Southport. Decision time.

A beautiful day. The Brisbane sun is much more tolerable when you are moving through the water on your vessel, away from the sludge of the river. For those of you who don’t know, the Gold Coast Seaway is this weird channel (one of quite a few) that runs from Moreton Bay all the way down to Southport, separated from the ocean by a continuous narrow stretch of land.

The majority of our time was spent under sail – we had left later than planned because of our tussle with the anchor in the river, but we still managed to make it to Hope Island by about 4pm. Why Hope Island? Because I had found two secondhand stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) for sale on Gumtree.

I’ve been coveting one since travelling with two other boats, both of whom had one – they seemed to be an excellent solution for the GET ME OFF THIS BOAT problem —-> the one when you can’t get the dinghy down from the davits because it’s too heavy (waterlogged / 15hp motor)… and because when you want to escape get off the boat in the early hours of the morning alone – you want to do it quietly.

So anyway, SUPs were out of our league – very expensive, even secondhand. And then I found the two for sale on Hope Island – where we were sailing right past on our way to Southport. When they were brand new, they’d fallen off the back of a ute and needed some fibreglass repairs. M thought it would be a doddle….

At 4.15pm, we left the Smalls on the big boat and took Foamy across the seaway (after we turned back and changed a sparkplug). A lovely woman, Cara, met us on the little public dock next to Hope Island Marina and we bought two amazing (though somewhat scraped) paddleboards for $500. Worth every cent. It took M about half an hour to repair them. I cannot WAIT to be somewhere that I can escape on one… I just need to figure out some silent way of launching…

After a night at anchor near Hope Island, we headed to Southport – back to the buzz and the bling of the Gold Coast. The 20min helicopter joyflights whizzing past, the large percentage of dickheads on jetskis, the awesome foreshore, the supermarkets and abundance of boating paraphernalia. It was decision time. Did we continue south to Yamba, or head to Lord Howe Island? We let the weather indicate our destination…

It was Lord Howe Island – there was a perfect weather window…

It was 31 October 2018 at lunchtime when we arrived in Southport, anchoring between the waterpark and the jetty. This left us with the rest of the day, and all of the 1st of November to get it all together in order to leave on Friday 2 November. We aimed to arrive at Lord Howe on Sunday morning before the arrival of a big south-westerly swell…

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