Alongside Ulladulla

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 3 Dec 2012 23:41
Position: 35 21.45 S 150 28.58 E
Alongside Ulladulla Harbour
Wind: South F1 light air
Weather: sunny and mild

As we approached the entrance to Jervis Bay yesterday afternoon, the wind continued fresh from the north, the sun was shining, and we had several hours of daylight left. Loathe to waste such favourable conditions, I looked at the chart to see where we could make before sunset. The little fishing town of Ulladulla, only 25 miles ahead, looked a good place to aim for. Fishing ports can be crowded places so I called up the local marine rescue group on the radio to confirm that there would be room for Sylph. The radio operator responded that I could tie up to the number one wharf or, if there was no room there, that I would be able to tie up to a fishing boat. It sounded good to me, so we left the sails and wind vane untouched and enjoyed the rest of the day's sail.

By this stage RC was back on deck, scowling the galley after an unaccustomed fast of several hours. He sat in front of his food bowl, looking up at me, a mix of plaintive and patient appeal on his face, no doubt wondering why his food bowl was empty. This I duly rectified. It does not look like RC's portly trim has suffered significantly with his small bout of nautical acclimatization.

We made it into port just before sunset, proceeded to number one wharf where there was a big empty space, but I did not like the look of it. The large barnacle encrusted pylons and the high wharf face did not appear at all inviting to a small yacht. As I motored slowly around, assessing the situation, I was told by a crew on one of the boats that the space was not available as a large cray boat was due alongside in a few hours. He suggested that I try near the fuel wharf where some other yachts were tied up. I thanked him and motored around the end of a pier to the inner boat harbour, but there was no space available there either. Boats were already tied up three deep, such that the third boat out would have been a third the length of Sylph, and I was sure their owners would not be very impressed to have found a ten tonne yacht using them as a fender. I then went out into the harbour to see if there might be room to anchor, but, as usual these days, all the space was taken up with moored yachts. Next I set my sights upon an a rather unkempt looking purple fishing boat with some foreboding “TRESPASSERS KEEP OFF” signs as a good looking place to tie up, but, as I was making my approach, i was told by another fisherman that the “Nellie W” was sailing that night. Botheration! He suggested I tie up to a game fishing boat near the stub of the wharf, apparently it wasn't going anywhere until the next day. The fellow, Bob – there are a few of us around – even helped me tie up which I greatly appreciated. It seems Bob lives on a yacht as well.

This morning I have risen to blue skies, and light winds. I have been wondering whether I should have kept going overnight, especially as Bob told me that there is a $40 a night berthing fee here. But reading this morning's weather forecast has confirmed that I am going to be stuck here for a few days “as a vigorous southerly change associated with a cold front crossing the southern Tasman Sea develops on New South Wales far south coast in the morning and moves north along the coast in the afternoon and evening.”

All is well.