Corio Bay

After up anchoring and heading north around North Keppel Island it was decided I would be skipper for the day and solo the boat.
Scott has been doing most of the sailing to this point and has proved he can sail Just Jammin by himself if he needed too.
Less than 2 hours of sailing saw the wind drop and become variable in direction and strength.

IMG_1129Another hour saw the wind drop all together so I dropped the sails and switched on the motors.
The destination was Corio Bay and it was only about 13 miles away which at our motoring speed of 6 knots was little more than 2 hours away.
One hour in and we noticed a golden dust or algae covering the water in long and thick waves.

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This algae was prevalent all the way to Corio Bay and began to contain dead pilchards in huge numbers as we got closer to the bay.
The mouth of the Corio Bay is strewn with many mobile sand banks and on an out going tide has standing waves of more than a meter.
As I was skipper for the day I made the decision to enter the river by hugging the rocky promontory on the north side of the opening and sneak in around the banks.
Once I was in the river proper I could see the drying areas marked on the map as they were sand banks standing more than a meter above the water level.

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I chose to anchor just around the north promontory in several meters of water on a sand bottom with the idea of doing a little whiting fishing as our collection in the live bait tank was starting to run low.
After the boat was anchored my job as skipper was done and it was time to fish.
During the afternoon and evening we could not give away a whiting bait or a bait of whiting, I blame the golden algae and the dead pillies.
The following morning we set off motoring to Yeppoon at 7.30am with light winds and a swell of about 1 meter.

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By 8am the wind picked up and we had a south south easterly at a steady 18 knots.
Little more than an hour saw the wind pick up to more than 20 knots and Scott decided to put a reef in the sail.
At 9.35am we sighted a pod of 3 humpback whales not more than 300m off the shore in 3 meters of water.

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Scott put the nose of Just Jammin into the wind and watched the whales as we sat still not more than 50 meters away from them.
As we were to be informed later the whales frequent the shallow waters to scrape their bellies along the sand to remove barnacles or irritations.

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Text and photos by Fingers 2015

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