Sunday, 29 July 2012

Forster to Port Macquire

segment 5,  Thursday 27 July 2012, Forster to Port Macquarie, 60 NM.

Capt Barry did he usual sea and weather checks , and received the usual conflicting information.
Seas were supposed to be from the SE at 1 m at 9 secs and winds SE 7 to 10 knts , (with BOM saying winds late afternoon 20 to 25 knts and seas 1 to 2 m),
The recommended bar crossing for Port Macquarie is 2 to 3 hours before a full / rising tide , ie approx. midday to 1.00pm as high tide was 3.00pm.

We departed at 7.30am , about 90 mins before low tide and when the river was running about half speed.
We watched the depth sounder , but had a good idea from our readings on the way in, and the lowest was 1.4 m under the props (in  the last 100m  before we turned to enter the walled section of the entrance).
The actual bar crossing was fair  and we were under way at our usual 1200+ rpm doing about 10 knts and using about 55l/h total.
leaving the Forster/Cape Hawke Harbour Bar

As usual we  increased RPM to WOT every 90 mins or so , doing about 23 knts at 245 l/h total.

Capt Barry shot  some temperature readings of various engine , stabilizer and other equipment, monitored by rear admiral Julie on camera in the laz and engine room.
photo taken off the raymarine screen showing Baz in the engine room

We had frequent visits form dolphins and whales , and several dolphins played at the bow for about 15 mins , smiling at s all the while.

Capt Barry detected a rattle from the tie bar on the steering assembly (while shooting some temperature readings )  , and after checking all components were functioning properly and tight and checking for the  vibration at different RPM, Capt Barry telephoned and consulted one of his engineers who agreed it was not uncommon at certain revs to get vibration/resonance (and to shut the laz hatch and get on with the trip).
Last word instruments on route to Crowdy Head ( to Port Macquarie )‏

Approaching Port Macquarie harbour from the south
Last Word entering Port Macquarie

We arrived at Port Macquarie at 1.00pm and checked with Port Macquarie  VMR (65841966) who informed us the bar was fair and to proceed.

We also checked with the Port Macquarie Marina ( 6583 1940), and were offered a berth at the fuel wharf for $35 per night or a swing mooring for $20. Again being big spenders and wanting toexercise our legs we opted for the fuel wharf with power and water available.
LAST WORD  at the fuel wharf
view from the fuel wharf east  towards the port entrance
Fuel was 1.90/l so we decided itwas not needed (despite being tied up along side the bowser).
The marina manager said if he had his way he would sell it in bulk for about 1,55/l, but the marina consultants he was responsible to report to said  he could only knock off about 10cents a litre, but we knew we could get fuel fr $1.59 at Coffs Harbour.

The trip was 60 NM and took 5.8 hours on generally smooth waters , and LAST WORD  used 352 L, so we averaged 10.3+ knots and 60 L/H total.

LAST WORD received a hose down and we took on water, and then went for a 2 hour  walk around the south  western section of the river, which accommodated the main shopping centre.

We debated staying at Port Macquarie for several days as BOM was predicting some 30 knot winds and seas 2 to 3 m. The day was clear and sunny and winter was definitely receding, even the nights were not that cold, and sleeping under a dooner was proving more restless.

That evening we strolled east along the river bank to the strip shopping area and had dinner at LVs, then back to the boat and a conversation with  fellow travellers ( Bill and Trish ) who were on their way to Darwin in a 40 foot sailing cat (having just finished circumnavigating Australia -over three years).

Bill recommended Julie trying "ear putty" from the local chemist as a sure cure for sea sickness, and supplied one plug for Julie to try.

Rear admiral Julie retired about 9.30pm to read a book and Capt Barry did some paper work and checked the BOM and Buoyweather and Manly Hydraulics and decided to make a decision on continuing or staying in Port Macquarie tomorrow.

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