Yeppoon – Cape Capricorn – Lady Musgrave – 1770 – Bundaberg: the Mothership and T sign on for a week at sea.

After returning from flitting around the globe, the Mothership and T were keen to go and stay with friends of theirs who have a holiday house in Bargara (hi Kaye!)- right near Bundaberg. The Mothership had nana-yearning to see Small DB for her seventh birthday…

By the time we were on Middle Percy Island M and I were able to give them a rough time frame and two options. To meet them in Bundaberg around September 12, or hook up with them in Yeppoon where they would join the crew for a week as we made our way down the coast. They chose the latter….

Early on the morning of 2 September we motored (unwillingly, but unavoidably) from North Keppel Island to Rosslyn Bay Marina… we needed a day there to make use of the facilities. It’s a very gorgeous marina! It cost $61 for the night, but we were able to use the courtesy car to do a massive shop, fill up our water and fuel, get rid of masses of rubbish (both ours and from various beaches), do a TONNE of laundry, and clean the bejesus out of the boat in preparation for our visitors…

The Smalls were oblivious to the imminent arrivals, because we had wanted to make it a surprise. The ever travel-savvy Mothership and T flew into Bundaberg that day and then spent the night at a backpackers in Yeppoon – I met them at 6.30am when they arrived at the marina on 3 September, and sneaked them down the pier…

As we neared Bella Luna a little curly head popped up…

“NANA!? I didn’t know you were coming here!!?”

Our subterfuge had succeeded! I had even managed to ask Small Z to evacuate her room so I could move in there and have ‘a few good nights sleep’ She is so lovely, she had agreed with no drama and M had put the top bunkbed back up…

We were all VERY happy to see each other again! A quarter of an hour later we had set sail on our way to Lady Musgrave Island – it was a bumpy ride, but no one really minded… The Smalls played cards wtih their Nana – endless hilarious games of ‘War’.

We had hoped to get there via a night at Pancake Creek, but the tide was too low for us to have a go at getting in. Instead we rounded Cape Capricorn (named by Captain Cook as he sailed past in 1770) and tucked away as best we could…

We went ashore to the beach below the lighthouse accommodation. Apparently it’s a great place to stay, but they definitely don’t seem interested in cleaning up the beach – there was SO MUCH RUBBISH back behind the tideline…

Everyone had a very welcome swim before spending our first night all aboard together – I had meal planned for the week, fuelled by fear of two extra grown-ups to feed – and my list was a great comfort to me. I didn’t have to flounder around wondering what the hell to make for dinner every night.

(Excuse the following – I am exited by the ‘Spark Post‘ app by Adobe – making images is very fun…)

* this is DB’s requested birthday dinner

M had calculated that to get through 70nm of sea and arrive at slack water at the narrow coral channel into Lady Musgrave he would have to get the boat underway at about 2am.

[Next bit written with technical assistance from M…]

Just outside of where we were the current was pushing against a northerly swell causing messy surf in deep water. We were tucked away, but the mess was only about 50m away from us and hard to see in the dark.

He changed into his ninja pyjamas, slipped outside, and began methodically preparing the boat, ticking off his mental lists, enjoying his manly solitude. Then up popped T and myself, both eager, but in need of direction.

M’s eyes crossed and his mental list crumpled up and drifted away in a soggy mess. We lowered the mainsail and took the boat out into deeper water, clipping the messy surf and turning a well ordered exit into a Luna Park ride.

With sails up and Captain at the wheel, myself and T disappeared back to bed, leaving M steering damply into the night. We had one reef in the main, a full jib and did 7-9 knots on a broad reach all the way to Lady Musgrave Island, arriving at 1pm.

The Mothership, T and the Smalls all slept well, as Bella Luna sailed boistrously all the way. M seemed a little more wary at getting through the channel this time, but it was a doddle.

179/365 • the mothership and her partner-in-crime, T - on Lady Musgrave Island a few days back. They're sailing with us from Yeppoon to Bundaberg and getting a taste of onboard life - it's a rocky trip down the coast right now, but the mothership is famou

Clam. Lady Musgrave Island.

Black Noddies and White Capped Noddies. Lady Musgrave Island.

Lady Musgrave Island

On September 6th, while we were still at Lady Musgrave Island, Small DB turned seven. Can you believe it?! The older she gets, the less her entrance into the world surprises me…

Icing her cake. Lady Musgrave Island

Red velvet birthday cake. Lady Musgrave Island.

Seven. Lady Musgrave Island.

I must mention the cake. On advice from an experienced I-have-no-oven boat dweller, we used a packet mix and I put the cake tin on top of a trivet in the pressure cooker, with half an inch or so of water in the bottom of the pot. Cooked it on a low heat, with no pressure, for 50 minutes – worked perfectly ?

Small DB helped me ice it, and she let her sister help her decorate. Having the Mothership and T there was lovely, and crucially – it increased the present count. We all went for a pre-cake snorkel – really, the day was like Christmas – lots of food and frollicking…

Here’s her birthday sunrise – it was a full moon that night…

Sunrise on DB's seventh birthday. Lady Musgrave Island.

– – – – – – –

The next morning we sailed for 1770 – a little town that has always intrigued M and I. We squeaked over the bar and it was a relief to get out of the sea and into protected waters. Gosh. 1770 is just beautiful – the highlight is the caravan park that is super-old school – the beachfront vans are pretty much ON the beach, each with a little campfire out the front…

I could imagine families coming back year after year – kids playing on the beach with paddleboards or fishing lines.

1770. Queensland.

1770. Queensland.

1770. Queensland.

Town of 1770

Town of 1770

Town of 1770

We stayed in 1770 for two nights. The Mothership and T got the 1770 Shuttle into Agnes Waters to pick up a few necessities. They highly recommended the shuttle service…

We all did a walk around the headland at various paces. I tire of having no shoes, as does Small Z. They are waiting for us at the post office in Hervey Bay. Small DB and I were trailing along last – she had stubbed her toe. It was kind of a good thing though, because we heard a rustling in the undergrowth and…

A walking hairbrush! (Echidna) 1770.

Back out across the bar on the morning of Saturday 16 September – we sailed all day through choppy sort of waves until we got to Bundaberg.

Gosh it was good to get out of the sea and into the calm of the Burnett River. Similar to Maryborough, the river that Bundaberg was built around was the major mode of transport at that time, but now there are roadtrains, aeroplanes etc, the river isn’t that much of a necessity anymore. The banks of the river – there are a lot of mud flats, and closer to the city, industrial buildings. But it is cool to be able to anchor and walk into the middle of town in about five or ten minutes.

A local showed me where the secret tap on the dinghy jetty is and we were able to fill up a few water containers. When we arrived, it was getting on for nightfall, but we had been on the boat all day and needed a walk.

Thus, we all piled into Foamy and did some investigating, ending up in a nearby bottle shop where there was wine tasting and T bought M some beer. I had been pondering what the hell to cook for our last night all together – thankfully fate intervened in the form of a TOOOOONAH while we were still out at sea!! We dined like royalty on sashimi and tuna steaks anchored in the Burnett River.

Burnett River, Bundaberg.

We bade farewell to T and the Mothership on Sunday morning – having them aboard was a blast. We had done some serious sailing with them, and I wish we could have noodled along a bit more, but it was wonderful to have T taking on a lot of my duties as first-mate, and the Mothership entertained the Smalls for hours at a time. It was interesting to see that the Smalls barely touched their iPads the whole time she was onboard, because they had someone who was devoted to playing and making things with them. Sigh. I dream gently of a boat-au pair…

After they left, the boat felt strangely larger. It was tidy, too – because their friends had come aboard to collect them and thus we had tidied it to make it look as if four adults and two children had not been living in a cubby for a week.

The next day we explored THE OP-SHOPS of BUNDABERG (and there are at least four), shopped at Aldi, and went to the beautiful School of Arts building where there was an exhibition about the history of the Queensland Ambulance Servie…

181/365 • the verandah and view from the beautiful 'School of Arts' building in #bundaberg • . #history #7yo #sailing #queensland #abcmyphoto #bellalunaboat #cruising #Spring2017 #eastcoastaustralia #queenslandambulance

Arcade - Bundaberg.

Like Maryborough and Bowen, Bundaberg felt as if a bit of thought had been put in to the layout of the town. There were some beautiful public gardens – everything seemed pretty accessible from where we were on the river.

We left Bundaberg for Hervey Bay on Tuesday 12 September. We didn’t know it at the time, but it appears that Z-Mow (the little soft cat I made for Small Z when she was 18 months old) was misplaced in Bundaberg – we haven’t seen her since ?

365/251 • green smoothy on the porch this morning. Z-Mow (rhymes with 'cow') apparently approved. I took this shot and Z said:


    1. Post
  1. Jan Proudley

    Thank you Beth & Mark for such a wonderful adventure on the boat ⛵️and being able to hang out with the grandchildren. It was just wonderful. Great photos as usual and an excellent summary of a trip I will always remember. See you in Tassie for Christmas ???????!!
    Mum/Nana ??? PS T says he “had the time of his life.”

  2. Mark

    Jan. It worked out really well. I’m quite surprised what a natural you are on the water and how switched on Tom was to the rhythm of the boat. I appreciated his taking on responsibility for sailing us through some challenging seas. Tell him that I have fixed the binoculars. They are 100%.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *