Saturday, November 16, 2013

Northern Sandy Straights

So when I said we headed off out into the world... We didn't go far. After a week of dawn to dusk manual labour, we were exhausted and the boat was a mess. We anchored just outside the harbor in the protection of Round Island and were soon asleep. 
We had been warned about dragging our anchor in this particular location and we did drag a small amount when we set the anchor but that’s why we set it! Otherwise no problems. We woke early the next morning eager to get back on our way and were able to restore order to the boat fairly quickly. We were distracted only a little bit by a preview for the final round of the Australian Offshore Superboat Championship in Torquay that weekend. 

We had seen the boats preparing for it all week right next to the boat yard so it was pretty cool to see them in action. Our pictures really don't do it justice but it was pretty incredible! Ignoring the fact that this is clearly a promotional thing, this video is the best I could find that really shows how cool it actually was!

And then we were off, headed to Sandy Point. On our way, we were surrounded by flocks of birds feeding. Bryce hasn’t had much luck fishing so this seemed almost too good to be true. We turned off the engine and and just drifted for awhile with the fish and birds, trying our luck. We didn’t catch anything. 

This week at Sandy point was our “vacation.” We still did little things around the boat as it never completely stops but it was break after the intensity of the week prior. We had a lovely week, exploring Fraser island, walking on the beach, crabbing, fishing, reading and just overall relaxing. We found these interesting sand piles on the dune that was only exposed at low tide. We hypothesized that they were from some sort of crab.  There was so many jelly fish constantly washed up on the beach and a rather nasty smell coming from one end of it. There were a couple of spectacular storms that came up over the Harvey Bay area that we had a great view of. 

Our time there also fell during the lowest tides of the month. This was only a problem when during one windy and stormy night, we started to bump the bottom at the low tide. We solved this for the short term by pulling in a tiny bit of our anchor chain until we got some of our water back and then letting it back out again. We didn't get much sleep... The next day we moved over into some deeper water but as the tides continued to get shallower and shallowed, continued to pull in some chain at each low, just in case. 

We left Sandy Point early one morning to head back back to Riverheads to resupply and run some errands before starting our journey south again. The tide was strong and we were early so instead of going against the tide, we decided to stop and spend the day at Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island before crossing over to Riverheads with the tide helping us across later that afternoon. The resort has wonderful with free facilities for day visitors that include a pool, restaurant and showers. There are two more pools and more restaurants up at the actual resort and we were “instructed” by some locals to definitely head up there and check them out. We were luckily able to join in on a tour of the local bush tucker. We learned all about the Butchalla people and the plants that they ate and used in their daily life. One of the customs we were told about was a coming of age tradition for the young girls in the tribe. In order to become a woman, they had to successfully rinse clean a poisonous plant and turn it into a meal that they had to feed to the older women in their family. If they were successful, noone was poisoned. If they failed, someone died. Nothing like a little pressure! After a swim and a shower, it was time to head back to the boat and this is where things got really interesting!

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