Friday, April 11, 2014

Eden to Sydney via Jervis Bay and Crookhaven

Wednesday - 12/03/2014
We set off at 0710 hours after waiting for the wind to change we will have a tail wind going north which is not always good for us but a lot better than being on the nose. As we progressed further north the winds strengthened . Two other yachts followed us out of Eden these being monohulls worked the wind a little better than us. One of the yachts was 'Honey Bee' the other was a French yacht. These yachts were wing on wing  where we just relied on our headsail.
('Honey Bee' and I think the French yacht working hard with the wind)
 ('Alana Rose' under headsail, photo taken by Peter on 'Honey Bee')

The seas were getting a little lumpy but not too bad, we reached Batemans Bay late in the night 'Honey Bee' turned in to the entrance but we continued on, not having an anchor winch and not having been to Batemans Bay before I did not want to get myself in a position where we anchored and then for some reason had to move quickly, the fact is once the anchor is down we can't move quickly it can take up to 20 minutes to bring the anchor up by manual system.
We sailed through the night and entered Jervis Bay at first light, as we were going to get strong NE winds for the next few days we decided to go to the north of Jervis Bay to Callala Bay, if we are lucky we may be able to pick up a public mooring. It has been many years since I have been in Jervis Bay, I think the last time may have been in 1967 on HMAS Attack.
Thursday - 13/03/2014
As we approached Callala Bay we contacted VMR to let them know we had arrived and we asked them about the moorings, they gave us the Lat/Long for its location and we found it amongst other moored yachts, it is a large pink coloured buoy.
A friend Simon informed me that some insurance companies will not insure your yacht on these moorings, Club Marine is one of these. Fortunately we are with Panteanius and we are covered. The problem is that this bay is not protected against any southerly winds and they are some of the strongest winds in this area, we have all heard of the "Southerly Buster " that comes up the NSW coast. It is always best to check with your insurance company or read your policy thoroughly to see what you are covered for. Club Marine have got a few areas where they will not cover insurance on moorings. When we arrived at Callala Bay there was one yacht already on its side on the beach where it had come off a mooring in the winds yesterday. Fortunately it was not a large yacht and it was retrieved by sailing club members at high tide.
These moorings are regularly inspected it is just the holding and the high winds from the south whip up quite a bit along the open waters of Jervis Bay.
Once we were secured on the mooring we had a feed a shower and a rest. Nancy contacted her brother and sister that live about 25 minutes away and Keith came to visit in the afternoon and tomorrow Phyllis and Ernie will pick us up and take us out to their place.
Callala Bay has a small jetty that has fresh water tap nearby along with a boat ramp, toilets, rubbish bins and a BBQ area. It is about a ten minute walk from the jetty to the small shopping centre that has just about everything. There is a hardware store that is packed with all sorts of goodies and does gas bottle top ups, close by is a Cafe, be warned do not order a hamburger and chips unless you are really hungry, I was about to order a burger with the lot and the lady that owns the shop talked me out of it, so I got the plain burger and could hardly finish that, the chips were left on the plate. Very nice and plentiful. There is a Post Office, Bakery, IGA supermarket, Coffee Shop, Fish and Chip Shop, Pizza Restaurant for evenings, Hairdressers, Newsagents, and many Real estate offices.
(Jetty and boat ramp at Callala Bay)
(Callala Bay)

Nancy's brother Keith came over in the afternoon and we spent some time with him, Keith lives in Nowra and is writing his third book, he is retired but helps out at the local museum. We had a quiet night aboard watching the water Police carry out some exercise.
Friday - 14/03/2014
Nancy's sister Phyllis and partner Ernie picked us up in the morning and we called into Keith's house and then all went for lunch at the RSL club, then we went to Phyl and Ernie's place for the afternoon before coming back to the boat. We had a good drive around the countryside. We returned on board for a quiet evening.
Saturday - 15/03/2014
Very quiet day did a water run and washing. Went for a walk into the shopping centre and had coffee and a look around.
(Sunrise at Callala Bay)
(Callala Bay nice sunny day)
(Stingray near the jetty, the jetty is its home)
(Water Police appear to be doing exercises)
(Evening sky at Callala Bay)

Sunday - 16/03/2014
Another quiet day had a visit from an ex-work colleague Simon May, Simon is the one we missed seeing in Batemans Bay he brought us a nice bottle of red wine, he said he did not know what our stocks were like. Thanks Simon, very nice mate it is a shame we did not get to see Tracey but one day we will catch up again.  I picked Simon up in the dinghy and he came over for coffee and a chat.
After Simon left we went for a walk then checked the weather, the seas are still well up around the 3-4 metres and winds from the north it looks like Tuesday if we leave early in the morning we may be able to head up to Greenwell Point at Crookhaven before the north winds strengthen later in the day.
Tuesday - 18/03/2014
We set sail at 0315 hours under a moon lit night with light winds. As we exited Jervis Bay the waves picked up a little after changing course north the waves started to rebound off the cliff faces and this is the norm for this area so it is a little uncomfortable when close to the land. A couple of fishing boats were well lit up and working. Some fishing boats have their floodlights on but they don't always have their navigation lights on this often makes it difficult to guess the direction they are heading as the floodlights are on each side and on the stern  and even if they have the navigation lights on they are difficult to identify against the bright lights so it is always the best to give them a wide berth.
(Sunrise as we approach Crookhaven)

As we neared Crookhaven I found that there were many small boats out fishing not many of these had any lights on whatsoever, it was just on first light and they were hard to identify. There were more than a dozen boats out there and more coming out as it was near high tide when the fish bite.
We entered Crookhaven and made our way up to Greenwell Point and anchored behind 'Honey Bee'  where Peter and Chris had anchored after coming up from Batemans Bay.
(The Crookhaven River)

Later in the morning we headed ashore and on the way called in to see Peter and Chris, Peter said it is a nice place here but he would be pleased to leave because of all the small motor boats, they go passed at full speed and rock the hell out of all the anchored boats. We will be both heading out tomorrow.
We went ashore and had lunch at a small restaurant, very nice seafood platter for two. There are a couple of eateries here and a small shopping village with small supermarket and Post Office. There is also a swimming pool and outside are showers and toilets.
The anchorage is quite good holding and the river has a strong flow so basically we turn with the flow of the tide, the small boats do go by at full speed but not really a worry to us in our catamaran, we rock a little but not to concern us but a monohull does rock a little more.
Wednesday - 19/03/2014
We headed out at first light at 0550 hours at first the winds were light and we hoisted the sails and motor sailed for a short time until the winds kicked in we are expecting some strong southerly winds. We had a good sail north sometime after we left we saw the sails of 'Honey Bee'  but this time they did not catch up to us we sailed wing on wing and was sailing at a good speed.
(Winging it with a strong tail wind to Port Hacking)
(Entering Gunnamatta Bay)
(Gunnamatta Bay and Cronulla)

We arrived at Gunnamatta Bay, Port Hacking at 1450 hours and picked up a friend Barry's mooring which is very handy when the anchor winch is broken. When Barry came home from work we went ashore to meet him and we went to the Cronulla RSL club for dinner with some of his friends. This club has recently been renovated and it is a beautiful club and very nice meals. The view over the beach and sea is terrific.

We returned on board and got ready for another early start tomorrow.

Thursday - 20/03/2014
Well we did not get away until after breakfast there is little wind, we let go of the mooring at 0715 hours and made our way out the channel and out to sea, we hoisted the mainsail as we left the narrow channel  as we may get some assistance from it but it looks like another motor day.

(The boat sheds that are along the narrow channel into Gunnamatta Bay)

We passed Botany Bay, Captain Cook would not recognise it if he were alive today in fact I hardly recognised it, my last time here was on HMAS Moresby as we participated in the Cook landing enactment in 1970 we were the escort for Britannia. Botany Bay is now Sydney's main shipping port.
(Nearing Sydney Heads looking at some of these homes atop of rock cliffs that may fall one day)
(Approaching Sydney Heads)
(The Coat Hanger, Sydney Harbour Bridge)


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