Jervis Bay to Wollongong
to Jervis Bay
Leaving Bateman's Bay
The evening before we departed Batemans Bay we left the marina and picked up one of the sailing club’s moorings on the northern side of the bay at Square Head while the tide was high. We didn’t want to have to get up and negotiate the bar in the dark. It was a bit tricky with only 0.3 metres under our keel as we passed over the bar. It was a beautiful evening, a glorious sunset on a quiet mooring - heaven!!!!
The next morning was just as perfect, calm with a slight breeze and sunny and mild. As we were leaving the mooring we saw a pod of dolphins and we knew it was going to be a good day.
We hoisted the sails and sailed gently all morning until the wind dropped and we were hardly moving at all. This seemed to be the pattern along the coast at this time of year.
As we were passing North Head out of Bateman's Bay we saw our first whale!!! We saw its huge curved grey back about a mile from the boat. It was a humpback. It was so exciting – well we thought it was exciting. Later that morning we saw another one further out to sea. Shortly after that we picked up the sea breeze but it was not enough to get us to Jervis Bay before dark so we decided to pull into Ulladulla for the night.
After tying up on the inside of the sea wall, we had a brief walk around the town to stretch our legs and to check out the locals and headed back to the boat. Ulladulla looks like a nice little town but we didn’t have much time there to look at all it had to offer.
The next morning we had a late start because our next leg was just a short one, about 20 miles, so we didn’t think we needed to hurry. We didn’t leave until 10:30. When we were out of the harbour we hoisted the sails but they did nothing for quite a long time because there was no wind. Greg decided to attempt the challenge of fishing again – again we went hungry!
Later in the afternoon the sea breeze returned and it turned into a good afternoon’s sail into the wind to the stunning cliffs of Point Perpendicular where we turned to enter Jervis Bay. Just as the sun was setting we headed south to the Hole in the Wall anchorage where we found 5 courtesy moorings, placed there by the government to protect the seagrass. We picked up one of these and had a restful night ,safe in the knowledge that we would not disturb the seagrass beds.
We took Lupi to Vincentia the next day so that we could catch up with an aunt of mine. We rowed the dinghy to shore and secured the dinghy on the beach in very calm conditions well above the high tide mark and walked up to the shopping centre to meet her. We had a great day, lunch, and a good chat about the family, but when we returned to the beach the sea breeze was blowing onto the beach and the water was quite choppy and very close to floating the dinghy. Greg, the skipper, used all of his muscles to get the dinghy off the shore in the difficult conditions and us safely to the boat. We were unable to stay in Vincentia for the night so we motored to Callala Bay and anchored off the beach in 7 – 8 metres of water so that the anchor didn’t drag in the seagrass.
There was an awful smell in the air and lots of “stuff” floating in the water. Apparently it it’s the red algae that causes the smell – the beginning of a “red tide”. It was very uncomfortable, but it eased later in the evening, thankfully, and we had another quiet night after the wind dropped.
Our adventure for the next day was to find a mooring in Callala Bay – another of the courtesy moorings that are available for limited use. They are a good idea and they are available for different size boats and for different length stays. There is a booklet available in the fishing shops that tells about what is allowed in the different zones in Jervis Bay and where the moorings are.
Callala Bay was a lovely spot with a great jetty that stuck out over the seagrass. We could see Port Jackson sharks and skates and other fish from the jetty in the clear water.
We spent a couple of nights at Husskison after a lovely afternoon’s sail across the bay from Callala.Crossing the mouth of the bay we could see the sandy bottom in 14 metres of water. It was nice sailing just for fun. We also explored a little way up Currumbene Creek in the dinghy. There are some quite large boats, cats and shoal draft yachts in here but the bar at the mouth was too shallow to allow Lupi to get through.
For what we thought was going to be our last night at Jervis Bay we went back to the Hole in the Wall to have a quiet night before our next big leg to Wollongong.
We were a little bit disappointed in Jevis Bay after all the hype it has been given about its pristine beaches and waters. Perhaps if it had been warmer and we could have gone diving and snorkeling to see some of the wonders they talk about so much we would have been more impressed.
We did enjoy catching up with family though.
The next morning we left the mooring at about 7:00 and motored toward the mouth of the bay. We had about 10 knots of wind and things seemed to be going well, but the further we got out to sea the bigger the swell and wind got, until we had 20-30 knots blowing on us suddenly as we emerged from the protection of the cliffs and we were unprepared for that. We decided we were cruisers and not racers. It didn’t matter whether we got to Wollongong today or tomorrow so we decided to turn around and head back for the shelter of the bay. In this adventure we broke some more sail slugs and tore the headsail a little bit unfortunately.
We were safely back in the bay by 10:00. making double chocolate muffins to cheer ourselves up. Of course the wind proceeded to ease all the rest of the day until it was very calm and warm just before the sun set.