Kingfisher Resort, Great Woody Island, Urangan Boat Harbour (Hervey Bay)

Early next morning we left for Kingfisher Resort further north but still on the west coast of Fraser Island and spent the day playing on the beach and chasing crabs, swimming in the clear blue water, as still as a mill pond, and chasing Daddy! Oscar spent hours sculpturing small rocks into ‘artefacts’ (like the aboriginals mum’). His plan is to sell them …not too sure about the chances of that happening.

As the wind came up we headed for the protected side of Woody Island – a quiet night with just turtles and dolphins for company. Next morning we sailed in to Urangan Marina/ Hervey Bay, ahead of a big wind. We were happily tied up by the time the wind hit us – sounded like something from Scott of the Antarctic blowing through the rigging, but clearly wasn’t given that we were still walking around in shorts and T-shirts!

The boys enjoyed the Wet Side Water park (I recommend that one), Gerhard worked and we restocked and refuelled the boat.

Gary’s Anchorage, Great Sandy Strait

Up bright and early the next morning – as is the way with our boys, we got into the dinghy and went off the explore the beaches and surrounding bush land. My plans to get us all bush walking and burning off some energy were thwarted by the ‘crocodile – warning’ sign on the beach. Bugger! So we played on the beach, climbed on fallen trees and dropped off rope swings into the water. Gerhard did some stunning upside down acrobatics hanging from the rope and dropping into the water, much to the boys’ delight and was met with their exuberant cheers and clapping.

We followed this with a spot of (totally unsuccessful) fishing as the sun set and we enjoyed the glorious light. Lots of stunning photos – none of which truly depict the scene which was in fact the boys & I being ravaged by sand flies: Gerhard of course untouched :-). The boys and I looked like we had measles, with red welts all over us.

The next day pretty much everyone else left as it was the end of the school holidays. Bliss..

Gerhard and the boys went off in the dinghy to take soundings to measure the depth at low tide, to establish whether we could exit the anchorage by a different channel the next morning with the high tide (lots of maths schooling ‘in the field’). Whilst they went off I baked my first batch of muffins in the BBQ and everyone voted them ‘best ever’. Can’t beat hungry tummies when it comes to appreciating dodgy cooking! It was a baking hot day and whilst they’d gone with life jackets, caps and sunscreen, waster bottles and a snack I did wonder how long I should leave it before I sent for help/ raised an alarm? And who exactly was I going to call, and what was I going to say? Was it likely that the crocodile had spotted them, and they’d had to fend it off? Had one of the boys fallen and the boat capsized? None of this really meant that relaxing time on my own was really very relaxing after the first hour had passed!

Anyway, they came back a few hours later, smiling, hungry and full of their adventure – and no croc sightings.


Mooloolaba and Passage to Garry’s Anchorage

Mooloolaba Beach
Mooloolaba Beach

We flew into Brisbane to be met by Gerhard and we boarded Sunny Spells (our home for the foreseeable future) at Mooloolaba.

We spent a great few days there: lots of playing on the beaches, body-boarding (think squeals of delight and exhausted boys from playing in the waves for hours), meeting up with another sailing family we’d met 3 years ago, who just happened to be there at the same time, and walking everywhere.

Thanks to lots of exercise, sunshine and fresh air there was no chance of jet lag – we just blasted our way through.
Gerhard had wondered at some point in time (when I was on the phone from the UK) whether we should stay in Mooloolaba for six weeks.

Mooloolaba to Wide Bay
Mooloolaba to Wide Bay

I was quietly disappointed at the thought but predicted he would change his mind long before six weeks was up. He did! Six days after we arrived in Mooloolaba his feet were itchy and we were sailing out of the marina at 6am! It was a stunning day’s sailing up into the Great Sandy Strait – a bit of an exhilarating entrance into the Strait (all on board in the cockpit with life jackets on as a precautionary measure) as Gerhard surfed 12 tonnes of boat across the breaking waves: thank goodness for Gerhard! He said it was the easiest crossing of the bar he’d ever had. Quite frankly, I looked at those waves rolling in behind us and feeling the surge and power of the boat underneath us, with my arms wrapped around the boys, talking in that ridiculous ‘sing song’ voice I adopt as a mother when a bit apprehensive, and …. felt a bit sick!

We dropped the anchor as the sun went down in an inlet called Garry’s Anchorage, in the south of Fraser Island. Stunningly beautiful and quiet – about 7 boats in total.

Moving aboard

We flew into Brisbane to be met by Gerhard and we boarded Sunny Spells (our home for the foreseeable future) at Mooloolaba.

We had such a lovely time in the UK with cousins, family & friends. The boys were brilliant and coped with me dragging them around London, off to farms and castles, riding ponies and walking across Cotswold hills. We were yet again blessed with amazing weather. I don’t think we ever put our winter clothes on – so that was a waste of time packing them – but if I hadn’t we’d have had naff weather!

Leaving our family in England is always emotional but at least this time knew we had our wee sailing adventure to look forward to on our return.