Monday, July 8, 2013

Dunbogan. Calm bar crossing. Whale encounter. Trial bay

By Jen

Last Thursday afternoon Camden Haven and the Dunbogan anchorage rocked to the sounds of various poorly tuned Ukuleles. The surprise guest who drove up from Sydney for the occasion was the King of the CCRAP Band: Bruce (and his charming wife Sue). Apologies to the other yachties who had moored in the area for those 5 hours. A great gathering of mildly musical sailors.

Salty old CCRAP Uke players.
Leaving Camden Haven was on our minds. All coastal sand bar entrances need to be approached with caution and research prior to the event. When we enter in through one of these we also like to know the weather forecast for the next few days. We then decide if we should enter and when we can expect to leave. (Unfavourable weather can exclude a departure for weeks: read Port Stephens blog.) We like to use the high tide for safe transiting. We also consider any specific requirements of our next anchorage. We estimate the speed needed for arrival prior to the low afternoon sun. Swell and wind and wave activity all impact upon Sea Trek III's sailing progress. The night before departure we tend to have a very restlessly sleep. Luckily the conditions on Sunday morning prior to our sunrise crossing were glorious. So beautiful, and so perfect. Thank you Camden Haven.


The real highlight of our travels so far has been supplied by nature. It was late afternoon on Sunday. We were watching whales blowing wet spouts closer to the western shore. Glenn suddenly shouted at me in a weird and dreadful voice......."JJennn, oh my Llorddd, #%€¥, Look up front! Jen! Up front,". I did look up front and tried to spot anything of interest there. (Note : I do tend to cooperate in situations were loud and unexpected swearing and blasphemy are involved). But on looking forward I only saw the usual head sail and the stay sail in its bag. Nothing in the ocean ahead. By chance I glanced sideways while continuing to scan for whatever had excited Glenn. Just off to my port side and slightly frontward of our centre cockpit I saw it. We were witnessing the movement of a huge solid mass. We watched as it's dark broad back and barnacle encrusted fin descended right beside us. The whale had taken a speedy short cut right under Sea Trek III, with us onboard.! The drawing is of what I remember but Glenn says it was much bigger and broader. He was really shaken up about it. The whale didn't seem to touch ST3 and I don't know how because we were sailing at 7 knots at the time. It must have been in a real hurry.

Don't tell our mothers.

Nature continues to astound me in its many colours. On arriving and anchoring in Trial Bay we witnessed an almost a 360 degree sunset. The colours of the next few photos may help explain my wonderment. Only minutes in between these shots.

Looking north as the sun sets

A few minutes later

And just a bit later.

Sea Sickness. We are celebrating at Coffs Harbour. Glenn has been using the "E.T. Sea Sickness" remedy from the BOVA compounding pharmacy, and he says that he feels great. (Previously Glenn had been so ill with escalating symptoms that he even slept through the emptying of the water tank through out his bedding. Much laughter from the delivery guys/friends on board). I am using the wrist ReliefBand Voyager, by switching it on and off for nausea control. I suspect that a combination of the two methods may end up being perfect. As we keep sailing we expect the symptoms to decrease. We are also telling other sea sick sailors the benefits of our newly discovered "wonder cures". Good luck Ines.

Surprised to see Leggo in use on the Coffs Harbour break wall.

Coffs Harbour now, here for 3 or so days a few repairs then next stop Yamba.