We motor sailed back across Hervey Bay on Saturday, having exhausted our enthusiasm for Fraser Island and being very keen to try to get to Lady Musgrave. It looked like there was going to be a period of relatively settled weather which would give us the best opportunity, but we needed to provision first. We had decided to head back to Burnett Heads, but to anchor in the river instead of going to the marina at Port Bundaberg. This would make it easier for us to get to the IGA and pick up what we needed, and would not cost us anything!
Pete fished again, and of course caught two of our now “favourite” fish, the old mackerel tuna. Both, of course, were offered another chance at life! We had a daily dolphin as we left the anchorage, but saw no other wildlife as we crossed the bay. The weather slowly improved, with the clouds clearing and blue sky making an appearance, but it was much cooler than it had been.
We arrived at Burnett Heads around 4:30pm, and were anchored for sunset, but this time the mozzies were unbearable and we shut ourselves below with the mozzie screens firmly in place, so we could have some windows open. We had a delightful tagine for dinner, with chicken, pumpkin and olives and flavoured with raj el hannout and preserved lemon. We cooked it with Israeli cous cous as a one pot meal. I had no recipe but basically did this:
1. Cut chicken thigh filets into strips, dry with kitchen paper and coat generously with raj el hannout.
2. Fry onions and garlic until transparent then add chicken and brown. Add diced pumpkin and fry a little longer til pumpkin starts to colour.
3. Add a tin of tomatoes, a handful of Sicilian olives and a quarter of preserved lemon skin finely diced. A sprinkle more raj el hannout and cook until pumpkin is tender.
4. Add Israeli cous cous and cook until that is soft.
5. Serve with a green salad of torn cos, pomegranate seeds and a dressing of raspberry vinegar and olive oil.
It was a little bumpy in the night as we lay to the current with our stern to the slight swell, so we were late waking. We did however manage to catch up with Sylvie, staying in the uk with Sarah Tomlins, as Sylvie was at the Clipper crew allocation day to find out who her skipper was to be for the 2016/17 Clipper Race. We Skyped with them around 7am our time, and had a great chat, with Sylvie confirming she will do both the fist leg and the Australian leg, which starts from Fremantle, goes to Sydney, competes in the Sydney to Hobart Race then heads to Airlie Beach. We hope to be able to catch her at some point in Australia! Sylvie will compete on the UNICEF entry, skippered by Welshman Tristan Brooks. Needless to say we will be following her progress keenly 😊⛵️
After a couple of coffees and breakfast we finally felt like getting active, so we got the outboard on to The Goon Bag and headed in to Burnett Harbour to seek out the boat ramp. Bonus, not just a ramp, but a floating pontoon as well, so no heaving the Bag over mud and worrying about the tide! It was a 500 m walk to the IGA, where we stocked up on fresh veg, fruit and dairy, then a return hike, with full packs. Back on board, Pete helped pack away so he could get a better understanding of food stowage. He is getting pretty good now, but is still a bit afraid of the fridge!
After lunch, I had a sleep, then we bunged a roast chook on the BBQ for dinner and planned a 6 am departure, for Pancake Creek. Current plan will be to overnight at Pancake and then check the weather for Musgrave. It’s a short hop across to Musgrave from Pancake, which means we can time our arrival for tides and having the sun high in the sky. Lady Musgrave is a lagoon anchorage, so we need to make sure we have good visibility under the water with the sun overhead. It’s also important that we don’t arrive with the tide too high or low, as the lagoon entrance is narrow and the tide can run very fast through it.
No pics with this post sorry, but at least you got a recipe 😀