At Anchor Forster-Tuncurry

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 19 Jul 2011 04:40

Position: 32 10.6 S 152 30.16 E
At anchor Tuncurry Channel, Cape Hawke Harbour
South sou' west, F3 gentle breeze
Cloudy, cool
Day's run: 80 miles

Yesterday's forecast indicated strong southerly winds tonight and tomorrow so rather then spending a miserable time at sea hoved to or bashing to windward I decided to seek shelter at the next convenient stop along the coast, namely the twin towns of Forster Tuncurry. After a night of punching to windward against mostly fresh breezes, at 4 a.m. we were reasonably close to the entrance so I furled the jib and jogged along under a double reefed mainsail to await daylight. Cape Hawke Harbour is a tidal inlet and has many shallow patches consequently I had to wait until slack high water, which occurs a few hours after high water. We sailed up and down the beach outside the harbour a few times then at midday dropped sail, started the engine and motored into to the inlet. I have been here a few times before many years ago and proceeded to my usual spot, a small marina adjacent to a caravan park. Once secured alongside a small pontoon which was obvioulsy not for public use but the only thing conveniently available I went to find the caravan park manager who also runs the marina. He was in his office and on asking him whether I could stay he said I could but that with the tides heading towards neaps over the next few weeks I would be stuck there and advised me to seek shelter on the Tuncurry side of the inlet. This I did, and as if to emphasise his point Sylph ever so slightly touched bottom on a sand bar across the marina mouth on our way out. We then motored across to the Tuncurry side of the inlet and dropped anchor just of the Fishing Co-op as I was advised to do. The anchorage is rather on the tight side with a drying sand bank in the middle of the inlet at low tide, which we are a bit too close to for comfort. I will have to keep an eye on things and if necessary move or put out a stern anchor to stop us from swinging onto it.

We will stay here for a couple of days until we have a favourable wind, or at least a not totally unfavourable one, then continue on to Sydney. The wind vane rudder is behaving badly which is very frustrating after all the effort it took to make it.   I shall scout around ot see if there is anyway I can modify it while we are here, but I doubt it and suspect that we shall have to make it do until Sydney.

All is well.