Back at sea!

After spending 11 days at Batemans Bay Marina we were keen to cover some distance and reach a sheltered, all weather spot before the next northerly blow. So the objective was to avoid the fishing port of Ulladulla, by-pass Jervis Bay, and instead get into the Crookhaven River and anchor at Greenwell Point.

To Crookhaven

The chart shows our destination as “Shoalhaven Heads”, but in fact the Crookhaven and Shoalhaven Rivers share a common entrance, which is one of the safest bars to cross in most weather conditions.

After a very windy day on our last day of Winter, which prevented us from leaving the marina, we headed out on 1 September at first light. The crossing of the bar was a good indication of things to come: we wove our way through the building swell and managed to get out with only one wave threatening to break as we crested it and slammed on the other side. From then on it was a rough 66 miles motor-sail. We had light winds, but after several days of gale, the sea state was horrible, with confused swell of 3 to 4 meters coming at us from all directions, a bit like a day in Bass Strait!

Wade single-handedly took us all the way to the Crookhaven Heads, feeling rather green at times but keeping it together, while I stared at the toilet bowl for 11 hours of chucking up! So no photos of that passage I am afraid, except for the end bit!

Crookhaven Heads

Crookhaven Heads

The conditions improved once we were past the tall cliffs of Jervis Bay and the bar crossing at Crookhaven Heads was a smooth affair in perfect conditions: near high tide, with the water still flooding in. Gliding in to the flat river was such a relief!

9G5A4845We are anchored in front of the little village of Greenwell Point. It is a familiar spot since this is where we delivered our old boat Medina to her new owner some 5 or 6 years ago. No sight of her though at the moorings along the river foreshore.

Sunset over the Crookhaven River

Sunset over the Crookhaven River, with Mt Coolangatta in the background

Amazing thing on the weekend: it was warm enough to break out the shorts and Tshirts! Low 20s on saturday, walks, with and without the pussycat, 28 on sunday! However when the strong wind picked up the conditions in the river with wind against tide became rather lively! We were doing swift 360s around our anchor and danced around for several hours. We can vouch for the Manson Supreme’s resetting ability but we were glad when the tide changed! Typical, it blows up and worries you just as it gets dark.

We are hoping to be underway again on Tuesday pushed along by a strong westerly. We will sail to Jibbon Beach, Port Hacking, just south of Sydney, then by-pass busy Sydney Harbour and instead head for Broken Bay on Wednesday. We will be exploring the Hawkesbury River and Cowan Creek with our dear friend Sue for a few days.

To Broken Bay

19 thoughts on “Back at sea!

  1. Oh dear….Sounds like a passage I would rather avoid. The only upset stomachs on Sengo for the past couple of days have been feline. There is a guide book to cruising the Hawkesbury (it is buried so I cant give you the title). It is worth a read despite its age (and it includes heading further upstream where a mast wont go).

    • Hi Trish, thanks for that. We have some info on the Hawkesbury – won’t be able to go very far due to the height of our mast- will see. There are a few places to explore on Cowan Creek and at Brisbane Water. So should be fun! How are you travelling?

      • We are well. We arrived in Broome in the dark last night (overnight westerly swell was ‘orrble but all seems to have settled down this morning). We will be here a few nights to restock (and I can update three months of my blog). Apparently we are a bit behind and if we dont hurry up and get around North West Cape conditions are going to be horrible all the way to Perth…that’s a long way and something we would rather avoid. On your travels…we spent the first six months aboard Sengo in the Cowan Creek and surrounds area (we didnt get into Brisbane Water…our mast wont go under the bridge). Beautiful area. Absolutely loved it! Will email you re restocking options.

      • Can’t wait to read about your experiences at the top end!
        We too spent a bit of time up Cowan Creek. When we bought TIE she was in Pittwater and we did a few trips to visit her for a while before sailing her down south! It’s nice, especially in this season when there aren’t the crowds.
        Take care💕and don’t rush!

  2. Seems like It was a bit bumpy ride but you’ve advanced quite a distance without any delays or events. I’m sorry about the 11 hours of discomfort Chris. 🙂

  3. Glad you have progressed north. Greenwell Pt is a fav of mine too. Coastguard have a visitors swing mooring just upriver from the Fishermans jetty, if it is of use to you.

  4. Looking forward to seeing you both. The postie has been busy. It is nice being back on line after 3 days when Optus was broken. Now fixed and off I go again online. You really miss it when you don’tt have it. Enjoy swinging on your new anchor. Travel safe and in better weather, I hope. C u soon. 🦈 🐠 🐾

    • Spinning around here, Susie! Let’s hope this latest blow abates soon. We will get there, promise! And yes forced internet detox is hard to take! We are all a bit addicted, aren’t we!

  5. That sounds like the worst sort of passage, sorry you were somewhat green around the gills! But, on the bright side, sounds as if the weather improved!

  6. And this is the way you think you will get me back onto the boat?
    Ha …LOL …

    Love you both for doing it instead of me .. bon voyage mes amis. Mes pensées sont avec vous.

    • That wasn’t fun we can assure you. We are trying very hard to get north, but this weather is not cooperating! We are stuck again with gale force winds and staying put for a few more days! No tropical escape on board for you this month I am afraid! We’ll have to work something else out… Look after yourself. 💕⛵️

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