Adventures of Maia | Getting to know the waters around Brissy and Goldie…. (Brisbane and the Gold Coast)
An adventure, sailing and cruising throughout the world with Laura, Dick and Ellie.
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Getting to know the waters around Brissy and Goldie…. (Brisbane and the Gold Coast)

On March 19, after 3 months and 9 days we escaped the Marina life. We were excited to be back on the water. While no longer attached to land, our life is controlled by the wind and weather. We look for anchorages that are in the lee of land, where we will be protected from the wind, waves, and swell. Our first night we anchored in Lucinda Bay, on the east side of Moreton Bay. Our view consisted of beautiful hills and beaches on one side and the large Moreton Bay on the other. We spent a dewy, rainy, quiet day, relaxing day on Maia. By our second day at the anchorage there were three other boats who had joined us in the area. We enjoyed the quiet and solitude and watching the big ships go by as they were heading into and out of the Port of Brisbane. It was wonderful to be out in the bay, living the cruising life once again.  

We had only a little cell service, occasionally 3G-1 bar, then SOS only, then 3G-2 bars. Imagine our surprise when a messenger message came through from our friends on Mischief, Lynne and Andrew. “We see you are out of Scarborough marina and are now somewhere in Moreton Bay. We’d love to catch up if you’re staying around for the next week or so.” It appears Lynne tracked us down with our AIS (automated identification system)! As we were planning on heading further South into the bay in a couple days, a meet up was planned.

Tangalooma Wrecks is an area where in the 1980’s a several old ships were dumped along the Northwest coast of Moreton Island which would provide a wind break for this area as well as snorkel and dive opportunities. It is touted as one of the places to see. As the winds were shifting to make it a more comfortable anchorage, we decided to head to Tangalooma. It was a Sunday and WOW it was busy as.

We motored past the exclusive resort, and the ferry landing beach, where there were lots of campers with 4-wheel drive vehicles (Utes) and maybe even some day trippers hanging around. The wrecks are close to the shore, with snorkelers swimming from the beach to the wrecks… we slowly navigated our way through safely, and found an anchor spot past the ferry landing.

Late afternoon as the area was clearing out, we enjoyed a dingy ride around the wrecks, a walk on the beach and a hike up to the top of a sand dune. We were amazed at the view! (We did see the DANGER sign until we were down off the dune).

On day two at Tangalooma, our weather went from cloudy to rainy, but we snuck in a snorkel. It felt great to get in the water! We saw lots of fish and some coral growing on the wrecks.

By March 23 we were heading South into Moreton Bay. It was rainy and wet, with winds predicted as high as 30 knots! Our Foulies (foul weather rain jacket and pants) came out and we endured the wind and waves and sailed by genoa only. By noon the North winds had increased, we saw wind speeds up to 22 knots with wind waves and swell around 4 feet. We were pleased when the anchor was down late afternoon in Horseshoe Bay at Peel Island!

The next morning, we woke to sunny skies and our wet gear was drying nicely in the cockpit. We enjoyed meeting “Mischief” on the beach for a walk and was surprised to run into Mike and Betty from “Barnabas” who we met in Scarborough Marina. On our walk we saw a huge mushroom and enjoyed chit chatting away. As the winds were predicted to switch, we decided to follow Mischief to “Cowards Corner” near Canaipa Point. Cowards Corner is so named as it provides good protection from most winds! We joined Lynne and Andrew on Mischief that evening for sundowners and a good catchup as we had not seen them since December.

After a quiet and stormy day aboard Maia, on March 26 we pulled the anchor up, sailed to North Stradbrooke Island and anchored in Deanbilla Bay near “Mischief”. In the afternoon we took the dingy to shore, had a wonderful walk across the island and enjoyed dinner at Little Ships Club with fabulous sunset. (The chef specially cooked me a gluten and dairy free dinner). We also picked up a few bits and pieces at the mini market.

The next day Laura, Lynne and Andrew took the dingy into beach and set off for a day trip on North Straddie. We took the bus to Point Lookout and had a fabulous time walking along Main beach and the Lookout walk. We enjoyed a nice lunch and shop at The Green Room health food store!!!

Lynne and Andrew were heading South to the Gold Coast region and were planning on sailing down though Canaipa passage. They invited us to follow them, and we decided it was an excellent idea as we had not seen the area yet and we had time to spare until we began our sail North once cyclone season ended, around April 15.

On March 28 the engine was on at 0643 and we were heading further South, “Goldie” here we come. The passage was timed well as we saw the lowest depth of 4.7 feet under the keel at Oak Island narrows. Once we made it through the passage, “Mischief” gave us a “tour” of the area.

Slipping Sands, looked beautiful with a couple boats anchored, however several jet skis were jetting around, one seemingly using Maia as a background as she filmed herself as she threw fishtails of water up in the air. We passed Perry’s Hole which could be a good hiding spot in the future. As “Jumpinpin” came into view we began to realize we were in a new world. As we motored along “Millionaires Row” we saw a least 50 anchored boats. We had arrived at “The Gold Coast”, the major tourist area of Queensland. By 0950 we were anchor down at “Tipplers” near our friends Alison and Randall on Tregoning. Dinner was arranged for all of us aboard Mischief.

The next morning (Monday) the crowds had quieted, and we made our way to shore with a bag of trash. We scouted out the island and had a hot walk along the road across the island to the Ocean side with beautiful sandy beaches and a view of “the Gold Coast”, highrises reaching into the sky a little further South.

At 1600 we had Allison, Randall, Lynne and Andrew over for a lovely couple hours of music on Maia with guitar and banjo, reminiscent of our Thanksgiving gatherings in Bundaberg. (We were missing Sue and Larry, who had sold their boat and were on their way back home to Florida!)

By Wednesday we found ourselves following Mischief again, as they were heading up the river to the Boat Works marina to haul out. We needed water and had heard wonderful things about the Boat Works, so we decided it was time to see more of the area.

After obtaining Fuel and water at the Gold Coast Marina, we put the anchor down in river across from the Boat Works. We were near Tregoing and Mischief was at the dock, tied up next to their good friends on Zofia! (Surprise, surprise we had met Zofia, Eva & Brian at Scarborough. We had a real gang here as Tregoing’s friend Hannes arrived on his boat Cheyenne. It was time to be social, with sundowners on Zofia, barbie night at one of the barbeque rendezvous locations with live music by Randall, Andrew and Alison. We also had poetry reciting’s by Brian and Alison. Fun was had by all!

With rain and winds predicted on Sunday we decided to move into the Marina and had a fun night of dominoes aboard Maia. Our week went by quickly as we cleaned Maia’s dodger and bimini, did many loads of laundry (free washing at TBW). We visited with Songlines as she was going to be hauled out, supported Mischief with mast removal and haulout. We also enjoyed a lunch at the local restaurant for Brian’s birthday. We borrowed one of the marina courtesy cars, went grocery shopping, and enjoyed a dinner out.

Tregoing had mentioned that they were able to get there first jab nearby at a respiratory clinic. We were able to schedule for Thursday and in the meantime, I stressed about it. Thankfully, everything went smooth, we both had minor side effects, sore arm, and slight headache.

Over that weekend we were able to enjoy time with Libby and Rod. On Friday night we had nibbles and drinks aboard Maia then off to George’s Paragon Seafood restaurant at Sanctuary Cove. Saturday, we borrowed the courtesy car and drove to their home in Elanora. They took us on a tour of the area, including the famous beaches, enjoyed brunch at Dbar, and took a step out of Queensland and into New South Wales. Next, they took us to Tamborine Mountain, where we had lunch at St. Bernards, and a hike in Curtis falls. It was a busy and fun day, and we were happy to be back to Maia that evening.

On Sunday at 1215 the engine was on, and we were heading down river after a busy week in Marina. We motored past Tregoing, said hellos as we were heading to Paradise Point. We tried to get there via a channel that ended up being a bit shallow, as we “touched bottom”, captain Dick made a good move and we headed out into the main channel, and around to Parklands. We fell in Love with this anchorage. Nearby there were restaurants, shops and plenty of food shopping options; an IGA, fruit and veg store and Health Food store.

Just by chance this week our friend Miriam (sv Enough) was spending time with her boys at a hotel, in the Gold Coast and we were able to get the full Gold Coast Experience. Cheryl was driving down to visit Miriam, she picked me up and off we went. Miriam set us up for parking in hotel lot, and we had fun exploring for the next day and a half. We walked around the busy tourist area, found a lunch spot, and checked out “Surfers Paradise”. We had a sleepover at hotel and decided on a spa treatment the next day. That evening Cheryl drove me back to Maia and she joined us for the night on the setee.

On Friday we sailed to Southport Yacht Club marina for Dick’s birthday weekend. We enjoyed a couple nights at SYC as we explored the area, we took long beach walks, and a couple visits into Surfers Paradise to check out the scene. On Saturday for Dick’s birthday, we went Go Carting with Geoff, Horatio, Noah & Noah (Miriam and I were the cheerleaders and photographers!). That night Dick & I dressed up and had a lovely dinner at the club.

On Sunday we headed back out to anchor and Dick decided it was time to scrub the bottom of Maia or what he could reach from the dingy and we realized it was time for a new coat or two of bottom paint. We discussed options and realized the boat yards were suddenly quite busy (they had not been the week we were at the dock). Luckily the Gold Coast Marina would be able to fit us in on May 5.

This gave us more time to explore the area on Maia, and on April 22, we put our anchor down at “Mud Clump” with a good view of Jumpinpin and Millionaires row. On Friday Dick and I had an amazing walk on the beach and sand hills around Jumpinpin. When we arrived on Thursday, we saw 4 boats anchored in the area, by Sunday there were 80 some on this beautiful Anzac weekend!

On Sunday we sailed over to Perry’s Hole to sit out the strong winds that were forecasted. We had a surprise happenchance with “Waru”, Ruth, Warwick and Bosun and enjoyed sundowners on Maia.

Our Gold Coast experience was rounded out with our haul out at Gold Coast Marina, where Dick sanded and repainted bottom, replaced zincs and through holes. 

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