Yep, we finally made it across the border – we are in sunny Queensland!
We left Iluka very early Saturday morning (as in 5am). We had to get out over the bar at high tide or we’d be stuck there for another 24hours. And boy are we glad we left when we did – there was some waves on the bar which would have been breaking at low tide so we reckon we left just in time. We had a strong e/se so were racking up the miles pretty quickly, we passed Ballina at 9am, where we had decided to stop if we were making slow progress but we were doing so well we decided to keep going to Southport 90 miles away. The wind stayed with us all day and we had a pretty fast ride up the coast. The seas were pretty lumpy though, not a problem as we were going down wind, but it meant one of us had to steer all the time, this was not a suitable day for using Otto, our trusty auto pilot. It was great fun, especially for me – those of you that have sailed with me know that I get pretty nervous about steering downwind – not any more – I got plenty of practice all day Saturday and didn’t accidentally gibe once!! We passed Tweed Heads and the NSW/Queensland border at 5pm and the lights of the Gold Coast were in sight. Chris had an interesting time steering into the Gold Coast Seaway – the swell meant that we were being carried through much faster than he wanted. But as always we got in safe and sound. The rain had stayed off all day, but just as yours truly went on the bow to drop the anchor, the heavens opened and of course not having had the good sense to put on my wet weather gear – i was soaked to the skin!! New rule of the sea; if it occurs to you to put on your wet weather gear, follow that intuition…don’t wait or you’ll get wet
Again after such a long day at sea,we were exhausted so decided to stay put in Southport on Sunday. Where the highlight of my day was putting on decent clothes that semi-matched i.e. clean shorts and t-shirt. I’m not the most stylish girl in the world but I usually manage to turn myself out pretty well, however there is no fashion in sailing. At sea my usual attire is tracky daks, old sailing jersey, fleece, beanie and my new ugg boots which Chris bought for me for my birthday! (He’s back in the good books again!) The hair is usually tangled and windblown, and the less said about the state of my nails the better! I caught sight of myself in the mirror the another night and screamed before I realised it was me I was looking at. What ever happened to the nice girl in her smart suits, high heels and blow-dried hair…..??
We’ve decided to head for Mooloolaba today (Monday). But instead of following the more traditional offshore route we are going inside Moreton Island. It’s 80 miles, which’ll be another long day offshore or we can take a couple of days to go the inland waterway route, which means a couple of leisurely days motor sailing and an over night stop at a pretty anchorage. But first I have to go work out teh route and the depths in each channel to make sure we can get through…busy,busy,busy