Monday, 4 August 2014

Broken Bay to Lake Macquarie. Pittwater before dawn.

We decided to leave Broken Bay this morning before dawn.  Terry was actually up and about at 5:00 am and we slipped out of the Motor Yacht Club at 5:30 am in the dark.

The idea was to get up to Swansea (the entrance to Lake Macquarie) before 4:00 pm to make sure we could get into a berth in the lake before dark.  We both have an aversion to arriving somewhere we've never been before in the dark so leaving in the dark makes a lot of sense.  However, Pittwater is a mass of boats on moorings and marinas so it was quite stressful until the sun rose about 6:00 am.

We had to plan this leg quite carefully.  To start with, we wanted to arrive before dark but we also had a bar to cross and a narrow channel leading down to an opening bridge at Swansea.  The approach to the bridge is pretty tricky as the current in the channel can be upwards of 4 knots and our engine is only capable of about 6 knots flat out. And we had to arrive on a rising tide in case we got bogged in a shallow spot.

Sunset over Lake Macquarie from Pelican Marina
In the end it was a pretty easy run.  The motor was on almost the whole time as it was very calm after about 9:00am.  The lack of wind made it a bit rolly but the seas were low so it was OK.

We arrived at Swansea around 2:00 pm and we had arranged to have the bridge opened at 3:00pm so we picked up a mooring on the edge of the channel and had a cup of tea while we waited.  A Beneteau First 40 had overtaken us in the channel on the way down to the bridge but they just did slow circles upstream while they waited.

When the bridge opened we followed the Beneteau through and headed up to Pelican marina where we had arranged for an overnight berth.  We had to turn around and approach the marina from downstream as the current was flowing at about 4 knots but otherwise we had no problems.  Unlike the Beneteau which grounded about a mile or so further up the channel.  I didn't get to see much of it as I was busy driving into the berth but I'm pretty sure Terry got a photo or two.  The last I saw of them was the side and bottom of the boat as it appeared to be pushed sideways over the shoal by the current.  I would not have wanted to be in their shoes at all!  When I next got a look, they were upright again so I think they got back into deeper water.

We've already met some really nice folks here.  We've been offered the loan of a car by two different people at Pelican Marina and the local RSL club barman offered to drive us down to the Pizza bar as the RSL restaurant was closed.  What more can you ask for eh!

Location: Pelican NSW 2281, Australia
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1 comment:

  1. Yep... we've only been here 5 minutes and we love Pelican Marina already. :D