I'm writing this from the Mary River in Maryborough. We're both pretty exhausted after wet, windy and twisty-turny journey here. Pictured (left) is the view we had for part of the journey. Note the water drops on the camera lens!
The winds really picked up where we were anchored over the long weekend at River Heads - yesterday it was gusting over 30 knots. We were quite nervous because the winds pushed us against a lee shore. At low tide, we bumped the bottom a few times (plus a few imaginary ones) so Rene and I put out a second anchor to try and keep us away from the bank. We were fine but we have now had a few restless nights in a row. Every time there's a new sound, one of us (usually Rene) leaps up and races out to check that everything is as it should be. The latest is the sound of a dripping stern gland (hole the prop shaft goes through), which unfortunately is definitely is not as is should be and will require a bit of love!
We have learnt not to stay in an anchorage that we're not completely happy with - but don't regret staying there as we got to spend some time with Nick and Jan from Yawarra 2 (pictured). Jan tried her hardest to coax our MF/HF radio to work but to no avail. Nick fixed up my cheap fold-up bike so that it doesn't collapse when someone heavier than 40Kg sits on it! Rene managed to get their Internet working and I provided baked goods for all. We lapped up their advice from 30 or so years of doing this. I enjoyed reading their first log written back in 1977 when they cruised up to PNG from Brisbane on their first boat, Warlock. Things have changed so much. We have GPS, weather forecasting and the Internet now. When they first set out none of these things existed; they had to do celestial navigation (using the stars to determine location) at night and took fixes on landmarks during the day. They guessed what the weather was going to do and rang home using public phones when they could. Very different to me updating this regularly and texting my Mum whenever we arrive in a new anchorage! Things were also a lot cheaper back then (only $124 to tie up at a mooring in Bowen for one whole year!!!) and more young people went cruising back then. It seems to mainly be for retirees these days and there are hundreds more boats out on the water - making it a very tight fit in some popular anchorages.
Jan and Nick have recently made the move from sail to motor - they have written a fantastic article about the transition here: www.thecoastalpassage.com.au