Actually, except for calmer seas, bottom soundings, and a few more seabirds, there was nothing to suggest we were approaching land of any size, let a lone a huge continent. Hervey Bay is a big wedge of water off the Queensland coast that is framed by Frasier Island, the worlds largest sand island. Again, no sight of it. The wind went light, and in our impatience to arrive, we fired up the engine. Night fell after another handsome sunset and still no hint of Australia. Finally about 8pm local time, we began to see some lights in the general direction of our waypoint.
The last leg of our trip, four miles up the approach channel of the Burnett River in the dark, was surreal. The channel is marked by pairs of powerful flashing green and red lights which leaves you feeling like you are landing a 747 on a runway, and because the channel extends well out into the bay, most of its length you still have water on either side! Once inside the lights were fewer and the dark darker. We actually passed the quarantine anchorage on the first go and then had to backtrack. Although the Port Bundaberg Marina just upriver was brightly lit, it actually made it harder to nose our way in to the small anchorage where three other boats already had the hook down. We shut down, toasted our arrival with a celebratory cocktail, and put our heads down, Don grousing that he would have to keep some kind of watch during the night in such close quarters. The next thing we knew, it was daylight!
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