A False Start

By | June 11, 2016

We arrived in Queensland nearly three weeks ago.  After 10 days of maintenance at The Boatworks we then spent 3 days sheltering in a marina from cyclonic rains and wind, 1 night on anchor in a calm anchorage and now one week in the Brisbane River at a slipway repairing our “bottom”. Things haven’t exactly gone to plan!

The rain we experienced in the Gold Coast was extreme.  200 mm in 36 hours.  Non-stop torrential rain.  And then there were floods.

We were eager to get going.  Our next northern adventure.  After negotiating the Broadwater tides and dodging the occasional branch, we dropped anchor for the night in calm conditions, ready for our next day’s sail to Scarborough in Moreton Bay, followed by Mooloolaba, and Hervey Bay over the next few days.

Unfortunately we hit a rather large tree trunk in the middle of Moreton Bay, a few hours from our Scarborough destination.  The floods!  It was big too.

The boat lurched twice.  I thought we’d run aground or hit a whale.  Then we saw the tree trunk behind us.  We quickly checked the bilges.  Whew!  No damage we thought.  Neville then checked the steering.  No steering.

After much discussion and some phone calls, we directed the boat as best as we could, towards the Brisbane River.  We called the Coast Guard to alert them of the navigation hazard and notify them of our limited steering issues.  No one was really interested in towing us so we were on our own.  Fortunately the last ship for the day left the channel in front of us and all other vessels were informed of our predicament. The rudder (or rudders) were obviously jammed as Neville had one engine in forward and one in reverse to keep us ‘sort of straight’.  He did an amazing job. We arrived at the Rivergate Slipway just on dark.

It could have been worse.  We took no water and we weren’t hurt.  Once hauled out we found a chunk out of the bow and one bent rudder-blade.  We then went in to overdrive sorting insurance, getting quotes and organising a quick timeline to be back on the water.

So rather than ‘climb the walls’ here in the work yard (not as well set up for the coastal cruiser as The Boatworks), we hired a car, took a ferry trip to Southbank to see their lantern parade, saw a film, visited a winery and tomorrow we take a drive to Maryborough to collect our replacement rudder.





4 thoughts on “A False Start

  1. David

    Not the start you hope for but at least relatively easily fixed. All the best. David & Wendy

  2. Judy

    Very dramatic, I am in awe of you folk. Silly me I was thinking you were further north already and were out of the storm danger zone . Glad your OK and you have the skills to deal with such calamities with calmness. Alli s well at Evens street and I am enjoying the very pleasant ambience of your home.

  3. Teryle kemp

    Hi N&A,

    I can’t believe it, what crappy luck. Glad you are both safe and no-one injured. Take care out there on the wild seas. Well done to the both of you!!
    T&S xx

  4. JA

    Well done sailors- assuming you departed as planned! Good luck for smooth and hazard free sailing ahead!

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