Tweet Manookatoo Adventures: A major milestone

Saturday, 22 April 2017

A major milestone

Sydney Harbour - we made it!!
Reaching Sydney Harbour has always been a goal we were looking forward to; reaching Sydney Harbour in one week is, for us, an amazing experience! We had waited in Lakes for the right "weather window" to get around from Bass Strait into the Tasman Sea but, as the good weather continued we made the most of it each day.
Beautiful Bittangabee 

Our first port of call was Bittangabee Bay, a small inlet south of Eden surrounded by Ben Boyd National Park. Arriving after a full night of cruising at 10am on Sunday, we had a short nap and then lazed the day away, watching swimmers on the beach enjoying the mild conditions and fishermen cleaning their catch on their boats. In the afternoon another yacht arrived, also overnighting in the safe anchorage.
Bermagui Harbour
After an early night we woke to the alarm at 6am on Monday, keen to reach our next port of call. Bermagui is a small fishing town with an easy and safe harbour. We cruised 49 nautical miles, and arrived just after 2pm and tied up at the main jetty. While the captain refuelled, the first mate paid a visit to friends, Julie and Derek, inviting them onto the boat for an afternoon drink - Derek commented that we were living his dream! We enjoyed a quiet, balmy evening with local fish and chips for dinner as we watched the fishermen return to port.
Manookatoo at Batemans Bay Marina
Cruising out on Tuesday morning was easy again and the sea conditions were like glass. In 45 nautical miles, and 5 hours, we were in Batemans Bay, tying up at the Marina. We enjoyed an afternoon stroll into town and a drink at JJ's bar looking out over the boats in the Marina and admiring ours (of course!).
As the glorious weather conditions continued, we cruised out again on Wednesday morning, bound for Ulladulla but, on reaching the harbour and realising that the choice of moorings was limited and anchoring was not an option, we decided to continue onto Jervis Bay. This made our cruise a lot longer but, again the conditions favoured us - even under the cliffs which surround the bay there was very little swell. We dropped anchor just inside the bay at "Darling Road" just before 3pm, having travelled almost 60 nautical miles that day.
Point Perpendicular, Jervis Bay
Thursday was a very short 24 nautical mile cruise, out of Jervis Bay and around the cliff face into the Crookhaven River. Sea conditions past the cliffs were "lumpy" so we were glad we had everything stowed safely. Once they were passed, the rest of the journey was smooth and we cruised up the river to Greenwell Point. The Marine Rescue volunteers kindly directed us to a mooring near town and after tying up the captain lowered the brig into the water so that we could go into town for a much-needed walk! Lunch at the Sporting Club, right on the waterfront, was a lovely experience as well - seafood, of course, followed by a late afternoon journey along Berry's Canal into the Shoalhaven River, which is closed by a large sandbar at the ocean.
Greenwell Point, Crookhaven River
Having seen everything that Greenwell Point had to offer, and with good conditions forecast again for Friday, the brig was returned to its position on the flybridge and the alarm was set for 6am again. With 64 nautical miles to travel, we were keen to make the most of the day. Following the coast along we passed Kiama and Wollongong, spying the Grand Pacific Drive hanging out over the ocean as we cruised along, turning into Port Hacking just on 3pm. We cruised through the narrow channel into the Hacking River, picking up a visitor's mooring adjacent to the Royal National Park, opposite Yowie Bay. Small fishing boats and ski-boats zoomed around the wide waterway, but as day turned into night all was quiet and we enjoyed the serenity.
Walking in Royal National Park
Saturday morning is a great time for fishermen - the first boat zoomed past before 5am! We had decided that today would be a "rest" day, so we put the brig back in the water and zoomed off to explore the Hacking River, cruising almost as far as Audley Weir and into the bays at Gymea and Yowie Bay. The houses surrounding the bays are enormous, sitting high on the hill with steep stairways or small furniculars to get down to boathouses set into the cliffs. It was certainly a glimpse into "how the other half lives". Returning to Manookatoo, we cruised across to refuel, then headed downstream, picking up another visitor's mooring at Jibbon Beach, in the Royal National Park. A walk was in order, around the clifftops overlooking the Tasman Sea and past the aboriginal rock carvings thought to be tens of thousands of years old. We enjoyed evening drinks on the flybridge in very mild conditions - as winter approaches in Melbourne it is nice to be experiencing balmy Sydney!
South Head, about to enter Sydney Harbour
Another 6am start on Sunday - even though we had under 20 nautical miles left to cruise, we wanted to experience all that was on offer as soon as possible! It was lovely cruising so close to all the iconic southern beaches of Sydney - Coogee, Bronte and Bondi to name a few - and, passing by The Gap we turned left, entering Sydney Harbour just before 9am and cruising into Little Manly Cove to pick up another visitor's mooring for the night. With a long weekend for many, and a glorious day on offer, there are boats aplenty on the water. We look forward to many days exploring these beautiful waterways - and catching up with friends and family as well.
Moored at Little Manly Cove
The Captain's Log
Distance travelled: Lakes Entrance to Sydney Harbour - 393.8 nautical miles
Cruising time: 63 hours
Fuel: 520.8 litres

1 comment:

  1. Magnificent photos! Also, loving the journal entries, Sue.
    H.B. too, for tomorrow!