After a leisurely morning in Southport we headed off up the Broadwater, the inland channel between the Gold Coast and Moreton Bay. A cruise like ours is full of firsts for someone like me, and there we were having a smashing time, just pottering up the river nice speed, nice depths when I had yet another first – I ran out of water….right where the chart said I shoul have 6meters underneath me….at low tide and it was high tide. Captain Chris drove us off – it was only sand and I hadn’t been going fast… and I braced myself for a long conversation about how not to runa ground…but no…..Chris just shrugged it off and said ‘Don’t worry, it’ll probably happen again’ and sure enough it did about two hours later. The depths on the chart and on the plotter bore absolutely no relation to the water underneath us!
At this stage it was getting dark and rather than negotiate further sand banks in the dark we started looking for a deep enough spot to anchor. We spotted a nice two masted yacht about the same size as us anchored nearby and motored over to where they were, only to discover when we got there that they weren’t anchored, they were very firmly aground. They were pretty determined though – they told us it was just a speed hump and they would get through, so they revved and revved and revved ( we’d dropped the anchor a little way away at this stage and had cracked open beers to watch the proceedings) and eventually he just drove on through, only to come to a complete halt about 500 meteres away. That was it for us, we decided to stay put for the night and try and cross on the 6am high tide. Next morning with a 2m tide and the help of a nice local guy who came over to us in his tinnie we crossed the “speed hump” and the next one, with no problems and continued on our merry way. It’s a lovely way to cruise between the Gold Coast and Moreton Bay, but then we came across our next challenge…an overhead electric cable. We are 19.7m from water to top of mast. One book said the cable had a clearance of 23.5m, another said 20.3m – who to believe – especially as none of them had been exact about the depths so far!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, we sailed by the cable for about 20 minutes, discussing if we could get under or not – it looked like we could but Miss. Worry Wart here was getting a little anxious!!! Eventually I got into the dinghy and drove under the cables and looked back at KAT – from that perspective there was about 10m above the top of our mast…so I beckoned to Chris to drive through – notice I say I beckoned to him, I didn’t get back on KAT to help him!!! It was much easier for Chris if I observed from afar rather than sit on KAT biting my nails and saying ‘are you sure?’ every 5 seconds. Anyway – of course he cleared it – with about 10m to spare!
After such an adventurous morning we decided to pull the pin, we’d been through the worst part of the channel it’s open bay with lots of water from here on, so we just dropped the anchor at the pretty and unusually named Coochiemudio Island for the day – hey we might even go ashore..that means clean clothes for the second day in a row, I am a lucky girl!!!!!!!!!