When our friend Sue joined us in Bundeena, just South of Sydney for a couple of days on board, we decided to go and explore the South West Arm of the Port Hacking River, in the Royal National Park. This is an area we have never been to, a little treasure not far from suburbia where surprisingly one can escape from the crowds and enjoy some peace and quiet. We like solitude, especially after being one of 35 boats at Jibbon Beach!
We motored to the end of the ‘navigable’ arm, away from built up areas, and surrounded by bushland. We were lucky to find a courtesy mooring so we did not need to anchor in the very deep water. We spent two lovely days exploring in the dinghy and the kayaks, and just floating around, serenaded by cicadas and bird songs.
It is a stunning area of rugged sandstone cliffs and tall trees overlooking a meandering and slowly shallowing river that ends in a deep rock pool. At low tide, the shores are covered with oysters and the river is but a shallow creek winding its way through the bush, with magnificent Sydney Red Gums dominating the shores. These orange to salmon coloured eucalypts are stunning. Their trunks are smooth, like the bronzed skin of a human body, with soft curves and rounded shapes. Some of the trees have branches that look really gnarly and contorted into strange shapes. At the base, the trunks often seem to pour over the rocks. At high tide, the river appears much larger and the shores far less dangerous for inflatables… Those oysters are razor sharp as I discovered when the banana boat ever so gently touched the bank while I was helping myself to a few shells! Pshooo… I had to paddle back to the “mother ship” to patch it up. 😞 But apart from this mishap, we had a very relaxing, peaceful time.
Having dropped Sue back at Bundeena, we then sailed 53nm further south to a little-used anchorage at Black Point. In fact we were told by the locals that we were the first yacht to ever anchor there. It is only suitable in northerly conditions, but it provided great shelter, in no swell at all, although it certainly was not private with a little township in the curl of the bay overlooking the anchorage. Take It Easy was used as a turning point for swimmers, a surf-boat and sail boarders, which provided some good entertainment!
Continuing on our mission to stay at little frequented anchorages, we headed for Wreck Bay on Thursday, 30nm further south, just past Jervis Bay. As usual sailing past the 12nm of sheer tall cliffs which guard Jervis Bay was a rowdy affair. Every yacht or motor boat which comes this way heads inside Jervis Bay, a huge bay we have stayed at ourselves. But if you are craving some solitude as we are, then Wreck Bay is not always true to its name – certainly not in northerly wind conditions. It is a large bay with a series of tiny coves in between lines of reef. Turquoise water backing onto a National Park, and private sandy beaches which you can have to yourself, make this an attractive spot. So we have not been wrecked in Wreck Bay for a couple of nights.
Here is a selection of photographs from our activities since the beginning of the week. As usual, click on the first image to display the gallery in full screen slide show.