2017 August – Bitangabee Creek to Narooma

Posted by on September 2, 2017


Total Sailing time : 19h09m (1149 minutes)
Travelled distance : 176.55 km (95.32 nm)
Average Speed : 9.21 km/h (4.97 knots)
Peak Speed : 19.10 km/h (10.31 knots) on 2017/08/30

We enjoyed one last walk at the wonderful Bittangabee Creek anchorage, hiking the 9 kilometre round-trip to Heggarty Bay campsite. There was a couple of creek-crossings, a stroll on the rock bluff along the ocean, and we saw a few roos and pea hens.

2017-08-02 - FROM Bitangabee Creek TO Cattle Bay, Eden

Trip start : 2017/08/02 08:46:08 (Adjusted Local) (2017-08-01T22:46:08Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/08/02 16:44:22
Travelling Time : 2h24m (144 minutes)
Trip Duration : 7h58m (478 minutes)
Start Point : 150.016693,-37.214900
End Point : 149.901657,-37.069671
Travelled distance : 23.36 km (12.61 nm)
Average Speed : 9.73 km/h (5.25 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.90 km/h (8.04 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 19.098 km (10.312 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 7.95 km/h (4.29 knots)

We headed out for the short trip to Eden. The swell just outside looked threatening, with 3 metre breakers banging onto the rocks each side of the opening, but David watched closely for a while and observed a safe path, and the actual crossing was quite easy.

Next day, we both went ashore and walked the town, visiting the Eden Whaling Museum. Quite interesting, and gave us a bit of knowledge about the area and the amazing relationship between the killer whales and the whale hunters. Some challenging hills to stretch out those hammies.

Colleen with the skeleton of ‘Old Tom’ at the Eden Whale Museum

2017-08-04 - FROM Cattle Bay TO Near Town Wharf

Trip start : 2017/08/04 15:48:10 (Adjusted Local) (2017-08-04T05:48:10Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/08/04 15:52:44
Trip Duration : 0h04m (4 minutes)
Start Point : 149.901733,-37.070049
End Point : 149.906219,-37.071781
Travelled distance : 0.57 km (0.31 nm)
Average Speed : 8.66 km/h (4.67 knots)
Peak Speed : 8.69 km/h (4.69 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 0.442 km (0.238 nm)

Looking for some better TV reception, we moved over to near the town wharf. From there we walked up the steep path to town and did some washing and refilled an LPG tank. It seems a lot easier to find refills in NSW than in Victoria.

2017-08-05 - FROM Near Town Wharf TO Cocora Beach

Trip start : 2017/08/05 13:37:12 (Adjusted Local) (2017-08-05T03:37:12Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/08/05 13:46:38
Trip Duration : 0h09m (9 minutes)
Start Point : 149.906463,-37.071830
End Point : 149.899429,-37.072010
Travelled distance : 0.78 km (0.42 nm)
Average Speed : 5.26 km/h (2.84 knots)
Peak Speed : 7.37 km/h (3.98 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 0.624 km (0.337 nm)

We repositioned to the beach in front of the playground. We managed to snag an old admiralty anchor encrusted with growth but happily it fell off our Excel SARCA on the way across.

2017-08-06 - FROM Cocora Beach TO East Boyd Bay

Trip start : 2017/08/06 10:15:24 (Adjusted Local) (2017-08-06T00:15:24Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/08/06 10:49:44
Trip Duration : 0h34m (34 minutes)
Start Point : 149.899246,-37.071800
End Point : 149.928817,-37.109359
Travelled distance : 5.31 km (2.86 nm)
Average Speed : 9.37 km/h (5.05 knots)
Peak Speed : 11.94 km/h (6.45 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 4.931 km (2.662 nm)

Southerlies were forecast, so we sailed across the bay to sit just off Edrom Lodge. We tendered around the point to visit the remains of the Davidson Whaling Station.

Next day three boats from Snug Cove joined us, and we tendered across to say hello to the guys on Sonja. We ended up spending most of the day with Bob and Louise. Louise joined us for what was going to be a short walk, but ended up being a hike all the way down the beach and over the bluff to the whaling station. We enjoyed some of Bob’s spaghetti onboard Sonja for a nice dinner.

The Navy’s in town! There was plenty of action on the jetty next morning as provisioning took place, and we decided to walk to Boyds’ Tower. Colleen was a little concerned when a sign indicated that we had 12 kilometres to go, but she missed seeing the decimal point and it turned out to be a 1.2km stroll.

Looking up at Boyd Tower at the southern end of Twofold Bay. Pathways damaged by a recent fire.

2017-08-10 - FROM East Boyd Bay TO Cattle Bay

Trip start : 2017/08/10 09:59:04 (Adjusted Local) (2017-08-09T23:59:04Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/08/10 10:33:38
Trip Duration : 0h34m (34 minutes)
Start Point : 149.928710,-37.109081
End Point : 149.901535,-37.069831
Travelled distance : 5.21 km (2.81 nm)
Average Speed : 9.20 km/h (4.97 knots)
Peak Speed : 10.90 km/h (5.88 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 4.985 km (2.692 nm)

Back across to Eden to top up supplies, then we binged on three episodes of Game of Thrones.

2017-08-12 - FROM Cattle Bay TO Nullica Bay VIA Town Wharf

Trip start : 2017/08/12 10:37:03 (Adjusted Local) (2017-08-12T00:37:03Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/08/12 12:49:17
Travelling Time : 0h31m (31 minutes)
Trip Duration : 2h12m (132 minutes)
Start Point : 149.901748,-37.070178
End Point : 149.881958,-37.101268
Travelled distance : 4.77 km (2.57 nm)
Average Speed : 9.23 km/h (4.98 knots)
Peak Speed : 10.59 km/h (5.72 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 3.877 km (2.093 nm)

We motored across to the jetty to top up the water tank, and met Mike and Sue from Yaranadoo II who have been living aboard and sailing for 20 years on their mono. We motor-sailed across to BoydTown and anchored not far off Seahorse Inn.

Anchored off BoydTown, Twofold Bay

2017-08-15 - FROM Nullica Bay TO Cocora Beach VIA Cattle Bay

Trip start : 2017/08/15 10:51:50 (Adjusted Local) (2017-08-15T00:51:50Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/08/15 16:02:06
Travelling Time : 0h33m (33 minutes)
Trip Duration : 5h10m (310 minutes)
Start Point : 149.882400,-37.101379
End Point : 149.897567,-37.072971
Travelled distance : 4.74 km (2.56 nm)
Average Speed : 8.63 km/h (4.66 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.40 km/h (6.69 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 3.433 km (1.853 nm)

2017-08-16 - FROM Eden TO Merimbula VIA Merimbula Beach

Trip start : 2017/08/16 09:09:47 (Adjusted Local) (2017-08-15T23:09:47Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/08/16 15:21:59
Travelling Time : 2h47m (167 minutes)
Trip Duration : 6h12m (372 minutes)
Start Point : 149.898086,-37.072990
End Point : 149.910537,-36.892639
Travelled distance : 29.57 km (15.96 nm)
Average Speed : 10.62 km/h (5.73 knots)
Peak Speed : 16.81 km/h (9.07 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 20.084 km (10.844 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 7.21 km/h (3.89 knots)

We needed high tide to get into Merimbula, but David wanted to take advantage of the early wind to get there so we left just after 9am. We had changed our reefing system, removing the long ropes making their tortuous path up and down to the front and back reefing points and replaced them with simple soft-shackle fixtures on the boom. We raised the main to #2 reef and departed Eden.

Leaving Eden

Rounding Worang Point the full strength of the westerlies grabbed us and we had gusts of 40 knots. This quickly rounded us up, and we had a chance to see how easy the new reefing method would be to reduce sail. It was quite straightforward.. centre the boom, drop the halyard to the appropriate point, then go to the mast and change the soft-shackle to the new reefing point. Then a visit to the cabin-top to change the soft-shackle there, and then retension the halyard and the reefing outhaul line. The reefed sail had a much better shape as the reefing outhaul line gave better tension.

We arrived off Merimbula around lunchtime and anchored off the beach to wait for high tide. As high tide approached, the Merimbula Volunteer Marine Rescue powerboat entered the bar, and David quickly fired up the engines to follow them through and observe their path.

The bus to Bega was $20 each, so we decided against a trip there. We enjoyed a nice walk to the wharf outside the bar and decided to stay the weekend as some big winds were predicted. We went to the Sapphire Coast Orchid show and saw some amazing displays. A visit to the local museum rounded off our weekend.

2017-08-21 - FROM Merimbula TO Tathra Head

Trip start : 2017/08/21 08:36:57 (Adjusted Local) (2017-08-20T22:36:57Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/08/21 14:22:20
Travelling Time : 2h52m (172 minutes)
Trip Duration : 5h45m (345 minutes)
Start Point : 149.910614,-36.892429
End Point : 149.985748,-36.724399
Travelled distance : 26.13 km (14.11 nm)
Average Speed : 9.11 km/h (4.92 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.42 km/h (7.25 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 19.845 km (10.715 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 6.92 km/h (3.73 knots)

The high tide was nice and early which we needed to get across the bar, but there was a little weather which resulted in heavier than expected swell. David now knew the course to take through after inspecting the channel on our walks, and he felt there was nothing we couldn’t handle. Out past the bar there were some 2 metre swells, and a whole bunch of surfers waiting for waves to break. We used our horn to let them know we were coming through and managed to get out with only a couple of jolts.

2017-08-22 - FROM Tathra Head TO Bermagui

Trip start : 2017/08/22 07:44:41 (Adjusted Local) (2017-08-21T21:44:41Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/08/22 17:47:14
Travelling Time : 4h14m (254 minutes)
Trip Duration : 10h02m (602 minutes)
Start Point : 149.985504,-36.724479
End Point : 150.069885,-36.424358
Travelled distance : 37.70 km (20.35 nm)
Average Speed : 8.90 km/h (4.80 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.43 km/h (7.25 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 34.212 km (18.473 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 8.08 km/h (4.36 knots)

No wind, so we motored most of the way and arrived about two hours before low tide so we didn’t get too far into Bermagui River before we bottomed out. XTsea’s mini-keels really come in handy.

XTsea sitting in the Bermagui inlet. One of the benefits of mini-keels.

At Bermegui, we visited the historic Blue Pool at the bottom of the steps on the ocean side of the town, and trekked the 18km round-trip down to Camel Rock, Wallaga Lake and back.

Looking down on the historic Blue Pool in Bermagui

Our first glimpse of Camel Rock. 18km round-trip hike was a BIG day!

Halfway back from visiting Camel Rock. You can just see the rock on the right of the picture.

2017-08-29 - FROM Bermagui TO Monague Island

Trip start : 2017/08/29 13:11:22 (Adjusted Local) (2017-08-29T03:11:22Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/08/29 16:03:46
Trip Duration : 2h52m (172 minutes)
Start Point : 150.068908,-36.423908
End Point : 150.224929,-36.247909
Travelled distance : 25.80 km (13.93 nm)
Average Speed : 9.00 km/h (4.86 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.34 km/h (7.20 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 24.047 km (12.984 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 8.38 km/h (4.52 knots)

A nice sail across to Montague Island, spotting a whale on the way. We were hoping to find some moorings, but if they were there we missed them. We dropped anchor in a tight little corner but couldn’t lay out a lot of chain for scope as the surrounding rocks were a bit close.

2017-08-30 - FROM Montague Island TO Narooma VIA Narooma Beach

Trip start : 2017/08/30 01:32:36 (Adjusted Local) (2017-08-29T15:32:36Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/08/30 10:23:30
Travelling Time : 1h35m (95 minutes)
Trip Duration : 8h50m (530 minutes)
Start Point : 150.225143,-36.247959
End Point : 150.129272,-36.213470
Travelled distance : 12.54 km (6.77 nm)
Average Speed : 7.92 km/h (4.27 knots)
Peak Speed : 19.10 km/h (10.31 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 9.415 km (5.083 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 5.94 km/h (3.21 knots)

During the night, winds changed to come from the south west, which swung us around in the tight anchorage and had us nudging some rocks. Colleen is a light sleeper at the best of times, so a couple of thumps is all it took for all-hands-on-deck. We thought it was better to head across to Narooma rather than reposition, so we raised anchor, picked out the lights of town and started motoring the 4-odd miles across.

The sky was clear and the stars were bright, and David was happily manning the helm when all of a sudden the ‘whoosh!!’ of a surfacing whale scared the living daylights out of him. About ten metres off the port beam a humpback surfaced, leaving a huge area glowing with phosphorescence.

Five minutes later, a pod of dolphins decided to join us for a spell. They were also glowing and sparkling with phosphorescence, and we both went forward to see them frolic at the bows. You could actually see them move through the water more clearly than in the daytime, and it was one of the most amazing things we have seen in our travels. It would have taken a much better camera than ours to capture a shot in such low light so apologies, but you’ll just have to go for a night sail yourself to experience it!

Dolphins glowing at night as they play at the bow. A photo from the web as my camera wouldn’t have a hope of capturing this.

We dropped anchor at about 5m depth just north of the Narooma bar beacons, put an anchor alarm on, and went to bed. Next morning shortly after breakfast we were hailed by a guy on an ocean kayak, advising us that the spot we were in was known as the Spot of Death as rouge waves sometimes picked boats up from that spot and dashed them ashore. He also advised us of the best lines through the bar entrance, saying that the people who died usually were too close to the northern wall. Although he may have been a bit of an alarmist, local advice is usually good advice so we upped anchor and enjoyed a hassle-free crossing of the bar.

We are too tall to get under the power lines on the other side of the Princes Highway, so we dropped the anchor in the inlet just opposite the pool. David cycled up to the industrial estate to have our dodgy chain-pipe welded, and we looked forward to spending a few days in Narooma.

Anchored in the Wagonga Inlet, Narooma

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