Friday, April 08, 2011

A very poor picture of the Gold Coast

We are slowly working our way northwards. We had an unpleasant trip from Iluka to Southport which is in the Gold Coast. We had thunder and lightning for about 3 hours followed by buckets of cold rain. It is indeed fall here, it is colder and raining much more frequently. Our blood has thinned out considerably, we need sweaters when the temperature gets below 20 degrees. We were sailing along the next day with only wind, waves and beautiful long sandy beaches for company when up rose miles of high rises, the Gold Coast. We had an easy entrance through the breakwater and anchored just opposite Seaworld. We spent 3 nights there, the 3rd day waiting out bad weather before moving on. The next 2 days were spent slowing sailing down the intercoastal waterway. It was nice protected water although quite shallow in many places. This is one of the private homes along the waterway!!
We stayed one night in Tipplers Passage, went ashore and walked across the island to the ocean beaches and had a picnic. It was amazing to have the never ending beach with the dunes all to ourselves.
We continued on down the passage and came to an area that had confusing signage. It was confusing mostly because our binoculars have both gotten water in them and are not very clear. I got outside the main channel and went aground. Thankfully it was on a rising tide so we just sat there and waited for the water to rise. There was a heavy current pushing us further into the sand/mud so Barry had the motor in full reverse trying to get off. After a harrowing half an hour, we could feel the boat starting to bounce a little. Barry tried motoring forward, reversing, spinning the wheel and occasionally we would pivot slightly but the mud would not let us go. Finally Barry told me to roll out some head sail and the extra push from the front of the boat pulled us free. My heart did not stop hammering for about forty five minutes.At the entrance to the river this boat was having trouble with his main sail. He is sailing along in the lee of a freighter, do you see the guy up at the top of the mast trying to fix it???

We continued on the next day even though it was threatening rain. We covered the 20 miles to the Brisbane river amid thunder showers and sudden squalls. We only had the genoa up so we would just roll or unroll it according to the conditions and did not get ourselves in any trouble. It took us about 3 and ½ hours to come up the Brisbane River against the current. We probably should have waited except that would have had us coming up the river after dark, something we weren’t interested in attempting. The cruising guide said there were hot running showers available ashore so I was looking forward to that. One of our mates was anchored hear and came over to inform us that the shower facilities were washed away by the floods they had a few months ago so that wish will go unfulfilled. We are anchored right downtown just beside the botanical gardens. I am anxious to go ashore and find a laundry and then discover how to get to the animal sanctuary. I have not seen a koala bear yet and I have heard they at this place. I am afraid if I wait until I am further north the trees where the koala’s live will not grow there and there will not be any and I will leave Australia without a koala sighting, so this is my Brisbane mission!!

We had to go under two bridges but none of them opened this time

We are anchored just downstream from here.