Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cruising northward

We were expecting a little more from Port Stephens than what we got. It's a place famous for its whale watching and dolphins watching, but apparently we were at least one or two months early for the whales. But the dolphins were there to welcome us.
I tried to contact the various marinas, got in touch with only one, with berth available at 105 dollars for the night. So, we went into Nelson Bay marina which has casual berths available at the entrance, free for the first four hours. Olivier had been fishing again, I had prepared some mayonnaise, and we had a quiet lunch there at the marina, before proceeding under sail towards what turned out to be a very nice and quiet anchorage at Fate Cove. There were half a dozen moorings there, public moorings free with a limit of stay of 24 hours, which is more than what we need.
We enjoyed the quiet evening and the night being disturbed only by the sound of a dolphin coming up to breathe.
We left early, at 6, hoping to get at least some shore breeze in the morning. Unfortunately, all we got was calm weather until 9 a.m. when the sea breeze started to blow in our nose, lightly at the beginning but fresher and fresher up to 18 knots by the time we got to Cape Hawke Harbour.
There the wind was blowind into the harbour right onto the axis of the entrance with a strong outgoing tide at about 4 knots, making the sand bar at the entrance a little bit uncomfortable.
We were anyway able to get in, being escorted by a group of large size dolphins, and under the watchful eye of a small crowd of people on the breakwater.
Once inside, still with a very strong current against us, we found a berth were we could tie up for the night, again free (this time because there is nobody during the week-end to collect money) with electricity and water.
Tomorrow, instead of going all the way to Port Macquarie, which was my original plan, I will only push to Camden Haven, hoping to get there before the sea breeze makes the trip uncomfortable again at the end. Apparently, Camden Haven also has a sand bar at the entrance.

No comments: