Day 1: Home to Yamba

Today we finally left to begin a cruise Steve has wanted to do for several years now – cruising the Clarence River in northern New South Wales. The Clarence is Australia’s second largest river stretching 400km from source to sea. The area navigable by yachts is the final 100K, from Grafton to Yamba. The Clarence tourism association has produced a booklet titled Sailing and Cruising Guide Yamba to Grafton, which we have found useful – though I could give them some suggestions on improvements if they asked.

Between our last sailing adventure and this one Top Shelf has received new underwear – a new trailer. We finally have a trailer that keeps us legal regarding brakes and weight distribution – and Steve assures me it’s now a pleasure to tow her. I, unfortunately, have yet to do a towing course and don’t have the confidence to tow yet. The new trailer has meant we can pack the boat ready for launch before we leave home – previously everything with any weight was carried in the car and needed to be transferred on arrival.

It’s a 400K drive from our place to Yamba – not that far, but far enough when you’re towing a boat. We choose not to launch unless it’s high tide, and as there was no chance of us catching the high tide today we left about 10am and took our time driving down, arriving about 3pm.

The parking area at the Yamba Boat Harbour Marina was pretty good, and quiet, so we decided we’d park the night there and sleep on board in the car park. Went for a walk around the marina, then back to the Yacht Club clubhouse to meet up with a fellow Noelex owner, off to the pub for a counter meal and back to the boat for a good night’s sleep.

Leaving home on a beautiful May morning.

Leaving home on a beautiful May morning.

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