Saturday, 18 August 2012


Segment 12: Bundaberg Port Harbour to Lady Musgrave Island
Friday 17th August 2012

Another sunny day and we plan to leave early on the high tide , and arrive at Lady Musgrave Island on a lowish tide so we can better spot the channel markers and the reef as we slide our way inside the ringed reef.

The passage is bout 51 NM so a medium day trip of 5 hours , at about 10 knots.

We are not short of food provisions, as rear admiral Julie stocks up at every opportunity.

However, Capt Barry  spots some local fresh produce ,......... and
Capt Barry spots some fresh local produce
knows that you can never be to well  prepared. So......Capt Barry  attempts to blend right in, by imitating  the local action, before pouncing.

The result is one of those things, that all on board agree,..... WHAT HAPPENS ON BOARD....STAYS ON BOARD.
Capt Barry blending in and stalking local fresh produce

We get underway with Capt Ray at the helm and Maggie fixing breakfast.
Capt Ray at the helm and breakfasting
Maggie cleaning up after breakfast

The seas are kind once more ,  and we  are joined by another pod of dolphins.
another sunny calm sea day
Julie is talking to  the dolphins , but I think Capt Ray and Maggie  are asking who cooked last night, and exactly what was that mystery green vegetable

We see Lady Musgrave Island ( part of the Brunker Group of Islands ) about 9 NM out .
the Brunker Group of Islands as they appear on the second helm screen

As we get closer we start the search for the entrance to the enclosed coral ring, which is about 1 and 1/4 NM long and about 1 NM across with the Island itself off to one end.
Lady Musgrave Island 

The actual entrance is only about 15 m wide (with two green and one red - unlit makers ) , leaving about 5 m either side of LAST WORD  as we slide through the entrance , which s about 50 m long.
LAST WORD looking for the narrow entrance to the coral lagoon
we find the first  green marker ( which someone or the sea  has clouted on entry)

Inside the coral ring looks clear, however, there are coral bombies that are just under the surface or break the surface (depending on the tide level ) which have to be navigated. In good conditions having someone stand on the bow keeping an eye out is not a bad practice.
inside the channel  and inside the coral lagoon

We drop and set the anchor , and 5 mins later Capt Ray is kitted out in fins , goggles and snorkel and in for a swim. The ladies join him and the water is a good temperature and clear as glass.

Capt Barry had a swim a little later and inspected ( and  took some pics with the underwater camera ) of the props and blue lights ( as the outside port blue underwater light stopped working about a week ago - but appears ok,  LED wise).
Capt Ray preparing for a swim 
the water is a beautiful light blue and crystal clear
LAST WORD  taken from Capt Barry's swim (sorry about the water on the camera )
the props are in excellent condition  ( so far no touching of the bottom - touch wood )
LAST WORD  at anchor

We have lunch and some drinks on the fly bridge and Julie and Ray decide to spend another day at Lady Musgrave.
the water is just a beautiful  turquoise
Lady Musgrave Island and a few other visiting boats
fat arsed LAST WORD

After a lazy afternoon , and Ray having  a catnap, we BBQ steaks and sausages , and watch half  a movie WAR HORSE.
sunset at Lady Musgrave Island

after sunset on another great day

During the movie the wind picked up to 15 plus kts,  and as it was nearing high tide ( with the result that the water could flow over the coral ring of the lagoon,  LAST WORD  was a rocking and a rolling at anchor, so much so that Capt Ray and Maggie  made contingency plans to sleep in the saloon ( if the front cabin became intolerable) , due  to the loud slapping noise of  the water  against the bow.

During the night , the wind picked up to 25 kts and LAST WORD  was swinging 180 degrees. Capt Barry was up a couple of times to check the anchor was holding , and on the second inspection ( and trip to the cockpit through the saloon)  , trod on Capt Rays calf muscle ,  as Ray and Maggie had slipped up to the saloon about 1.00am for a quieter nights rest. Ray on the floor on a earth mat and Maggie on the saloon lounge.
Ray never uttered a word and Capt Barry slunk back back downstairs.

The wind was still blowing the next morning ( although supposedly  abating in he afternoon ) , however, we decided not to  launch the tender to explore the Island, and pull up anchor and move on to Pancake Creek - assuming we could exit the lagoon entrance in high tide with the 15 plus kt winds.


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