Cruise: Fleurieu Peninsula coastal hug

Myponga Beach jetty ruins.
Don't you wish you could just dial up perfect sailing conditions for the weekend? Whereas an extended cruiser can choose to simply stay in port another day or two, for the weekend sailor it’s the difference between getting out on the water - or not. Being at the mercy of the weather and being simultaneously pressed for time is not a good combination. One tends to either sail in less-than-ideal conditions and/or minimize sailing time. For example, I've sailed back and forth between Adelaide and Kangaroo Island dozens of times and when pressed for time I invariably sail the rhumb line, which takes you 10 to 15 nautical miles offshore way out into Gulf St. Vincent. Unfortunately the price of such expediency is missing out on some beautiful coastal scenery.

So after my last sailing trip to Kangaroo Island I resolved to leave Arriba down at Wirrina Cove, until I had a chance to sail up the coast at a leisurely pace. That chance came last Saturday with a SE forecast in the 10~15 knot range. A southeasterly would mean a beam reach and flat seas, whereas a more common southwesterly would have meant running under spinnaker and bigger seas - by no means terrible mind you!

NB: On the way to the marina we hit the wonderful Willunga Farmers Market to stock up on supplies. The Market, which is held every Saturday, is one of the best farmers markets in South Australia.

From Wirrina Cove our first waypoint was 35°24.3'S 138°19.5'E, just north of Carrickalinga Head.

Cliffs near Carrickalinga Head.
Along this section of the coast it's possible to sail within a couple of hundred meters of the shore and still have 20 meters of depth. There's only one nautical hazard along this route. About one mile off the coast of Carrickalinga Beach in the vicinity of 35°25.3'S 138°18.4'E there's an abandoned, half-sunken wave energy converter. In March 2014 the 3,000-ton machine was under tow when the airbags supporting it failed, causing it to lean and partially sink. The wave energy company has since gone bankrupt, so we're stuck with the eyesore for a while.
Abandoned wave energy generator near Carrickalinga.
After clearing Carrickalinga Head the coast bears away to more of a SW-NE orientation. Three miles further one is abeam of the lovely Myponga Beach, a small beach community tucked into tiny Coweelunga Bay, offering shelter from E through SW. Myponga Beach was once a small port that served the needs of its farming hinterland, but all that remains are posts of the old jetty (top photo).
Myponga Beach.
Our next waypoint was near Snapper Point (35°16.0'S 138°26.2'E), cutting across Aldinga Bay in the process.

NB: It is very shallow around Snapper Point so give the point a wide berth.

At the 20-mile mark from Wirrina (or 27-mile mark coming the other way from North Haven), one is rewarded with the beautiful cliffs at Blanche Point, at the southern end of Maslin Beach (35°14.7'S 138°27.9'E), offering shelter from NE through S to SW. In my opinion this is best place for a halfway stop between Adelaide and Wirrina. Anchor in as close as possible to shelter from a SW, and expect some swell to wrap around Blanche Point. Be advised the southern end of the beach is a nudist beach!

NB: Exercise caution rounding Blanche Point. The charts incorrectly show 2m of water within 50m of Gull Rock when in fact there is only 1m.

Cliffs at Blanche Point.
The map below shows our route thus far.
Wirrina Cove to Blanche Point.

North of Maslin Beach the coastline runs north-south and Adelaide's southern suburban sprawl starts to make its presence felt in earnest. By now the wind had now swung to the south, which meant it was time to jibe and regain some sea room.

36 nautical miles and almost 5 hours since departing Wirrina we were abeam of the beachside suburb of Seacliff, which I decided was a good place to drop anchor for the evening. The final 14 miles back to North Haven could wait for another day!

NB At Seacliff be sure to tuck in close for shelter from NE through S, although it can be a little bumpy with westerly or southwesterly swell.
Brighton Jetty, just north of Seacliff.