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Well, it is coming to an end. We had a fantastic time in the Whitsunday Islands. With the exception of one long rough night trying to get into Mackay Harbor we had a very smooth and fast trip South. In Mackay we had just fantastic help from the yard there. Rod on the bilge pump replacements, and Ashley dialing in the auto pilot to working perfectly. Both maintenance bits were knocked out in the same day, and we were able to grab the calm weather window to press on South.
We took the interior passage of the Sandy Straight down, and got to enjoy the wonderful views of Fraser Island from the other side in calm flat water. We did one new first though as we looked to anchor in shallow calm Pelican Bay… we got stuck on the mud at low tide. No issue, we waited about an hour and them started floating again. It was weird and we were in the marked channel only about 40 feet from where we had just crossed. Well, everyone said that eventually you hit bottom, so we got that one checked off on soft mud just before we finished out trip. Once we were floating again we moved for deeper water for the anchorage and a good night rest. The next day we went out the “Mad Mile” of the Sandy Straight which was mild because of the calm weather, but still had standing waves and messy water the whole way. Must get totally crazy if the weather is rough?
We even met some more new friends on Aleris (Alex and Iris) in Mooloolaba and got to visit with Carsten and Imbi again (our neighbors at Rivergate from Sweden). One of the best parts of this journey is having such fun and interesting people to meet and get to share drinks and meals with. We had two very special evenings in Mooloolaba with these new friends.
Next we took the main channel down to the Gold Coast. That involved shallows with only a foot or two of clearance, and a set of power lines that on the chart were the exact height of our mast. We got some help from another sailboat about how to get more clearance by sailing close to the power tower where the lines are 12 feet higher, but the water is a bit shallower. In all, it was a pretty, calm and enjoyable passage. The slip in Runaway gave us two feet total clearance to turn into. It was magic how the whole family guided the boat in under such crazy tight space.
Now we are in RunAway, with many other boats around us that will also be in the big marine auction coming up. It is part of the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show which is the biggest boat show in the South Pacific. We are hoping to have many folks come and see Vales, Valeo, and hope that she gets a good price because whoever buys her is getting a boat with so much fun and love still to offer. We are busy getting her ready for show, and will put up the photos to prove it in the next day or so. This is a tough process, and it sure would be more fun to be still out with more sailing to do, but the trip has always been one way. Please wish us luck that we get a good price for her, and the new owners continue her adventure with as much fun.