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The Flying Crutchman yearns


Swab the decks, touch wood and plastic -- now that my craft actually sails in its  fashion I can  get down to detailing the fun I hope to have with it. And this map
 -- see above image (click on image to enlarge view) . The location mapped is the northern reaches of Moreton Bay, Queensland, sub tropical Australia --
explains my yearning.

It's da plan.

I've always wanted to navigate north and enter Pumicestone Passage -- the narrow channel that separates Bribie Island from the mainland. Bordered by national park, mangroves and with many inlets and tidal wetlands, the passage is the ecological jewel of the northern reaches of Moreton Bay.
Gazetted in 1986, Pumicestone Passage Marine Park, extends from the southern entrance to the Caloundra bar and is just over 35 kilometres long via the channels and has a surface area of 63 km². The marine park has 24 islands and is bounded by 240 kilometres of shoreline. Eighty percent of the Passage is under two metres deep and dugongs frequent its waters seasonally to feed on the seagrass on the bottom of the channels in the passage. Dolphins and turtles also make the Passage home as do over 350 species of birds. Habitats within and adjoining the passage include mangroves and saltmarshes, sand flats and mud flats, coastal dunes and seagrass meadows.
Once the passage is entered, to the north are two quaint little villages -- Toorbul (where kangaroos  run freely through the real estate) and Donnybrook. Donnybrook is approximately 24 km away from my launch site -- which is 800 metres from my front door. I can camp at Donnybrook or Toorbul  if I want at each township's caravan park or  go bush along the shore line. 

At issue: sand flies. But a small single person tent(and insect repellent) would suit me for the sleepover. My craft can carry up to 130 kgm of load so I can gear up enough for a few days afloat.

Paddling my canoe I'd never be able to make the distance in any comfort as the craft was such a hard pull through the water over distance. So my forays north have been less than 10 km along the coast.

But sailing -- and sailing was invented as a way to get some thing else to do all the work -- I can play at being Captain Cook.

That's the aim anyway. 

But first I need to play around with my rigging and train myself in using it to best effect by sailing north and back over shorter distances: to Sandstone Point being my initial focus. 

Of course if all goes well then Pumicestone Passage becomes my every other day sailing playground and hypothetically I could also sail along Red Beach (on Bribie's southern shore) when conditions are favorable. But the currents and rips  between  Skirmish Point  and Moreton Island 16 km to the east  are not to be engaged with in a wee-craft like mine. 

I'll leave those conditions at the entrance to Moreton Bay  to the dolphin pods.

But as yearnings go: my big one is to see dugongs in my travels...and preferably not bull sharks (the party pooper of shallow water recreation -- and I'm a shallow water habitee).


Point Gallagher looking toward Glass House Mtns
across PumiceStone Passage.


 

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