Right on dusk we anchored in the mouth of the Burnett river with several other cats.
It was a calm with a light southerly and a safe anchorage and we had an unremarkable night.
The morning that followed was fine, calm and perfect for catching a feed of whiting.
Over about an hour at the top of the tide we caught a dozen whiting and that was all we needed for a feed.
Once the bite ended we motored up the Burnett river about 10 miles to the township of Bundaberg
.From the river Bundaberg is very pretty and has plenty of space to anchor up and take the tender to a dock and stairs that lead up to the center of town. From the river Bundaberg is very pretty and has plenty of space to anchor up and take the tender to a dock and stairs that lead up to the center of town.
The stairs are very pretty and promised a lovely town.
At the top of the stairs is a cafe and steel lungfish that is quite arty.
Then there is a very unremarkable street running parallel with the river.
We wandered over the road to the Bundy pub, a 2 storey colonial building that looked like it might be a good place for a counter lunch.
The lunch I got was totally without love and a massive let down.
Annoyed we returned to the cat and worked out what we needed to purchase to top up our provisions.
Conveniently there is a chandlery and fishing tackle shop very close to the top of the stairs.
Once we were back on the boat Slapper chucked out a line and caught a soapy, an immature mulloway that he kept as a pet overnight then released unharmed the next day.
At lunchtime on the second day, a Saturday I think, we went to another other pub and hung out in the beer garden uploading some 500 photos I had taken on the trip so far.
It was great that the pub had quite fast wi-fi but even so it took both of us nearly 6 hours to upload all the photos.
Slapper had taken 8 of them.
By this time we were knackered and a little drunk so it was decided to take advantage of the Chinese take out around the corner.
They were offering all you could eat for $17 and we thought we could heavily dent their bain marie.
Sadly the tiredness and drunkenness proved to be too much of a hurdle and the best we could manage was 2 plates each.
It was quite good food, nothing to rave about but not bad either.
Sunday dawned beautiful like the days previous and looked to be a carbon copy.
However Slapper caught a banded grunter of about 1.5kg and a couple of others that were whole lot smaller.
My crab pot was baited with half that tuna head and was totally unmolested by crabs for the whole 3 days.
I suspect there are no crabs in this river.
Then there were our mates the ducks.
Each morning we have been visited by a pair of Black Ducks that are really quite brown and have been hanging around the back of the boat.
One of the ducks we have named Greedy Duck and the other one is called The Other One.
Greedy duck is first to claim the pieces of bread with The Other One a few meters behind and usually going hungry.
Our little mate Greedy Duck is not a big duck but he is both inquisitive and quick and quite able to scoff both the slices of bread Slapper has allocated for that purpose.
I have been wondering what our bread fed mate Greedy might taste like with an orange sauce and a light roasting but luckily for Greedy his cuteness has outweighed his culinary appeal.
Monday morning saw Slapper up the mast to fix the radio aerial that has been causing us grief for some weeks now.
At some point lately the aerial had gone from vertical and working to horizontal and not.
The fix was both to replace the mounting point and to convert the connector to something better.
It only took Slapper half an hour or so to fix but I bet it felt longer to him as the top of the mast is some 17 meters above the water and anything but still or steady.
A quick test with the tender going for a run up river demonstrated both the now working aerial and the range of the hand held radios we bought for both convenience and safety.
It was a good thing they worked as hauling Slapper up the mast had me groaning and wheezing like a man twice my age.
This was not the first time I had hauled Slapper to the top of the mast but it was marginally the easiest as each time I am getting slightly fitter.
Oh so slightly.
Tuesday saw us getting last minute items for both the larder and the boat.
After that we spent a few hours and a pile of pennies on doing the laundry we had a crack at the Chinese restaurants all you can eat lunch and fared about the same as the previous time.
Maybe we can’t eat as much as we used too.
Around 4pm we lifted the tender on to the davits and headed down river to the marina at it’s mouth.
It took a little over an hour and a half and was buffeted by a blustery 25 knot northerly that just happened to be a head wind the whole way.
Once at the marina I had a crack at mooring the boat at the refueling jetty with that same 25 knot northerly now blowing us onto the hammerhead.
It took one aborted try and a much better second go for me to moor quite proficiently with a gentleman in a neighboring boat impressed enough to comment as much.
I went from quite worried to quite pleased.[/brag]
Slapper put $150 worth of diesel in the tank and we filled the water tank partially as well.
Unfortunately there was a queue of boats waiting to get fuel so we left the marina with less than half a tank of water.
From the marina we motored around the corner to a relatively quite temporary mooring, the same one we overnighted at when we arrived in the Burnett river.
It was fairly rough and not very pleasant as the wind was blowing once again from the north and trying to ground us against the sea wall.
Nonetheless we anchored up and watched a movie.
The plan was to get up at 3am and head round the corner to the refueling jetty and finish filling the water tanks.
Once the tanks were full we sprang off the jetty and headed into the shipping channel.
It was 4.30am and pitch black with a strong northerly and a meter or so of chop.
Text and photos by Fingers.