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Queens Birthday weekend
A group of us, Hart Beat, Touche, RebeL and perhaps Apache are planning to head up to Wathumba Creek for the weekend. Weather and other things will decide the departure time, either Saturday morning or Friday night (for a moonlight sail).
Anyone care to join us?
Mike
Mike15-May-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Queens Birthday weekend
Tigress would enjoy going, but not yet, maybe later in the year to whale watch? I would like to see photos and know what it is like over there at Fraser and how long it takes etc.Is there anywhere else you can get in besides Wathumba Creek? Is it safe to anchor outside if the tides don't suit? How many boats can get in? David
David23-May-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Queens Birthday weekend
The Queens Birthday weekend is one of the best times of the year to sail in this area (the big downside being sans Whales). While the snow is falling on the alps down south it is still comfortable swimming during the day in Platypus Bay. There are several creeks that are accessible on high tides in addition to Wathumba, including (from south to north) Coongal and Awinya. We have have also experienced some very pleasant nights in the inlet at Moon Point. From Urangan the journey north to this area typically takes 2 hours to reach Moon Point. Another hour to Coongal. Another three hours to Awinya and another hour to Wathumba. The big prize is Rooneys point (another 2 hours north west) accessible in light SE or NE. In ten years of sailing in this area we have only spent one night anchored at Rooneys. Access to creeks is dependant on tide height and in recent years we have noted that the entry profile at Awinya has required a fuller high tide to access the creek. We were able to enter the creek last September on a a hight tide of 2.6m. Once inside the creek on a high tide there is plenty of room to anchor and bottom out on the low tide. Anchoring off the creeks is possible when the wind is from the east but the strong tides (and wind) creates an uncomfortable swell. From personal experience any wind from the west (particularly NW) would make it impossible to anchor off. The creeks offer the only protection from westerly winds. Best to tuck into the creeks on the high tide. The other recent change on Fraser Island is the total fire ban, removing one of the essential ingredients of a sailing/camping holiday...the campfire. It can be cool at night but very comfortable during the day.

The attached image is of Touche leaving Wathumba on the Queens Birthday Weekend 2005.
Peter Lynch25-May-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Queens Birthday weekend
The sequel

Those who stayed home demonstrated extreme commonsense.
The sail up to Wathumba on Saturday was low on comfort, a work into a Northerly of about 15 knots. From Awinya on we motored into heavy, driving rain which continued for most of Saturday night. Bundaberg registered 150 mm - I reckon we had more.
Touche's metho stove made a good space heater and thoroughly warmed the 7 occupants of the cabin for the Saturday night social gathering.
RebeL learnt that if you dry out at low tide in heavy rain in a Mk 1, make sure the bow isn't pointing downhill because the cockpit fills up and overflows into the cabin.
Sunday was cool and dry and good for r&r and some excellent sunset photos.
The expected 15 to 20 knot sou-easter for the trip home Monday became 15, 20, 25, 30 from the deep south as the day progressed and motor was the preferred option. Cold wind and driving salt spray were the order of the day. There was no shelter from the island.
The bash southwards meant a big increase in fuel consumption, so Hart Beat had to sail against wind and tide from Coongul creek back to Urangan. The crew was not amused.
Next year will be better.
Cheers
Mike

Mike14-Jun-2006    Edit    Delete 

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