WildlifeSAIL - Log No: 83

Date: 2004-11-10
Time: 1600
Location: Kangaroo Point, Brisbane River, Australia
Latitude: 27.2830 S
Longitude: 154.0234 E
COG(true course over ground): 0
Ship's Log(distance sailed, nm): 27112
Sail Status: stowed
Weather State: heavy rain
Wind Speed(knots): 22
Sea State(Beaufort): 1
Barometric Pressure(millibar): 994
Water Temperature(C): 26
Air Temperature(C): 29

Text Author: John-Frederick Thye

From Bundaberg we sailed south through Sandy Straights to Fraser Island's west coast. Fraser is the largest sand island in the world, previously mined for its pure silica crystals, as was Morton Island on Brisbane's Gold Coast, but now protected for conservation purposes. Australia's native Dingo dog still lives here, however not without incidence, since unassuming tourists often mistake the wild dog for pets. We anchored 150 meters off-shore from Kingfisher resort and hiked to one of Fraser's majestic interior lakes, Lake McKinsey. The water was crystal clear, reminiscent to me of the pristine glacial lakes of the Chilean Andes, but comfortably warm instead. We passed through some of the world's most deadly snake terrain on the way, I'm not kidding, but thankfully (Kate was extremely hesitant to join us) never saw one cross our path. Before returning to the yacht, Kingfisher Resort allowed us to kick back in their salt water pool and hot tub, nice! I was very impressed with the resort's objectives, which are entirely conservation mined. It's architecture, power needs, and water supply are designed to have no impact on its surrounding environment.

Our next stop was in Rainbow Beach, while we waited for a storm to pass. Even though we were only in 1.5 meters (5 feet) of water I had 2 anchors out, my 25 kilo Delta and the 20 kilo Admiral. When the first 45 knot gust slammed into our side, both anchors popped out of the soft mud and Wildlife dragged 50 meters (150 feet) out of position. Not fun, especially because we were not aboard in that moment. The yacht dragged into shallow water of less than a meter (3.5 feet), our rudders a finger width above the bottom. Danie and I deployed another 150 kilos (320 lb) of anchors and chains, as well as 150 meters of rode... and that held, like tying to a mountain.

Brisbane River's entrance is 4 miles long and a highway for enormous cargo ships. We sailed in, red star blazing on our spinnaker, with a 160-meter (480 feet) freighter bearing down on us from behind. We pushed Wildlife hard to stay ahead of him and were doing a good 14 knots. 4 miles into the river our spi collapsed due to the residential high rises and we motored the last 5 miles up to Dockside marina.


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