Monday, 28 May 2012

Crowdy Head to Coffs Harbour

10th May, 2012 (my Mums birthday!)

A sunny, windless, cloudless day saw us leaving Crowdy Head for Camden Haven. Motored all the way on an oily sea for about 4 hours. Entering the Camden Haven bar was very uneventful on a flood tide. We anchored just off the jetty at the Laurieton United Services Club. We met fellow Taswegians Peter and Chris on 'Honey Bee' with fellow travelers Nic and Erica on 'Jepeda IV'.

Perpendicular Point on entry into Camden Haven

Next day we walked for an hour up North Brother Mountain through a beautiful forest of cycads and enormous eucalypts. Out on the top we had a very wide view north and south on a brilliant, cloudless day. A random koala had appeared in this area about 2 months ago all by himself but according to the ranger would probably be leaving soon to find a mate. It was a quick 45 minute walk back down to the boat.

John amongst the giants on North Brother-Laurieton

Track up North Brother

Entrance to Camden Haven(Sorcerer is middle boat in foreground) taken from North Brother Mountain.

A lonely boy who will depart soon from this place to find true love.

A large fig tree-Camden Haven

Aerial roots, fig tree-Camden Haven

We are definitely having one of these in OUR garden!
 12th May we motored out of Camden Haven around 1pm on a rising tide heading north to Coffs Harbour. We took about 18 hours due to very light wind so motorsailed most of the way. We dropped anchor at 7am between the old jetty and the harbour wall in company with Trevor and Gail on 'Newtsville' who we met in Port Stephens.

We greet the dawn nearing Coffs Harbour
Arriving Coffs Harbour
Miff at lookout on Muttonbird Island, Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour Marina from Muttonbird Island

The following morning after receiving sad news from home we tucked Sorcerer into the marina and we were on a train to Sydney to collect our kids Martyn and Lindsay from New Zealand to return home for my Dad's funeral. A week later we returned to be presented with a large fresh King fish fillet caught that day by Liz and John from 'Blue Marlin'. We briefly met Liz and John just before heading to Tasmania the week before. The gesture was beautiful and very welcome. We managed three meals from their gift.
Looking south from Muttonbird Island across the harbour

Info about Solitary Islands which lie off the coast north of Coffs Harbour

Muttonbird Island is associated with a dreamtime story of the Moon Guardian who tendered the muttonbirds on the island as food for the local Gumbayngirr people and they named it Gittain Mirera.

Alarm set for 1230am we headed out into the darkness around 1am. With the South Solitary Island light winking at us and only a 5-10kn SSW breeze we motorsailed for the first few hours. As the breeze increased to 10-20kn, along with a following sea, we enjoyed a modest 5.2 kn average for the leg to the Clarence despite the East Australian Current which runs predominately south at between 1- 4 kn.  If you hug the coast it can help a lot but this is not a good idea at night. Crossing the Clarence River bar was uneventful and we dropped anchor in the Iluka Bay at 2pm.

The EAC-good for heading south!(not a good photo but you get the idea)


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