Wide Bay Bar 26h Nov

Bars strike fear into mariner’s hearts at the best of times! They are an accident of nature involving build up of sand banks, wind and tide. An area o very rough water is created, that worsens with high winds and the wrong state of the tide. They need to be crossed with very low winds, and  at high tide, when the water is slack.

The bete noir of bars in these parts is the Wide Bat Bar at the mouth of the channel at the southern end of Frasier Island.

We have been planning the crossing for the last 2 weeks, asking every one we talked to, Women Who Sail, the coast guard and the VMR tips and way points. We have read all our guides and done further research on line.

Today there is an early morning high tide, and favourable wind conditions, although Willy Weather warns of a storm this afternoon.

So today is the day we are going, unless it looks to rough, then we will go back and try tomorrow.

We were up at 4 am and left with another 20 boats at 5 am, a mixture of craft of varying sizes and designs, all heading up the channel together. It could have been the start of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race!

 

 

As we came out of the channel into the ocean the waves became larger, about 2 metres, and from several directions.

We could see the large rollers breaking on the sand banks beside us, and we stuck with the rest of the fleet, and our VMR co-ordinates.

One lone yacht set off on a different heading, much closer to the shore. We heard him talking to the coast guard, I hope he was all right.

The rollers increased in size on the bar, but we had timed it well, and we had been out in worse! And we all ways have to remember that Jazz Cat is a very seaworthy yacht, she has crossed the Atlantic 3 times after all!

We have 14 knots of wind from the East, not the NE that were predicted, so it’s a long days sail to Mooloolaba.