How many people get to live their dreams? I am..........!

This is my story from the time when Capt'n John and I first decided to sail around the big block, to circumnavigate this great land of ours, AUSTRALIA.

Friday, 27 April 2012

The Day We Leave Brisbane

25th April 2012


27’27.296 S – 153’11.394 E

Cloudy, Fine, Warm

It is the day before we are due to sail and poor John is suffering badly with the dreaded lurgy; head cold with itchy throat, blocked nose and terrible headache. It is Anzac Day here in AUS and New Zealand; commemoration of our fallen who have served in all wars for their country and the local small RSL (Returned Servicemen’s League) of Manly/Lota hold a march every year and John participated in this morning’s march with fellow returned service people and a huge roll-up from the local community school and organizations.
John marches to remember
After the ANZAC Day march, John and I said our good-byes to John’s daughter Lindy, son-in-law Steve and grandson Sam before heading back to ALANA ROSE to another good -bye and send off from fellow boaties and dear friends Kath, Andy and Morgan from PAWS and Soraya and John off Easter Rose. Lots of hugs and Soraya pretended to throw streamers as we eased our way out of the berth that ALANA ROSE had been tied to for the past two months. Good-bye good people, good-bye Manly and Brisbane; good-bye for the next two to three years till we return from our “around the block” adventure.

It is 1015hs as AR with John at the helm and me as decky, motors out of the Manly Boat Harbour, out through the leads where we put up both sail, the mainsail and the genoa, and then to sail north through Moreton Bay past Green, St Helena and Mud Islands where we sight  BACKCHAT off Green, past the Brisbane River entrance, Redcliff Peninsular and through the channel at the bottom end of Bribie Island out into the Skirmish Passage which takes us north up to Caloundra where we dodge the shipping traffic to get past the headland in the dark just after sunset.
Late afternoon sailing past the Glasshoue Mountains
I watched the sun set behind the Glasshouse Mountains on the so aptly named Sunshine Coast.
Sunset on the Sunshine Coast

With the night fall of darkness comes the cold; no moon but loads of stars. The wind has been a light WSW turning westerly as we sail up the coast. Dinner tonight is a pre-cooked meal in my Shuttle Chef Thermos Pot, a hotpot of bacon, vegies, lentils and grains with crusty bread. Straight after dinner I am the first one to try to get in a nap. John and I both have been taking turns at resting during the afternoon but our body-clocks will not let through any sleep and now I need to get in some sleep to be able to take the night watch later.
I am not down for long when I can feel a shift in the movement of the boat and then there is a call down from the Skipper; I am needed, the wind has picked up and the sails need shortening. With a second reef in the main and the genoa only out a few turns we were being pushed along at an easy 6-7knts by strong westerlies. Back to bed for me to try to sleep, dosing in and out of sleep till my shift in the middle of the night where I find that we are well past Mooloolaba, only 14nm south of Double Island Point. Naughty, sick Skipper John didn’t rouse me at midnight, letting me lie there till 0100hr (26/4/12), when it is him that should be getting the sleep. Excuse was “it’s a bit rough; I didn’t want to frighten you”! What a load of bulldust! My nerves of steel (hahaha) had already been tested dodging the fishing traps and a couple of ships south of Caloundra. The night-time temperature has dropped severely requiring John and me to done our winter woollies for this passage.
My turn to drive again! Well maybe “George” the auto pilot has a better hand than me; but I am on watch, on watch for lights, ships, boats, boat lights, ship lights and weather and wave changes. It is very dark without the moon light; you can see millions of star above but not much on the sea level. To the Port bow is the continuous flashing of the beacon from the Double Island Point Lighthouse and there is another small light about two miles in front; a stern light of another sailing vessel heading in the same northerly direction.
I wake John just after 0400hr; only because I need to. We are running too early to be crossing the Wide Bay Bar, especially in the dark. The executive decision is to turn into the rolly anchorage inside Double Island Point and get a couple of hours sleep.

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