Hiding from the blow in Iluka!

We have made it into NSW!  But now we are stuck again, hiding from the mean southerly winds that are wiping out half of the Sydney to Hobart fleet!

Our last post told you we were underway at 2.00am on Boxing Day from Cape Moreton.  We put in the big effort and did a 28 hour passage, going night and day to get to a safe anchorage before the big blow.  We wanted to make some headway while the weather allowed.

We had a good trip, initially motor-sailing, but as the wind picked up, out came Big Red, the spinnaker, for a long downwind sled ride.  It was fun seeing places we normally only get to see by land: Stradbroke Island, the Gold Coast high rises, past the Tweed River where we left Queensland and entered NSW, then Byron Bay, Ballina, which we reached by night fall.

Down came the spinnaker for a more sedate sail under the jib during the night.  We even had to slow the boat down and wait outside the Clarence River entrance for a few hours to cross the bar at dawn, as this was our first time there and with a low ebbing tide, the worst time to cross a bar.

To Iluka-7

Made it into Iluka Harbour, Clarence River

We got to Iluka a few hours before the strong southerly change descended on us.  We are here for a few days while it blows hard and hope to up anchor at the end of the week to go and spend some time at the Solitary Islands, just north of Coffs Harbour.  These are wild, beautiful islands surrounded by reef, so some snorkeling or diving is on our agenda.  But as usual it all depends on what the weather lets us do!

Sailing is a game of patience: lots of stops and starts, but sometimes the stops allow us to catch up with people we haven’t seen in years.  Thanks Elgar and Claire for visiting us.  We enjoyed our day together.  It was fun to reminisce about paragliding!

Here are a few photos taken during our passage.


19 thoughts on “Hiding from the blow in Iluka!

  1. Hi folks,I’m a landlubber, but your latest post even got to me ….Cheers. Frank

    • Hi Frank, really nice to hear from you. We were hoping to go on the inside of Moreton Bay to catch up with you and some of the family but this weather is very uncooperative! Hope you enjoy seeing your coast from a different venture point! Chris & Wade

    • In NSW it normally is but the weather is weird this year. We will be here probably till Friday. It is a bit frustrating but we have decided to just take our time and see what we want to see along the way. We’ll see where we get to by the end of January. I can always abandon ship and bus or fly home and leave Wade and Bengie to recruit a friend as crew for the last bit!

      • That makes sense about the weather, it is the same here, it is much hotter than normal as well. That’s true, but I hope you don’t have to.

  2. Glad that you made it in before the southerly change. With a steady 40 gusting to 50 at Cape Moreton it would not have been fun. Enjoy the Clarence

    • 40 to 50, gee that’s good to avoid! After the change the wind here settled at a steady 25 knots, enough to make for wet and wild dinghy rides to shore! Off for a walk around the Iluka Peninsula today when the rain stops!

  3. Glad you are making some headway. Hope Xmas was enjoyable in spite of the wrong winds and weather. Pick up Pepa tomorrow. Chris still with us.

  4. HI there, I have a cousin living in Iluka and I just told her to lookout for you, so if you see a mad 55year women waving to you it will be her, just smile and wave back, it will make our day. Do hope the wind settles down and you have a good run from here on. would love to be with you, but will keep on your trail , cheers & beers, Terry Date: Mon, 28 Dec 2015 21:01:27 +0000 To: t29sweente@outlook.com

    • Ok Terry – no madly waving woman yet but we are keeping an eye out. Just been for a walk ashore to the Bluff and made a stop on the way back at the fishing coop for some tasty seafood. Still very windy!

    • Thanks guys… A bit wobbly to get the moon rising in total darkness, but it was so amazing, red and big!
      As for the snorkeling, well it is taking a while! The southerlies are still blowing strongly. Another few days before we can leave yet!

  5. Greetings from SV Purrfection. We were a few hours ahead of you coming into Iluka. We’ve been parked up the river waiting for a favourable wind to get us down the coast to Melbourne. Hope you’re getting a good view of the NY fireworks in Iluka/Yamba, we can only see the highest ones!

    • Hi guys. Hasn’t this weather been uncooperative! Nice of you to visit via our website! Brief look at the Yamba fireworks and a few sparks here at the Breakwater. Might see you tomorrow if we go up the river. Happy new year! Chris and Wade

      • Although we would prefer the wind from behind, we’re going to sail south today. Hope we meet up at some stage along the way.

      • Ok – safe sailing. We have been debating what to do ourselves. We wanted to go to the Solitary Islands, but it is looking less and less likely. We are on a schedule unfortunately… Need to get down south by the end of the month to get back to work! 😒 We may well see you further along the coast. Stay in touch through the website may be? Just click on follow and you’ll get the updates. Cheers – Chris & Wade

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