Thursday, July 18, 2013

Return to Iluka

We are back in Iluka Harbour after a three day adventure up the Clarence River. We are expecting to sail to QLD on either Sunday or Monday.(depending on the weather). We have really enjoyed this area of the coast . It has so much to offer those who love the ocean.

Maclean 2013. ( for my English relatives)
At Maclean We woke to visions of fog cladded sugar cane farms. A photographers delight.

Cane farm.
How's this for an accidental photo?

Around the next bend from our anchorage, the Clarence River veered to the left and flowed off to Grafton. On the right a massive opening formed the Broadwater Lake. It's a water bird paradise and breeding area. Pelicans, Spoonbills, Darters, Cormorants, Egrets, Herons, Ibis and many other native water fowl nest and breed here. We couldn't wait for the fog to lift.
11am and exploring up stream.
Glenn likes to " drive" the dinghy, while I find it frustrating. He does get tired as we putter along with our 3hp Yamaha outboard motor. The trip to the Broadwater took well over an hour. Here he is seen perfecting the "knee controlled tiller technique" while reclining.
A versatile man of leisure.
We could see from a distance what Glenn thought were long floating obstacles, maybe floating pipe lines. As we approached we realise that these were dense lines of ducks swimming in formation. (Eurasian Coot actually, exhibiting their winter rafting up behaviour). There were 100s or possible 1000's in each very long line. Guess whose 'knee' made the decision to charge straight through this line. Frantic flapping of wings in all directions, but no injuries. The helmsman was duly scolded and repentant. These long dark lines were frequent on the Broadwater and extended well beyond the visible horizon.
Neat rows of little ducks.
ST3 close to the Pacific Hwy Bridge at Harwood.
A "fouled prop" is a yachtie's nightmare. (Anything from fishing nets, discarded rope and plastics can cause the failure of the propeller to create thrust in the water. The engine will be on but there will be no forward motion). We were preparing to position ST3 in mid river for our second Pacific Hwy bridge underpass at Harwood. Our booking time was approaching. By chance Glenn heard a bumping noise along side the pontoon. Nothing was visible except for the end of a bit of stick. Our hero pulled at the bit of stick. It did not yield. He then pulled again and this time swore. It was apparent that the stick was part of something much bigger. The call was raised: "Jen, I need help. This bugger is twisted around the prop". Glenn had located a submerged sugar or bamboo cane with shoots that were grasping thevprop so that it just wouldn't float away. We both twisted and pulled as it suddenly yielded. The stick was half of the yacht's length. Thank goodness we found it before the cars and trucks were stopped up on the highway bridge.

Great prop fouling material.

by Glenn: Meeting Alan Lucas. As mentioned in our last blog post we discovered that we had anchored right next to Mr Lucas's boat "Soleares". In cruising yachting circles Alan is a legend. Anyone who has sailed the east coast of Australia over the past 45 years would have had his essential cruising guides on board. I have been studying the guides for years and with the hope of fulfilling the dream that we are now undertaking. It was great to chat with Alan. Although his wife Patricia has been unwell they will also be heading north at around the same time as Sea Trek III and crew.

Alan Lucas's yacht Soleares sharing the fog with us.

Where we are:







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