Yesterday we finally departed the marina in Manly around midday. The strong winds had eased and we headed out into a moderate westerly breeze. We left Moreton Bay through the East Channel to get a bit more wind - and boy, did we get more wind!! The Venus Banks were standing up and the channel itself had quite a big swell running. While flying along at ten knots sounds like good progress, we actually spent our time trying to slow down. It involved reefing down the mainsail and lots of sail adjustments, so that kept us busy until we could come around and head closer to the coastline again. We decided that we would head into Mooloolaba if things didn't settle down.
Thankfully everything seemed to settle as the sun went down. We ended up continuing overnight and even managed to flash up the bbq for dinner. Tony, Nathan and I shared the overnight watches and after dodging some ships off Caloundra, reached Double Island Point and the beautiful Rainbow Beach around four this morning.
We slowed right down to await daylight before crossing the Wide Bay Bar. The entrance was very messy and there was a really long swell, but Tony navigated Windana through, with white water breaking on either side of us. At one point Windana really lifted up her skirts and rode one of the big long swells, reaching 19.1 knots before we eased off the back of it. It was lovely to eventually enter the smooth sheltered waters of the Sandy Straits, in the lee of Fraser Island.
We motor-sailed up the Straits as far as Ungowa and anchored near Turkey Island around noon. Caught up on some lost sleep, getting up again mid-afternoon to enjoy the calm serenity and a pretty sunset.