Tweet Manookatoo Adventures: Cruising into the Coral Sea

Friday, 4 August 2017

Cruising into the Coral Sea

Sunset at Tangalooma wrecks
Swimming! In July!
Saturday night on Moreton Bay was to be the last of five weeks in "protected waters". After leaving the Brisbane River that morning, we cruised across to Tangalooma, a large resort on Moreton Island. We dropped anchor inside the large reef of old shipwrecks - an interesting feature of the local landscape, created to provide a safe anchorage in rough weather. Dropping the dinghy in the water we rode ashore, only to have a security guard shoo us off the beach - Tangalooma is a closed resort, guests only allowed on the beach or in the facilities! Returning to Manookatoo and restoring the dinghy to the flybridge, we lazed the afternoon away, enjoying hamburgers for lunch washed down with a couple of drinks. The weather was beautiful and the Captain even ventured into the water, giving the waterline of Manookatoo a nice clean, while the first mate held onto a rope to stop the current taking him away. A delicious lamb shank dinner followed before an early night, as the gentle waves rocked us to sleep. 

Entering Mooloolaba
With mornings brightening earlier, it is easy to wake and be ready to cruise. We were lifting the anchor just before 6am on Sunday morning and cruising through the channel heading north, with hardly a wave as we entered the Coral Sea. We headed past Bribie Island followed the north west shipping channel, rounding Point Cartwright and heading into the Mooloolah River just after 11am, tying up at the Yacht Club Marina at Mooloolaba, our home for the next few days. We took a walk along the foreshore boardwalk to Mooloolaba, visiting the Information Centre for some local knowledge and stopping for a drink at the Surf Club before returning to the Yacht Club for lunch. Our mooring is just near the fishing trawler wharves, and a walk to the Co-Op highlighted how much local seafood is caught in the area - we look forward to the opportunity to try some out in the coming days.
The First Mate caught up with family

On Monday, the First Mate's great-aunty Betty and Les came to visit and the Captain gave Les, a keen ex-boatie, a tour of Manookatoo - and he loved it, of course! Lunch at the Yacht Club included stories reminiscing about past boating adventures as well as many about the First Mate's family - a thoroughly pleasant day. 
The Captain and Danny
We were very fortunate to have use of a car for the time we were in Mooloolaba, so we made the most of it on Tuesday in order to visit the Captain's older half-brother, Danny, and Joan, who live nearby. Also keen ex-boaties, there was more reminiscing about past adventures as well as family stories and photos to share. We returned to Manookatoo to enjoy some local prawns for lunch, then later we made good use of the car to stock up on supplies at the local shopping centre before enjoying more local seafood for dinner.

A road trip was the order of the day on Wednesday, and we started with a visit to the Eumundi Markets, buying up some local produce while we were there. We headed to Noosa Heads for a cuppa and a walk along the foreshore, then drove further south, following the coast and stopping for lunch at Coolum on our way home. 

Thursday was "medical day" - and the real reason we had borrowed a car - driving to the Gold Coast for X-rays, a CT scan, and visits to the Surgeon and Hand Therapist. With more exercises to do and a date set for surgery, we returned to the Sunshine Coast in the mid-afternoon to begin readying the boat for our next sea voyage. An afternoon walk to Mooloolaba Surf Club for a final drink overlooking the ocean was followed by dinner and an early night. 
Our last night in Mooloolaba

At first light in Friday we dropped the lines and headed out through the bar, passing the towns of the Sunshine Coast and cruising north. With light winds and a small swell, it was a pleasant day for cruising along, and by 3pm we were heading into the Wide Bay Bar in smooth seas, ready to enjoy the next little while exploring the Great Sandy Straits and Fraser Island.

The Captain's Log:
Brisbane to Mooloolaba
Distance travelled 65.5 Nautical Miles
Fuel consumption 54.9 litres
Mooloolaba to Wide Bay
Distance travelled 66 Nautical Miles
Fuel consumption 76 litres

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