Finally after eight stationary days, the wind backed toward the east enough to allow an easy sail southward. Off we went in late afternoon for the overnight sail to the Great Sandy Strait.
In previous travels in this area, we passed both south and north in the deep waters to the outside of Fraser Island, whose seventy nautical mile length rates it the largest sand island in the world. On this voyage, we decided to travel behind Fraser Island both for the new scenery and to avail ourselves of our first smooth water since leaving Victoria Inner Harbour.
|At high tide|
The Strait has not disappointed. There are no waves at all that can be felt aboard Traversay III, either at anchor or underway. This pleasantness does come with a price though. The water is so shallow that we can only travel at half-tide or higher. In addition, the vast areas of open water belie the reality that only thin channels of it are ever deep enough for navigation in a boat such as ours. With the tricky navigation, we feel we cannot travel at night and must travel on a rising tide so that, if we do stray off the path and run aground, we can get away again. Thus only a few hours a day are available for travel. Enroute, we saw as little as 20 centimeters [8 inches] of water below our keel and here in our overnight anchorage, we expect the depth to be not much more than that.
|At low tide|
But for now, all is peaceful ... and we have internet again!