Saturday, 28 July 2012

Port Stevens to Tuncurry

segment 4, from Shoal Bay at Port Stephens to Forster/Tuncurry (Cape Hawke Harbour).
Thursday 26 July 2012 ( star date ..... whatever for Trekies).

Captain Barry arose early to check engine oil and other boat systems and check on the weather and seas.
Buoyweather was predicting 1.4 m seas at 10 secs from the SE and winds 5 to 10 knots from the NE and later NW, and BOM was predicting 20 to 25 knt winds from the NW.
We were not sure whether we would travel to Cape Hawke Harbour and chance the shallow narrow channel or push on the Port Macquarie and decided to see how the seas were given the difference in wind predictions.

I suggested we try Forster ( after all we are doing this trip to see as much as we can and cross as many bars and enter as many ports as practically  possible ), and Rear Admiral Julie said..... "MAKE IT SO".

We got under way at 8.30 am and arrived 4 hour 40 mins later at 1.10pm at Cape Hawke Harbour (Forster/Tuncurry).

We travelled about 50 NM averaged 10+ knts and used 365 L averaging about  73 L/H total.

Broughton Island north of Port Stevens
coming around the point to Foster/Tuncury Bar

We arrived at the entrance at high tide (1.5m ) and the entrance over the bar  to Cape Hawke  Harbour was fair, but narrow and we kept to the southern wall for the  first part then crossed to the northern side 1/2 way through to take the norther channel and moored against 4 piles between the Wallis Lake fish co-op ( Tuncurry side of the river ) and the slipway. this was tricky as the river current was running at about 5 knts and there is a bridge ( 6 m height limit , and LAST WORD is  6.2) another 200m further on , so if you miss your berth or turn to anchor you need to watch the tide carry.
One can moor in the narrow fast flowing channel, but we decided to take the $25 per night pile mooring with access to land (but no power or water).

feedng the pelicans

Fuel was $1.59 /L at the fish co-op behind us , but we did not need any,
The fish co-op organises the berthing (6555  8344) and the Forster volunteer marine rescue ( VMR ) is 6554 5458 and should be consulted on entering and leaving the harbour if you are not a local.

Julie and i decided to exercise our legs , so we walked south about a KLM where i was able to purchase a float switch and we were walking across the bridge to FORSTER when i developed a headache and a storm swept in from the north with 25-30  knt winds and a sprinkle of rain, so we turned around on the bridge and headed back to LAST WORD.

storm coming
looking at the boat from the Foster/Tuncurry bridge

i spent longer than neccessary changing the dud float switch , mainly because of my headache which was developing into a migrain  (which 4 pills were  taking their  time to ease).
I was the ships captain and decided no headache was going to stop me, so i pressed on with the repair. However, every time i bent forward to work on the float switch ( on the laz floor  under the stern thruster ) the head ache thundered more  aggressively and after a couple of minutes ii would have  to stand up and stick my head in the stiff breeze coming in the laz boarding platform doorway to ease the headache thumping.

I eventually finished the task ( and tested it ) , but not before the headache finally had its own way and i threw up several times .
I thought i had won the contest between my  determination to complete the  repair and the headache , especially when i  sensed the rising moment and managed to grab a nearby bucket in which to throw up......however.....
I think we should call it Capt. Barry 1 .. and headache 1 (or 15 all if you play tennis ) , as I soon realised ( when i was ready to install the float switch  ) that the float switch was in the same bucket.
Well, float switches are water proof, and after a quick clean it was installed and works just fine, and my headache began to lighten and disappeared within the hour.

Rear Admiral Julie said that as my headache had retreated we should dine out, so we climbed over the side of LAST WORD  one more time and settled on a Thai Restaurant 30 meters adjacent to our pile mooring.

As LAST WORD was tied up right ouside the restaurant there was conversation about her from the dining guests and i am pleased to say that she received rave reviews.
The food was sensational (and rear Admiral Julie says the best she has ever tasted.
We declined dessert and left for the boat at 8.45pm where Capt Barry did some homework on the next days weather and sea conditions then another early night.

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