Day 77, THURSDAY 13th November 2014
Left Pancake Creek at first light (5:00am) to head for Bundaberg. After travelling at an uncomfortable 7 knots for an hour and half in an effort to conserve fuel I determined that I had made another miscalculation of fuel consumption. Apart from the fact that, at that speed, it was going to take 8 hours to reach Bundaberg, I reckoned that we may not even get there. A look at the chart revealed an opportunity to get fuel at the Town of 1770.
The entrance to 1770 at Round Hill Head is very shallow (less than half a metre at low tide) and the whole creek is full of sand banks. So, with some reluctance but little choice, I contacted Round Hill Head VMR who gave advice about crossing the bar and provided a contact number for the marina which is really just a fuel wharf. The high tide was not until 1:00 pm so we anchored off shore to wait for the tide to rise sufficiently for us to get through. In any event we had to wait for the cruise boat, Spirit of 1770, to vacate the fuel wharf and head out for their daily trip to Lady Musgrave Island.
- Spirit of 1770
Round Head Hill creek while anchored off shore
Rocks at entrance to Round Hill Head Creek
Getting to the fuel wharf was a challenge. I tried to turn around just in front of the fuel wharf but got stuck on a sand bank! Two very kind gentlemen, who were carrying out a marine survey of the creek, came to our aid and pulled us off the sand bank and up to the wharf. The price of the fuel was not cheap but considering the circumstances I was grateful to get any! With the high tide some hours away, we took the opportunity to go for a walk and have a look at the rather delightful little settlement.
Fuel Wharf at 1770
- Home of Spirit of 1770
Official evidence of our visit to 1770
Walking on nature track at 1770
Nice parks in 1770
Michael obviously not lost
Marine Survey equipment at 1770
Marine Rescue at 1770
On our way back to Liberator we found a couple (Dave Parks and Jenny Keeffe from Brisbane) standing on the dock admiring our boat. We had a very nice chat and invited them on board for a look. I found Dave very interesting having been a pilot in Vietnam in the 60’s and commercially after that. They were travelling around Australia in their caravan. Perhaps we will do that after our sailing days are over.
Dave Parks and Jenny Keeffe at 1770
At 1:00 pm, now in much deeper water, I managed to turn Liberator around without touching bottom, and easily found our way out of the creek to continue our journey to Bundaberg.
Round Hill Head from off shore
But that’s not all! To top off an eventful day about 15 miles short of Bundaberg we suddenly lost our steering! I quickly determined that the problem was a flat battery which was caused by the excessive use of the stern thruster at 1770 when we were trying to tie up at the fuel wharf. But then, of course, the generator would not start because it uses the same battery. I overcame this problem by joining in the house batteries. Once the battery was under charge steering was restored.
After a long and trying day we finally arrived at Bundaberg at 5:00 pm looking forward to a good night’s sleep.