Awake at 5.30am, yawning as I put the kettle on, I slipped on my clothes in readiness to pass through the Swansea Bridge which was due to open at 6am. With a 2 knot current pushing us into the channel, Wayne carefully steered through the narrow bridge entry into the Swansea channel. The depth of the Swansea bar was quite shallow however the shallowest part of the overall entry into Lake Macquarie is apparently the ‘drop-over’ at the end of the channel.
Travelling along at 3 knots Wayne weaved Blue Heeler through the clearly marked channel. At one point our depth indicated zero depth under the keel, however Blue Heeler has a buffer of around 300mm so we figured (hoped) we still had a little room under the keel. After 40 minutes we passed over the drop-over into the lake into some 5-6 metres of water.
There is no paper chart to cover the lake area, nor does our chart plotter cover this area, so all we had was the local water guide downloaded from NSW Maritime, our eyes and depth sounder. We printed off the guide over a number of pages, glued the pages together and produced a reasonable chart. It’s not ideal, but it’s enough for us to travel slowly around the lake for the next few days.
It was still early when we entered the lake and with a proposed south-westerly of 20 knots today decided on Wangi Wangi bay for our home. We arrived at 7.30am and grabbed the one and only courtesy mooring. It’s a lovely location here and we’re close to the Wangi shops so it wasn’t long before I was itching to get to shore to look around and take the opportunity to pickup some fresh supplies. The rain began tonight and with a cold front passing over the south east over the next couple of days, rain should stay for a while. With the 24 hour limit on the mooring, we’ll find another place to stay tomorrow night and take our time and enjoy the sites and bays of Lake Macquarie over the coming days.