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Seabourn Encore weighs anchor and departs due to swells

Disappointment for Batemans Bay today as the visit of the 504 passengers Seabourn Encore was cancelled due to 2m swells in the bay.

Image from Kate and Rob at South Coast Pix saying:

"What a gorgeous moody morning for the Seabourn Encore to be visiting the Bay." With waves often coming across the bar, the optimum time to disembark at the Ampol Wharf being high tide and with passengers being ferried by tenders ten at a time the logistics of bringing passengers and crew ashore on any given visit is difficult. Unlike Eden that has a purpose built wharf for passenger ships to come into any ship coming into Batemans Bay needs to anchor off the Toll Gate islands where it is exposed to swells and winds adding to the degree of difficulty for passengers, many quite old, to disembark. In the case of the Seabourn Encore Council’s manager of tourism Tim Booth said the visitors were a mix of international – mainly from the USA and UK – and Australian passengers, with an average age of 74. It was hoped by that passengers would have the opportunity to participate in several tours, including an oyster tasting kayak excursion, Clyde River cruise, electric bike ride with Aboriginal story-telling, or even undertake a day trip to Canberra.

Members of CABBI had set up a pop up art exhibition that was soon dismantled after the announcement the passengers were not coming ashore. Many might remember a previous visit by a cruise boat that saw great anticipation with hundreds of burger buns and rolls bought in anticipation only to be thrown away when passengers remained aboard and sailed off.

VIDEO: Tattoo from Fantasy Island 1978 announcing the coming of "The Plane, The Plane" .

Many long term businesses who have seen the ships come and go believe that Batemans Bay will continue to be a hit and miss location for passenger ships so long as it continues to not have adequate landing facilities. The long awaited Clyde River Foreshore Activation and Master Plan, commissioned by Council and developed by Tasmanian consultants, Inspiring Places will be unveiled to a select group at Council offices on Monday the 30th of March. It is hoped that the Master Plan has addressed the need for improved landing facilities. In regards to today's seas inhibiting access of tenders over the Batemans Bay sand bar work is expected to begin on the dredging of the Bay in coming days once some technical issues are overcome.

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