Medina Bay - No Way!


tonyhSat, 26/05/2018 - 3:23pm

Observations by Gary Sylvaney - a NAC boating resident.

Having arrived in the Cove just 6 years ago, my first close involvement with moves for a Community Jetty and Community Boat Ramp occurred with the Royal Haskoning DHV Survey during 2016. Prior to that, it was the disappointment experienced when I discovered the Council Plan prominently displayed at Casuarina Reserve in 2012 for a Community Jetty and Ramp was not going to happen. It had played a large part in our decision to purchase a property across the road from the Reserve.

At the time we had a Fairway 36 moored off the Reserve. Each trip out involved quite heavy back strain launching and retrieving our dinghy over an earth drop off. I blame this for lower back pain which developed and subsequently brought an end to my much-loved membership with our RFS Brigade. From personal experience a boat ramp was needed for NAC.

My personal view has always been that Casuarina was a very good choice for both Jetty and Ramp. I know the argument against a ramp there related to length required. A ramp three times the length of the subsequently installed Dinghy Ramp would have satisfied most tidal situations, not been excessive for reversing down and allowed easy launching in most conditions.

No good crying over lost causes however so it was time to move on and the Survey had my total support. These people had to know what they were doing, right. So wherever they said the much-needed Community facilities should go I assumed would be fully researched with all factors considered. My only private thoughts related to adequate parking for both facilities and what looked like significant excavation requirements at Medina if it was to be the recommended location. The facilities seemed at last within reach. As we all now know, the costs associated with Medina were high and the site was rejected by Council. 

Skip ahead to 2018. My attention was focused elsewhere, this time on drainage issues particularly in Cove Blvd. This involved a deal of time physically walking the road, looking at drains whilst keeping a weather eye out for vehicles coming and going to avoid their path on what I realised for the first time was a quite narrow road. Most inappropriately titled a Boulevard, my dictionary giving a definition of “wide street”.

It was during NACRA’s Drainage Survey that it became very obvious to me, Medina Bay was a most unsatisfactory location for a Community Jetty and Ramp.

On two occasions I witnessed vehicles towing large boats having difficulty passing each other and having to drive their near side wheels well onto the gravel verge. On one of these occasions, a group of children were also playing on the road area, with bikes and scooters. A not uncommon sight on weekends and holidays due I guess to a shortage of common level playing areas. The combination of these three factors, two trailered boats with driver’s attention focused on close quarter manoeuvring plus playing children, a totally unacceptable safety risk.  Our village roads are not wide enough nor designed for passing vehicles towing large trailer boats.

From being a strong supporter for these much-needed facilities within the Village, I now firmly believe when they happen as they will, they must be located at the northern or southern end (e.g. Brackens Bay), so that an increased level of boating traffic does not require access to narrow residential village roads such as Cove Blvd.

I have found during my 77 years of life that “Everything happens for a reason”.  Medina”s failure further confirms my experiences.



Thank you to all our sponsors including

Port Stephens Moorings, PO Box Nelson Bay 2315