At Anchor Coffs Harbour

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 14 Aug 2013 03:41
Position: 30 18.26 S  153 08.64 E
At anchor Coffs Harbour
Wind: North  F1 light air
Sea: smooth 
Weather: overcast, mild
Day’s run:  40 Nm
The wind did not stay in the east for long, but continued around into the north, right on the nose.  While it slowed us down the sailing was still very pleasant, as the wind remained at a reasonably steady ten knots, the seas were smooth, and the sun continued to shine.  We eventually tacked our way into the entrance to Coffs Harbour, arriving at just after ten pm.  I tried to sail to anchor but as we got close to the relatively narrow entrance the wind backed into the west which meant we would have had to tack through the entrance which was encumbered by rocks, Mutton Bird Island threw a wind shadow over it, what had been a slight swell amplified and grew worrisome in the dark as it piled itself noisily on the rocks around us, and at the same time three fishing vessels were entering harbour.  Rule one of cruising, do not upset the local fishermen!  So I decided to abandon my sail to anchor ambitions, flashed up the engine, dropped sail, and motored into harbour.  I had to search around a bit to find a spot that was not to swell prone and eventually ended up anchoring in the southeast corner of the harbour at a quarter to eleven. 
A short while later I was enjoying a good night’s sleep, uninterrupted apart from hearing a yacht reporting in to the local volunteer marine rescue station over the radio as it sailed past.  The skipper reported that they were having a very enjoyable sail down the coast in a nice westerly breeze.  “Bother!” I thought, “That was not in the forecast, perhaps I should have stayed out there.”  But I did not let the thought disturb me for long, I rolled over, gave RC a kick to make some room, and fell back to sleep.
This morning feeling well refreshed, I had a good wash, a hearty breakfast, then climbed the mast to check the rig and fix a minor problem with the trysail track – I won’t bore you with the details.  By mid morning our anchorage was getting a bit rolly, and looking across the harbour I could see a grey hulled Koonya anchored over by the jetty, looking much more comfortable.  Being a very similar design to Sylph, in fact the Koonya is a derivation of Sylph, I decided to shift over to be closer to my neighbour, which is where we now are, in the north-western part of the harbour.  In fact we have ended up closer to the Koonya than I had intended but I am not planning on going ashore and, looking at the forecast, I intend to get underway again later this evening, so it hardly seems worth the effort.  There is no one on board the Koonya at the moment.  If they are unhappy when they return then I will probably just get underway.
Now I should do some study but the thought that I am probably going to be up most of tonight is making me feel a little weary.  The bunk is looking very inviting.
All is well.
Slightly more boisterous conditions after the westerly change – smoke from bushfire:
Tacking close inshore to the NSW coast, just south of Coffs Harbour:
Close enough, time to tack:
My neighbour in Coffs Harbour: