Ian is my cousin and I hadn't seen him or his family for many years so it was great to catch up in a nice spot on Fraser Island. They are over from Bahrain for a holiday down under and loving every minute of it! Ian, his son Harry and elder daughter Amelia came for a ride in the dinghy out for a short tour of Venture at anchor off the beach while Lisa and little Rosie finished off the pizza back at the resort. We didn't have time for a sail but Harry and Amelia were full of questions and are now keen to go sailing apparently!
Amelia managed to get her life jacket on without any help but Harry and Ian made a meal of it finally agreeing that inside out was just fine!
We stayed the night at the resort and headed off up the Fraser coast and into Hervey Bay to laze around some more.
We spent three of four days moving slowly north along the Fraser Island coast. The whole coastline is an anchorage with great holding and in the south-east winds, very peaceful. And lots of whale sightings!
Hervey Bay is well known as a great spot to get a good look at the humpback whales as they migrate north up the east coast of Aussie and it didn't disappoint! I'm sure Terry will put a few photos up when she gets around to catching up but here's a couple to be going on with.
|Heading straight for us.|
|Just missing the anchor chain!|
Our last night on at Fraser Island was a pain. First the head (toilet) failed! The electric motor just wouldn't pump or chop which as you can imagine, is a bit of a disaster. Then the expected wind change came through but stronger than I expected and suddenly we were on a lee shore with 15 knots gusting more of westerly. Venture was hobby-horsing all night with the bow burying at least twice. I stayed up in the cockpit because if the anchor dragged, we would be on the beach within minutes while Terry tried to sleep in the V berth.
Our anchor didn't budge and inch but the catamaran just north of us dragged almost to the beach before they started the motor, upped anchor and headed a few hundred meters offshore to reset it.
We left at first light for Bundy after a sleepless night in 10 to 15 knots of westerly wind. We were heading just north of west to make Bundy which was a pain in the ass. I sailed for quite a while making about 15 degrees north of our best course hoping for a wind change but it didn't occur so we furled the jib and motor sailed at about 20 degrees to the wind.
About 15 miles out of Bundy the wind did change however but dropped to below 10 knots. Typical.. I hoisted our "drifter" (asymmetric spinnaker) for a while which kept the engine off but eventually we gave up and motored the rest of the way.
|We are about 60 deg off the wind here|
And the drifter was pulling like a train!
So we made Bundaberg just before dark and pulled into the Port Marina for some more lazing around.
The following day was all about getting the head working again. Nasty things heads if you didn't know it. Emptying the bowl, sponging it out to reduce the leakage onto the floor and then taking the motor and macerator off.
Luckily, the marina has a pretty good chandlery and I managed to source a new electric motor and the seals I needed and by the end of the day, we were over our headache and had a working toilet again! Yeh... The cost? Well the whole toilet (bowl, seat, motor, macerator and fittings) cost us $240 originally, the parts we needed to fix it (motor and seals) came to nearly $220. Go figure!
Highlights? Definitely the rellies and whales! Lowlights? A scary lee shore and the friggin head!