Back in the Sandy Straits

As soon as we were able we left Scarborough for Mooloolaba, spent a couple of days patronizing our favorite gelato emporium, then continued our campaign northward.

After a day of motorsailing in very light wind directly behind us we knew we weren’t fast enough to get over the Wide Bay Bar and into the Sandy Straits by high tide and darkness, so just like last year we anchored overnight at Rainbow Beach. It’s rolly and not a restful anchorage, but a necessary evil in order to cross the hated bar in daylight and on the right tide.

Ideally you cross during the latter part of the incoming tide, but on that day it was also when the wind was predicted to pipe up from a doable 10-12 kts. on the beam to a decidedly uncomfortable 20-25 kts. We figured out how far we could push the entrance to beat the wind and timed it perfectly, with the wind just starting to increase dramatically during our last two miles into the straits. It also helped that the volunteer Coast Guard tracked us on AIS and talked us in. We never saw less than 11 ft. under the keel, but oh, some of the swells were a little sickening, especially watching the wild rolling of the boat that followed on our tail, and the breakers to the left of us.

No worries now. We’re just going to find a quiet anchorage, crack a few beers and bid a not-so-fond farewell to Wide Bay Bar forever. We won’t miss it at all.

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