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Archive for the 'Eden … N.S.W.' Category



Just a dawdle north at an average speed of 6 knots … pretty good going, so I kept going … through to Narooma instead of the shorter trip planned to Bermagui.  No dolphins!

* We called into Narooma on the way south to Eden! *

Anchored in Narooma for two nights as winds weren’t favourable for a northerly journey.  Learnt from Coastal Patrol the local newspaper had taken a photo of Tsunami coming through the Heads as they had tipped them off that a `Tsunami’ was about to hit Narooma.  It was just a small photograph with appropriate caption “The tsunami, sailed one up from Batemans Bay, crossed the Narooma Bar on Friday afternoon (February 4th) … and our desk calendar quote for the day was; “Without adventure civilization is in full decay.”  Alfred North Whitehead.”  Nice I thought!

 Bought a lure and line in an effort to catch a fish or two by trawling.  $26.00 for the lure and fittings … $60.00 for the cord line.  I thought afterwards I could have bought a lot of fish for that outlay!



From Narooma through to Batemans Bay … and another encounter with about 30 dolphins.  They have such a good time playing with the bow of the yacht and I tired watching them before they tired playing.  In fact I am certain they like an audience and a lot of their carry-on is a form of showing off … they were even jumping up through large wave surges up to 2 meters clear of the water … what fun! 

* I'm sure this was a `female' wanting to show me her underbelly! *

Had a rough night at anchor in Batemans Bay.  Couldn’t work out why but blamed the strong tidal flow and wind direction.  One night was enough



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42 miles south of Bermagui, Eden is famous (at least locally) for its early history of whaling … it’s now infamous for its huge wood chipping industry … and the bastards woke me up the first night here with the buzzer of their wood chipper roaring its head off … AND it’s about 2 kilometres across the bay.  Down with wood chipping; when you see the huge piles of chips it’s impossible to fathom how many millions of trees they must shred.  That’s my short statement on wood chipping!!

I had my second and third encounter with dolphins during my run to Eden.  When I have eventually set the boat up to sail – set auto pilot, set main sail, tie main sail down with `preventer’ (a tie down roping arrangement that prevents the mainsail & boom crashing across with a sudden change of wind direction), choose whether to use the standard jib or screecher and set whichever, check direction of travel on GPS Chart Plotter (no point heading for New Zealand when one wants to go to Eden), make cup of coffee … then I can go and lounge on the foredeck (up front)!  And I call this “getting away from it all”! 

* This is `SV Skandia' returning to Sydney ... it was one of the yachts we saw leaving on the `Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race ... It's keel broke off and it `turned turtle' ... but is now repaired! *

Whilst relaxing on the foredeck on this particular day I suddenly spied movement under the bow of the yacht … DOLPHINS PLAYING!  They were just wonderful … a pod of about 10 playing in front of and between the bows of the cat.  There were two babies, whom I only sighted twice … and they were flying just as fast as their parents.  They gave me a 20/25 minute display whilst the yacht cruised along at about 4 knots.

Despite the dolphins, this seemed a very slow start to a trip, with only 13 miles covered in the first 3.5 hours, I even checked we weren’t dragging a cray pot (they are all along the coast).  Anyhow things did speed up, possibly with the help of the eastern current which runs down the east coast from north to south (have you seen `Looking for Nemo?’) … this current is real and I have experienced up to a 2 knot free ride.

How do you know, I can hear you saying? Well, I have two independent speed reading systems on board, the first is a paddle-wheel mounted through the hull which measures the actual speed of the boat through the water!  The second is an electronic calculation done by the GPS (Global Positioning System – satellites) and this gives a very accurate measurement of the speed of the boat `over the ground’!  Got it?  If the two reading are not the same, then the boat is either belting into a current, or being carried along by a current!   I.e. if the speed through the water is 4 knots and the GPS reading is 6 knots then the boat is being carried along by a 2 knot current (which happened to me on this trip more than once.) 

Another time one can prove the theory, whilst anchored in the Bermagui tidal river flow … my `speed through the water’ gauge was reading 2.5 knots when I was in fact anchored!  Tricky aye?

* A beautiful Albatrose looking us over! *

“One must sail in deep water to catch the current”, my Charter skipper friend in Kiama Harbour had advised me, meaning water deeper then 100 meters, so doing as he advised, I found at times I was 10 miles off the coast.  Conversely, when I head north again I certainly don’t want to be sailing into a 2 knot current, so the trick is to stay close to shore (3/5 miles out) where the current has no effect!  A strange business!

The day of the dolphins was also the day the famous yacht SKANDIA passed me sailing north.  This is the yacht which lost its keel during the Sydney to Hobart race and one of the stars we saw leaving Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day ’04.  Obviously someone had spent a great deal of money firstly salvaging the boat and then fitting a new keel!!

The second encounter with dolphins came later the same day.  I was about 3 miles from Two Fold Bay, which is the bay the Town of Eden overlooks when, again I was lounging on the foredeck and I spotted a dolphin jumping a wave about 100 meters to the right.  In a flash there were dolphins swarming around the bows of the Cat, to the extent they seemed to be jostling for position … they were packed like sardines in a can and at times, with the swell running between the hulls, I could have reached down and touched them.  This was no small pod!  They were spread over an area about 200 meters square and it was impossible to gauge just how many there were … hundreds?  Again the show went on for 20/25 minutes, which in terms of distance travelled is a long way as Tsunami was travelling at 5.5 knots.  A great experience!

* Sunrise or Sunset ... I can't be sure? *

Eden is a very neat, clean, colourful town, set on terrain which borders on mountainous.  Therefore one gets plenty of exercise just walking from the harbour to town, or, as I also did, to the local Eden Coastal Patrol lookout to say thanks.  Again, here is a bunch of well trained volunteers doing a life-saving job … and for no other reason that I can fathom, other than to offer a service to the sailing community … a little like Rotary International, only on a smaller scale.

Two Fold Bay is quite large, roughly 2 by 3 miles in area and I tried different anchorages each of the three nights I was here.  The last being in a bay over which towers that cursed wood chipping complex.  They are grinding away at the timber as I write! 

* These gloves had served well, I thought! *

There is a new, dedicated Australian Naval wharf here and it’s a big deal when a ship called in (security), which happened the first day I was here.  Again last night, another ship of some sort sailed right past the wharf and to within 800 meters of where I was anchored and they dropped an anchor for the night.  Must have wanted to give the crew a smooth night to catch up on sleep? 

Being wide open to the Tasman Ocean, there’s a constant swell running into the Bay, so, no matter where one is anchored, there’s always a movement of water under the boat.

Had a great feed of locally grown mussels tonight, as there was a fishing boat alongside the wharf, advertising `fresh mussels’.  $5.00 bought me enough for three entrée size meals … BIG and yummy!  The skipper had wanted $10.00 but couldn’t change a $50!

* War Ships in Eden ... The Navy has a Munitions store there! *

Tomorrow I turn around and head north … and this time I will not be as anxious to call into a couple of lousy little ports called Kiama and Wollongong.  I am going to sail longer legs, with fewer stopovers … a new experience!




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