St Bees Island

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 9 Oct 2019 09:00

Position: 20 55.95 S  149 25.58 E
Moored St Bees Island
Wind: N  F1 light air
Sea: calm  Swell: negligible
Weather: sunny, warm
Day’s run: 24 nm

We arrived at our planned anchorage location a little before sunset yesterday evening in a bay on the western side of Goldsmith Island which was protected from the north and west by a small island, Ferrier Island, across its mouth. However, on our arrival the wind had freshened more than I had anticipated and a small but significant surge was wrapping around the island which would have made for an uncomfortable night. So we decided to seek shelter on the south side of Goldsmith Island. We motored around Goldsmith’s southern point and found a small fishing trawler occupying the first cove, the next was taken up by a large catamaran, but the third cove, a deep inlet with a wild wind whistling down its deep valley, was vacant. We motored into its arms in the rapidly fading light and dropped anchor in 28 feet of water.  While the wind remained fresh the seas were smooth and we settled for a peaceful night.

This morning we awoke to still waters and calm air. The sun shone and the double beach at the head of the bay looked welcoming.  But, with light winds forecast for the day, I wanted to be on our way and as soon as there was a hint of a breeze I set the mainsail, weighed anchor, then set the jib and worked Sylph clear of the rocky peninsulars that had sheltered us during the night.

We enjoyed a slow lazy sail in the light airs for the remainder of the day, coming up on St Bees and Keswick Islands mid-afternoon.  As we approached the narrow channel separating the two islands, the wind faded and left us drifting in the hot still air. A drowsiness started to creep over my world, the islands looked hazy and indistinct. Time to motor, a corner of my mind managed to rise out above the threatening slumber and tell me.  So we motored the remaining mile through Egremont Pass to pick up a mooring off a bay on the west side of St Bees Island. Since then a little siesta has brought the world back into a slightly clearer focus.

We will remain here tomorrow to sit out a fresh south east wind then, on Friday, complete the remaining twenty-mile passage to Mackay.

All is well.