No Go Narooma

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 16 Mar 2024 01:28

Noon Position: 36 05.8 S 150 11.2 E
Course: NNE Speed: 4.5 knots
Wind: F0, calm
Sea: slight Swell: SE 2 m
Current: S, 0.5 knots
Weather: overcast, mild
Day's Run: 99nm sailed and motored, 60nm made good

We enjoyed a pleasant sail up the NSW coast yesterday afternoon and evening but in the early hours of this morning the winds became light and fickle and we ended up motoring for three hours to get to Narooma. Unfortunately for most of the passage we have experienced around two knots of contrary current which made our arrival time off Narooma much later than I was hoping for. Narooma's entrance is over a bar with only 2.3 meters of water over it at low tide. When we arrived the tide was ebbing and there was still a two meter SE swell running which made for potentially dangerous conditions with breaking seas over the bar. We motored a few miles past the entrance then shut down the engine and drifted while we waited for the tide to turn at 0830.

At 0930 we decided to close the entrance and see whether conditions were safe to cross the bar but as we approached we saw several swells roll in between the two breakwaters and break right on the entrance. We aborted our approach and considered our options. We could wait for a few hours to allow the tide to come in, or we could continue further north. Eventually we decided to press on because there was a good chance that with the heavy swell running that even at high tide there could still be breaking waves at the entrance.

We considered Batemans Bay as our next destination but the bar guarding the entrance to the harbour is shallower than that at Narooma and the height of high water was still insufficient to allow Sylph to get across it. Ulladulla is a good all weather port, accessible in most conditions and all states of the tide but these days it is full of fishing boats with basically no room for yachts. So we have decided to make for Jervis Bay where there are plenty of options for anchoring, Our ETA is sometime tomorrow. Hopefully we will not have to motor the whole way and hopefully the forecast NE'ly will not be too strong.

All is well.