Jenny and I attended this event a couple of years ago and decided to go to Narooma again this year and to spend some time afterwards on this wonderful coast. Narooma is located 700 Kms from Melbourne between Bermagui and Batemans bay. It has a lovely waterway called Wogonga inlet and an excellent caravan park right on the water within walking distance of everything.

boats at Narooma Boatfest 2011We arrived on Friday with plenty of time to set up and meet our Sydney/Lake Macquarie friends. The program for Saturday was a trip up the inlet to a morning tea stop but heavy rain fell all night Friday accompanied by a strong wind. We woke on Saturday to still more heavy rain and nobody rushed out of bed. The consensus was that the camp kitchen looked good for morning tea, and there we stayed until lunchtime.

Over lunch we got a call from the locals that the weather was clearing and launching was at 2 pm, into the water the boats went, and we did the morning's cruise in the afternoon in brilliant sunshine.

On Saturday night we had dinner in the fishing club over the water, watching the sun go down.

boats at Narooma Boatfest 2011Sunday morning we were all ready for the run along the mouth of the inlet past the boardwalk where many locals could watch the great parade of boats at close quarters. Showery conditions prevailed at the start and many umbrellas and bimini covers went up. We had Penguin’s sun awning up so it protected us from some of the rain. (The bimini cover is on the list of things to do). The weather again cleared by the time we got to the boardwalk and put on a good display for the locals. After the parade we rafted up 6 boats to a buoy and enjoyed morning tea on the water.

On Sunday afternoon we went on a run to another part of the inlet and local, Malcolm McKay took us in and out of all the little bays. Between 20 and 30 boats attended and we had the use of marina facilities all weekend to moor and display our boats. Penguin had not been in the water since the Yarra trip in May but performed well with no more than the usual clinker boat leak, taken care off with the now, auto bilge pump.

boats at Narooma Boatfest 2011Lake Macquarie members Wal and Chris Macadames had their newly restored 80 year old putt putt MV Fisher, powered by a Blaxland twin. This boat was built on Sydney Harbour, by a boat builder whom Wal knew, and had deteriorated to very poor condition. The restoration was extensive, requiring multiple planks and ribs replaced and all topsides. After our Sunday morning tea raft up the motor refused to start, and Wal suspects the magneto coil is faulty, the one part he did not restore.

After the weekend we spent a relaxing few days exploring the coast and inlets, and enjoying the mild if showery conditions. This is a great event that can be incorporated into a holiday in the area as we have done to make the trip worthwhile.

David Stott