We gave much thought to where we would leave Stolen Kiss for the cyclone season. Lucky for us, our choice so far has paid off. Thumbs up for Bundaberg Port Marina at the mouth of the Burnett River, which was largely untouched by the floods, both this time and in 2011. The river peaked just over 1/2m from the top of the wall!!
The storage yard was dry and our covers still on. Fortunately for us, the 6 tornadoes touched down 1.5 miles to the south of us.
We have heard from friends up and down the coast and all are ok. Approximately 40 yachts were washed down the Burnett River; some have yet to be found and some washed up on the rocks at the entrance. We heard of a cat that had washed out of the Burnett River and ended up, on its own, on a sandbar on an island off Brisbane. It had gone down the Great Sandy Straits, over Wide Bay Bar, on its own. Amazing! We have found in other tidal races (floods must be similar) that the force of the water tends to keep the boat in the fast flowing water - where it is deepest. When we were in the Kimberley, we experienced one tidal race where we knew the chart was inaccurate and a big rock was in the middle. (Middle Rock!). The fact that the yacht that went through before us was aground on the mud bank was a bit of a hint. Although the saying 'still waters run deep', at 9 knots of boat speed we made a split decision to follow the 'bumpiest' track..we did not see depths under 25m and were doing to 11 knots across the bottom! A pucker factor moment!
One chap left the Mary River whilst in flood and had a wild ride down to Great Sandy Strait where he found shelter. Brown trouser stuff for sure.
Ex tropical cyclone Oswald has left its mark. Much of the north and east of Bundaberg is underwater and many people only saw their wrecked houses yesterday (Feb 2). Our heart goes out to all of those people who lost their house and cherished possessions. Many people are talking of leaving; no doubt that the event will leave a long lasting impact on Bundaberg.
The emergency services and police did their usual amazing rescues, airlifting people from roof tops at the height of the flood. Two women and a 14th month old baby boy were in the back of a ute. Their rescuer found a black sports bag in the back of the heli and they put the little boy in, zipped up the bag and he was then carried up into the heli. Poor little chap came out trembling and crying but he was alive. These people are absolute heroes and work endlessly until the job is done. The were many stories with happy endings, and of course pictures say it all.
This awesome shot came from Mooloolaba as the tropical depression kept heading south.
A High stalled over NZ feeding the low with moist easterlies, feeding it and keeping it going. An amazing system that formed as a low, then a cyclone in the Gulf of Carpentaria, crossing over Cape York, then swinging back over the coast south of Cairns and it just kept coming.It impacted on almost all of the east coast of Australia.
Our new prop, Kiwi Prop, made in NZ has now been made and we have other bits and bobs arriving. We have very little faith in Customs in Bundaberg so would prefer to deal with Customs in Perth. A little more to do here until June, then off to the boat and we will decide either to go to Hammi Island for race week, then head down to Sydney, or to just head south from Bundaberg.
I am still communicating with the authorities in order to get my overpayment back. The current Labor government should be ashamed of itself as it seems it did a deal (or two or three) with the Greens to pass any laws they wanted to in return for their support. That is the only way such poor legislation could have been passed to give the Department of Environment and Sustainability unquestionable powers allowing them to obtain money by deceit. Shame on them!
Meanwhile, we have been busy and enjoying summer in Perth, which is turning out to be a hot one!