It is not always life in paradise on a boat, especially in stormy or rainy conditions. You do feel you are at the mercy of the elements in inclement weather – even when you are not out there in the rough and tumble, but just simply at anchor, waiting for the storm to pass, the fog to clear or the rain to cease.
We have had a few of those days of late. Our last night at Wreck Bay saw us weathering a spectacular storm. It never got too close, but the sky was eerie with heavy dark clouds and odd patches with greeny blue tinges.
It rained and rained all night and the next day it was soggy, but dead calm: not a breath of wind, oily sea and fog. With a southerly change forecast, we had to leave Wreck Bay (so as not to get wrecked) and make our way to our next destination to explore: Batemans Bay, 50nm further south. It was again an eerie scenery as we motored out: low visibility, glassy sea, and the nearby hills appearing like small islands out of the mist. There were just shades of grey, yet it was quite breathtaking in the silvery stillness. We were both on watch in the cockpit, keeping a keen eye on what was ahead as it would have been easy for tinnies or crab pot buoys to appear out of the fog with little warning.
In Batemans Bay we explored several anchorages. The Tollgates, islands that guard the mouth of the bay were impressive with their basalt outcrops and sea caves, but not very inviting with very deep water and little space to swing around on anchor under their shelter. We ended up spending three nights right inside the bay, at Snapper Island, another very rugged basalt outcrop with amazing folds in the rocks. For three days we had rain; one minute the weather would clear a little and we would see our surroundings, the next the rain would descend on us, obscuring the entire bay. We filled up our water tanks though!
We also had more storms with disconcerting thunder claps and lightning strikes right above us. “Thunder and lightning, very, very frightening” hummed Wade, as he dropped the copper plate and wire in the water. This gives lightning a path to the water, away from the boat, if it hits the mast… at least we hope! And of course we all pray to Hocus Pocus the lightning deflector, that dandelion seed looking thing on top of the mast. Don’t ask how that works, it is a PTCTE, a process too complicated to explain!
After three days cooped up in the cabin in front of Snapper Island, we are at risk of snapping! I wonder whether that is where the name comes from. It certainly is not from the amount of snapper fish we catch here! It is now time to move to one of the coves to the East of Chain Bay for a change of scenery – still in Batemans Bay.
Our next chance to escape out of the Bay and avoid cabin fever is likely to be on Wednesday, when we will head to Broulee or the Moruya River. We will see how things develop.
Here are a few moody photos of our stormy time from the past few days. Click on the first image to display the gallery in full screen slideshow.