Wednesday, 9 April 2008
Clarence River - Yamba to Grafton
Keen for a break from swell we headed up the Clarence River with no firm plans. First night we stopped at Harwood to await our scheduled bridge opening the following day. Only in Australia will they close the main highway (Pacific Highway) to let one small yacht past!
We ended up cruising up the Clarence stopping at Maclean, Lawrence and Ulmurra before arriving at Grafton 40nm upstream. We enjoyed deep water all the way with no groundings and the assistance of the tidal currents counteracted the lack of wind. The change from salt to fresher water definitely helped the bottom of the boat, killing any barnacles and slime.
On the return journey we stopped at Maclean for the 104th Scottish Festival so Amanda could get in touch with her heritage. The Caber Toss and Hammer Throw were the favourites, along with the impromptu performances in the pub after a few drinks.
We returned to Yamba for a haul out to again raise the water line, install Forward Looking Sonar (hopefully minimise the number of times we run aground) and a few other small repairs. Attempt number one at being hauled out nearly ended in disaster with the machine pulling us out slipping back in the water. Luckily the operator dumped the arms and we plopped back into water before we dragged his machine in with us! We tried again the next day but there was still not enough tide. A week later we made it out on a big tide and raced to finish our chores before Amanda (my friend from Sydney) arrived for a holiday.