Port Noarlunga

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 27 Feb 2024 01:28

Noon Postion: 35 09.17 S 138 28.01 E
At anchor Port Noarlunga
Wind: calm
Sea: calm Swell: negligible
Weather: sunny, warm
Day's Run: 15nm

We enjoyed a light SE breeze in the afternoon but at around 1500 the breeze fell fickle again. We drifted for a bit then once again resorted to the engine. Fortunately this was only for a short while and within the hour we were once more sailing to a gentle SE breeze.

As evening drew on I considered my options - should we go on or should we go to anchor for the night. Looking at the forecast the wind was expected to freshen from the SE during the night and then fall light and variable in the early hours of the morning and remain light until late Tuesday evening, certainly less than ideal conditions for negotiating Backstairs Passage. With the shelter of Port Noarlunga only about six miles away I decided the appeal of getting to anchor in time for dinner and a peaceful night won over a sleepless night attempting to beat through the tide-bound strait and then to drift or motor for several hours, no doubt rolling to the ever present SW'ly swell once clear of the sheltered waters of the Gulf of St Vincent.

So, at 1800 when we were abeam of Port Noarlunga, we tacked and closed the entrance through the reef that stands just over a cable (200 yards) off the sandy beach, making for a well sheltered, if somewhat tight, anchorage. At 1824 we handed sail and started the engine, motoring slowly through the narrow passage in between the two walls of reef that run parallel to the shore, guided by the orange triangles of the leads on the beach, and at 1836 came to anchor in 5½ meters of water over a clear sandy bottom.

We subsequently enjoyed a relaxing meal on a stable horizontal table, a movie, and a good night's sleep, waking to a glassy calm this morning. This made a refreshing swim essential, followed by breakfast. I have since used the forenoon to repair a corroded connection in two of my solar panels (the positive leads inevitable corrode out in the sea's salty environment no matter how well insulated they are).

The plan is to get under way later this afternoon when the wind is expected to pick up from the NE. Tomorrow morning the wind is forecast to freshen and back into the NW with the passage of a cold front, ideal for our leg towards Cape Northumberland which lies 170nm to the SE of Kangaroo Island.

And now the sounds of children's shrill voices as they swim off the beach and jetty make for a cheerful background and calls me to another swim before the wind returns.

All is well.