We just sailed a little bit too fast for entering the bar. Not to worry though as over the VHF an alert comes through prior entering Mooloolaba you must give the dredging vessel a call. It must be dredging time in QLD as this is the 2nd entry we are making where a dredging vessel is positioned in the middle of the entrance. This time our approach is during the day so one would think it should be much easier. The dredging company did not answer despite our repeated attempts, of course the VMR (voluntary marine rescue) could not provide any advice so skipper decides to edge along and check out the situation a little bit closer in. There is no clear signage on the dredging vessel only several pink floating buoys are scattered around and we have no idea what they represent. I am on edge as the entrance looks very small to me, waves breaking along the wall and rolling into the entrance. Gunther on the other hand tries to instill confidence by making a comment, “that’s nothing!”. This comment did not assist my confidence level at all and as a matter of fact, the 1st mate would like to abandon the idea of going into Mooloolaba. A large vessel (locals) contacted us over VHF and offered to go 1st and we should follow their line. They asked how much depth we need under the keel and their answer was: “you should be OK mate”. The dredging vessel takes up 3 quarters of the entrance needless to say another new experience for the 1st mate who is very pleased when arriving alongside the marina. Learning for the day, wait little bit longer for high tide as several times we only had 0.5 meters under the keel. We did implement our learning when we left 2 days later in the dark and had plenty of water under the keel.
We had 2 very relaxing days at Mooloolaba. Once again the sailors are so helpful with advice. Pretty soon we found out that we can travel with the dinghy upriver for several kms (just lovely) tie up at the pub pontoon and you find all the local shops within walking distance. Yes gent’s, amongst of a massive big shopping centre with lots of shops there was also a Witthworth and of course Gunther left hundreds of dollars in the store. Apparently we needed major life saving essentials that I hope we will never need.