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Archive for the 'Byron Bay … N.S.W., Australia' Category

BALLINA … BYRON BAY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA: 30th MARCH 2005

 BALLINA, NEW SOUTH WALES:

When approaching Ballina where I had intended to anchor, the Coast Guard Radio operator at Ballina advised not to attempt a crossing of the sandbar into Ballina Harbour.  Given he was a local and the radio station overlooked the Bar, one was inclined to take his advice.  I still sailed close into the Bar to see for myself what a bad bar looks like … and wasn’t disappointed with the experience.  It was just a boiling cauldron of white, foamy water and would have put the yacht into an uncontrollable spin!

* The `can-be-very-hairy entrance to Ballina! (Photo compilments of Wikapedia) *

Not being able to enter Ballina for the night meant an additional 15 miles sail to Byron Bay.  Well I thought a dinner with `Hoges’ (Crocodile Dundee, who has a house there) and his wife wouldn’t be out of order.  Luckily I had plotted my course along the coast to Byron Bay and around Cape Byron, after passing Ballina. 

BYRON BAY, NEW SOUTH WALES:

Byron Bay is a beachside town located in the NE corner of the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is located 417 nmiles north of Sydney and 90 nmiles south of Brisbane.  Byron Bay, a headland adjacent to the town, is the easternmost point of mainland Australia

* Byron Bay ... Mostly populated by young unemployed because of the great surfing! *

This was a strange day weather wise with very heavy rain clouds coming in from the SE. These clouds mess dramatically with the true wind direction and speed, making it necessary to change sail settings etc regularly.  At times the rain fall was so heavy you felt as though you were sailing through heavy fog.  One very pretty side effect of the heavy rain is its effect on the waves … the rain has the strength to flatten the small waves out … but not the swell.  The result is a smooth undulating ocean surface resembling sand dunes … very unusual. 

The reason I say `lucky’ was that on my approach to the Cape the heaviest rain squalls of the day came down.  Approaching the Cape I made radio contact with Cape Byron Coast Guard to ask for advice on where to anchor. 

The radio operator came back to me saying; “Right, can you see Julian Rocks?” 

Lloyd;    “My friend, I’m 300 metres off the CAPE and I cannot see IT… let alone any rocks”.  And it was true. 

What got me around the Cape safely were the waypoints I had plugged in 3 hours before … I just love the Chart Plotter even more! 

Byron Bay isn’t recognised as a popular anchorage, as it is very susceptible to ocean swell … in fact one couldn’t consider it in anything but an offshore breeze/southerly, or east-sou’ easterly … and I had an E/SE so it was just possible … (An `off-share’ breeze will create a flat sea because the wind hasn’t enough mileage (fetch) to build up a big wave pattern!) … but it still proved to be the roughest night I have spent at anchor yet!

Next day on to Southport, on the Gold Coast.

Somewhere along this coast I sailed from the Tasman Sea into the Coral Sea (South Pacific Ocean) … I need to do a little research on where the change takes place!

6-8

ooOoo

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