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Old 02-10-2010, 04:46   #1
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Forster Tuncurry Bar NSW Australia

Being a surfer this is one bar crossing that has always had me a bit worried. It has a reputation for a good right hand surfing wave that can get big and heavy. Last time I cruised by it was night so I anchored at the Boat Beach at Seal Rocks, which is not too bad in a southerly wind/swell, but always somewhat rollie.

Anyway, I was in Forster yesterday and decided to drop by the new Marine Rescue tower and get some advice on crossing the bar. Apparently it is a lot safer that I thought? The approach is well and truly from the south which avoids the shallow bank off the northern break wall. When I mentioned my 4’6” draught the radio operator did not make any adverse comments.

For advice when entering the usual procedure is to call the Marine Rescue on VHF 16 or UHF 30. You can also phone them on 02 6554 5458. There are navigation buoys/lights and lead lights etc.

Normal requirement for wearing of lifejackets when crossing strictly applies. The other thing to beware of is that because of the oyster leases in the lake emptying raw sewerage and/or holding tanks into these waters is strictly prohibited. Apparently there is a pump-out facility and/or public toilets onshore. Other thing is to beware of the isle in the middle of the channel and note the bridge clearance is far too low for sailing yachts.

There is a full supermarket on the northern/Tuncurry side of the harbour and a nice little shopping area to the south in Forster. Both an easy walk.
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Old 02-10-2010, 04:56   #2
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Hi Shane

Having lived there for a while you are absolutley right.

Like all entrances, pick your window and once your through you need to hug the starboard shore.

Pumpout facilities are in boat harbor on the left shore. Can be a bit shallow so aim for high tide.

The current can flow at 5 knots plus so make sure the engine is up to it.

Make sure you stop in and enjoy
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:40   #3
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Your thread title gave rise to my hope for a spiritual discussion - that is one concerned with those sanctuaries wherein we consume alcoholic spirits.

Notwithstanding my understandable error, the following may be of interest:
“Crossing the Bar”
An investigation of some dynamic processes which contribute to broaching while crossing a bar.

http://www.nmit.ac.nz/_Community/Doc...rBesier105.pdf
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:48   #4
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been in and out of there a couple of times - easy entrance. Problem is finding somewhere to tie up once you get in.
Regards, Richard.
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:27   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Your thread title gave rise to my hope for a spiritual discussion - that is one concerned with those sanctuaries wherein we consume alcoholic spirits.

Notwithstanding my understandable error, the following may be of interest:
“Crossing the Bar”
An investigation of some dynamic processes which contribute to broaching while crossing a bar.

http://www.nmit.ac.nz/_Community/Doc...rBesier105.pdf
Thanks for that Gord, it increased my understanding of the dynamics without needing a degree in maths

P.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:16   #6
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Hi Shane

Having lived there for a while you are absolutley right.
Like all entrances, pick your window and once your through you need to hug the starboard shore.
Pumpout facilities are in boat harbor on the left shore. Can be a bit shallow so aim for high tide.
The current can flow at 5 knots plus so make sure the engine is up to it.
Make sure you stop in and enjoy
I have been back and forth surfing and diving up that way for over 20 years, but that was the first time I have ever taken a decent look at the bar from the Forster side. To date it has been more like me to be camping out back of Seals or a few decades back hanging around Bungwahl and surfing Pacific Palms. Just now I have family ties in Forster in proper, so seem to spend a bit more time around the township and thought it was time to check the cruising access.

Like the radio operator explained the crossing is not as intimidating as you might expect when looking at it from up the beach at Tuncurry. Still like all bars I would be taking care. I have been in a similar situation where a boat I was on entering Ballina was forced into the southern wall by a big NE set wave that started coming at us from the northern wall. It is not a nice way to “go” and that we nearly did. Experiences like that leave you believing in “higher powers”! I expect the same would be possible on the Forster bar, especially in a similarly large NE swell?

As far as pulling up one of the Volunteer Coast Guard told me it is no problem to drop anchor in the channel – I suppose to the side a bit - and use the tender to get to shore. Well as long as you avoid the bank in the centre of the harbour, which is high and dry at low tide. On flatter days or in a NE I might have been tempted to drop anchor at the little beach directly inside the North wall. However, this has a shark net across it preventing its use as an anchorage. Glad I saw that one from the tower!
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:33   #7
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Your thread title gave rise to my hope for a spiritual discussion - that is one concerned with those sanctuaries wherein we consume alcoholic spirits.
Thanks for the article.

Don’t know about the alcoholic type but there were definitely a few of the Angelic variety on our side during the incident I mentioned above on the Ballina Bar. I was on a professional line boat and the skipper’s favourite topic was broaching. To be honest, as a goofy foot surfer who enjoys larger waves, I would have been much happier if he had a bit more experience with going over the falls on left hand sets (i.e. being pitch-poled!) and might have even taken the option I suggested of surfing left down the southern beach instead of attempting the earlier.

The only thing that saved us was the sheer hydraulic pressure of the bow of his well constructed boat slamming into the dead water between some submerged rocks within arms length of the dry southern wall. The equal and opposite reaction sent us sky high backwards. Luckily the engines were still going and it was full throttle before the next wave finished us off. I don’t think the skipper would have cared about shark netting on the beach just inside as we ran the boat aground to recover from the shock and assess the damage. Noting I really should have had a neck x-ray and the boat was lucky to escape with stretched steering cables.

I am sure some of the other “spirits” you will encounter on these bars are the souls of those who did not make the crossing.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:48   #8
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The only thing that saved us was the sheer hydraulic pressure of the bow of his well constructed boat slamming into the dead water between some submerged rocks within arms length of the dry southern wall. The equal and opposite reaction sent us sky high backwards.
Maybe experiences like the above are subconsciously why I went out and bought a very low free board and extremely low centre of gravity steel boat, not too beamy especially in the aft with a long cruising keel? While I love wood boats the impact of the former incident would have caused most (or even fibreglass) to instantaneously implode into a million and one splinters.

Lately I have also been really interested in the value of having a canoe stern. I don’t think I would ever get enough horse-power to have my old girl or similar up on the plane and outrun rouge sets, so this type of stern might be a good option?

Isn’t it nice how a bit of PTSD helps us think safe?
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:51   #9
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I believe a canoe stern to be a mere aesthetic affectation, with little (no) seakeeping or engineering value; he says whilst running and dodging.
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Old 03-10-2010, 15:17   #10
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I believe a canoe stern to be a mere aesthetic affectation, with little (no) seakeeping or engineering value; he says whilst running and dodging.
Maybe a good reason to stick with the old girl I already have!
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Old 03-10-2010, 16:08   #11
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Maybe a good reason to stick with the old girl I already have!
In my opinion, my unsupported & unsolicited opinion might not be a good reason to do anything.
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Old 04-10-2010, 18:50   #12
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In my opinion, my unsupported & unsolicited opinion might not be a good reason to do anything.
That's just, like, your opinion, man.
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