Feeling thankful that God had beamed us a Tangalooma turtle to appease my anxiety we decided to tackle the 5 hour sail to Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast.
Given our fishing net episode the day before, Ric was sent under the boat to check the propellor was all clear. I watched him descend with the ‘I really hope there are no men in grey suits (sharks) here’ look on his face. He was up a second later with the thumbs up so off we went.
As we let out the head sail I mentioned to Ric, ‘Did you know about that?’, ‘What?’ he replied, ‘That 20cm tear at the top of the sail near the furler’, ‘Insert expletive’ No.’ reply. Yay something else cheap we need to fix. Not. Awesome!!! An interim fix was applied as we furled the tear back in and off we went.
We had read that Moreton Bay was largely uninteresting as far as sailing goes and the waters were characteristically messy. When I say messy, think cork in a bath tub that a large person has just bombed in messy. So it was here that the lovely North East channel exit from the bay bought on our first onslaught of seasickness and it wasn’t from a human! Poor Sam the Moodle had thrown up his entire breakfast all over the saloon (saloon in boating terms is basically our lounge room). Sam is always reliable to not put vomie to waste and will lap it up as tasty seconds. (Dogs,such disgusting creatures) But even he was feeling so queasy that I had to sit him up in the cockpit with Ric to compose himself while I cleaned up the pleasant mess.
Just as I was mopping up my last regurgitated dry dog food biscuit Harry, who had been rolling around downstairs declares the all telling ‘my tummy feels sick’ remark. I raced him upstairs but just as I reached for the sick bucket he spewed 2 minute noodles all over Ric, me and himself… As any parent knows, making a joke of such situations helps put the child at ease. Perhaps too much at ease as one of his first comments now whenever he meets someone new is ‘Hi, my name is Harry. When I went sailing I went blahhh and had Noodles come out my nose and all over Mummy and Daddy’. Oscar winning intro there, well done son!
So although the seas were messy we were lucky to have a bit of wind up our backside which settled Annie T in such conditions so she cut through the waves instead of bouncing on top of them. The next 4 hours were fairly uneventful until we reached the headland at Mooloolaba and decided to take the sails down.
We had previously discussed that I would steer Annie into the wind and Ric would have the physical demand of pulling the sails down as this was the harder work. As Murphy’s Law would have it, the wind whipped up around the headland just as I took the helm, the children were starting to fight and wanted to run around on deck and the seas stepped up as they bounced off the headland. As any mother would, the safety of my children took priority as I rounded them up and tied them to the cockpit table at the expense of poor Ric being launched off waves while on the bow trying to pull down sails while they still had 15 knots of wind in them. Basically the same as trying to hold a car with your hand while it accelerates…. it doesn’t happen. You should see the chart plotter from when I took the wheel trying to steer it into the wind….. talk about burnouts in the ocean!
After a slightly tense time (ok it was shit), we managed to get the sails down and headed for the sea way entrance. Ric had entered a few sea-way’s on the way up so was familiar with the feeling and the pull of associated currents. I on the other hand was ready to abandon ship at the slight sideways feeling that descended on Annie as she tried to fit in with the extreme volume of water moving in with with us. I had been on the current travellator on a tooth pick surf board numerous times but on a 15 tonne boat was a little unnerving. Once again Annie and her captain handled it with ease and we docked at The Wharf Marina with a little hiccup as we caught the paddle board fin on one of the pile ons and ripped its bag. By some miracle the paddle board survived!