June 11, 2010
I forgot to mention that on our trip from Iluka to Southport Ashymakaihken managed to pass us in the night. As we all know, even if it is not a race, you DO NOT want ANYONE to pass you, especially when they departed an hour after you. Ian has just reminded me that we had reduced sail and were deliberately going slowly so that we could go into Southport on a rising tide. (Does this sound like a bad loser?)
We spent most our Southport time in Marine Stadium adjacent to Bums Bay (good name for an anchorage for yotties)! Marine Stadium is pretty protected, especially from the wake of constant parade of huge motorboats, acquducks, and jet skis that hit you if you stay in Bums Bay. The location is really convenient for shopping at Australia Fair and you can actually drop anchor right opposite Australia Fair and tie the dinghy to a public wharf, or land on the beach where the shelving is good. On the east side of Marine Stadium is a five minute walk to the beach.
With Plan Four also in Bums Bay, it was again very social and I managed to escape duties and play Scrabble virtually non-stop with Brenda from Ashymakaihken (once I had forgiven her for overtaking us). We are both addicts and are desperate to meet up again for more Scrabble. As yet there is no clear cut winner. Peter from Plan Four very kindly helped Ian clean the heat exchanger, so hopefully the engine will no longer overheat when run at high revs for more than five minutes.
Yesterday afternoon we took another step north and headed for Jacobs Well, which is on the inland waterway where there are some very shallow patches. In order to go over these at hi tide, yesterday evening we had to drop anchor just before the most shallow patch. Then this morning we started up again at 7.45am so that we could go though half an hour before hi tide at 8.40am. (You do this so that if you do run aground the still rising tide will hopefully float you off the bottom…..) Much holding of breadth was done when our depth monitor fell to 1.7m, meaning we had 0.1m spare under our keel. (See photo.) All in all, with the advice from those that went through before us, and the maritime office, we made it without leaving any of our anti-fouling on the bottom of the channel. We will spend the night in Jacobs Well and are about to look for a pizza for lunch.