Sunday, 26 August 2012

Port Macquarie NSW

Another overnight sail saw us arrive at Port Macquarie on the 16th at about the right time recommended for a safe bar crossing. After speaking to Marine Rescue and getting some advice we were quietly confident. The winds were light, swell was low and the Marine Rescue operator said the bar looked pretty good. We watched a few motor boats pass through with ease. We had asked the Marine Rescue operator if we should follow the leads and were told "I can't tell you not to follow the leads" - not exactly what you want to hear at this point. We looked and looked and looked for the leads but could only find one of them? Consulting the charts showed the approach that the leads would have suggested but looking at the surf it was not going to happen. We waited until we thought the last of a larger set of swell had finished passing and made a run for it. We got it a bit wrong.

The boat was grabbed by some breaking waves and shoved from about the centre of the channel to the northern side and way too close to the breakwall. Luckily Bass Voyager has a great sense of self preservation and didn't allow herself to be over powered. Caitlin steered her hard left as I shouted  directions from the deck - I had a much better appreciation of the conditions from there. (Caitlin here - what he means is I was freaking out inside the cockpit! I don't get scared often when sailing. This time I was scared.)  It was all over in a matter of a minute and we were safe and sound inside the channel. On reflection we should have waited and studied the wave patterns longer before making our run. We caught the last wave of the larger set rather than coming in just after it. At least we know how well our boat can cope with some serious surf on the stern.

A few days later we met Caitlin's Mum at the airport and checked into a hotel called Macquarie Waters where we made the most of free wireless internet and free washer and drier (a novelty when you live on a boat!). We hired a car and explored the local region including the Ellenborough Falls and the Camden Haven area.

We saw Bev off at the airport this morning and now we are back home on Bass Voyager. We are waiting for the weather so that we can make our next passage up to the Clarence River and Yamba. In the meantime we're going to go scuba diving on Tuesday at the famous Fish Rock Cave which is just north of here.

Kookaburra at Kooloobung Creek Nature Park, Port Macquarie

Fruit Bat colony at Kooloobung Creek Nature Park, Port Macquarie


 Michael and Bev on the roof of the Macquarie Waters hotel. The weather has been spectacular

Checking the conditions of the Port Macquarie Bar - reconnaissance for our departure

Bev and Caitlin on the foreshore at Pt Mac.
 Visitors and locals have painted all the breakwall rocks. There's a lotta love out there for Port Macquarie.

Ellenborough Falls - one of the highest single drop falls in the southern hemisphere.

Spectacular view of Camden Haven from the top of North Brother Mountain. This is also a sky diving launchpad.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Guys, You take some amazing photos, what camera do you have??? We are haveing a great time in the Whitsundays the weather is just great. At the end of September we will be headind South for the cyclone season, I guess we will cross paths some where. Looking forward to shareing that bottle of wine with the two of you. Cheers Cheryl & John