Waterloo Bay (Elliston)

This port consists of a roughly oval shaped bay about one mile across. The entrance is open to the southwesterly swell, which is almost always present. The entrance is almost closed by reefs, which reduce its usable width to about 300 metres. They also greatly reduce the swell within the bay, but in heavy southwesterly weather the entrance breaks right across and it is then impossible to enter or leave the bay and conditions even inside may become dangerous. On my arrival there I noted the absence of fishing boats and moorings and considered this a warning to be wary.

The entrance is traversed in daylight by lining up the leading marks, which are in the common form of triangles on posts. Even with binoculars these are not easily found and in some ways the task would be easier by night, when leading lights are available. The rear lead is on the shore near the start of the jetty. The front lead is on the seaward end of the jetty and is not easy to find. Under no circumstances should a vessel proceed unless it is clearly seen to be steering for the marks. Rocks and breakers to port and starboard give notice that this is no place for carelessness.

The best anchorage in the bay is probably to the southeast of the jetty near the small point which juts out from near the town. Even in quiet weather it is not very comfortable and I would not recommend a visit to Elliston except perhaps for a brief call for supplies in good weather. The bakery in the town is said to be particularly good, but I have not sampled its wares.

The passage out is made by using the leading marks again, but this time the process is a little easier, as they are more easily seen.

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