We followed our detailed instructions from Pat down Hasting Street, at Noosa Woods, and through the bushes by the river to discover Pog Mo Hon looking even finer then we had imagined. After a few days in Noosa river doing last minute repairs, replacing the back stay and fixing the furler with a bit of a modification from captain George, a hull scraping by Nicky, and a DIY engine modification from our chief engineer and electrician Pat, we set out to fuel up at the Pelican fuel stop.
Within the first 10 mins we found ourselves bogged on a sand bar in the river and we were informed by a friendly ferry driver that the sand bar had shifted – even though we were between the markers we need to go around.
Once the tide rose high enough for us to dislodge ourselves we made it to the fuel depot with 5min to spare! We had the coast guard awaiting us to guide us across the Noosa bar, which was lucky because by the time we headed out it was a dark moonless night crossing of a rather notorious sand bar.
We followed their light in the darkness weaving our way into the open ocean then we bid them farewell and hit the high seas. With no chart for that area and a communal inability to work the nav-man we were lucky to have captain George to teach us to navigate by the stars.
…after which he decided to go to bed leaving Nicky at the helm to guide us through the darkness with the help of a head torch and a compass!
Our other helpers on our first night at sea came in the form of 2 humpback whales that escorted us either side of the boat during Pat’s midnight shift.
I was on from 4am to 7am and I had been too excited to sleep so by the time i was on steering duty I wasn’t completely convinced I was the right one for the job. With tiller tight in hand and strict instructions to keep Double Island Point light house to the port side, I clung to the boat, trying not to spew, and making sure the damn light house never left my sight!
We were greeted by dolphins as we made our way towards the coast but we had a bit of a communication break down when it came to meeting the crew change-over possie. I told them to meet us in Gladstone on Monday but when the wind died on our western course we knew there was no chance of that and we would have to head for the nearest bay.
I had dropped my phone in the water in Noosa on the first day when i fell off the row boat, Nicky forgot her charger & Pat had no credit so the chances of finding the other guys were pretty slim. But as we sailed around the headland we saw the red tail lights of what turned out to be Calum’s truck tail lights…by chance & synchronicity the crew-change posse happened to be camping in exactly the same hood! We met them on the beach the next morning, under a massive rainbow, after crossing the sand bar at dawn with Bassi up the mast in the bosun’s chair turning a few heads in the bay.
Biggest thanks to Pat & little Moo for finding our flag-ship Pog Mo Hon & fixing up the engine & electrics. Big thanks to Tyler for selling her at a discounted price for the cause & all the help with preparation.
Big thanks to Captain George for guiding us across the high seas & teaching us beginners so much with such Zen.
Big thanks to Nicky for her tireless work and ability to cook amazing meals on a rocking boat when most of us would vomit at the thought.
Big thanks to Calum for delivering our crew change-over possie Lexy & Oliver – sorry about your gear box, hope the tow truck found you!!
And big thanks to Lexy & Oliver, wishing you fine sailing & fabulous adventures en route to Cairns. Miss you mob already!