Back at Streaky Bay (the town)

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 26 Feb 2023 05:25

Position: 32 47.52 S 134 12.71 E
At anchor Port Blanche
Wind: SW, F4
Sea: slight Swell: nil
Weather: sunny, warm
Day's run (since noon yesterday): 43 nm

We made good time yesterday afternoon, entering Streaky Bay at around 1500 and letting go the anchor off Perlubie Beach behind Eba Island at 1704. I aimed for the same spot I was in last time we were here, only six days ago, but overshot a little and ended up a little closer to the shallows than I intended. However, just how shallow the sandy bits were, as opposed to the weedy bottom, I did not realise until this morning when I rowed ashore for a morning jog along the beach. As I rowed over the transition between the dark weed and the light sandy bottom, the depth reduced markedly, from about three meters to about half a meter. And I estimated that Sylph was only about 100 meters from the white sandy bottom. If the wind had swung into the west overnight than most likely we would have been aground (not that I would have anchored here if I thought there was any chance of the wind coming in from the west).

The tide was ebbing when I went ashore and by the time I had completed my jog the water was even shallower. In fact, while I had rowed all of the way in to the beach, on the way back I waded most of the way to Sylph in water no more than knee deep, towing the dinghy behind me. A little bit of online research tells me that this sea grass (posidonia australis) grows in depths between one and fifteen meters. So, I guess I shouldn't approach the demarcation line between sand and weed too closely while in SA waters.

As a brief aside, apparently a bed of this sea grass in Western Australia covers some 200 square kilometres and is all cloned from the one plant making it the largest organism in the world, and also one of the oldest clonal plants - estimated to have taken some 4,500 years to grow to this size from the original plant. Also, P. australis can sequester carbon 35 times more efficiently than a rainforest. And here I was thinking it was just a bloody nuisance. (Thank you Wikipedia.)

After breakfast, I got underway at 0930 and we enjoyed a brisk sail, close reaching into a fresh ESE breeze. I was happy that, unlike the last time we entered Port Blanche, we were able to fetch the jetty on the one tack. This time, instead of anchoring off Doctors Beach I decided to try to anchor on the eastern side of the jetty, as recommended by Scarce, a short ways out from the moorings. I figured this would make for a shorter row into the beach and a shorter walk into town, and hopefully the holding would be better. Thus, at 1128 we dropped anchor in 4.4 meters of water with the end of the jetty bearing west at a distance of about 60 meters.

Since anchoring, I have busied myself with attending to a few minor rust spots. That is done for today and now the sea breeze has just filled in, some fifteen knots from the south. Thus far Sylph's anchor is holding. Fingers crossed! If all continues well I hope to go ashore this evening for a meal at the pub, my first since Kingscote.

The slightly longer term plan is to stay here until we get a suitable weather pattern to continue heading back towards Adelaide, which doesn't look like happening until later in the week. Meanwhile, Kelly in Dollface is in Venus Bay and intends to get underway tomorrow, continuing west. He expects to be here in Port Blanche on Tuesday evening. I look forward to having some company for a few days.

All is well.