Going with the Flow (and wind)
Mon 6 Mar 2023 06:25
Course: SE Speed: 6 knots
Wind: SW, F5
Sea: moderate Swell: SW 2 meters
Weather: partly cloudy, mild
Day's run (noon to noon): 149 nm
We made good time overnight, as expected mostly beam reaching to the strong SW'ly breeze. At midday we were passing West Point, the southern most point of Eyre Peninsular. I figured that the potentially most difficult part of this little voyage was behind us and I could now relax a bit and, after two nights at sea and more strong winds forecast for the next couple of days, that it would be good idea to find an anchorage for the night and get some rest. Whalers Bay on the east coast of Thistle Island looked like it would provide good shelter and it was only twenty miles away so I plotted a course, adjusted the wind vane and trimmed the sheets.
We rounded the southern most point of Thistle Island at 1335 and started working our way up its east coast to Whalers Bay. At 1345 we were rounding Waterhouse Point, the SE corner of the bay, but conditions did not look promising. Just as we were entering the bay a squall passed through with gusts of over forty knots and lashings of rain. Sea conditions in the bay were also less than ideal and, instead of finding the shelter I was expecting, the wind and seas were wrapping their way around the northern end of the island and making the southern end of the bay a potentially hazardous lee shore. However, seeing as we were here I thought I may as well have a closer inspection and see if conditions were any better closer to the beach.
We worked our way to the northern end of Whalers Bay under the shadow of some high cliffs and now that the squall had passed conditions did improve, but, given the forecast, I was not confident that we might not get more squalls passing through during the night. Considering my limited options, I knew I would sleep better at sea with plenty of sea room than I would in an unfamiliar anchorage. A little disappointed, I put a third reef in the main and turned Sylph's bow seaward again.
My plan now is to round York Peninsular and head up St Vincent Gulf to Port Vincent where, hopefully, we can relax for a few more days before returning to Adelaide.
All is well.