Confidence and skill level?
After much planning reading Alan Lucas guide and advise plus using our electronic charts and latest i-pad charts with the automatic route planning app plus highlighting the right channels and hot spots it all started off very well with confidence levels on the high side.
We left at 6am following the suggested path from Broadwater to Moreton Bay having plenty of water under the keel. It looks rather idyllic with the sun coming up until we hit the spot in Alan Lucas book Woogoompah I. dredged area (1.8m) of course it did not help that suddenly the heavens just opened up on us, skipper for some reason getting confused with the port and starboard marker leaving the starboard marker on the port side and yep we stopped truly sitting in the mud. Cool Change needs at least 2 meters of water. Not to worry skipper does decide giving it a big push with the engine and we are in the clear. Needless to say we will not have to scrub the bottom of our keel for a little while. Confidence and skill level took a little bit of battering. Molly caught up with us again and due to that little mishap the went 1st. As we were slowly edging our way through some treacheries territory (Molly came in on VHF warning us of going wide as they just hit a low spot of 0.5 meters). We were, however gaining back confidence whilst it still coming down in bucket and at this stage I am balancing an umbrella and the ipad. All our senses are on high alert and we are making good progress through the narrow channels. As we reached Russell Island we were faced with a new kind of excitement. Molly at this stage slowed down and via VHF explained their apprehension moving forward to pass under the overhead cables. Our mast is 19 meters high plus calculating the boat height we will need around 21 meters clearance and according to the book it mentions the clearance is 23.5 meters.
Skipper Gunther redeemed himself by volunteering going 1st as he worked out our clearance needed a couple of days ago. As one edges closer it looks like we are going to hit the cables. Skipper is still confident however provides clear instructions to first mate not to touch anything metal on the boat. This puts my heartrate at an all-time high and images flying past such as Cool Change plus skipper and 1st mate getting fried. I decide I no longer can watch therefore I just sit down not touching anything metal as per instruction and just let it happen. It all went well, I think we had around 3 meters to spare. Molly followed ever so slowly getting through with several meters to spare. After many hours of travelling we were half way through and slowly getting used to of not having much water under the keel.
We sailed into Moreton Bay and mapped out a plan to stay the night behind Mud Island between two danger markers with plenty of room on either side. We have an exit strategy just in case the wind comes up and we have to leave in a hurry. We had a great night sleep and started off early in the morning as the plan was to sail day and night for a lunch time arrival at Mooloolaba on the 19th of August.