We have been anchored here in the Clarence River – Iluka for three nights now. Beautiful! It’s such a great place to stop before reaching Qld. The facilities for the yachties are great. Mostly the flat water! And we were ready for some quiet times.
A few days earlier, we had pulled up anchor at 2 am … yes, in the middle of the night. We had spent two nights at Trial Bay which was an ‘open roadstead’ anchorage – basically open water but protected from some directions (quite disconcerting to turn around and see miles of open water). In our case, we needed protection from the SW which we had. It was calm with a slight swell rolling in (mind you, all it took was a few sessions on the laptop and the seasickness kicked in for me).
Our plan was to sail to Coffs Harbour, then to the Clarence River. As our fellow sailors say, “plans drawn in the sand at low tide” are subject to change. Our friends on Easy Tiger had left earlier for Coffs and suffice to say, they had a rather difficult entrance to Coffs Harbour with wind, tide and swell combatting them. Hence we skipped Coffs and sailed right through to the Clarence, a 14 hour sail. (My first big sail.)
We had a brisk sail during the night, followed by several uneventful hours of motoring with the wind behind. It was all about crossing the bar at THE right time. Tide, swell and wind are words that are repeatedly used in all our planning. We got here right on time, 4pm. After watching some yachts motor out of the Clarence and cross the bar, along with radio chats to our friends on Easy Tiger, we thought we had the right path worked out. Ha … breaking waves in the middle?! … I don’t think so! We watched those breaking waves, worked out our path, went for it and we were in. Phew! Probably our trickiest bar crossing yet.
And flat water … sometimes it is about the destination!