Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Bermagui to Jervis Bay. Rolling along again.

We both really enjoyed our stay in Bermagui where we met some really nice people.    The new marina there is in a great spot and the managers (Keith rates a special mention) were really helpful.  The fish co-op actually doesn't manage the floating marina berths but I'm still grateful to Shane from the co-op for telling us we could take up the berth.  Thanks Shane!

We headed off for Jervis Bay at 11:00 with another overnight in front of us.  When we planned this voyage up the East coast, it looked like we would be able to day sail almost all the way once we passed Eden.  But the reality is quite different.

For instance, between Bermagui and Jervis Bay, there are 3 other possible safe anchorages, so for the 90 mile trip, we could in theory do it in 3 or 4 nice easy day sails.  However, two of the three (Narooma and Batemans Bay) have river bars.  Our weather windows are also quite short with only a couple of days in each week where we can be sure to make good time so we have to make sure that when we stop, we can safely hole up for a while.

Narooma bar has a bad reputation.  We were advised by a few people to give that one a miss.  Batemans Bay is a slightly different story.  The bar there is actually quite protected by Snapper Island but it is very shallow.  We were advised by locals to only try crossing it at high tide which means timing your arrival pretty carefully.  There are spots to anchor in Batemans Bay (before you get to the river bar) but they are pretty exposed to the prevailing South West swell from what we can gather.

That left Ulladulla.  We were originally going to head for there but that meant leaving early in the morning and the winds were not favourable until later in the day so we opted to head directly for Jervis Bay instead.

So things seem to conspire against making short hops at least until we get more confident about how the boat handles bar conditions meaning we are doing more overnights than either of us would like.  And as you an see, there's a very complex decision making process you need to go through before you leave a safe spot heading for another.


Jervis Bay is one spot we were both really looking forward to.  and it turned out to be as beautiful as we expected.

Venture at rest on a mooring in Jervis Bay.  Point Perpendicular in the background.

When we left Bermagui, we expected the wind to be South West and it was but it was a little too much south of west meaning we had to tack up the coast again and it was rolly and not very pleasant.  Terry had a much better time of it though and wasn't sick once!  She had taken a quell before going to bed and had another just before we left and we think that helped a lot.

The wind strengthened to 15 knots during the night which helped stabilise us and then swung more westerly allowing us to move into a reach for a while which was very pleasant and almost relaxing.  But the last 25 miles or so saw the wind swing around to the North West and strengthen again to 25 knots.  We ended up close hauled most of the morning and pounding into the swell so the fun meter (thanks Phil :-)) dropped way back towards zero.

Before nightfall, I'd put two reefs in the mainsail but at this point, I was wishing I'd put the third in as well.  We were heeling constantly at 15 degrees (perfect for for close hauled work) but going to 30 degrees in the gusts (not so perfect and quite disconcerting).  But we arrive outside the heads at about 10:00 am and tacked into the bay around Bowen Island.

Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) were again just wonderful to deal with.  They really look after the cruising sailor and to be honest, I'm not sure what we'd do without them!  VMR Jervis Bay gave us the lat/long of some visitor moorings on the West coast of the bay at a place called Huskisson so we headed directly for there and picked up the mooring first time around :-)  Terry is getting very good at this!





Location: Jervis Bay Territory 2540, Australia
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