06 September, 2006

Aground on Batemans Bay Bar

With no success with the local marina management I decided to sail north to Ulladulla to put Malua on their slip. I was accompanied by Stuart and Richard. The high tide was at 5:30 am so we decided to leave the dock at six. We would be just a few minutes after the top of the tide. I had plotted a course slightly south of the leads because I knew that NSW Maritime could not move the leads to show the best passage across the bar. We moved slowly towards the bar expecting to touch for a few moments as we crossed the bar. Well be hit the bar OK and didn’t move off as expected. Luckily it is just sand although rather well packed. I applied more power and hoisted the main and genoa to get the boat to lean and reduce the draft. There was a slight swell which assisted our forward motion but we seemed to be going nowhere. The boat was solidly aground.
After about 30 minutes and the reality of the tide falling I thought it prudent to contact the BB Coastal Patrol to give us some assistance. We continued to drive forward moving the vessel slightly NE. We were starting to heel but not make any progress. We took stock of the situation and started to look for deep water which much to our surprise was sighted off the port quarter.I put the engine astern with full throttle, hoping that the swell would lift us off. Fortunately Malua broke free and we went astern into some deeper water. Not wanting to chance our luck any more we steamed back towards the breakwater. At that point the Coastal Patrol vessel appeared much to their disappointment. We drew alongside and thanked them for the offer of assistance. We steamed back into the Marina to wait for the afternoon tide which would give us an extra 400mm.

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