May 19, 2010
The trip from Trial Bay to Yamba started off with a huge storm lurking in the distance and light rain. We left around 15.30 and the first eight hours were pretty straightforward. Supper, thanks to Pete, was leftover osso bucco potjiekos! However, on my midnight watch, by the time Ian had handed over to me, the wind was blowing over 30 knots, so we took down the main and reefed the genoa some more. Well, for the next two and a half hours I had 30-40 knots of wind, with a peak of 48 knots!! Thank goodness the wind was from behind and the swell fairly ‘smooth’. We were flying along at 5 knots and just because we did not want it, the current was adding another knot!
With only a tiny bit of sail up, this was way too fast as it meant we would arrive at the Yamba/Iluka bar too soon after low tide. While the wind did eventually calm down, it was still (and is still) blowing 30 knots sporadically. After slowing down as much as possible (a halyard had fouled the top of the roller furler preventing us from reducing the genoa further….), we arrived at Yamba way at 7.30am and were told by the coastguard that the bar was looking rather chopped up. So we made time for an hour and a half and were beginning to think that we would have to make for Southport – another overnight sail and another bar entrance requiring the ‘right’ time. However, around 9.30am the coastguard reported that the bar had calmed down and should be fine. With us here on anchor in Iluka Harbour, we obviously made it in without any drama. We would have been very sad to have had to bypass Iluka/Yamba, a favourite of ours. Now for some catchup sleep tho we are likely to be woken by the shallow water alarm as we are anchored in 2-3m of water…. never a dull moment!