KatieKat 2004 Cruise Chapter Eight

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GoBackTo 2004 Cruise Chapter Seven
15 June 2004 Gladstone
16-25 June 2004 Gladstone South
24 June 2004 Wide Bay Bar Crossing
26 June 2004 Still More Signs and Labels
GoFwdTo 2004 Cruise Chapter Nine

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15 June, 2004 -- Gladstone

Originally, I had intended to stop in Gladstone for only a couple of days - enough time to drop Dave off, retrieve Kathy, reprovision, and continue our trek northwards. Instead, a couple of adverse weather systems conspired to keep us in port a little longer. We are currently on a schedule, needing to be back in Brisbane no later than late-July. Now, having seen strong southeasterlies blow for weeks at a time in winter in this part of the world, I didn't want us to become trapped and forced to sail against the wind down the coast. So, regretfully, we abandoned our northwards sail up to the Keppels and Yeppoon and the Percys (having intended to explore this beautiful coastline that we had previously missed); instead, we spent another very nice week in Gladstone - exploring the area on our bicycles and just vegging out, waiting for the weather break and windshift to propel us back down the coast (these are few and far-between at this time of year). A few snapshots -

[Kathy Bicycle Marina Building] Gladstone Marina has a very pleasant setting, with lots of trees and lawns. Like most Australian facilities, it is kept very nice and clean and tidy, and is quite a contrast with the industrial shipping port of Gladstone. Here, Kathy's retrieving her bicycle from the rack in front of the Marina building.

[Marina and Industrial Surroundings] A view of Gladstone Marina from the hilly town.

[Kathy Bicycle Powerplant Smokestacks] We pass the powerplant on our long and very pleasant meandering bikeride to Gladstone's main suburban shopping mall. We can ride lots of neat bike trails through lovely park settings - unfortunately, I forgot to snap photos of them.

[WiFi Antenna] [WiFi Antenna Closeup]

Happiness onboard is having a WiFi broadband Internet connection beamed directly to the boat. Since we were at the outer end of the dock, I needed to keep raising the antenna to get the signal through all the other boats' rigging, especially when the tide was out. Those old 2x4's which I carry for emergencies continue finding new uses.

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26-25 June, 2004 -- Gladstone South

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When the weather finally looked favorable, we took off from Gladstone midday and sailed nonstop down to Fraser Island, arriving at dusk the following night at Kingfisher Resort and facing a potentially very uncomfortable night as a very strong front followed by a southwesterly windshift was predicted. We had originally intended to sail into Urangan, but there was no space in their marina - an unfortunate situation which has developed all along the coast in the last couple of years. Anyway, the front didn't hit us until we had just pulled up anchor the following morning, and we spent the day motorsailing into 30-knot winds (but protected waters) until we dropped anchor in the very protected Garry's Anchorage, again off Fraser Island.

[Garry's Anchorage] In the company of a few other boats, we spent two nights here in Garry's anchorage, waiting for the winds to blow themselves out. Such pleasant surroundings! After the winds went away, we stayed an extra day just to relax.

[Main Saloon Light] In Garry's Anchorage, Kathy caught up on her reading while I installed a combination two-color LED and fluorescent light in the main saloon overhead - the trick being to hide the wiring and utilize only the existing screwholes from the old fluorescent light which had finally died. The small bungie hangers are really convenient for securing wires (e.g., SSB and autopilot remote) or dangling anything from the overhead, such as our good-luck origami mobile given to us a few years ago by Maryann Barnett from the Atlantic 42 catamaran Linda.

[Dingo] This dingo came by when the tide receded, possibly hoping for some scraps from the small powerboat. Incidentally, this little runabout shows that coastal cruising can be done on just about any craft - in this case, I think they were out for a few days' fishing.

[Powerboat Wake] From Garry's Anchorage we proceeded down The Great Sandy Straits. I was a little slow in grabbing the camera and you don't see the wake as this boat came roaring by, but this shows that inconsiderate powerboaters exist worldwide. The buffeting from such wakes 'feels' greater than that of offshore waves.

[Badly Trimmed Sails] [Badly Trimmed Sails]

I cringed as we passed this Seawind, most probably a charter boat. So, what's wrong? They were on their second reef in about 12 knots of wind (which is ok, conservatism doesn't hurt), the clew was very loose so the boom drooped (hope it didn't hit the solar panels or cabintop), the traveller was amidships (it should have been out all the way) with the mainsheet too tight, and the jib was flailing away. Painful to watch!

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24 June, 2004 -- Wide Bay Bar

[Insert Chart]

Wide Bay Bar is considered one of the more interesting bar crossings on the east coast of Australia. Given the right (wrong) conditions, it can be a deadly mass of foaming waves which has been known to cause the loss of many a boat. We had been sitting in a protected anchorage behind Inskip Point for a couple of days, waiting for the wind to shift and allow us to proceed south - thus, when the dawn forecast was favorable, we took off immediately to catch the narrow weather window and went through the Bar just after low tide (not considered optimal). The following photos don't do justice to the scene - happily, KatieKat took it all with aplomb.

[Waves Approaching Bar] [Waves Approaching Bar]

Approaching the bar, one sees what appears to be an unbroken mess.

[Bar looking to side] Once committed, one just hopes that there won't be a nasty wave combination. We only had one small wave over the bow. Piece of cake.

[Waves Approaching Bar] [Waves Approaching Bar]

After coming through the inside bar, there is a second rapid shoaling that takes place (we saw 11 ft. depth) further outside. The incoming swells rapidly rise up and were responsible for the thrilling surf we experienced the first time we came in through this bar four years ago. This time around, none of the swells broke on us as we headed out. Pity that still photos don't do justice to this moving experience, which was actually in relatively mild coditions.

[Boatspeed 5.39 knots in 9.88 knots of wind] Questions about our boat speed never cease. Really, when cruising, it very rarely matters! Here's a snapshot of the instrument panel that I recently took - the bottom paint is a year old and we're fully loaded down with cruising gear, 400 litres of water and 170 litres of fuel (these alone over 1200lbs), and Kathy's books. Let you work out the boatspeed/windspeed ratio (that's TRUE windspeed, not apparent), which shows that KatieKat is no slouch!

[Ramtha and KatieKat] [Ramtha and KatieKat]

We had a great sail down the coast and tied up in Mooloolaba next to Ramtha, the catamaran made famous in the 1994 Queen's Birthday Storm. At the height of the storm, with their steering disabled, the couple was pulled off the boat onto a rescuing ship. Videos of them being dragged through the water are simply frightening! The abandoned catamaran survived the storm and the owners later found it and retrieved it, none the worse for wear. Since then, they've significantly refurbished the boat, which now sports a very bright yellow topsides.

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26 June, 2004 -- Still More Signs and Labels

Continuing with my warped perspective on signs and labels -

[Sign Cyclists Dismount Slippery When Wet] This sign is on the bridge leading from the town to the Gladstone Marina. If I must dismount, why do I also need to worry about it being slippery when wet? Anyway, thanks for the warnings.

[Sign Tractor Pulling Boat Trailer] Custom signs, specifically tailored to the occasion, are commonplace. Cute. That's Kathy continuing on down the road, muttering something about me and my silly sign obsession...

[Two Poles with Cyclists Sign] [Two Poles with Cyclists Sign]

As you may have gathered from some of my past rantings, I often think that posted signs are make-work projects. Here, two poles side-by-side display the same message - why not put the two signs back-to-back on the same pole? Incidentally, this is alongside one of the many very nice bike paths in the Gladstone area.

[Sign Casual Butcher Wanted] We could have fun with this one. I'd best shut up.

[Label Made in Australia from imported ingredients] I'm curious as to what exactly is the technical definition of where something is made?

[Pure Dew Label Front] [Label stating oxygen added]

Now, I'm very fussy about what I put into my batteries. When I saw this bottle's front label in New Zealand, I snapped it up. Now, I wonder what adding oxygen to the water (whatever that means - you mean it's no longer HOH?) does to the battery as I'm sure the battery doesn't care how it tastes; furthermore, is 1mg of dissolved solids per litre ok for battery use?

[Label Demineralized Water with Warning Not To Be Taken] I just bought this bottle here in Australia. That red warning is a little worrisome ... what exactly do they mean? If it says I can't drink this stuff, is it still ok for the battery? Wonder what the quantity of dissolved solids is in order to compare to the other stuff. Things one never worries about on dry land...

The quantity of these signs, labels, billboards, and menus that I have scattered throughout this website is such that I finally created a Signs Index in order to be able to access them all reasonably quickly. It is listed on the Home Page. A search engine would be better, but they're somewhat expensive and I am NOT going to have a free one with its associated advertizing (advertising)!

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