Friday, 27 June 2014

Australia, Fraser Island - 27-06-14

Apparently we've been at Fraser Island for a week. I find this hard to believe, seeing as we haven't done much, but Sam is adamant that it's been seven days. We've run out of food, which supports his theory I suppose. I can't for the life of me figure out where the days went though. 

We motored over to Moon Point from Hervey Bay and stayed there for a few days. I think. It was a beautiful little bay - white sand, crystal clear water and a few more turtles. We tried to go exploring up the creek on the first day there but the tide was too low, so we went snorkelling instead. The water was cold but clear. We found nothing but sand, although we knew there were rays skating around somewhere underneath us.

I have no idea how long we stayed there for... I thought it was just one day but it must have been more. Then we headed up the coast to Platypus Bay, which was more white sand and turquoise water. It looked like a tropical paradise! We explored the creek there by foot, which was interesting. There were lots of little fish and not so little rays darting around in the shallow water. We had to bush bash then wade through waist deep water, but we managed not to get into any trouble. The water was rich with tannins from all the trees - it was a beautiful red and brown colour like the tea tree lake on Stradbroke Island. The salt water there wasn't quite as nice as a fresh water lake though! It was a beautiful day and we had a lot of fun.

When Peter was on board he told me a story about my Aunty Fiona going to the same bay when they were younger. The beach is lined with shells all exactly the same, and she gathered one in every size increment and lined them up on the sand. Of course I had to do the same!

We went to sleep that night on sea as flat as a pancake. I remember thinking how weird it was to see a beach with absolutely no waves - it looked like a lake. We woke up before light the next morning to the boat rocking and rolling all over the place. It was not pleasant. The wind had picked up and the waves had appeared. Sam was still asleep, so we had breakfast in the cockpit as the sun was coming up then packed the kites onto the dinghy and got the hell out of there. After checking the anchor and securing the boat.

There was just enough wind to make the morning amazing. Garth zipped around on the board for ages while I stretched and practiced poi. As the tide went out he went further and further away until he was just a dot in the distance, flying over the water as all the rays woke up and shot out from under him. It was beautiful. I eventually had a go too, and had a blast. I've only had a chance to get in the water once, in New Caledonia. But I just body dragged around to get used to it. This time my teacher handed over the board, and I got up straight away! And then down. And then up again. I didn't get far, but I'm definitely getting the hang of it. It feels very much like snowboarding, and the kite handles exactly the same as it does on snow. Hopefully next time I'll get moving for more than five seconds!

Getting back to the boat was not fun. We'd been keeping an eye on it, but as we were packing up the kites and carrying our dinghy to the water the breaking waves moved further back toward the boat. By the time we had made our way back we were in amongst the white caps. Whoops. The dinghy almost flipped as we tried to get through the waves, and when we tied up at the boat our poor little inflatable was full to the brim with water... but it was still floating. Thank god for dry bags.

We dumped everything on board and went to pull up the anchor as soon as we had the outboard on. That was not safe. There were waves crashing over the bow as the nose dipped down, and as I got the anchor out of the water a wave knocked it off the track so it was hanging off to the side. Not ideal. Luckily Sam was there to help me drag it up on deck, where I tied it on until we were in calmer waters. It wasn't that rough compared to sailing through a storm, but having enough water rush over the bow to fill the anchor locker isn't what you look for in an anchorage.

So that sucked. Moon point was the only safe anchorage on the coast until the wind changed again, so back we went. Garth did a bit more kiting, we explored the creek (at high tide this time) and we relaxed for a day or two. Then back to Hervey Bay.

So now we're sailing to Bundaberg, after Sam and I spent a whole afternoon yesterday getting supplies. Random coral reefs next to shore, massive mudflats that turn into 600m of rocks littered with oyster shells, the decision to wear jandals and thick green goop on the sand did not make that an easy task. Thank god for the kindness of strangers, or the two of us would still be trying to drag the dinghy over treacherous terrain.

Monique xxx

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