Our passage through the Great Sandy Strait needed to be quite quick, as I wanted to take advantage of the light swell and northerly winds to get out the Wide Bay Bar and down to Brisbane. However, navigating the twenty miles of shallows, sand banks and currents still took us a full day, and the mud brought us to a stop once, only a quarter mile from our anchorage. Thankfully We were only stuck for long enough to get the engine down and in reverse, and it was no trouble to find another, deeper channel. Our crossing of the bar the next morning was no trouble in the light conditions, and the northerlies blowing down the coast pushed us fast enough to get into Moreton Bay around midnight, far enough ahead of schedule to anchor for a bit of sleep. We then crossed the shallow Bay, entered the Brisbane River, and started the 17-mile trip up the winding river into the city itself. We anchored near Gardens Point, in the heart of the city, frighteningly close to a concrete wall and pilings, and set two anchors to keep us from swinging too much in the back-and-forth tidal currents.

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The view from Gardens Point.

It was rather pleasant to be in the center of a big city, although we had to walk quite a ways to locate some showers. After a couple days of enjoying river scenery and the bustle of a big city, we set out again across Moreton Bay, and into the shallows at the Southern end of the Bay, reminiscent of the Great Sandy Strait. Here we found lots of mosquitoes and sand dunes, and managed to get stuck in the mud and sand a couple times again, never so deeply that we couldn’t extricate ourselves from it immediately. We’re now in the Gold Coast, a beach-city of hotels, condos and shopping malls, waiting for the southeasterly winds to switch to northerlies and the swell to die down a bit (the surfers must be enjoying themselves) so we can pass the bar and get South.