Hervey Bay

Sailing north from Mooloolaba at a steady 8 knots we towed our so far unlucky lures once more.
As I am somewhat susceptible to bouts of seasickness I had been quite pleased that to this point I had been able to keep my lunch where it belongs.

Unfortunately that wasn’t to last.

IMG_0394While I was head down trying to keep our bait tank water pump below the boiling water behind the cat I lost my composure and turned quite a grey shade of green.

That 15 minutes with my head down and arse up ruined my so far pleasing record of never chucking while sailing.
Not long after that effort I was knee deep in guts.
That which broke me was that queasy feeling in the guts that points to an impending rapid evacuation from one end or the other.
Or as it turned out, both.
Sitting on the crapper both ends gave way at the same time.

IMG_0387Usually seasickness signals the end of what ever ocean top activity I may be undertaking, but I didn’t have anywhere to escape to.
I crawled around for an hour or so before my reel started screaming.
My totally ignored lure had finally attracted some piscean attention.



IMG_0382Wiping some of the spew off my encrusted beard I grabbed my rod and tried to look like I knew what I was doing.
A short fight of 15 minutes ensued and I was the victor, besting an 8kg bluefin tuna.
Slapper took a couple of photos of me holding up my fish and I am fairly sure if you look closely you can still see the chunks in my beard.

DSC_0005Not one of my finest moments, but still better that the fish I was holding.
As soon as the photos were taken my resolve crumbled and I sank down in the pose of the morbidly seasick and prayed for death.

Some 2 hours later I started coming good which was just as well as Slapper had piloted us to the river mouth in Wide Bay.
The sand bars that guard the river mouth are fairly intimidating and on the outgoing tide as we were can sport standing waves of a meter or more.

Slapper made contact with the Tin Can Bay volunteer rescue service and they talked him through the approach into the river and kept an eye on us as we entered the river.
All went smoothly with only a little sweat on the brow and we passed the Frasier Island ferry and motored calmly into the Great Sandy Strait.

The decision was made not to head south into Tin Can Bay despite its reputation as eye candy and motored north towards Hervey bay.
Somewhere round about Mary river we ran out of daylight and carefully motored around looking for a safe anchoring place.
Well, not carefully enough.

IMG_0128Just as the sky turned inky black and the moon failed to show we ran aground.
This was only the second time we had done so with the first in the inland river somewhere west of North Straddie Island.
Our first grounding was partially intentional just to see what would happen and so can hardly be held against the man at the helm.


The second grounding was much more concerning.
Striking ground and holding fast at the top of the tide on the biggest tide for many days we could not have timed it worse.

Much head scratching and map conferring ensued and a plan was agreed on.
Well, Slapper decided that the navionics program that had lied to us and placed us where we were was also lying about our orientation.

IMG_0139In the pitch black we could barely make out what may have been channel markers in a place the map said was not the case.
Slapper made his mind up and we gunned the motors.
To our great relief the hulls came free and we once more had water under our keels.
With that we motored a few hundred meters and dropped anchor for the night.


Morning dawned to show us just off to one side of the channel and in good spirits.
With no wind we had no choice but to motor the 20 miles to Urangan.

Urangan town and marina sits in the south west corner of Hervey Bay.
The marina is nothing to rave about and once again we found ourselves on the bloody hammerhead.

IMG_0514We spent 3 days in Urangan fixing pulleys, damaged ropes and improving our safety equipment with the addition of waterproof 2.5w radios.

IMG_0492I don’t know why anybody would live in Urangan, maybe every other place in Australia is full?
Its maybe not that bad, Hervey Bay was full of whales and if you liked that sort of thing maybe it might be okay.

We went out on the bay on the second day with a drinking buddy of Slappers from Manly, Gary.
We saw some humpback whales several hundred meters way but could see and hear their spouts clearly.
Whales, tick.

It was decided that we would take Gary on the next leg of the trip, from Urangan to Bundaberg.
The wind was from the south at 15 knots with 1 meter of swell.
This made slow but pleasant sailing.

Our lures were once again ignored.


Text by Fingers photos by Fingers and one by Slapper.

2 Replies to “Hervey Bay”

  1. Hey Fingers, great story telling, don’t change anything (if you feel like adding something – maybe you can add Scott’s 1 liner on the situation)! When you were explaining your sea sickness I could relate, so can any one who has been sea sick. I will read the rest now, I’m up to Mooloolaba ……….Sharan

    1. Thankyou Sharan,
      Slapper has many good one liners that crack me up.
      I need to write them down as they are a bugger to remember.
      I am hoping when he gets the time he will add his insights to the blog.

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