Adelaide to Eden...

Peter & Chris Reuter
Sun 10 Dec 2006 11:25

Adelaide to Eden


Sunday, 10 December 2006


And so our journey began on that first day of April in 1999. Our departure from North Haven in Adelaide was in company with friends, Con and Cheryle on their yacht Yioryia. The time was 7 O’clock in the morning and our first port of call was to be Wirinna, about 45 miles down the South Australian coast. All went well but the weather was to keep us in Wirinna for about a week before we were ready to move on. The next stage was a significant step for Chris as it took us through the turbulent waters of Back Stairs Passage. All was calm and the next two days and two nights sailing landed us in Port Fairy, Victoria. However, some excitement was experienced when sailing through some shipping traffic off Cape Nelson near Portland. Chris spent much of her time on the VHF radio calling “ Big Ship, Big Ship, Big Ship,….. this is Little Ship, Little Ship, Little Ship”. Seven years of sailing and we have now become quite relaxed about shipping traffic.


A one weeks rest in Port Fairy was well deserved and welcomed by all. Our friends Shayne and Anita Horrigan took off time from their sheep station in Western Victoria to visit us and wished us fair well.




Chatti at Port Fairy                                Shayne and Anita Horrigan


Our early departure at 3 O’clock in the morning was a tricky affair and only accomplished by torch light.  led the way and Chatti followed. We motored out the Port Fairy river channel a Yioryia and set course for Refuge Cove in Victoria. A pleasant sail had both Yioryia and Chatti safely anchored at Refuge on the second morning after our departure.

Refuge Cove is still one of our all time favourite anchorages. This little haven is well protected from all directions but the east. It is a peaceful and picturesque spot of nature, completely unspoiled. A few days rest at Refuge Cove gave us all the courage to move on, this time into the notorious waters of Bass Straight.

 It wasn’t Bass Straight but rather failing mechanics on Chatti that proved to be the challenge.

During a routine check in the engine room, Peter discovered the destruction of a universal joint on the propeller drive system. Following a discussion with Yioryia, we decided to tow Chatti to the nearest port, Lakes Entrance, about 30 miles north of our position. Yioryia did a fine job of towing and we arrived off Lakes Entrance just before dark to anchor in Bass Straight.

Lakes Entrance has one of Australia’s most notorious bars. It was impossible to cross for us, even the large trawlers were anchored in a depth of 30 meters about a mile off the coast. Friends we met in Refuge Cove arranged for Peter to be picked up by some brave members of the local Sea Rescue Organisation. It turned out to be a hell raising affair on top of 5 metre waves with 440 hp pushing the RIB along with the white water. It took a full day to find replacement parts before returning to Chatti in the same bone jarring way. Fortunately, the new parts fitted well and we continued our way to Eden in New South Wales. Little did we know that after leaving Lakes Entrance in a calm that we would arrive in Eden in a storm which was to keep us there in 60 knots plus for more than a week.




Chatti and Yioryia at Refuge Cove        Cheryle, Chris and Con getting water