Sunday, November 10, 2013

Port Lincoln - Eyre Peninsula

Saturday - 26/10/2013

(Sunset looking towards Port Lincoln from Spalding Cove)
We had a very good sleep last night although I did wake up at 0400 hours to take the watch and realised all I needed to do was go to the head and get back to bed. The four day crossing was quite taxing and we have realised that we don't mind doing an overnight now and again but would not want to do it all the time as we did crossing the Caribbean and Pacific, not just the two of us anyway.

We had contacted the marina yesterday to see if we could go there and they said we could, however, they are not open weekends and we would have to pull up at the outer finger and wait until Monday to get a berth inside. The outer finger is a little separated from the marina and has no amenities , it does have power and water. The manager was kind enough to give us codes for a gate where we could dinghy across to a marina finger and access amenities.

However, looking at the weather predictions for today and tomorrow we felt we was better placed to stay where we were. When 'Banyandah' arrived we sat and talked about what we would do and the outcome was that the marina is a taxi ride of around $12 so that gives you an idea of distance, we know because we caught a cab to go and have a look. After going on Google Earth and finding that everything is so close to the town beach we decided to go there on Monday.

The night we played up a little, well maybe a lot. After the five day crossing I suppose we let our hair down a little, needless to say after a few sunset beers we cracked a bottle of red, well to tell the truth I think it was three bottles and that was fine and then Glen produced a bottle of port and I think that was the undoing of us all. The port was given to Glen by his daughter and had a label that made one take notice, the label reads, "St George Fu--ing Good Port". Well it did the job on us. I think the grapes for that was grown on the side of a hill because some of us had trouble standing upright.

We loaned the boys a torch to find their way home as there was no light on their boat. "And a good night was had by all".

Sunday - 27/10/2013

Payday, yes pay for what we did last night, hangovers all around. To say the least we all had a quiet day, the anchorage proved well with the winds until a little later.

Glen and Nigel came over for sundowner's again but a little quieter than the evening before for all of us. I mentioned the weather report the winds are going to kick in to 30 knots around 1900 hours and sure enough it started, the boys returned to their boat early.

Not long after the winds got stronger and then we dragged anchor, not fun under these conditions, it is very cold and windy and as black as. I turned instruments on started the engine whilst Nancy went to the anchor. I kept check that we were not going to hit 'Banyandah' as we dragged passed.

We went the north side of 'Banyandah' thinking if we did drag again we would not interfere with them. The anchor took good hold and we thought we would be OK, however, I looked and said to Nancy I think we are too close to 'Banyandah' then I realised 'Banyandah' was getting close to us, they were dragging anchor and heading for our amidships, I yelled to Nancy to pull the anchor up, but did not wait, I had to put both engines full ahead to get out of the way and they passed behind us. We then re-anchored in deeper water of around 6-7 metres and that took hold well. I think the not so stable anchorages are in the shallower water where the seagrass is abundant, unless you can find a clear blue patch.

Nancy was a little upset with the ordeal, dragging isn't a pleasant experience and of course it happens in the worst conditions. I think we both half slept through the night, but we held well. At first light the SW winds started and it was time to move from this bay. The better anchorage for these conditions is where we went just off the town beach or to the south end of Spalding Cove.

Port Lincoln

Monday 28/10/13 We left Spalding Cove early as the wind had changed to SW leaving us on a lee shore. We motor sailed across and anchored off the main town beach right opposite the Shell service station making for the shortest distance to cart fuel, we also carted fresh water from there. This anchorage is more convenient than the marina as the marina is south of town about a $12 cab ride, naturally the marina has fuel close by and the docks have power and water. But for shopping and seeing the town the anchorage is better for us, again look for a bare patch between the seagrass to get a good hold on the bottom.
The Shell service station is basically on the waterfront, next door is a very good laundromat, the next corner is the Woolworths shopping centre and on the opposite side of the service station is the Pier Hotel and we can recommend the food there, main meals of very good standard around $25, included in this is a vegetable/salad/desert bar just help yourself and usually has soup all included in the price of your main meal.
Our first job was to cart fuel and do the laundry then have a look around to find out where things were, we had already researched the places on Google Earth, that what made the decision of anchoring and not going into the marina. The anchorage is good for SE to W winds. Fuel done it was time for lunch and we went to a cafe just up from the service station on the waterfront, can also recommend this place very nice.
The afternoon was cart water and visit the bottle mart at the hotel top up the beer supplies.
Glen and Nigel said they were going ashore for dinner we gave it a miss and said we would go the next night. We had a quiet and early night.
 (I don't think I have to explain this one, this is on the shore as you can see our 'Alana Rose' is anchored on the right hand side)

Tuesday 29/10/13
We started early getting a load of water then we grabbed the two empty gas bottles after finding out where the place was to top them up, which is Home Hardware, not far from the sailing club so we took the dinghy to there. As we landed there was a bloke in his vehicle reading the paper. He said hello and then asked if we wanted a lift to do the gas, we accepted his kind offer and he introduced himself, his name is Max, Max works for Port Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, this was his day off and as he said he is a peoples person and likes to show visitors his town that he is obviously proud of. When we got into the vehicle he asked if we had a little time to spare and he would show us around. This man was a gentleman, he took us all over the place giving us all the information about the place, the people and the buildings. After this he took us to get the gas bottles filled and then returned us to our dinghy, he offered to take us where we wanted to go shopping or anything, we thanked him, but we did not like to impose on him on his day off. Max is a very good ambassador for Port Lincoln, thanks Max.
We got the gas bottles on board then did the shopping, the shopping centre is that close that I carted the groceries in the Woollies trolley to the beach unloaded it and then returned the trolley.
Free after shopping we went with Glen and Nigel to the maritime museum, well worth a visit, the story of the boat yard is incredible and the boat yard is still there today and the attached living quarters of Axel  Stenross  his wife and offsider Frank are still there, not far to go to work, walk out the bedrooms or the kitchen and in your at work, it is a good walk along the waterfront to get there, I suppose you could dinghy across to it.

(The boat yard still operates today you can see the charges for coming out and back in on the slip ($150) and $20 per day whilst on the slip)
(The museum has a lot to see outside as well as inside plus a movie about the earlier times)
(Above is the kitchen and dining area and lounge room, the old ice box bottom right)
(Two bedrooms, the old stove in the kitchen and the workshop, through the door at the end of the workshop is the boatshed and the bedrooms and kitchen have their doors from the boatshed, not far to go to work)

We then caught a taxi to the marina area to have a look around we had been there with Max but the boys had not seen it, we had a look at the marina quite nice and tucked away from all winds, the marina for pleasure craft is the first one inside the entrance then there is the marina for the working fishing, prawn and lobster fishing boats that were all gearing up for the season, the lobster season starts on the 1 November each year and goes through until around May. The fishing boats were going out testing all their gear and returning to the docks. There is a third section to the marina where there are more fishing boats and commercial boats further along the waterway and in addition to this there are residential waterways where there are private boats on docks.
(The dock with the red yacht is the first dock that you come to when entering the marina, the guide states that you tie up there and then contact the Marina Manager and then they will allocate you a berth if there is one available, if not then you can stay there, there are no facilities at this dock you would have to dinghy across to a dock once they give you the gate code)
(Looking down to the entrance with a couple of fishing boats coming in, I was standing near the fuelling point it is card operated, the recreation boat marina is just passed the hotel on the right by the boats coming in)
Between the first two marinas is the Marina Bar as you would guess we went in to test the beer and check the place out so I could inform you readers, I can say it is a very nice place and quite relaxing on the front lounge watching the boats go by.

We then caught a taxi back to the boats where we got cleaned up and went ashore to the Pier Hotel for dinner and as I have already mentioned a good place to eat.

Wednesday - 30/10/2013

(A beautiful morning)

There was no rush to get away this morning as we only had around 22NMS to our next anchorage at Thistle Island, it was going to be a motor sail day as there was little wind and what there was, was on the nose.
(Leaving Port Lincoln a very nice place and very nice people, thanks again Max)

We anchored at Whalers Bay, very attractive bay, there are some homes on the shore one being probably the original homestead of the farm as it looked to be the old stone structure quite a classic, there are still farm lands there so I imagine it is still a going concern.  The boys off 'Banyandah' rowed across for sundowner's but we all had an early night for an early start in the morning.


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