Southport to Mooloolaba
Making the inside passage of South and North Stradbroke Islands is a welcome sheltered alternative to the outside route especially when there is a big sea running. If the weather is good its even better when you can try fishing or crabbing, we weren't inspired to do either except for once on the last afternoon near Steiglitz. With our 2.2m draught we also needed to take careful note of the tides to reduce the chance of grounding in the shallower sections, Beacon to Beacon was a valuable navigation aid.
After 3 days of windy rainy weather we arrived in calm clear conditions at a delightful anchorage next to Macleay Island at the bottom end of Moreton Bay. As a treat after being a bit boat bound for three days in the less than inviting weather we went ashore to the village to buy a few essentials and have a yummy meal of baked spud and coleslaw at The Blue Parrot Cafe.
A late start from Macleay Island saw us arriving at Bongaree inside Bribie Island 41nm north at about 8pm after a dead calm Moreton Bay.
|Moreton Bay sunset approaching the Port Brisbane shipping lane|
We woke to a sunny clear morning and set off for Mooloolaba at 7am in a 10kn SW breeze. Having overestimated the distance we had to travel we arrived off Mooloolaba at 1.30pm with the tide only half way in.
|sailing along Bribie Island with the spectacular Glasshouse Mountains behind|
|Passing Caloundra with The Glasshouse Mountains behind|
After speaking to Marine Rescue about the state of the bar we decided to sit off and wait for the swell to abate, the tide to rise and to observe, with the help of AIS, the course taken by other vessels coming and going through the entrance. By about 3.30pm we thought we'd give it a go. The course involved heading towards the beach about 500m from the wall then running parallel with the beach just behind the breakers. When we were level with the outer end of the wall we ran towards it at 90 degrees. This took us through water as little as 900mm below the keel, and brought us to the end of the breakwall with just enough room to squeeze between it and the breaking waves across the mouth and at the same time watching out for surfers and all manner of water craft having a ball on the said wave.
Once inside (what a relief!) we were welcomed by Miff's brother Jimmy and friend Bruce and with their pilotage it was plain motoring to our secure anchorage amongst the waterfront mansions of Mooloolaba.
|A warm welcome to Mooloolaba from Miff's brother Jimmy|
|A timely warning for a busy barway entry|
|Typical weekend traffic at Mooloolaba barway|
The weekend was spent off the boat with Jimmy and Julie at their home in Buderim enjoying hospitality only families can provide. The beautiful weather allowed a good tour of Mooloolaba with Jimmy and Julie including a Saturday morning cafe breakfast, tour of the canal marinas and homes and replenishing food, fuel and water supplies in readiness for our departure on Monday morning.
|Who needs a dinghy when you have a bath? Mooloolah River local.|