It was with some trepidation that we set off from Manly Marina in Brisbane. At first light on Tuesday the 6th of June, with a calm day of 10-15 knot South easterlies we headed North East, the planned route was to head to the top of North Stradbroke Island before skirting the shipping channel up to Mooloolaba marina. We got a call half way through the day from Sana Solea, a lightwave 38 who introduced themselves and politely informed us we still had some fenders out! in the excitement of leaving i guess we forgot all about them!
We decided to book a berth at Mooloolaba marina and went for a lovely walk into town along the seafront, before grabbing some last minute provisions and an early night. The next day we set off before first light to cross the wide bay bar. Heading out of the marina we plotted our course – a straight line all day! A first for us, we would normally be negotiating markers and avoiding sandbanks and land.
We were very apprehensive about our first bar crossing. the Wide bay bar had tested many sailors in the past. So we monitored conditions and were planning to cross at high /slack tide late that afternoon. We made good time and had been in contact with the awesome folks at Tin Can VMR who confirmed we had the recommended waypoints, informed us the westerly conditions were helping keep the sea state mild and that they had a few people cross in the early afternoon with no issue. We had made good time so decided to press on and cross early. We donned our lifejackets, dropped the sails and crossed with no issues. there were a few breakers coming over the sand banks, but nothing too scary. After discussing this crossing with so many friends it was great to have such an uneventful time. It was also another major milestone for us. Our first solo bar crossing, liasing with VMR and coastal navigation – all in the same day. We tucked in to Pelican bay for our first night on the hook in a while and flush with success, celebrated a good days sailing.