Monday, 1 October 2012

Beached Az! - Passage to Moreton Bay

Sometimes in the sailing life, despite best laid plans and all due diligence, things just don't go as planned.

At dawn this morning we left a lovely anchorage at Jumpin Pin just north of the Gold Coast at South Stradbroke Island. The eastern channel from the Broadwater to Moreton bay has a couple of very shallow patches, but we'd been told it is much prettier than the main channel and from the look of the charts we would have enough water for our 2 metre keel. We timed our departure with the rising tide as we knew at least if you run aground the water will rise a bit more and pop you right off again!

Long story short, we ran aground. Oh, the shame. At least this time Michael was at the helm, not me! There is nothing worse than feeling the boat lurch to a stop with a "chhhhhhhhhhhhhh" sound as the keel digs into the sand. Annoyingly we were following the charts and were right in the middle of a marked channel. Our big mistake was getting to the shallow patch a little too early in the tide.

We tried reversing and motoring forward but BV was stuck tight and leaning over at a 15 degree angle. Michael sounded around the boat with our portable sonar to find a safe path out, and then we ran the anchor out using the dinghy and with a combination of the anchor winch, engine power and the rising tide we got free.

We were surprisingly calm through the whole experience and worked together well to get us out of the situation. The weird thing was, three other boats came pass while we were stuck and not one of them checked to see if we were OK. Who would do that?

The rest of the passage was fine. Michael scoped our course ahead using our handheld sonar and I followed a few hundred metres behind. The feeling of entering the deeper water of Moreton Bay was a huge relief and we cracked up laughing about the crazy experience.

One thing's for sure, the life we've chosen is never boring!

Anyone with a similar draft should consider taking the main channel, or moving with a big high tide over the shallow parts of Tipplers/Canipa Passage.

We're now anchored at North Stradbroke Island and planning our next move.

Slipping Sands anchorage, about 30 seconds before we ran aground. No, we weren't distracted and taking photos!!! Well, Michael wasn't....

A grey and rainy day in Canipa passage.

The last guy that ran aground.

Anchorage on North Stradbroke Island. This is a great spot. Hard to believe that Brisbane is just over there!

Baby mangrove


With all of the excitement of the last week we have neglected to tell you about meeting up with our friends Kim and Kim from Captain Silver who we met in Tassie earlier this year, first in Stanley on the North West Coast of Tasmania where we weathered 55 knots together on the Stanley Dock. They headed south down the west coast, as we headed east along the north coast. The second time we crossed paths was two months later as we were speeding from Launceston to Hobart to meet Caitlin's flight back to Adelaide for Imogen's engagement party, and the Kims were heading north, back to their home in the Gold Coast hinterland.

We had such a great day with you guys - thank you so much! There is nothing better than exploring a place with locals who know all the best spots. We cant wait to see you again.

Picnic lunch near Mt Tambourine (is that right Kim?)

Exchanging cruising stories and comparing war wounds

View from the St Bernard Hotel, with its beautiful garden

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