Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Fraser Island

While in Mooloolaba we caught up with a few friends which was really nice. This included a night up in the Sunshine coast hinterland at an amazing house built by Emilia and her family. The view to the coast was fantastic and the girls loved swimming in the pool. We did a great walk here at Mapleton Falls in amongst some tall timber forest. We also visited the local Underwater World while in Mooloolaba and saw a great array of marine life there.

Hinterland Walk
Pool with a View
On Saturday we sailed North again about 60nm for the Wide Bay bar and Fraser Island. This bar is pretty amazing and covers a few miles of breaking waves with a winding path of waypoints through the sandbars and waves. The final section is known as the Mad Mile and with a 2m swell it proved true to its name. A bit like being in a washing machine and after about 40 mins on the bar it was great to be in the calm water of the Sandy Straits inside Fraser Island.

We motored up the Straits in superb but now windless weather to Gary's Anchorage for the night. A run ashore in the dinghy and we were met with signs warning of crocodiles so any thoughts of swimming were quickly shelved.

Dawn at Gary's Anchorage

The next day we continued our way through the winding and shallow Sandy Straits up to Kingfisher Bay for the night. There is a resort here and they welcome yachties so we dinghied in for a swim in the pool where we were sure of encountering no crocs!

The Sandy Straits are full of marine life with numerous turtles, Indo Pacific Humpback Dolphins and various wader birds sighted along the way.

On Monday we sailed under spinnaker up into Platypus Bay where we had an amazing encounter with some Humpback Whales. The whales here are spending time in the bay and actually swim around the boats so we had whales underneath and all around us as we drifted with the wind! This is an amazing place to see the whales as they are not travelling through the bay but instead just spending time before moving off again. Check out the video below.

Spinnaker run up into Platypus Bay
School Underway
We are now in Urangan at Hervey Bay for a few days of catching up with friends and school lessons. It's 24 degrees and not a cloud in the sky!

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