|Jimmy farewells us from Mooloolaba on a perfect Monday morning|
The kite was soon put to good use in the light 5-10kn SSW breeze for the next 7hrs before we were forced to start the donk to keep up the modest average. It was about 6pm by the time we dropped the pick in the bay around the corner from Double Island Point. There was a very slight swell coming in but it was well protected from the prevailing wind and after an easy tea it was time to hit the sack.
|Enough breeze to keep this up for 7 hrs out of 10|
Tuesday 19 June
Wide Bay Bar which provides access to and from the southern end of The Great Sandy Straits has a section in it called The Mad Mile. The name is quite apt given its reputation for at times a dangerous piece of water especially when swell conspires with tidal current to create nasty breaking waves. Our turn to cross was uneventful having got the latest waypoints for the channel from the volunteer marine rescue and timed it well with a low swell and rising tide. Nevertheless it was sobering to imagine less than ideal conditions when we had breaking waves either side not too far away and at one point down to 2.5m below the keel.
Heading for Wide Bay Bar. Double Island Point left of pic and Rainbow Beach
Once inside Inskip Point we were greeted by calmness and sunshine of The Great Sandy Straits.
A mile north a sea eagle greeted us as we dropped anchor at Elbow Point to soak it all up. Lunch, a beach walk and a swim was the perfect entree.
|Just inside Inskip Point and the serene waters of The Great Sandy Straits heading north|
|White Breasted Sea Eagle always a majestic sight near Inskip Pt|
After lunch it was a short motor to one of the best known all weather anchorages, Garry's Anchorage for the night.
|Miff sighting the distant channel markers into Garry's Anchorage|
|Early morning peace, Garry's Anchorage|
|I didn't realise!|
|The wonderful mangrove|
Thursday 21 June
Paying close attention to the tides we headed north to South White Cliffs relieved to have made it through the shallowest section in the Straits. South White Cliffs is a delightful anchorage with large expanses of water at high tide and sand at low tide and sunsets on cue.
|Sandy Straits sunset|
|looking the other way|
Just relaxing here is easy. Caught a couple of bream for tea, went for walks, had sundowners with Trevor and Gail. It's a photographers and twitchers delight. Fantastic birdlife here, sea eagles, ospreys, brahminy kites, herons, eagrets and they are only the ones we know. Then when the weather went grey and gloomy Miff put her book down and took to the galley to bake a delicious fruit cake ( don't take any notice of the expiry date of the mixed fruit) in the improvised pressure cooker oven.
|Fresh is best|
|Miff works her magic with the pressure cooker oven|
|Its a big country|
|Sandy Straits low tide|
|Plenty of sand for the Soldier Crab|
|End of another day|
The next part of the journey was unexpected. Instead of making our way to Hervey Bay in our own good time, when the sun was shining and the wind favourable my heart had other ideas. In short I had a heart attack which started about midnight Saturday at South White Cliffs. Sixteen hours later after a slow showery windy trip I was treated in Hervey Bay Hospital then flown that night to Royal Brisbane and stented a couple of days later.
Thursday 28 June
Discharged from hospital.
|Some may say this is a drastic way to avoid Miff's cooking|
|Two hospitals and one stent later, Brisbane and my beautiful first visitors Sarah, Tim and Arlo|
|Back in Hervey Bay with friends Roy and Cindy|
|Our new crew member|
Today Miff and I returned to Sorcerer in Urangan Marina, Hervey Bay and it felt good to be home. For the past 4 weeks I have been rehabbing in Sydney and on the NSW south coast where the walking on beaches and mountains is beautiful. Also I discovered an exercise trail in Hervey Bay which I made full use of by riding the bike to and doing a session. A checkup with my cardiologist in Brisbane on 30 July gave me the OK to finally get going north again so we restocked, refuelled and watered ready to go.