Safety
 
  A FRIGHT AT WIDE BAY BAR

Inspired by links submitted by Steve through our Forum
 
  'BELLE' from 'SAVOIR FAIRE' at Wide Bay Bar
Image ©September 2003 Dan Jenner

 
  Three boats were returning in company from the Hamilton Island Race Week in early September 2003. Dan Jenner was a crewman on board 'Savoir Faire' (3 Crew)and the other two were 'Belle' (3 Crew) and 'Talon' (2 Crew).

"Savoir Faire ' & 'Tallon' are based in Sydney and 'Belle' is from Brisbane. They had stopped for the previous night at Garry's Anchorage (Fraser Island, Queensland) and were exiting the Wide Bay bar for a southern passage. It was about 2 hours before low tide and there was a 5-10 K head wind - thus providing the ingredients for the worst wave conditions at a bar.

'Savoir Faire' had just crossed the critical part of the bar during a 4- wave set and Dan realised that the following boats were also going to encounter spectacular waves. Quickly getting his camera he took a perfectly timed photo of 'Belle' just as she thumped down off the back of a quite a big steep wave.

The image shows just what a good photo was taken and the likely fright the hidden crew suffered during their bar crossing. Note the backing of the top 2/3 of the sail.

The obvious lesson is that, in marginal conditions, the wave patterns should be observed from a close but safe distance so that the worst part of the bar can be crossed during the lull in the wave set - or indeed not crossed at all ? The sound advice of crossing any bar at an hour or two before high tide was also not taken.

 
   
 
 
   
   
   
   
   

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