On the Myall Lakes
For those who prefer the more "laid back" aspects of sailing, then the cruising activities of the club are just what you need to relax and enjoy your sailing with family and friends. Cruising also offers an opportunity to learn more about the capabilities of your boat and perhaps pick up some interesting "tips" from the more experienced sailors.
Cruising events form a very important part of the Hawkesbury River Sailing Club's calendar and every effort is made to find new and interesting areas to explore and enjoy. We are indeed fortunate to have, in our own backyard, the unique Hawkesbury River system and its surrounding waterways, which offer some of the best cruising grounds within Australia. Add to this the great company of others with like interests, and you will soon discover a new and pleasurable dimension to your sailing activities. As well as conducting cruises in the Hawkesbury River, Pittwater and Brisbane Waters areas, we occasionally journey to Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens and the Myall Lakes system.
Most cruises occur over a weekend, commencing on Saturday morning and returning on Sunday afternoon, with the extended cruises over long weekends and other holiday periods. The days are spent cruising, at your own pace, to a predetermined location where we met and socialise over "drinks" and the evening meal. Then it's off to bed to enjoy one of the most peaceful and relaxing night's sleep you will ever have.
If this sounds like fun and you would like to experience the friendship of cruising in company then you would be most welcome to joint us on one of our cruises. The cruising events are listed in the Club Calendar accessible from our home page. It would be wise, but not absolutely necessary, to contact the Club if you intend joining us so we can look out for you.
at Soldiers Point
Brisbane Waters Expedition 2011
This years Brisbane Waters Cruise proved to be a great success with the weather and tide conditions being almost ideal. Three couples made the trip by boat and they were Roger Murphy & Janine Martin in RUMBULARA, Mark & Helen Whittle in SORRA and Malcolm & Marcelle Clark in PACEMAKER. They were joined by 10 other couples, who made trip by road, on Saturday evening for dinner at the Gosford Sailing Club. Those couples were Allen & Gill Brock, Ross & Sue Catterall, Eddie & Chris Hawes, Peter & Heather Wilson, Alan & Irene Dickerson, Ken & Jan Elton, John & Carmen Stavert, Malcolm Sinclair & Fay Willing, Monica Kemp & of course Veronica & myself. Unfortunately, due to a ‘mix-up’ in the meeting arrangements, Tony & Robyn Alderidge and Jack & Lyn Stoner who also made the trip by car were not able to join us for dinner.
Roger Murphy was kind enough to provide a report on the sailing aspects also a couple of photos, so I will let Roger tell you a bit more about the cruise or, after reading Roger's report, should I say ‘adventure’.
Report from Rumbalara, (Roger and Janine) for the HRSC trip to Gosford Sailing Club.
This trip was our first venture into Brisbane Waters via the Half Tide Rocks (Ettalong), Rip Bridge, Paddy’s Channel into the Broad Water and then onto Gosford. We had studied the tides and found that the Friday (Jan 21) had good high tides mid morning and that Sunday (Jan 23) should be fair for returning. So we decided to try it.
We left Church Point and motored up Pittwater arriving at Little Box Head at 0915. High tide was about 0930 and we reckoned we could run in with it.
The Little Box Head starting channel has some shallow water (our draft is 1.8m and the depth alarm is set at 3m) which we worked through okay. The water near Half Tide Rocks (opposite Ettalong beach) was sweeping left to right even though it was almost the top of the predicted tide. There are three starboard markers at HTR. We got swept inward and clipped one starboard marker, our trailing tender then mounted it gracefully. Luckily no damage all up. From there it was through the PrettyBeach channel and then north-ish to the Rip Bridge. In the centre of the Bridge the depth is shallow whereas there are big depths, currents and eddies just further out on each side
Approaching the Bridge I thought no way would the mast go under it, well it did and we breathed a big sigh of relief. Through into Paddy’s Channel and at the north end there is some shallow water, still for us on the high tide the alarm was beeping. Once across that shallow part Broad Water was all good. Many pleasant views are had as you pass up the channel. Peter, the manager at GSC, arranged a berth for us and we nosed in along 35foot Bertrams and the like. GSC facilities were all good and the showers most welcome. Dinner was at Montis fish shop just across from GSC, beaut fish and chips
Saturday (Jan 22) was a leisurely day, we awoke early and then walked through the Pt Frederick headland, a well restored site. After a quiet brunch we then took a sail around the Broad Water with the 35 strong cat fleet, 10 strong Etchell fleet and a stack of dinghies racing every which way, wow, plenty of action on the water. Broad Water is a beautiful sail area and getting to secluded spots would be easy in shallow draft yachts.
Mark Whittle and Malcolm Clark had come up Saturday in their Ross780s and took berths at GSC. Both yachts looked very smart and some excellent rope coiling was on show.
Sunday was a fine morning, Mark and Helen, Mal and Marcel headed off about 0800 and we headed south at 0900, getting to the Rip Bridge near 1040, a bit ahead of plans. We made an attempt to go under the Bridge, and with the 20HP motor at 80% power, we were going nowhere so we abandoned the effort. Interesting!. The tidal flow was too strong so we just circled around to the north of the Bridge for over an hour. Getting a mast stuck under the Bridge in a strong current would not have been a pretty sight. Our second attempt was successful, still it was slow progress as we edged our way forward till well clear on the south side. As we closed on the Pretty Beach channel we luckily followed another yacht around Half Tide Rocks and then out into open water. We avoided all the channel markers this time and then hoisted sail across Broken Bay, oh what a feeling. As we looked back we could see two yachts coming out and guessed they were the Ross780s, so in the end all was good.
It was real learning experience for us, making progress through the channels, watching markers, running with and against tides, talking and thinking about the best times to make particular places on the inward and outward journey. The predicted high tide times at the Rip Bridge and Half Tide Rocks is important information for a yacht like ours.
For more tidal flow information try http://tides.willyweather.com.au/nsw/central-coast.html. Marine Rescue Pt Clare and local skippers are good sources of information. Alan Lucas book on NSW costal cruising was a useful guide. Marine Rescue Pt Clare has a local chart. Hardy Bay could be a spot to wait for more favourable conditions if needed.
Myall Lakes Cruise 2011
For many years now, a group of HRSC members, under the guidance of Alan Dickerson have made the trip north to cruise the Myall Lakes system. They usually head off a few days after New Year's Eve celebrations for a period of one to two weeks depending on the weather. They normally launch their boats from the ramp at Nerong, about a two to three hour drive from Sydney. Following a leisurely motor across the Broadwater they head for Taits Beach, opposite Legges Camp for the first night's stay and after that it's whatever takes their fancy.
This year was no exception, so on 3rd January Alan and Irene Dickerson in company with Ken and Jan Elton headed off on the annual 'Sojourn to the Myalls'. Malcolm Sinclair and Fay Willing, who come up the Myall River from Soldiers Point, were meeting up with them the next day. Whilst the weather was not the best, from the reports I received, they still had a most enjoyable couple of days away from all the hassles of everyday life.
In my opinion, the Myall Lakes system is definately worth a visit and offers a very relaxing getaway. Here are a few photos taken by Irene and the rest I will add to the Photo Gallery Page. Malcolm has promised to supply some photos as well, so I will load them up on the gallery as well. There's an interesting photo of a most un-welcome visitor which you ought to take a look at, "Percy the Python"
On the next to last day, Les and Veronica Kemp traveled up to Nerong by car and joined the sailors for a trip up the Bulahdelah River to Bulahdelah for lunch at the Pub. Once again a most enjoyable experience.
Report by Les Kemp
Lake Macquarie Cruise - 2004
Due to very poor weather conditions on the Saturday morning and a forecast of more of the same, most members decided not to take their boats up to Lake Macquarie for the cruise but still attended the social event set down for the Saturday evening.
So from a cruising point of view, this cruise was wasn't a great success.
However our newest members, Steve and Rosalind Read and their son Alister decided to go cruising despite the weather conditions. As it turned out, the bad weather lifted around lunchtime (as evidenced by the photo of their boat) and they enjoyed a most pleasant weekend cruising around Lake Macquarie in "Rigmarole".
On the social side, dinner at Gwandalan Bowling Club was well attended by other members namely Alan & Gill Brock, Peter & Sue Brock, Bob Batchelor & son & daughter-in-law, Ken & Jan Elton, John & Jill Sutton, Peter & Heather Wilson, Steve & Ros Read, Malcolm Sinclair and Les Kemp.
As usual the meal was superb, the company was entertaining and a great night was had by all.
Despite the rainy start to the weekend, the rest of the weekend was fine and very pleasent, so the moral of this story is "Don't be put off by the weather forcast, it may never happen".
If you doubted the comment on the food, please note the 'sweets'
Myall Lakes Cruise - 2005
The Hawkesbury River Sailing Club has been going to the Myall Lakes System just after New Years' Eve for a number of years now. It has proved to be a popular event on the Club's calendar with all attendees enjoying themselves and eager to go again. Anyway enough of the advertisements from me, we'll just let Dicko (Alan Dickerson) tell you in his own words about this years trip.
Cruise Report by Alan Dickerson
Attendees were Alan & Irene Dickerson on Jaffarr, Peter & Sue Brock on Shanti, John & Jill Sutton on Enchantress & Ken & Jan Elton on Notle.
Our trip to the Myall Lakes starts on Monday 3rd January with a trip to the ice works. And preparing the boat for the trip north. Eskys to be packed trailer and boat to be checked. And all items checked off and ticked. Hope we haven't forgotten anything. (Murphy's law to prevail). One other boat named Adante (Malcolm Sinclair) Malcolm is leaving a day earlier then us, as his boat is moored at Port Stephens, he will be motoring up the Myall river. Malcolm has two boats one he keeps on the Hawkesbury that is a Southern Cross 23 by the name of Capricorn. Malcolm has arranged to give us a call when he arrives at the broad water on Tuesday.
Tuesday arrives the weather a little overcast, but not raining. Unfortunately Alan Brock could not make it at the last moment because of work commitments; this still leaves us with 5 boats (Alas Murphy's law strikes first) no stoplights on trailer. Have to stop at service station to get adaptor for trailer to car. ($47.00 later) arrive old checking station to meet up with two boats 15 minutes late. (good start Onslow). After a chat we head north on F3 freeway, have to make a call to Ken & Jan who live at Budgewoi they will leave a little later on and meet us at the end of the F3. We meet up with Ken & Jan and all decide to stop and have morning tea at service station. Eggs and Bacon and coffee and a chat. All looking forward to spending a few days together on the Myall Lakes. Finally get going again arranging to pick up extra water a Karuah. Having not been north for sometime find there is a bypass, which cuts time off the trip. Leaving Karuah head for Nerong boat ramp to rig and launch our boats.
By the time we are ready to go it is 2.00pm at this stage it is our plan to motor across the broad water to Leggs camp and spend the first night at a place we named a few years back as Goanna beach. After leaving the boat ramp Jaffarr receives a phone call from Malcolm (Adante) informing us he is on his boat at Port Stephens and just has been called back home as his wife is not well and tells us he will call later and let us know how things are. At this stage we are motoring on the Nerong River I decide to call the other boats over and let them know whats happening with Malcolm.
We then proceed across the broad water after passing through Leggs camp, we head for Goanna beach where we anchor close to shore for the night. We set up tables and chairs for the happy hour after a swim we sit back and relax so peace full here away from the city noise. After tea more of the same relaxing and chatting over a drinks and nibbles. All slept well after the first night. Unwinding the next morning Peter is up bright and early setting up his rubber ducky with a 4 hp on the back and is off to explore the lakes shores. With the water lapping against the boats hulls heads slowly appear out of the boats to a promising day. The smell of breakfast and the ducks around the back of the boats waiting for any burnt toast that may come their way. The plan for today is motor sail or what ever up to Boolambayte creek. The entrance to the creek is hard to notice if you do not know the lake. There are plenty of black swans about also waterlilies on the edge of the lake. Arriving at the creek we drop anchor John on Enchantress hopes in his canoe while Peter comes across to Jaffarr in his rubber ducky I jump aboard and we motor to the entrance of the creek and explore. Little garfish dart out in front; I didn't think they travel this far up the lake in fresh water. We see no boats anchored in the creek, which make it much more enjoyable. 300 mtrs in we meet John paddling his canoe he asked us for a tow back to the boats.
After a short stop and photos a swim is in order. Someone yells out "where to now" and I reply "where other but Onslows beach" for lunch and a swim. After motoring on I look back to see where Shanti is picking up their rubber ducky that is adrift no hurry we are on holidays. We arrive at Onslows beach and drop anchor and over the side for a swim and look around. Water is only shallow here, which is great for getting out of the boat and walking around. This spot brings back memories of a great time we had in 1997-1998 cruise. On that cruise were John and Jack (dad and Dave fame). You know who you are Teamwork. After lunch we continue on past Goat Island stopping off at Violet Hill and waiting for Ken and Jan who drew the short straw for the garbage run. After going through Dollys channel we round the point off Tickerabit which is another great place to stay but national parks have now made it no excess to shore. We head over to Shelly Beach to spend the second night and a good spot to anchor. Chairs are set up on shore for later on. After dinner we go ashore for drinks and nibbles a gaslight has proved a good idea. After another late night we wake to the sounds of the ducks and birds around the boat. We leave Shelly Beach and sail under jib only to Naranie sands a steady but fickle breeze takes us on. Notle leaves us closely behind followed by Shanti. We arrive at Naranie under the hot sun, where we all have a swim. Ken invites us out on Notle for a sail.
After up anchor and hoisting the sails we head out onto the lake for a sail. The girls will be staying back on the beach looking after the boats. Ken says lets go sailing. Many thing have changed on Notle to swing keel to a dagger board keel you name it tinker bell has changed it. Having sailed on Ken's boat myself a few times I was intrigued to see the looks on John and Peters face to see how fast Notle gets along. It is a credit to Ken to see all his hard work and time working on the boat in the workshop great job tinker bell. After a while of putting the boat through its paces we head back to the beach and the girls. We are met by a lot of giggles I don't know what they had been drinking. We all have a swim and then we head off to Kataway Bay to spend the night there. We find a sheltered spot tucked away in the reeds and sandy shore. After tea I take photos of the boats with the sun going down. These are some of the photos that I have taken on the cruise and hope the urge to join us on another Myall Lakes cruise.
The next morning we awake to a southerly wind looking out on the lake white caps appear. After a short chat with Ken we decide it might be a good time to up anchor and move out as we have to head back down the lake. With the southerly breeze coming over the bow we leave and round Kataway Hill making slow progress against the breeze. With spray coming back into the cockpit I put on my wet weather gear. We push on arriving in the channel near Violet Hill, we are met by the Independence we pull along side and empty our porta pots and have a chat with Bead and Jackie his wife. They have been servicing the lakes for a few years now and do a great job.
We say our good byes and head on past Violet Hill to Leggs camp. A trip ashore and look around Leggs camp has found that there are a lot of new cabins and a new restaurant. We wander over to the broad waterside to check what the weather is like there, a few white caps so we decide to make the crossing to Nerong creek. Jaffarr leads the boats out onto the broad water. 1km out the waves start to pick up another wet weather gear trip. Eventually we get across and into the Nerong River and empty boat ramp, where we all retrieve our boats and pack up for the trip home. Leave Neriong about 5.45m Friday. Four boats head south we have to make a stop on the way home to get fuel and tea. John and Jill say they will go straight home, as they have to go out. The three other boats stop at a service station to get fuel then we all have tea together at KFC.
After saying our goodbyes to Ken & Jan, Peter & Sue myself and Irene roll our Jaffarr down the F3. We have a safe trip home arriving about 9.30pm.
I hope all of those who went with us on our trip north enjoyed there four days I know we did.
Alan & Irene (Jaffarr)
PS. I hope this last photo is of someone 'saluting the sunset' and not 'taking a shower', thank goodness its dark.