By Sage Tucker

Sage is 10 years old, and with her dad, loves a bit of adventure. This is her story. 

I wave good-bye to my mum, from the beach, at Victoria Point. We hop onto the boat, and my dad starts the motors. I then watch as Point O’Halloran gets smaller and smaller by the minute.  I have now truly started this year’s adventure.

On the first day, we anchor at Bongaree, Bribie Island. In the early morning, at 3:30am, the wind picks up, and the boat drags anchor. Thank goodness for the iSailor alarm, or we would be on the beach waiting for the high tide. After the early start, I sleep and wake up when we are almost at Mooloolaba. We are rushing through the water, at eight and nine knots.

At Mooloolaba, we lower the anchor by hand, since the battery isn’t working, and have some eggs on toast. We head to shore to get a new battery, so the boat lights and everything will work properly. We also catch up with our friend, Kristy, who lives there. We go to a nice restaurant and sit next to the window, so we can see all the boats, and Dad’s favourite boat, Bohemia. We get some ice-cream. I get Chocolate, and Dad gets rum and raisin, like usual.

The next day, we start at 6:30 am, so we can get into Double Island Point’s lagoon, before night. Dad says it’s getting really close to closing up. In the morning, we see a whale and then a jellyfish, next we see two more whales and then two more jellyfish. We also see a pod of about 15 dolphins, two of which are right in front of the boat, playing near the bow.

We finally get to the headland of Double Island Point and the rocky cliffs look as if we are in one of those films that have amazing scenery. Going into the lagoon, I am the lookout girl, making sure it isn’t too shallow, while Dad steers in whatever direction I am pointing. As I look down a beautiful stingray appears and starts to swim away.

Two catamarans are coming out, so it is easy to see the entry into the lagoon. Once we are in, it feels like time has frozen and only life around us is able to move. You can hear the birds chirping, the waves splashing along the beach and the faint noises of crickets in the distance. As I sit there looking into the distance, I decide to go fishing to end the day.  We stay at Double Island Point’s lagoon for the next day, just doing fun stuff.

The following day we sail for Garry’s anchorage, but first we have to go over the Wide Bay Bar. It doesn’t take too long to get past this scary part of the sea, and it’s not too bad, because we leave in time to be near the top of the tide.  We go through the fisherman’s channel. This makes it a quicker crossing. Sometimes we practise what to do, if dad falls off the boat. I have to throw a floatable item to the person who falls off, knock the autopilot off, then turn the boat around and, finally, turn off the motors. I also know how to make emergency calls, and give our position, on the VHF radio, if something goes wrong.

After we get over the bar safely, we are only a couple of hours away from Garry’s anchorage, where we stay the night. Then we go to King Fisher Resort, where we play some games of pool and air hockey. I beat Dad, in air hockey, and Dad wins pool.

We usually stop at Torquay, which is in Harvey Bay. Harvey Bay is a nice place to stop, since it has a virtual reality games place and lots of kids. We walk around Torquay and I get to play some VR games. We also ride on the giant Skyline Ferris Wheel and get pizza.

Next, we spend a night at Burrum Heads. We decide to stay a couple more days, because the wind isn’t good. When we do go, we are sailing into the wind, which means it’s bumpy. At Elliot River, we have a break because I’m feeling a bit sick. Then we head up to Burnett Heads. 

Morning comes and we set off to Gladstone with a light wind and little swell. I see a shark and lots of dolphins including a baby one.

We end up stopping at 1770, where we have dinner and I get to pet the dogs.

Next morning, I take a seasickness tablet, and then we’re off to Gladstone Marina. On the way it’s really calm, so I get some time to write this article. We see a couple more dolphins, on the way. When we finally get into Gladstone it is nearly night. We tie the boat up, and go and have dinner at the yacht club, that is right next to the water.

After that we watch ‘Pirates of The Caribbean.’ Dad and I have a tradition of watching the series, when we go cruising. Dad likes to quote Davey Jones, saying, “Do you fear death, Jack Sparrow?” all the time, which is really annoying.

The next day I have an explore to see if there are any kids, in the marina. I also spend time trying to make our drone work properly.

We play some volleyball on the grass, in the park, and I meet a friend and get to play with her for a bit. She is really nice.

Next morning, we take some photos, and start our journey to Emu Park. To get there we have to go through the river system that passes from Gladstone to Great Keppel Bay. It gets really shallow in places, when we are going through, Bohemia gets stuck on a mud bank. It’s not a big deal, so Dad and I fish for a while, and wait for the tide to come in. The tide eventually comes in, sets us free and we continue our journey.

At Emu Park, anchor off the beach as the Sun is setting. After dinner, Dad and I lay on the tramp, at the front of the boat and look at the stars. It is so dark, that it is really easy to see the Milky Way. I spot a flashing light that doesn’t move against the background stars. Dad is really interested in it, so we watch it, until it is time to go to bed.

Next day we get to Great Keppel Island and Dad says that he notices a big dugong belly, on the way in to the anchorage. I see his big tail come up. We put the dinghy into the water and go to the beach for an explore. It feels so good to finally be at Great Keppel. I was about six months old, the first time I went to the Keppels. Mum, Dad, Chloe (my older sister) and I, sailed there on a 24ft Seawind. Mum says I spent most of my time eating sand.

Svenson’s Beach is our favourite anchorage, at Great Keppel. It has a cool fire pit, hammock and beach huts. After our beach exploration, we get some food and stuff for the fire. I meet some kids and a dog that can de-husk coconuts. Her name is Calypso. 

The next day we go for a walk, to a lookout that looks out over Svenson’s beach. There is a long, netted seat and we take some pictures. I meet three more dogs. Else, Monty and Zoe, who is a whippet. Zoe had once been bitten by a black snake and later a brown snake! She is a lovely, gentle dog.

There are lots of nice people at the Keppels. We chat to Hamish and Loren, Ray, Peter and Lyle. We make damper around the fire.

We walk to an old homestead, that belonged to one of the early settlers. We see a beautiful peacock on the way and at the homestead there are lots of big goats. Inside there is a giant spider, bigger than my dad’s hand!

The next few days we spend wandering around the beaches and relaxing at camp.  I play my viola on the beach, lay in the hammock, play with dogs, swim and go fishing. We won’t get any further North, this year, so it is time to head South and home again. It’s sad to leave the Keppels but I want to get back to my pets and family.

I’ll always remember, the old whippet, Zoe. She is one of the best memories that I have of this year’s cruise.  Even though I might never see her again, I will always remember her. The most important thing, at the end of the day, is that we remember the happy moments and not the bad ones. 

Heading towards K’Garri, we sail through the night and see a whale close to the boat, there is lots of phosphorescence and almost no moon. We stop at Tin Can Bay on the way back, where we feed the dolphins. This has become a tradition for our yearly cruise. We see six of them, two mums, one dad, one juvenile and two calves. I recommend going to Tin Can Bay to feed the dolphins because it’s a once in a lifetime experience.

A few days later, Bohemia is anchored back at Victoria Point and another cruise is finished.