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Coorong Cruising
We watched the weather and with a high making its way across headed for the Coorong for a week recce. Water levels were high and the ocean side and Murray River side of the barrages were pretty similar. Our focus was the Coorong with a look at Lake Alexandrina and the back of Hindmarsh. We kicked off from Goolwa Regatta YC. Great point for local knowledge and members from other clubs are welcomed. There’s access to showers & loos for a small fee. Outside some regular port activity at Goolwa we only saw about 6 other boats!- all tinnies/fishermen. We got along the Coorong as far as the shore well south of Camp Coorong and Menigie.( about 40km down- say a bit over 3/4 of the way to where it really shallows off. Sailing is pretty easy & protected up to about 20-25 knots with a reef in - and the main thing was not clobbering the crusty sandbars too fast. Only tacked about 10 times , did a heap of reaching. Put a bit of a polish on the swing keel. Once the Aids to Navigation run out stay outside paired floats ( for setting nets) and keep any sticks or poles between you and the shack they lead to . Generally sailed a lot with the plate 1/2 to 3/4 down. Spent a day or so on each shore and found some great spots to anchor including Lousy Jacks. There is a series of A3 boat guides with the channel marks on them. I got them locally and couldn’t find them on the net. A smart phone, Google maps on a satellite image & Navionics made navigation easier. Apparently south east along the Coorong down from where we pulled up gets a bit more limestone reefy and there is a place called "the Needles" prior to Hells Gate -( the very narrow section) we returned by the Tauwitchere Channel & self -operated lock. then onto Alexandrina and the back of Hindmarsh. & days went very quickly with a couple of non-sailing days, we reckon at least a couple or a few weeks to bet to know it well. Birdlife on the Coorong (Ramsar site) and frog noises on the river side were amazing! heaps of NZ fur seals. Imagine it would be much busier as summer approached. Heaps to do in Goolwa and the new public mariner (free) is very well appointed. Very quiet once away from goolwa, friendly, a little remote- Totally recommend it.
Wayne & Gretta Hill29-Sep-2012    Edit    Delete 

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