Monday, 19 November 2012


SEGMENT 52: Downtime at Surfers.

Well fans, it is catch up time at Surfers Paradise.

Capt Barry has organised a few repairs for LAST WORD,

1. swapped the five pin three phase plug ends on the 10 m extension lead to a 20m lead.

2. swapped the master suite TECMA toilet switch for a new one.

3. swapped the master suite TECMA toilet solenoid and valve for a new one,.......and yeehhhhaaaa.... it seems to have fixed the intermittent  flush problem.

rather than pull a muscle changing the solenoid, I organised the electriction  to get into the small places

4. polished the pilothouse roof..


6. organising some tinted perspex to slip inside the front windows , to reduce the heat, when underway.

7. buy a third tear drop fender.

8. organise Hastings Deering to rebuild/replace LAST WORD's two engine raw water pumps.

9. cut view holes in the front white windscreen canvas.

10. change the bed linen for next crew.

making V berth beds are such fun, and a two person job

11. wash and pack away the small tender.

As well Capt Barry has visited Graeme in Hospital, and

Capt Barry and Andrea visiting Graz just after his surgery.

Capt Barry has moved in with Graeme to assist with his recovery from knee and left leg surgery.

one swollen leg

12. Capt Barry does an ASIO like check on Graz's visitors.

Peter ans Merilyn visiting Graz

13. Capt Barry as the chief cook (when Andrea is not around )

BBQ breakfast

14. Capt Barry supervising Graz's exercise regime. In this case Capt Barry has started Graz off with soft , lightweight  exercises, called changing.

Weather has been stormy, 25 to 30 kt winds from the north , now from the south, heavy rain and hail , the latter further north at Brisbane.

Capt Barry is trying to catch up with Captain Neil tonight , and maybe ( if and when I get word that MEC are ready to do the stabilizer fin ) I will catch up with Peter Hudson to take LAST WORD to GCCM to be lifted and the fin fitted.

TRIP : NIL NM, $57 fuel for Graz's  Ben for Capt Barry's running around. Av speed and fuel consumption a lot better than LAST WORD.

Segment 51 : Sheridan Flats ( half way down inside Fraser Island ) to Surfers Paradise

Segment 51 : Sheridan Flats ( half way down inside Fraser Island) to Surfers Paradise
Wed 14 November 2012 170 NM.

We were all up early for the second half of the passage south behind Fraser Island then across Wide Bay Bar and on to Mooloolaba.

Capt Barry had done his research the day before and wanted to get under way about 6.00am.

The key aspects were;

1. getting to Wide Bay Bar to do the crossing no later than 9.15 am , as it was high tide at Wide Bay Bar just before 9.00am.  Capt Barry did not want to cross the bar more than about 30 mins after the high tide there, as he did not want to take LAST WORD over the bar with what would then be an outgoing tide against an incoming swell and NE wind, as that may cause the waves to stand up and make the bar crossing more dangerous than need be.

2. LAST WORD  still had 22 NM to go to cross Wide Bay Bar, and that was against the incoming flood tide , so it would take about 3 to 3.5 hours to get to the bar , without planing.

3.   it was not high tide at Boonlye Point - 3.5m ( just south of Sheridan Flats   ) until  9.29am. So to make Wide Bay Bar at the desired time , LAST WORD needed to be under way about 6.00am , which meant navigating the shallowest parts of the inside passage at about half tide, ie about 2.2 m at Ungowa, and slightly less , 1.9 m , at Boonlye Point.

The weather pattens were changing , with Buoyweather predicting 5 to 10 kt winds from the NE and 1.2 m seas at 11 secs, and BOM predicting winds of 10 to 15 kts rising to 20 kts from the NE and seas up to 1.7 m.

LAST WORD lifted anchor at 6.15am and was under way to navigate  the shallowest parts of the inside passage.

The waters behind Fraser Island were very calm, It was a beautiful section of water, very serene and enjoyable.

it does not get much calmer and prettier than this. The water way looks very broad, but do not be fooled, as much of what you see is less than 1 m deep, and it is a 2.0 m tide.

Almost as if they had been waiting for a challenger, several other motor and sailing yachts  lifted anchor just after LAST WORD, and followed LAST WORD , at a respectable distance.  Capt Barry suspects they hung back a little  to see if LAST WORD  found a safe passage.

BIG BUD and some other vessels falling in behind whoever went first through the shallow waters

Merilyn was stationed on the bow , trying to spot any shallows that did not show on the charts , and to point out close sand banks  as LAST WORD  slid by them.

Peter and Capt Barry paid particular attention to the markers and way points and there was debate on several occasions about whether to shave a way point or two.

 It took an hour to get to Cyprus Creek, and with  the worst of the shallow parts behind us, we were able to relax a little more and enjoy the scenery even more.

We saw 0.8 m on the depth sounder at three locations , meaning 0.8m under the props.

Against the incoming tide LAST WORD  only made about 7+ kts, so, to keep to Capt Barry's schedule,  Capt Barry opened the throttles to 17 kts for the wider, southern passages, where there were no other boats , and LAST WORD arrived at Tin Can Bay , just before Wide Bay bar at 8.30 am.

LAST WORD  picking up the pace, to arrive at Wide Bay Bar on time , and leaving some of the other boats behind

Capt Barry then checked in with VMR Tin Can Bay to check the  most current way points (which had not changed since the trip north ) and was informed that the bar was fair, but  with  confused water between way points 2 and 3.

Capt Barry logged on for Mooloolaba with VMR Tin Can Bay  , then crossed the bar at 10+ kts , which took about 12 mins, as it is quite a long shallow bar.

Half way over the bar Capt Neil motored BIG BUD past LAST WORD, doing about 15 kts, , and radioed to apologise for the extra wash he had created,  and explained that unlike LAST WORD, which he said  sat well in the rougher stuff over the bar, BIG BUD was all over the place and needed some speed for better stability and ride comfort, and to get over the bar more quickly.

Capt Neil radioed again,  15 mins ater,  to say that he had decided to head straight for Surfers Paradise seaway, and bypass Mooloolaba,  as the seas were not to bad , and there was a wind coming later that evening.

Capt Barry discussed the options with his crew, and we decided to continue for Mooloolaba, and anchor there overnight.

While crewman Peter made many cups of tea and prepared several more servings of mangos, Capt Barry  did some paper work , share trading and made telephone calls to family and friends , and to  confirm LAST WORD'S  berth at Marina Mirage ( if required that evening onwards ) and sent emails and made more calls to chase up a replacement stabilizer fin.

Capt Barry is very surprised at just how difficult it is to organise a replacement stabilizer fin. It should be simple, and you would think that the fin manufacturer would go out of their way to make the replacement seemless and painless ,  but no, the customer has to do all the work, and there is only one supplier, unless you want to make your own ........something Capt Barry is seriously thinking about doing, ( and if he does, Capt Barry will also making a spare).

Capt Barry also kept an eye on the changing weather , particularly the winds , as  BOM and the VMR stations started to broadcast  strong wind warnings on the hour.

Capt Barry organised another round of tea (with lamingtons and mangos)  and a crew discussion about LAST WORD's options , which were.;

1. keep to the plan and arrive at Mooloolaba  early afternoon and anchor for the night, knowing that   LAST WORD  may be caught there for several days due to the expected 25 to 30 kt NE and NW winds, and the  2 to 3 m seas  being predicted  for the next two days.

2. keep going past Mooloolaba and  into Moreton Bay, anchor for the night then proceed down the inside passage to Surfers Paradise. This was an option Capt Barry liked as he had not made  that passage, However, Capt Barry did not have the latest charts for that passage and Merilyn and Peter ,who had done the passage , were a little unsure about the  depth at one particular point, and said we may need to wait for the tides and to get some local knowledge, and

3.  put the hammer down and settle on a speed that would make the Gold Coast seaway just before  sunset , which was an ok tide as well , and berth LAST WORD at Oceanus, Marina Mirage about 6.45 pm,  and have her nestled in by the time the bigger winds and seas arrived.

It was midday, and LAST WORD was about 100 NM from the Gold Coast seaway, and Capt Barry calculated that we could make the seaway, about sunset , (  6.15pm  ),  if LAST WORD averaged 16 to  17 kts. This was discussed and Capt Barry said we would try that speed for about 30 mins to ensure it was comfortable in the current sea conditions on one stabilizer fin, and if so , go for the Gold Coast sea way option.

This plan was implemented, and Capt Barry took LAST WORD   to 1850 rpm , averaging 16+ kts and 170 l/hr.

LAST WORD sat and  travelled very comfortably at this speed in the rising seas , which were about 1.5m and we had the current and rising wind behind us most of the way.

Off  Mooloolaba , Capt Barry changed VMR guardian angels and logged off with Mooloolaba and on with  the VMR for the Gold Coast seaway tower.

Capt Barry telephoned his brother , Graeme , to advise him of the change of plan, and organise for Graeme to shoot some footage of LAST WORD  coming through the sea way, and to join the crew for dinner at Marina Mirage.

LAST WORD arrived off the seaway entrance at 6.10 pm and Capt Barry slowed a little, to 13 kts and took her straight through, careful to miss the usual stupid fishermen that insist on fishing in the middle of the sea way channel , even in the failing light , ( and keeping out a wary eye for any  boogy /surf board riders crossing the seaway ).

After entering the seaway, and turning to port, Capt Barry handed the helm to Peter to take LAST WORD south down the seaway so Capt Barry could  organise the ropes and fenders.

We were soon at Oceanus, Marina Mirage and berthed by 6.35pm, in  15 to 20  kt N gusting winds.

Capt Barry suggested Peter and Merilyn remain on board LAST WORD for the night, ( as we were supposed to be at Mooloolaba ).

As a show of their appreciation for the invitation and opportunity to make the passage south ( and contrary to Capt Barry's objections which were overruled )  , Peter and Merilyn shouted Capt Barry, Graeme and Andrea to a fabulous dinner at the local Italian restaurant with a  great bottle of red.

After dinner , it was agreed that Graeme , would get a lift home with his friend  Andrea ,  and leave his car for  Capt Barry , and that Capt Barry ( with Peter and Merilyn ) would collect Graeme the next morning , and drop him off at Pindara Private Hospital , for his knee and left leg operation, then drop Peter and Merilyn off, at their  boat,  berthed  at Hope Harbour, near Sanctuary Cove.

Over the next week or so, Capt Barry planned to  attend to a few fix it items  on LAST WORD ( the replacement of the missing stabilizer  fin being one of them ) ,  and to  move into Graeme's house,  on the Isle of Capri, to assist him with his post operation recovery.

TRIP:   170 NM,   12.5 HRS,   1427 L, averaging  13.5 kts and 114 L/HR

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Segment 50: Bundaberg to half way down the inside of Fraser Island

Segment 50:  Bundaberg to half way down the inside of  Fraser Island
Tuesday 13 November 2012.   65 NM

With crewman Phil departed from the tour south, Capt Barry had a day at leisure waiting for the next crew, Peter and Merilyn Hudson, who were being driven to Bundaberg by Capt Barry's brother, Graeme.

Peter and Merilyn have their own boat , a ketch named AARDVARK, and have spent many years living onboard and making passages . Merilyn has her masters 5, and Peter can fix anything , so last word was in good hands.

Whilst waiting for the new crew, Capt Barry took the opportunity to change the bed  linen, do some laundry and give LAST WORD a spring clean, then do some paperwork, chase up the replacement stabilizer fin for LAST WORD , read and send emails and whisper sweet nothings to his, missing in action, wife, rear admiral Julie ( who was back in Sydney playing with beads and gemstones ).

After all that Capt Barry spent time on the charts and tide table, planning the next several passages to Surfers Paradise. Capt Barry planned  an overnight stop at Sheridan Flats, 65 NM ( half way down the inside of Fraser Island),  then at Mooloolaba , 70 NM then on to Surfers Paradise , 90 NM.

With a couple of hours still to kill before the replacement crew arrived, Capt Barry visited the 60 foot Riv. BIG BUD under command of  temporary skipper, Neil, to discuss tides and times for the next passages, and was happy to find that Niel agreed with Capt Barry's passages, and in fact had planned the same legs, and departure times.

Capt Neil had not done the Fraser Island inside passage before, so Capt Barry gave him a flash card with all the way points to over lay and import onto  his Raymarine for added comfort.

In planning the inside passage of Fraser Island leg, there are several  matters of particular importance.

First, the red  port markers are kept to ones port side going south ( red to starboard  going north ).

Second the tide floods ( ie enters )  from both ends and meets  about the middle,  and ebbs from the middle out towards each end.

Third, the  passage is very shallow in the middle section between Turkey Island and Moonboom Island , and Capt Barry wanted a tide of at least 2 m for greater comfort. So that ruled out going further south than Sheridan Flats , as it would be about 0.5 m at 2.00 pm when we were expected to arrive there ( assuming we left Bundaberg at 7.00 am ).

Fourth, it is best not to cross Wide Bay Bar ( southern end of Fraser Island ) with an outgoing tide against a NE, E , SE or S wind , sea or swell, as it can make the waves stand up and make it  a very dangerous bar to cross.

Fifth, another reason Wide Bay Bar deserves some special respect is that the bar is about a mile plus in length , so it takes some time to be across the bar, leaving one exposed for the odd rogue wave , even in relatively calm conditions.

Finally, passage through the inside Fraser Island passage can be quite slow if one needs to go against the tide ( as we had to do ) , as the tide/current  can run quite strongly . One moment you can be doing   11 kts with the current, on idle or just above idle, and when one passes the mid point where the tide changes , you can drop 3 kts , going against the current without changing revs.
So attention s required to ensure the vessel stays on the correct side of the markers , and the markers should be counted off to ensure one is not missed.
Some skippers go hell for leather through the passage, but that is quite inconsiderate for others making the passage due to the discomfort it can cause in otherwise mostly very calm waters.

Back to the story........the biggest issue concerning  whether LAST WORD  would leave  for the passage south ,the following ( Monday ) morning, was whether the wind and seas abate overnight. The wind had been blowing for three days,  at over 25 kts and the seas in Hervey Bay were up due to the wind and relatively  shallow depth.

Capts Neil and Barry decided to get together the next morning,  at 6.00 am,  and discuss the sea state and decide then, but it looked a go that afternoon, and only likely to be rough for the first 4 hours , as it would be okay once behind Fraser Island,  in the sheltered waters.

Graeme arrived in his faithful blue Benz , with my new crew, Peter and Merilyn, about 5.30 pm , and as it was latish and a 5 hour drive back to Surfers Paradise , Capt Barry insisted  Graeme stay for dinner and  sleep the night on board LAST WORD, and get an early start tomorrow, when LAST WORD departed the berth for her passage.

Graeme agreed , and that was that.

Even though Capt Barry told Peter and Merilyn not to bring any food and to go light on the clothes and personal safety gear ( as LAST WORD is well kitted out in that regard), they arrived with many bags, their own safety gear ( and EPIRB ) and food for an army ....for the three day passage. Amongst the food supply was a tray of 16 huge mangos. Well five a day it would be.

We all enjoyed a hot chicken and salad meal, then when Graeme , Peter and Merilyn went for an evening stroll, Capt Barry struck up a conversation with one of the commercial fishing boat owners , whose fishing boat was berthed in front of LAST WORD, on the fuel wharf.

Capt Barry organised for the boat owner to move his fishing vessel in the morning , if another vessel came in overnight and blocked LAST WORD in. As it was . Capt Barry would have to move LAST WORD sideways then  go forward carefully, and squeeze through the opening when leaving tomorrow morning.

Capt Barry set his alarm for 5.30am to check the weather and seas on  BOM and Buoyweather and discuss the seas with Capt Neil ( who was to walk out to the point and look at the sea conditions). Unfortunately Capt Barry was awaken at 4.30am, as his telephone is still locked to Sydney day light saving time.

Capt Barry realised his error  after checking the weather, and  decided  to go back to bed and  get another 45 mins rest , but the rest of the crew was getting  up, so it was all go from then .

Capts Barry and Neil discussed the weather and seas, and Capt Barry decided to start the passage , and return to the marina if the conditions were not comfortable.

At 6.30 am, Graeme lent a hand with the ropes , and after saying our goodbyes, Capt Barry thrust LAST WORD sideways out from the wharf  and into forward to slip around the fishing vessel berthed in front , and slipped LAST WORD into mid channel.

Capt Barry left  Peter and Merilyn in charge of early manoeuvres as he stowed ropes and buffers, then we were under way.

The seas were calmer than expected , with about a 1.5 m swell encountered as LAST WORD went out through the long leads to the entrance to the Burnett River.  BIG BUD was close behind.

After the river mouth crossing, the seas calmed somewhat to about 1 M , with 6 to 10 kt winds. this was much better than BOM predicted but in line with Buoyweather.

BIG BUD, doing 12 kts  , went past LAST WORD,  doing about 10 kts, and as Capt Neil passed , he commented on VHF ch 74 that LAST WORD sat very well in the water , both  going through the river mouth swell and under way , much better than BIG BUD, which  needed a bit more speed to minimise the  roll somewhat.
Capt Neil was impressed how stable LAST WORD  was with only one stabilizer fin working.


Capt Barry shot some video  footage of BIG BUD and emailed it to Capt Neil.

As we approached the northern entrance to the inside passage to Fraser Island Capt Barry opened the throttles and LAST WORD sat on 22 + kts and quickly overhauled BIG BUD.

There was some chit chat on the radio between the two Capts and many pics shot of BIG BUD. Finally, Merilyn could bear her silence no longer, and asked..........."why are you calling Neil ....BIG BUTT?

Peter set Merilyn straight about the spelling and pronunciation  , and then we made our fifth round of tea, and had our third mango ... for the passage ....and we were only half way to Sheridan Flats.

Merilyn enjoyed a nap whilst underway.

The run inside Fraser Island was calm , as expected, but slow as we were against a strong tide.

We developed a game to spot and call out the passage  markers and tick them off against a sheet, but Capt Barry and Merilyn's sight was no match for Peters eagle eyes, even if he did call the odd tree or rock ,  a marker.

LAST WORD arrived at Sheridan Flats just before 2.00pm and anchored in about 6 m after selecting an anchorage amongst the several vessels already anchored.

After anchoring we had a light  lunch, then Peter and Merilyn had a nanna nap, so Capt Barry launched the small tender and added the 3 hp motor and zapped  over to BIG BUD.

Capt Barry was contemplating a swim over to BIG BUD , but a passing shark , fin above the water surface, made the tender a much more attractive  option.

After  a chat with Capt Neil on board BIG BUD,  Capt Barry climbed into the small tender and started the motor and just started back to LAST WORD when the motor stopped, and was carried away from BIG BUD and LAST WORD  at 2 to 3 kts with the strong incoming tide.

It took Capt Barry about 15 mins to row the 100 m back to LAST WORD,  against the tide,  encouraged, quite vocally, by Peter and Merilyn , and watched by several  nearby onlookers from the other vessels ( none who offered to assist , I might add). Peter was also offering directional advice..... "   a bit to the left.... now right "  etc...

When Capt Barry made it back on board LAST WORD , Peter explained that it was quite funny to watch , and good entertainment.......two strokes forward and one stroke back, and a couple  sideways.

When Capt Barry went to add fuel to the 3 hp motor, he  discovered that the motor was not out of fuel ( as Capt Barry had  thought ) , but had stopped as the fuel switch was not fully in the open position. OH well......the exercise was good ....even if Capt Barry only just made it.

Merilyn and Capt Barry again ventured forth in the tender , and shot some sunset pics.

It was a stunning sunset and  evening and we  enjoyed a good meal, several cups of tea and a movie and retired for an  early start the next morning.

TRIP :  65 NM,   7.05 HRS,   432 L,   AV  9.3 KTS,  61  L/HR

Friday, 16 November 2012

SEGMENT 49: Pancake Creek to Bundaberg

SEGMENT 49:  Pancake Creek to Bundaberg
Sat. 10 Nov 2012:    70 NM.

Capt Barry and crewman Phil enjoyed a very quiet , restful nights sleep, and Capt Barry was up at 5.30 am, and Phil at 6.00am.

As the batteries were at 64% and we had decided on a good breakfast , Capt Barry started  the generator   and  the water maker,  the latter mainly to keep a good load on the generator.

It was a great morning.

Capt Barry enjoying the view from the fly bridge.

Capt Barry carried out the usual weather checks  , and confirmed with crewman Phil that he would like to get under way about 7.15 am , on the early run out tide, which by then would be about 2.0 m , before the NE wind and developing easterly  swell made the waves stand up when exiting the creek entrance.

As usual the BOM and Buoyweather sites were different on he weather predictions, but neither suggested trouble. BOM suggested 15 kt winds and 1.2 to 1.7m seas,  and Buoyweather 0.7 m seas from the E at 8 seconds and 6 to 9 kt winds from the NE.

Capt Barry noted that a southerly blow and storm was predicted for later that evening , and discussed whether to chance a run out to Lady Musgrave ( about 40 NM south east ) for a stop over for a few hours then proceed to Bundaberg ( about 51 NM ) , or just to head for Bundaberg (71 NM ) , and not chance getting caught in the blow if it arrived early. The difference was 7 hours for the direct passage versus  12 hours for the stopover at Lady Musgrave for a sightsee and swim.

As much as Capt Barry would  liked to have taken crewman Phil to Lady Musgrave, a truly idyllic coral lagoon with a cay (island ) ,we opted for the safer choice , and decided to head straight for Bundaberg.

Capt Barry had a surprise for crewman Phil, and said we were having pancakes and maple syrup for breakfast , and crewman Phil was cooking, up on the flying bridge.

After all we were at Pancake Creek, 

Crewman Phil set about the task with energy , put the electric fry pan on,  shook the ready made pancake mix and poured several pancakes.

crewman Phil ready to cook pancakes

Well,   Capt Barry took one look at the pancakes , and commented........they look a tad small Phil..... more like biscuits.   Phil responded that he did not sign on as the cook , but would make them bigger next serving.

they are a better size

We enjoyed the pancakes and coffee then cleaned up and lifted anchor at 7.15 am and were soon under way, making our way past the several anchored vessels also seeking refuge in the Creek overnight.

At 8.15 am Capt Barry logged on with VMR Round Hill ch 81/82 , then telephoned Bundaberg Harbour Marina and confirmed LAST WORD's booking for three nights. The marina was full , with boats from Vanuatu to Bundaberg rally, but the marina manager  said they would try to squeeze in LAST WORD , probably on the fuel wharf.

The seas were about 0.8m with a small 1 m swell and the winds were light, so we had a great passage.

Three hours out from Bundaberg , Capt Barry gave the order to slow the boat to idle and we trolled for about 30 mins , without success,

After that crewman Phil was left in charge of the helm, now being very proficient with the electronic equipment and setting way points  etc, while  Capt Barry blogged , sent emails and made some calls , trying to organise the  replacement stabilizer fin for LAST WORD.

LAST WORD  arrived  at the mouth of the Burnett River at 2.15 pm and we entered and proceeded directly to the fuel wharf, and took on 1850 L at $1.49.

As the marina was chock a block with boats , we were told to stay on the fuel wharf or the night , and they would berth LAST WORD   somewhere else in the morning. So Capt Barry and crewman Phil spent some time settling LAST WORD  in for the night , ie getting the ropes right , and binding the rusting bollards in rags and putting hoses around LAST WORD's ropes , so they would not fret on the rough bollards in the predicted winds , and fiddling with the busted power receptor.

We had just finished bedding down LAST WORD when the marina assistant reappeared and told us LAST WORD could not spend the night on the fuel wharf , for safety reasons, and we would have to move LAST WORD, back,  closer to the land , on the connecting wharf, between the fuel wharf and the fuel tanks.

Capt Barry and crewman Phil just looked at each other and laughed . SAFER........NOT SO SURE ABOUT  THAT.

Capt Barry then asked the depth of the berth closer to the land , and was assured there was plenty of water as a fishing vessel with a 3 M draft used to berth there without issue.

Capt Barry was immediately wary of this info, and refused to move LAST WORD back until he could determine the depth of water, as Capt Barry was not going to allow LAST WORD  to sit on the bottom or have her props in the mud at low tide,  over the next several days.

Capt Barry contemplated launching the larger tender , which has a depth sounder to determine the depth. However,  after discussion with crewman Phil,  Capt Barry  decided he  would give option  two a go first. So  we  grabbed the two long boat  hooks and extended each of them to its full extension of 11 feet, then overlapped them about two feet and  gaffer taped them together to make a long pole ( approx 19 feet ) to probe the depth where  LAST WORD's props would sit.

Capt Barry probing the depths before moving LAST WORD  all the way back

After probing the depth,  Capt Barry checked the low tides for the next three days , and determined there would be about 200 mm of water under the props. As the  lowest low tide was a  0.2 m tide , and it  occurred about 2.00 am, a time of relative calm , and as LAST WORD  was fairly well protected in the berth from winds and passing boat traffic, Capt Barry decided to risk the berth.

Whilst Capt Barry considered putting LAST WORD on anchor for several days, due to the dickey shallow berth, , he decided it was to  inconvenient, given the blow coming , and the comings and goings with re provisioning LAST WORD's   food supplies, Phil abandoning LAST WORD the next day, Sunday , to return home   , and the arrival of LAST WORD's new crew ,  Monday evening.

So, Capt Barry and crewman Phil moved LAST WORD  back to the connecting wharf and repeated the procedure of protecting the ropes and plugging  in to the power etc.

LAST WORD berth on the extension wharf to the fuel wharf, amongst the fishing fleet

LAST WORD  was in the middle of the local fishing fleet , and we slept with our windows closed on the port side due to the noise one of the boats made running its fans.

The berthing fee was $92 per night and $33 per day for 3 phase power. Capt Barry declined the 3 phase power and made do with the twin 15 amp plug ins, which is fine for  managed / normal power loads and air conditioning, if needed.

looking across the main marina berths

LAST WORD all alone at night

Capt Barry and crewman Phil washed down LAST WORD ,  as LAST WORD  would be there for three days, tried the TV ( which almost had a good enough signal) , and made dinner. Due to Capt Barry's big breakfast,  baked beans, out of the can,  was fine for him.

That evening it drizzled  rain for an hour or two, and that is Capt Barry's first real rain ( other than small overnight sprinkles ) since leaving Sydney in mid July.

After dinner we watched a DVD , then checked the accuracy of our depth measurement , by probing the depth at the then low tide , and determined we had calculated correctly, as LAST WORD had about 0.5 of a m  to spare in a 0.5 m low  tide.

The next day, Capt Barry and crewman Phil walked the 30 mins to the local IGA store and bought supplies for the next several passages south , and wine and beer.

the path along the waters edge to the IGA store

botanist Phil

the other local marina , closer to the river mouth,  much smaller, and in shallow water.

the smaller marina

a reminder of the family at home

a typical local house , built up in the low lying land

another typical house, plus boat. Presumably the owner is working on the boat or uses it as additional accommodation , or both

the new IGA store

The local IGA proprietor drove us back to the Marina, and we packed away the supplies , then Capt Barry changed and washed the bed linen , towels and miscellaneous laundry , and we gave LAST WORD  a spring clean for the change over crew.

crewman Phil waiting to load the van  for a lift back to the marina.

We tried unsuccessfully to rent a car to explore Bundaberg and so Capt Barry could drive Phil to the airport that afternoon , but they were all let to the participants in the Vanuatu to Bundaberg rally.

The wind built from the south , about 20 to 30 kts and blew for the next several days.
LAST WORD was fairly well protected out the front of the fish co-op, so it was quite a pleasant layover for Capt Barry.

this is the hard stand area across the road from the marina. Note the howling wind.

Crewman Phil packed his gear ready for his journey home , and as he disembarked  LAST WORD  for the final time , he became mere mortal Phil , and lost his honourable crewman status.

Capt Barry walked with mere mortal Phil to the marina entrance to wait for the taxi, where we said our good byes, in the blustering wind , and Capt Barry contemplated the challenges of breaking an another new crew.

waiting for the taxi, in the building wind

Phil loading his gear into the cab for the journey to the airport homeward bound.

TRIP : 70 NM:  6.95 HRS:   340 L :   AV 10.1 KTS and 48.5 L/HR

segment 48 : Great Keppel Island to Pancake Creek

segment 48 : Great Keppel Island ( GKI) to Pancake Creek
Friday 9th Nov 2012: 72 NM 

It was a really rolly night at Great Keppel Island , so much so that about 3.00 am crewman Phil moved out of the front VIP cabin to the saloon lounge for a better sleep.

Capt Barry is not certain that was a good decision , as crewman Phil reported the next morning that he rolled  off the lounge, twice, during his sleep on the lounge.

crewman Phil asleep on th saloon lounge

Capt Barry has decided to find another anchorage for future trips.

Capt Barry was up early, at 6.00am and crewman Phil was not long behind.

Capt Barry reviewed his notes ( of the passage  north to Pancake Creek and the tides recommended ) and reminded himself that last word should not be taken across the Creek mouth in less than 1 m of tide.

After consulting the tide charts and calculating distance and passage time, Capt Barry settled on a 7 hour passage time at 10 kts , and calculated the tide to be approx. 1.9 m if LAST WORD crossed the mouth of the Creek at about 2.00 pm.  Depending upon the route taken and the shifting sands , Capt Barry calculated about 1.2 to 1.4 m under the props at the shallowest points.

After a quick breakfast , Crewman Phil lifted anchor at 7.10 am and LAST WORD was under way.

There was not great signal strength at GKI  so Capt Barry was relying on yesterdays weather reports until later that morning.

When we left GKI , going around the western side of the Island for some protection from the swell, we noted three large sail boats anchored on the southern tip of the western side of the Island, and may investigate that as an anchorage next trip (in between the two half anchorages recommended by Alan Lucas.

Capt Barry logged on with  Coast Guard Yepoon on channel 21,  at 7.40 am , and asked for a weather update.

As the passage was to be a little rough Capt Barry again went through the safety procedures with crewman Phil ( ie location of EPIRB, grab bag , hand held back up water proof VHF radio ,life jackets , and how to quick release the two tenders, and we  both put on wrist bands ( that set off an alarm if they get wet or are moved  more than 15 m away from the base station ,  which is in the pilothouse).

As the seas were about 1.5 to 2 m and wind 12 kts from the 10 o'clock position, LAST WORD  was rolling a little more than usual ( probably just a bit much for her one remaining stabilizer  fin ), so Capt Barry looked at the possibility of passaging  behind Curtis Island , and taking on the narrows ( a passage that dries, and is more than a metre  above water level  at most low tides ). However, a quick look showed that this was not remotely possible with the tides predicted, so on we pressed on for Pancake Creek, on the outside of Curtis Island.

Capt Barry sat on 9 to 10  knots in the lumpy conditions and did the usual speed runs every 90 mins or so ( 18 to 22 kts ) , which usually takes the average fuel and speed up somewhat.

Off Cape Capricorn,  at 10.00 am , crewman Phil made some cheese rolls ( vegemite for Capt Barry ) , and we radioed in and changed over our guardian angels from Coast Guard Yepoon to VMR Gladstone, the latter on VHF ch 82.

During the passage crewman Phil caught up on some sleep, while Capt Barry updated weather reports and made some telephone calls,  sent emails and did some share trading to while away the time.

crewman Phil enjoying a few ZZZzzzzzzzzzzssss as LAST WORD  made passage 

Off Gladstone LAST WORD passed through many of the waiting coal ships , and even came across and passed the  47 foot Nordhaven , "DAUNTLESS" which was chugging along at 6 kts.

LAST WORD sets a track through the middle of the twenty odd ships waiting to be loaded with coal off Gladstone.

LAST WORD sneaking up on the Nordhaven DAUNTLESS.

LAST WORD  flew past DAUNTLESS doing 10+ kts at 1150 rpm and using 50 L/HR.

the 47 foot Nordhaven DAUNTLESS, making about 6 kts

LAST WORD was off the entrance to Pancake Creek at 2.10 pm, and after checking the entrance waters ,  and being satisfied, Capt Barry took her in for the zig zag and hoped the shallow parts had not changed for the worse.

During the run through the markers to where Capt Barry wished to anchor LAST WORD ( using the way points Capt Barry used last time at Pancake Creek) we saw 1.3m under the props, at two spots ( slightly less than Capt Barry calculated ), and anchored in 5 m of water ,allowing for another 2 m of rising tide.

DUANTLESS  arrived 1 and a half hours later and anchored nearby.

The current was running very quickly past LAST WORD so a swim was out of the question , and due to the over cast conditions ( and sand fly bites Capt Barry received at GKI ) , Capt Barry opted not to visit the Bastard Head light house , but offered to launch a tender for crewman Phil to go ashore for a walk to the light house. However, Capt Barry warned that Phil  would need plenty of insect repellent. 
Crewman Phil decided on a beer or two, instead of the healthy excursion,  then fell asleep AGAIN on the back deck.

crewman Phil, asleep again . Not sure if he was really relaxing or it was the beer.
Pancake Creek is certainly the spot for R & R for a few days.

We enjoyed a cooked meal, and a glass of wine , a movie ( crewman Phil declined another refresher course of squidding ) and an early night.

TRIP ;  7.2 HRS,  431 L,  72 NM ,, av 9.7 KTS and 55 L/HR