Avoid Bay...Really?

memory cove to avoid bay  

You'd think with a name like “Avoid Bay”, we'd maybe try to avoid it, but we didn't. After a calm, pleasant night in Memory Cove, we were up before dawn, making ready to head through the Thorny Passage and another 65 nm west to Avoid Bay. A short-lived, gusty and thoroughly soaking morning squall delayed us 45 minutes, but netted us an extra cuppa before heading out around Cape Catastrophe.


cape catastrophe


Sunrise is after 0700 now, but sunset is not until 2000 (8pm), so we still enjoy a long sailing day. In a car you can easily travel 65 miles (~105 km) in an hour. Depending on our speed, 65 nm (a little longer than a statute mile ~70 mi or 115km) becomes an all day affair … 10 - 12 hours. Getting a really early start was not an option today. With residual raindrops falling on our heads, we hauled anchor closer to 0800.

The Thorny Passage earned its name from the myriad of “thorns” along the way. Rocks, reefs, islands, shoals, whirlpools, currents … our passage was very benign, nothing exciting at all to report. We hit nothing … nothing hit us. (We like it that way!).

As we left the protection of Spencer Gulf, we got a good taste of the Southern Ocean. Big, long period swells of dark grey ocean took their toll and though we weren't feeding the fish, both of us were feeling mighty queasy. The winds ranged from SSE 8 knots to S 25 knots with 32 knot gusts. All in all, though, we made good time.


anchorage mate


Avoid Bay … Looking at the chart, we can guess why the name was chosen. Because of all the natural obstructions … rocks, reefs, shoals, some breaking, some not ... ships of yore would have chosen other bays of refuge. For our purposes, with good charts, GPS and eyeballs, we found it to be adequate, with reasonable holding and some roll. We shared the anchorage with one fishing boat … always a good sign since the fishermen know where to duck in when the winds and seas are rough.

I might add that before we left Port Lincoln, Gentry (our niece and blogmeister) asked for maps for our proposed route and anchorages. After two nights, we haven't been in the “proposed” anchorages at all. So much for preparing in advance and sticking to the plan, huh? We are making progress though.