Our first day at sea was wonderful -the sun shone and the water glistened as we headed out of dreaded Moreton Bay, so famous for its moving sandbanks and opportunities for groundings. We were not sorry to say farewell to that hazardous but beautiful piece of the Queensland Coast.
We headed due North for Lady Musgrave Island, planning to sail up the outside of Fraser Island rather than having to wait at the rolly anchorage at Double Island Point for the right moment to cross the hair raising and notorious Wide Bay Bar, and then travel up the inside of Fraser Island. But the downside of this decision was that we would have to sail throughout the night.
This was the first time we had experienced a night sail since our first cruising adventure 28 years ago. The last time we sailed inshore we nearly got “wrecked on Great Keppel Island” – not in the way intended in the 1980’s advertising slogan! We vowed then we would only ever attempt night sails if were crossing oceans or vast tracts of water with nothing to hit but of course in those days we had no iPads, no chart plotters, none of the umpteen navigational aids we have today.
Even with all the electronics and amazing aids such as autoheIm, I will confess that I was still a little anxious about being “in charge” while Jonathan was asleep!
But the sailing had been pretty good all day without any big adjustments needed to the sails although we had resorted to using the “iron spinnaker” (the engine) when the winds were too light to sail.
After enjoying a precooked curry, a beautiful sunset and a celebratory glass of Malbec, Jonathan turned in and left me to it.
So that he knew all was well, he asked me to keep the music going so I selected some lovely ethereal sounds that suited the moonlit night and were good to relax to. What a great feeling!
We had a steady 10 – 15 knots from the Southeast and for four hours I enjoyed the steady rhythm of the boat creaming through the water.
When he took over in the early hours Jonathan was looking forward to more of the same but he was kept busy with wind changes, then no wind at all.
In the meanwhile, I slept fitfully but oh so comfortably in the womb-like aft port side cabin, listening to the sounds of the water rushing past.
I didn’t need any music to rock me that night.