Hawkesburry River 'Crusing'




The Cowan Creek Cruise, May, 2015


In early May this year, three Club boats made their way North to the lower reaches of the Hawkesbury River, Shamrock (Ken and Jenny Coulson), The Governor General (‘Wrong Way’ Coman and Merilyn), and Freewind (Kevin Long and Jeanie). Astute readers will note the promotion of the Coman’s boat to a higher status – the Hartley has been replaced by a Farr, thereby snatching from the Coulson’s the title of ‘slowest boat of the Bendigo fleet’.

After a pleasant overnight stop on the banks of the Murrumbidgee at Gundagai, we reached the Parsley Bay boat ramp at Brooklyn in the late afternoon of the second day. Here we rigged up in preparation for a launch early next morning. The expedition got off to a less than auspicious start when Fleet Admiral Coulson argued with his wife re the general direction of Cowan Creek. We headed out towards Broken Bay and New Zealand before realising our mistake. Naturally enough, this misadventure was blamed upon Wrong Way Coman, who is responsible for all navigational errors, even when he is not present. An unexpected bonus from this detour was the pleasurable experience of lifting up and down on truly gigantic, smooth and slow rollers, and seeing the boat ahead disappear from view in a massive gully of water.

After turning back, we made for our first stop, a truly impressive waterfall on the shores of Refuge Bay. Shamrock deployed its tender for a closer view and some of our party climbed part the way up the impressive cliff face. We spent our first night here on swing moorings after first rafting up for a long ‘happy hour’.

Sailing Broken Bay

Day two saw us heading down Coal and Candle Creek with the general intention of stopping off at the dAlbora Marina. Alas, it was not to be. The Marina was chock full of expensive stink boats and there was no room at the inn for us. In any case, I suspect you would need to wave a very fat cheque book here to gain any attention at all. In passing, it is worth noting that the whole of Cowan Creek is really set up for big cruisers and, for smaller boats like ours, there are limited opportunities to pull in to jetties or to shop for provisions. The author noted that many of the bigger motor cruisers – all gleaming in polished stainless steel and mirror-smooth hulls – often lacked names. Perhaps their owners feel that they are above any such designation, like those sages of the East who maintain that "whatever can be named is not the Absolute". For my part, I think they ought to be named with careful attention to their mode of acquisition. I would propose names like Dunthievin or Screwja. I propose a general rule (allowing exceptions) – "Any pleasure boat over 10m in length has been purchased by ill-gotten gains".


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