DAY 1 – 1 APR
After the success of the Cowan Creek/Lower Hawkesbury trip we decided to head to the south coast to Sussex Inlet / St Georges Basin to see how it compared. We left Canberra at 0900, arrived shortly after lunch and had the boat in the water at 1430. We launched at the Nielson Rd Boat Ramp and headed out north out into the Basin where we went stern to the southern shore. The water is very shallow near the shore and we were able to easily wade on/off the boat
DAY 2 – 2 APR
The wind picked up today and after a walk around we headed out across the Basin to Wrights beach, on the northern shore. As the wind increased we ended up putting in two reefs and then decided to retreat to the inlet to get out of the worst of the conditions.
We followed the channel south and into the township of Sussex Inlet where we pulled into the river bank and went ashore for a walk, play and lunch. After lunch we decided to follow the inlet south to where it joins the sea at a barred entrance.
The channel was very shallow with small beaches/inlets where we stopped for a swim before continuing down to the ocean. It became clear that the entrance would not be passable for a trailer sailer (or any sailing vessel for that matter), so we pulled up on a sand bar and did some more exploring.
We went for a walk along the beach and quickly decided that it was too rough for Cabin Boy to swim in the ocean, so we spent the next couple of hours playing in the waters of the inlet. Of course we forgot to have a look at the tides and quickly had to enlist some help from some other beach goers to push the boat off the sand bar, or we would have been there for an additional 8 hours!
Once off we motored back up the channel into St Georges Basin and with the keel and rudder up we tried to get as far as we could into the lagoon to the south of Oakey Island (just to east of the inlet as it joins SGB). We ended up walking the boat into the shallow lagoon where we had dinner and a very peaceful evening.
DAY 3 – 3 APR
After breakfast we walked the boat out of the lagoon and headed across the Basin to the northern shore. We anchored off Paradise Beach and walked into Sanctuary Point to go to the shops and buy ice-creams. My parents arrived with my Aunt and dropped off #1 daughter (Sea Princess?). We had lunch on board the boat and then a play ashore, and we joined them for a dinner at the local club. We made a “newbie” mistake and as the wind shifted around to the south and was blowing us onto the lee shore, and gusting 30knots with waves and chop, we stayed put rather than moving towards the southern shore where we would have been sheltered from the elements and we would have had a much better night!
DAY 4 – 4 APR
After a really uncomfortable night we motored off the beach and headed back towards the shelter of Sussex Inlet. It was too windy to raise the sails with the two young children on board. On arrival at Sussex Inlet we tied up to the shore, next to the RSL where we met up with my parents for lunch again. After lunch we headed back to the Nielsen Rd Boat Ramp, received the boat at 1400, and were on our way home by 1600.
This trip while fine, was not as good as the Hawkesbury, although the weather was nicer and we were able to get a lot of swimming in. We learnt a lot and kicked ourselves for not moving to shelter and persisting to hang off an anchor while risking being blown onto the beach!