. The Sand Bar did look to be a nice spot to spend a bit of time at, but we had self-catered on board.

When I leave here I think I'll overnight in the river at Bundaberg and then head for Lady Musgrave early the next day. The plan is to arrive in the middle of the day, to give best visibility for dodging the bommies in the lagoon. Last time I was there I left the lagoon early in the morning, and just followed my entry track out. The only problem was the tide was lower, and I scraped some coral on the way out! Just a touch fortunately, but this time I want to set a track that I know has deep enough water for departure at any time. Like you, I prefer the northern end as not many boats go there.
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:47 AM   #32
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Hey Brian. Just remember when you go much further north, you're into crocodile country. Just sayin'.
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Old 06-18-2018, 04:14 PM   #33
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Hey Brian. Just remember when you go much further north, you're into crocodile country. Just sayin'.
Sure, along the coast in the murky water. That's why I called it a reef cruise - I want to be offshore, in clear water and well clear of the salties!
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:04 PM   #34
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Brian,
Another option for going to Lady Musgrave and one I use most of the time these days is to go to Rooney Point and anchor up , either south side or north side and then depart early morning , I am a bit slower than you and also usually go to Fitzroy Reef, so I go at approx 0200 hrs. Lady Musgrave is only about 70 NM so makes it a good run.
Enjoy
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:19 PM   #35
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Wathoomba Creek is worth anchoring outside of and checking out on the way to Rooney.
Spectacular waterway at high tide.
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:29 PM   #36
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Brian,
Another option for going to Lady Musgrave and one I use most of the time these days is to go to Rooney Point and anchor up , either south side or north side and then depart early morning , I am a bit slower than you and also usually go to Fitzroy Reef, so I go at approx 0200 hrs. Lady Musgrave is only about 70 NM so makes it a good run.
Enjoy
Leave at 0200? That might be ok for you, but I'm old & fragile, and need my beauty sleep as well! I left from Rooney's last time, but had over 20kn against the tidal current and got tossed around a lot.

Simi, I think that Creek might have to wait until the way home. Bundaberg cuts the overall trip into two easy legs. At this point the plan is a dawn start both days so I can 'ride the ebb tide' north and have gentle tailwinds as well.
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Old 06-28-2018, 01:39 AM   #37
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I have been following your notes with interest. Currently anchored in Cid harbour with time so thought I’d check out your progress. Pretty cool and overcast here. Can see nothing since the 19th.
Look forward to your next update.
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Old 06-28-2018, 03:58 AM   #38
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Hi Brian...hope you are travelling well. Curious about what weather forecasting software/services you are using and finding accurate/useful. When we did our Moreton Bay 8-week jaunt, I was surprised at the accuracy of both Windy and PredictWind. I had supposed that they were likely to be poor for the S Hemisphere given most of their users are in N America & Europe...very impressed with both.
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Old 06-29-2018, 06:18 AM   #39
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I have been following your notes with interest. Currently anchored in Cid harbour with time so thought I’d check out your progress. Pretty cool and overcast here. Can see nothing since the 19th.
Look forward to your next update.
Hamo
Ah yes. I ought to have updated a week ago although I have been out of range for internet for the past week.

When leaving Urangan the weather forecast was favourable so I ended up following both Tidahapah and Simi's suggestions. I went over to Wathumba Creek on 23 June. Unfortunately the tides weren't ideal, but I managed to get inside the creek a couple of hours after low tide, and went in for a little way. Definitely a place to visit again. There were 4 seperate boat/camps even in the short section I traversed, no doubt keen fishermen!
This guy nails it:
Wathumba Creek, Fraser Island - Camping, Fishing & Exploring

I then managed to get up to the south side of Rooney's by sunset, and raised anchor at 5am the following day. I had a pretty good run up to Lady Musgrave Is. I did take a swing past Lady Elliot Is on the way. It did not add much distance, and I was curious as to whether there was phone repeater there. There wasn't! So I essentially lost internet not long after leaving Rooney's. Oddly enough, while I was 'trapped' at Lady Musgrave's lagoon for 4 nights while the 20-25kn winds were blowing, I did receive text messages about once per day, at random times. But not enough signal strength for internet or email. I had always planned for a few days there, so being 'trapped' was no hardship. Just a bit of rolling around at high tide as the winds brought a bit more water than usual across the fringing reef to the lagoon. For those wondering, the islands I refer to are generally recognised as the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. So I finally got to the starting point in terms of the thread title!
https://www.ladyelliot.com.au/
Lady Musgrave Island | Southern Great Barrier Reef Island

Once the winds, and seas had settled a bit my next stop was the lagoon at Fitzroy Reef. As usual, I aimed for a middle of the day arrival, not necessarily because of the narrow entrance which has good buoys/beacons, but because it gives the best visibility for dodging the areas of shallow coral when finding a spot to anchor. I keep a good margin of safety when doing this so that I can confidently just follow my chartplotter track back out if I want to depart early in the day. Fitzroy Reef is also a pretty nice place!
https://www.queensland.com/en-au/att...oy-reef-lagoon
Fitzroy Reef - GBRMPA

I left Fitzroy Reef this morning at 8am, before the sun was high enough to give good visibility into the water ahead, but had no issues. I was headed for Great Keppel Island. A longish day at 75nm, where I arrived at sunset. Once again I took a slight detour, this time past Heron Island.
It is one of the best places to go for a scuba diving holiday: its their specialty!
But for private vessels, there isn't anywhere that's good to anchor, and their jetty area is out of bounds. Lucas's guide says they don't welcome casual boaties also. They do have a phone repeater though! I picked up signal 10nm SE of the island, but it dropped out 4nm NW of the island. Special Offers & Packages : Heron Island Great Barrier Reef

En route from Heron to Great Keppel I picked up good phone reception about a third of the way along, and It got stronger the closer to shore I went. That's not surprising, but what did please me was that I was getting reception at 30nm offshore initially. I think the connection was to cell towers in Gladstone that were on hills, because I was the same distance offshore at Lady Musgrave, but only had weak/intermittent connection there. However, I think the Cel-Fi Go repeater is delivering as expected and am really happy with it. Connection was 3G, not 4G, but email and internet worked fine.

Some pics below, nothing really special, but following forum protocol: if no pics it didn't happen!

First is Lady Elliot's western shoreline.

Then a pair of humpback whales just before Lady Musgrave. One had breached a couple of times, but I missed getting those shots!

Then a view to the south within lagoon at Lady Musgrave. The cay is about 1nm away as I zoomed in a bit.

Last one is a little island just to north of my anchorage a Turkey Island in Hervey Bay. Out of date order, but it was a calm foggy morning and at high tide the little patch of mangroves looked cute!
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Old 06-29-2018, 06:41 AM   #40
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Hi Brian...hope you are travelling well. Curious about what weather forecasting software/services you are using and finding accurate/useful. When we did our Moreton Bay 8-week jaunt, I was surprised at the accuracy of both Windy and PredictWind. I had supposed that they were likely to be poor for the S Hemisphere given most of their users are in N America & Europe...very impressed with both.
I use both Windy and Predict Wind, but also Seabreeze. They are all based on the same models, and of those I suspect the ECMWF one is likely the best. Mostly they are good, but the day I left Moreton Island none of them were anywhere near the truth, nor were their infrequent updates during the day an improvement.

I also listen to the BoM forecasts as provided by the VMR/Coastguard stations. The forecast issued at 3:50pm is usually on the VHF at 4:15 (sometimes later, depends on which station is giving it) and covers both the remainder of your day plus the next 3 days. That is good for forward planning of legs/anchorages. They seem to give a better idea of conditions wide offshore, where winds/swell is typically greater than for inshore areas.

But I'm hoping they are a bit off tonight. I'm tucked in close at the NE end of Great Keppel, along with 22 other boats (mostly sail, 50% cats) although we all have plenty of room. Even with E winds at present a bit of swell wraps around the point, although it is below 1m. If the NE forecast by BoM arrives during the night I'm hoping it stays light! Meanwhile, Predict Wind says E or SE at about 10kn, and so does Windy. Right now there is 7kn E, but I'm facing S. If I get rolled around by the NE in the early hours of the morning I'll just make an early start for Island Head Creek.

AFAIK there are no military training exercise going on so the creek should be open for Rec. boaters. It and Port Clinton usually are open when there is just land based exercises, although I am not keen on being there when live firing is going on inland. The problem is, it makes for a really long day to have to bypass those anchorages. If the weather is right, Pearl Bay, just north of Port Clinton, is a fabulous alternative, and I'll make the call when I get up there tomorrow.
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