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SUNDAY 29 AUGUST.  For various reasons it seemed like we were never going to get away this year. Nine months had passed since Masala had rocked into Scarborough Marina, Brisbane, at the end of last year’s cruise, and she was still there. Finally the day had come. We withdrew the shore power umbilical, symbol of connection to the land, and once again became a free entity.

Below the water we could picture the sleek new anti-fouling paint on Masala’s superb hull, and the bright yellow of the Prop Speed treatment on propeller and shaft, waiting to speed Masala through the water on her journey northwards. The hard work (or was it a bucket of cash?) was about to pay off.

We motored out of the entrance channel, turned left, and anchored in Deception Bay. A whole two nautical miles. We needed a day to set up the boat for sailing.

Right: Scarborough Marina sunset

Left: anchored in Deception Bay

Also, 24 hours at anchor would help restore our sea legs before our traditional 100 mile overnight sail to Fraser Island. Perhaps we were deceiving ourselves that our cruise had begun, but we think not – just having the pick down and feeling the motion of the deck under our feet was enough.

Above: in the travel lift at Scarborough Marina. Time for new anti-foul paint.

Right: the finished job—bewdyful!


30-31 AUGUST. Starting a cruise with an overnight passage always seems daunting. No easing into it with a nice day sail.  No time to blow away the cobwebs. Just BANG! Straight into it. But that’s what the tides were dictating.


This time we tried a new route out of Moreton Bay – an un-named passage between Pearl Channel and the tricky Skirmish Passage (our usual route). It turned out to be low stress and easy, apart from one shallow bank where for a moment there was only 1.6m of water under the keel.