The distance from Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour is about 68 nautical miles, so in a fair wind we can easily manage 6.8 knots which equates to a sailing time of about 10 hours.
We therefore departed Port Macquarie at 7 am on flat seas with a predicted 15 – 20 knot wind – so all good. However, when we passed Crescent Head the flat sea suddenly built up to swells of 2.5 to 3 metres as a result of the 2 – 3 knot South flowing current fighting with the S-E winds.
As a result, we had to motor sail at about 2,000 rpm to counter the current and make headway. On passing Smoky Cape, the halfway mark, we realised we were running about an hour behind plan. The sea however reduced in height as we moved out of the current, but soon the wind turned N-E – on the nose, slowing us down. Back to the engine!
We arrived in darkness at 7:30pm at the Coffs Harbour Marina to tie up outside their office. We slept well after that. The next morning we climbed Muttonbird Hill which afforded excellent views of the town and surrounds.
We decided to stay another night at the Coffs Harbour “International” Marina (no less) because of the friendly staff and yachties. The day was spent filling the water tanks and chilling generally.