Edithburgh After All

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 2 Jan 2023 00:10

Position: 35 05.80 S 137 44.93
Moored Edithburgh
Wind: S F5
slight Swell: negligible
Weather: sunny, warm
Day's run (from 1800): 15 nm

As we closed Edithburgh, the prospect of a long uncomfortable overnight bash to windward and the allure of a good night's sleep overwhelmed the longer term rationale of getting to shelter on the other side of the Gulf. Thus, at 2100 we put in a couple of short tacks close to the coast before handing sail and motoring slowly in the dark up into the narrow shallow gully where the Yacht Squadron has three moorings. One of the moorings was occupied but the other two were free.

The judicious use of a bit of technology made the whole process of picking up a mooring in the dark relatively simple. I had loaded the moorings' position into the GPS plotter and with the autopilot steering Sylph straight for where one of the moorings was supposed to be, I was able to go up to the bow and shine a spotlight ahead until I could visually locate the mooring buoy. Once located, I was then able to return to the cockpit (while keeping the buoy in sight), disengage the autopilot and motor up to the buoy. Again I am pleased to report that we managed to pick the mooring up first time with minimal fuss.

The breeze has remained fresh overnight and is now blowing at about 20 knots from the South. The wind is forecast to increase to 25 to 30 knots later so we will be staying put for the rest of today. Tomorrow the wind is expected to ease to 15 to 20 knots, so my plan at this stage is to get the dinghy on deck later this afternoon and attempt to cross the Gulf tomorrow, perhaps to Port Willunga which is a bit north of Rapid Bay and therefore less of a bash to windward, departing Edithburgh around 0800. It is 35 miles from here to Port Willunga so with a fresh breeze the passage should take about seven hours giving an ETA of 1500.

Oli clearly approved of the overnight stop.

All is well.