Thursday, 2 August 2012

Downtime at Coffs Harbour , 29th July to 2nd August  2012.

We decided to have some down time at Coffs Harbour International Marina , even though we cold have squeezed another day out of the weather/seas  to Yamba/Iluka.

Sunday 29th July we had a fruit breaky and lazy start and I caught up with  emails and the blog.

As there was only a light wind blowing, and we were not sure what day or time in the morning we may leave for the next leg,  I decided we should exit the berth and venture over to the fuel wharf and fill up.

The fuel wharf had a couple of boats from the fishing fleet tied up and there was not much space for  LAST WORD . There was debate between the Captain and rear admiral as to whether there was enough space, so  I  decided to stroll over to  the fuel wharf and pace out the actual space ( instead of guessing ) and find out the fuel price and whether they would sell me fuel, as it was 12.45 pm and they sometimes leave early.

When I tried to arrange fuel on my arrival at Coffs on the Saturday, the fellow I spoke to at the  fish co-op made it clear that one needs to check before tying up for fuel in case they have closed early, and that  fuel for visitors is dependent upon the fishing fleet ( who more often than not, are tied up and completely block off the fuel wharf).

Fuel was a tad under $1.60 / L and they were happy to sell me fuel as lang as we arrived and tied up in the next 20 mins, and i paced out 23 m ( 3 to spare).

I returned to LAST WORD , fired her up and moved her over the other side of the inner harbour  and parallel to the space available at the fuel wharf , then took the hand held controls at the cockpit and used the thrusters to slide in sideways using the rear space to one of the moored fishing boats  ( approx 1.5 m ) as the reference. We had about 1 m clearance at the front.
We tied up,  fuelled up, and exited  in the same fashion, and spun LAST WORD  back into her berth.

That afternoon we went for another walk.

 we walked along the historic jetty that juts well out into the main harbour

We even came across some local aboriginal art???

is this real aboriginal art? never been seen before?

The next day Tuesday, 31st July, the predicted winds came ( 20 to 25 knts) , and that is when I discovered what rusty cleats can do to good boat ropes. I had 4 ropes cut through in about 4 to 5 hours with the wind moving the boat around and the ropes tensioning and  fretting on the sharp rusty vertical parts of the cleats. I visited the marina office and organised two new cleats to be installed later that day, and borrowed some crappy green rope and tied them to shackles that I put around the crappy cleats.  Then I visited the local  chandlery and purchased new ropes and plenty of hose to further protect the ropes while I remained at Coffs Harbour.

They call it Coffs Harbour INTERNATIONAL Marina. Maintenance is not high on their list. I understand Star Marinas , the owner, wants a longer lease then tey will redo the marina, and they think maintenance is a waste of time/money in the meanwhile.
one new cleat and one handy shackle , all because the marina is too stingy to do a little maintenance

As we knew we were remaining in Coffs for up to a week ( as the next port of call was Yamba , and we needed the swell to subside to safely navigate the entrance bar ) we ventured out to dosome shopping with the NANNA TROLLEY.
Captain Barry with the NANNA TROLLEY crossing the train tracks . No it is not full of booze. It s full of fresh fruit, bread  , milk and Julie's  pepsi max

The next day ( Wednesday ) the wind continued to blow 20 to 30 knts and LAST WORD  moved around a fair bit as there are no poles to tie off on the side opposite the finger. The fishing fleet was stuck in port, and only one yacht ventured to return to Sydney, and i climbed the bluff to check its progress and can report that t was a very hairy escape. 

Below are some pictures of the  swell across the main Coffs Harbour Entrance with the swell breaking in places over the southern  breakwall. 
breakers all the way across the main Coffs harbour entrance
picking your time between breaking waves would be shear luck

Today is Thursday 2nd August and the weather /sea predicters are saying that Friday could be ok to continue north, but Saturday is probably the better bet as we are trying to cross the Yamba entrance bar.

About lunchtime 7 yachts,  returning from the Sydney to Southport yacht race , all changed plans and decided to call into Coffs Harbour for the rest of the day , and continue tomorrow.Some of them said that the seas and wind were much bigger than predicted, and tacking into the wind was just a waste of time and they were breaking gear left right and center.One unfortunate yacht broke and lost its mast about 30 mins north of Coffs and had to cut it loose and motor into Coff, which they said was a little scarey relying upon a small motor in those conditions.
whoops, That will be expensive.
look, no mast

We decided to cook lamb chops and prepare a salad for dinner, so I got out the fire extinguisher and ventured to the fly bridge and char grilled the chops  on the BBQ.  As you can see, I produced my usual char grilled sensation. The chops were accompanied by a couple of glasses of Wirra Wirra Church Block.
After dinner we watched some of the Olympic coverage then  retired for the next days surprises.
just the right amount of flame to keep warm on a cold windy evening

We are hoping that tomorrow, Friday the 3rd, will be ok for moving on  or our last day in Coffs.

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