Port Lincoln is a rather large fishing town on the Eyre Peninsular across the Lower Spencer Gulf about 65 nm NW of West Cape. We were up before daybreak again, but decided to wait till we had some light to spot cray pots. As it turns out, we waited, but we never spotted any. Had we not waited …
Well, you know how that goes.
In a word, the sailing today was an absolute delight. The trip across the rollers at the bay entrance was a non-event … the rollers had dissipated to small swells and we cruised right through them. The S/SE winds hovered between 12-18 knots as we skirted across the gulf, unhurried and enjoying the day.
Gannets, plummeting from the sky at breakneck speeds into the water, joined the mollymawks, sooty shearwaters and fluttering shearwaters we’ve been spotting. After a dive or two, the gannets would light on the water for a rest, their yellow heads an easy identifier for us. Bottlenose dolphins jumped high out of the water and played in our bow wake, but eluded photographs. (Sigh!)
We threaded the needle between Cape Donington to port and Donington Reef to starboard, the lighthouse on the point a solid reminder of why it was there. The reef to starboard was covered with sea birds, loud and raucous as if cheering us on.
We sailed on through the narrow channel, expecting a mighty blast as we turned the corner for the last leg into Port Lincoln and we weren’t disappointed. The apparent 18 knots of downwind became 25 knots on the beam in a hurry and the sail to the bottom of Boston Island was exhilarating as we kept pace with the fishing boats returning with their day’s catch.
A 12-hour day and we were passing Brennan’s Jetty with its bright turquoise green grain loading terminals. A tug came around the corner of the jetty heading out to pilot in a Chinese ship waiting to be loaded.
As we turned into Boston Bay, the wind calmed, the water stilled and we spotted the Port Lincoln Yacht Club in the distance. A lovely, wide open anchorage awaited us along with a glass of wine and good night’s sleep.