We were up early after a restless, rolly night. We figure this is one way to get our sea legs back. We were heading to Two Rocks, another short 35nm hop north up the coast. We had light northerlies and knew we'd end up motoring. Eventually, this sailboat will sail, but for now, we're content with light winds to motor against. As we pulled away from the mooring and headed north, the two lighthouses came into perfect alignment, so both were in view simultaneously.
The morning was lovely, but cool. Dolphins accompanied us out of Thomson Bay … a favorable sign for a sailor. By mid-morning, the sun was shining brightly and the day was warming up. The water was blue-green and the southwest swell and current helped our cause despite the northerly winds. We saw two whale spouts about an hour into the passage. It's the beginning of whale season here. Humpbacks and southern rights swim with their calves to the colder southern ocean waters. I wasn't quick enough or close enough get any spout shots.
The entrance to Two Rocks is a bit dicey. We could see huge rollers breaking on the reefs which line the marked channel to the marina entrance. We had the leading lines aligned and felt the insistent push of the following seas as we approached.
The turn into the marina was a sharp right just as we passed the end of the stone breakwater. As we made the turn, we saw an eddy of confused waves and swirling water. The entrance seemed so narrow. We were aware of a shallow, silted spot to port. We hugged the seawall … and then we were behind the breakwater and the surge lessened dramatically.
We came around on the inside of a rather ramshackle, guano-covered fuel dock to tie up. David motored up slowly and I managed without incident to lasso the sturdiest looking of the wooden pilings. The “making fast” process was slow. Secure pilings were at a premium. There was a fair amount of surge at the dock and each line needed to be fitted with a chafe guard. We rigged up the fender board to protect our topsides from rubbing against the huge black rubber tires which lined the wharf. An hour later, we seemed to be secure and began the rest of the tidying up process. It's always amazing to me that every marina and every dock seems to have a different system for tying up. Easy and familiar if you're a local, but always a surprise for visitors.
Lobster boats were unloading and more were coming in. Traps empty and cargo unloaded, the crews tied up their boats in various spots along the outside of a long wharf, washed down their decks and headed home. This isn't a yacht club by any means. It's a working place. There were no dock hands to help with lines or even a manager on duty on weekends. We'd arranged in advance to have a key left for us near the office firebox. As the lobstermen left, they closed and locked the wharf gate … lucky we had the key to get in and out.
Aussie friends met via our blog stopped by to say hello and visit for a bit. They brought all sorts of goodies along … fresh herbs, quiche, bread, wine, beer. Wow! Locals stopped by to say hello and wish us welcome. We met a local couple working on their catamaran in the yard. It may be small and basic, but it's friendly and I'm sure we'll like it here well enough for a couple of days as we wait for the weather to become more favorable for moving north. In the meantime, crested terns seem to be our closest neighbors on the dock. We'll see just how friendly they are. We're hoping they don't “drop by” too often.