Assembly of a Crusty Crew|The Search for Warmer Waters Begins

Made it to Mooloolaba. Check. Topped up the cruising kitty. Check. Collected 2 new crew members. Check. After what seemed like forever, the good ship Merrion was finally ready to depart north with her scrappy band of seafarers.

Introducing our new crew members for the month, Nathan’s parents, better known as:

Bad Mickey and Trishie the Menace.

The beginning of our journey had us setting sail from Mooloolaba at midnight in order to reach the Wide Bay Bar at the appropriate time.

Everything went so smoothly I could have cried.

We slipped right out of our marina berth and exited the Mooloolaba bar like we knew exactly what we were doing. Sights set on Fraser Island, we cruised off into the night.

The rest of the night was completely uneventful. We all managed to get a bit of sleep and before we knew it, the sun was creeping out over the horizon.

Now comes the exciting part….. We fixed the autopilot!!!! HOORAY!!

Seriously. Complete game changer.

Was such an amazing change to have all of us sit around for breakfast without having to steer the boat. Fred is now a permanent crew member and seems to be behaving pretty well when the rest of us need a break.

Now. The Wide Bay Bar. The southern entrance to Fraser Island. Even though we knew a lot of people cross this thing day to day, the thought of shifting sand bars and breaking waves isn’t our idea of fun. After all the anticipation, we passed through in a breeze and anchored up in Tin Can Bay Inlet for the night.

First anchorage of the trip, rums all round and our crusty bunch had a well deserved rest.

Anchors away! We were off to the Sandy Straits!


This was a CRACKER of a sail. Hooting along, we were at the beginning of the straits before we knew it! We are also learning that not only do we have a solid sea boat but a pretty damn good sailing boat too!

Navigating shallow waters is always un-nerving but we all managed pretty well. You do get a bit sick of looking for all the channel markers though…. Red-Green-Red-Red-Green-Green-Red-Green… It just goes on and on and on!

Of course at the most critical section we had 3 MASSIVE powerboats driven by hooligans nearly knock us down with their bow waves.

Guess that is all part of the fun right?

Just as the sun was setting we pulled up at South White Cliffs for another hard earned rest and of course… another rum!

What do you do with a drunken sailor, what do you do with a drunken sailor, what do you do with a drunken sailor…….

Can you believe that after all our navigating we didn’t even set foot on Fraser Island!! We did try to take shelter from a bit of a blow behind Woody Island but we may as well have been at sea we were rolling that much!

This right here, lulled us into a false sense of security. Don’t be fooled. It didn’t look like this for long.

It was still technically the first island we had visited since we bought the boat so we were pretty stocked.

Even if it was super windy and no fish were caught.

We were all VERY ready to move on after a VERY rolly nights sleep.

And this is where the weatherman got the forecast completely wrong.

Instead of beautiful south westers.. we were beating into dirty northerlies all the way to Bundaberg. Lucky our captain has got the skills!

Oh and did I mention it was BLOODY FREEZING!! This is not what I signed up for. Queensland- get it together!

This 50 NM to Bundaberg felt like the longest distance we had ever sailed.

It took FOREVER!

The beginning actually wasn’t too bad but we soon forgot the pleasant start when we were getting green waves breaking over the bow.

HELLOOOO Burnett River! This sunset definitely helped end the day with smiles on our faces.

Bundaberg has never looked so good!

If there is one thing we have learnt is that this lifestyle isn’t all just chill, fun times sipping on champagne. You can easily fall into the trap of chasing wind and never stopping to explore. One thing for sure though, is that we would never have chosen to stay near Bundaberg if we were travelling by land. Turns out it actually isn’t all that bad.

I can almost taste the warm waters they are getting that close! A couple of nights on the Burnett River then onwards to Pancake Creek! Tropical islands here we come! There may even be a nice Northern Blue tuna in our future….. SPOILER ALERT: It was delicious!

Until next time.


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