Summer storms have recently seen waves break over Bribie Island’s northern most point adjacent to Golden Beach Caloundra. Having heard the news and being an avid boatie albeit with limited experience, I set out to check it out.
Four wheel driving was not a great option as the beach access is banned about 5 kms south of the area I wanted to see. As it turns out a 5km walk there and back would have been a better option in hindsight.
Back to the boat, I set out from the Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) boat ramp on an incoming tide of 1.9 meters which I thought would provide plenty of water for my journey up the Pumicestone Passage to Caloundra.
I set out late morning and motored past Pacific Harbour, Whitepatch, Gallaghers Point and the boaties only campsite at Mission Point enjoying the beauty of the island and Glasshouse Mountains. After that things got serious and the green and red beacons I needed to stay between became closer and closer together to the point I had to squeak through in places.
After a few wrong turns I made it through eventually to the point on the inland track where the remains of an old lighthouse sit and the passage widens and deepens again and I was able to get back to cruising speed. I found the spot right at the tip of Bribie Island where the waves had crossed and anchored for a swim and lunch as it had taken me and hour and a half to navigate my way.
The waters are blue here and I swam to shore and climbed about a meter to the dune to see the surf side of Bribie only about three meters away. It was strange to stand where the island was so thin as to be able to see the calm side and surf side with a turn of the head. After a short surf I looked at where the waves had come over during that wild storm and realised that while it’s only a matter of time before Bribie has a north and south island it probably won’t be in the next few years. This should give home owners enough time at Golden Beach to lobby their council for a break wall before the waves reach their door.
Satisfied that I had dispelled recent reports of Bribie being cut in two by nature I headed home in time for the top of the tide expecting a dream run now I knew my way through the passage. Trouble hit early on when what a straight forward passage between beacons on the way looked different and provided confusing options on the way home.
After getting stuck once and changing course, the passage became a maze of sand and mud banks and islands. After taking a few wrong turns the boat decided it had had enough and told me the engine had overheated from all the low speed manoeuvrings. Dropping anchor I waited half an hour for things to cool and enjoyed my surroundings and the cricket on the radio.
Following this my boat continued to say it was too hot to go on and the tide was starting to run out leaving me with visions of spending the evening on a sand bank waiting the next tide in six hours. A call to the VMR was made and my membership never more needed. After a while the men in Bribie 3 arrived and towed me back to base with their back of the hand knowledge of the passage channels and markers.
So after a trip to the outboard mechanic having replaced thermostats and water pumps I can advise you the reader that if you are thinking of going up the inside of Bribie Passage to stop at Mission Point and come back or better still head the other way to Moreton Island. There is much more water in that direction.
By Staff Writer Mozza