30 18.25 S
153 08.82 E
Once south of 28 south the whole atmosphere changes and we are suddenly into the Tasman Sea. Balmy weather and the blue waters of semi tropical Queensland are behind us. We have seen dozens of yachts en route migrating north like a flock of swallows. Are we mad? As I was tossed about in my bunk last night whilst we bashed to windward on our way south, I certainly thought so.
We returned to Bundaberg, Queensland Australia, Earth, the universe after a few months away. Duet was laid up ashore and the first three weeks of our return was spent getting her ready to live on board again. Well, to be honest, Simon spent three weeks wrestling with various mechanical bits and pieces on board whilst I painted my toes, lay on a beach and ate magnums. In my dreams. Bundaberg, Rum city of Queensland, is a quaint little town. There’s the high street, tree lined and cobbled stoned filled with sugared almond painted old buildings that reflect the prosperity of it’s past. It is also the only town I’ve seen that has flannelette nighties on display. The surrounding country is as flat as Holland and divided as neatly into symmetrical blocks of lush green sugar cane. It’s the only green stuff around. In case you haven’t noticed, Oz is in the grip of the worst drought for years – and they keep on squandering the precious water by squirting it over the cane fields in the heat of the day.Perhaps sugar rots more than just the teeth?
Duet was now antifouled, launched and we moved aboard. The wind howled steadily from the south as a ridge of high pressure remained firm along the Queensland coast. A brief lull in the wind and we scooted south through the Great Sandy Straight of Frazer Island to Moloolaba, a heavenly town, a tropical paradise with fabulous restaurants and the friendliest marina on the coast. We were delayed there by friends, a great excuse as always. We departed in light airs, motoring for hours. As the skyscrapers of Brisbane melted into the haze, so the wind picked up and we could sail, in the direction of Fiji. Great. We’d been promised N’thly winds and it stubbornly remain S to SW. All of which brings me back to why I was being bounced around in the bunk like a pea in a drum – We want to get to Sydney.
Coffs Harbour. It’s raining heavily. Don’t think we’ll move.