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I am local from Woonona. That’s near Bulli and very close to Bellambi Boat Ramp. I am writing this post in an effort to save some of you ‘Out of Towners’ a lot of stress and antics on the ramp. In return for these nuggets of wisdom I ask that you respect our ramp and the others that want to use it. Those who have launched at Bellambi may have noticed a lot of locals standing around drinking beer and waiting for novices to come and go. This is great entertainment. Viewings start from 5am and go right through to dusk. Every nice weekend day at Bellambi offers multiple prize balls up by unlucky and un prepared sods. It is these balls up that the Ramp Rats live for. I will do my best to give you the information you need in order so you do not become a spectacle and the highlight of their day. GOING OUT PREVIEW THE SITUATION Yes I know the ramp is filling up fast and it’s chaos. The parks are disappearing and you’re just keen as to get out. Please don’t rush this ramp if you’re not in tune with it. We locals know the deal and make it look easy. Take some time and survey the ramp. Wait and see how far the surge is coming up and wait long enough to see if there is any cross swell. Bellambi gets a nasty cross surge that comes back from the beach and rips along the front of the ramp. This has claimed many many boaters at Bellambi. Make a plan for how you’re going to deal with it. LOW-TIDE Low tide is tricky at Bellambi. It gets shallow and much of the jetty is un-usable. When you’re doing your pre check. Notice how the Jetty side of the ramp is so much shallower than the far side. The sand builds up here. If you’re in a larger boat 5m + it is best to roll off your trailer on the far side when the tide is dead low. Plenty of boats let the boat roll off the trailer at low tide by the jetty and their transoms go straight into the sand…stuck! Add some cross swell to this and the spectators are reaching for another bevvy. You see the sand builds up and can often be higher than the edge of the ramp. DON'T CATCH YOUR BOW Another trap for new players is the Jetty is often at the perfect height for your bow to swing under and get caught under the jetty. Add some surge on the ramp (There’s generally always surge) and your poor wee boat gets thrown around like a rag doll while you have a total panic trying to get it out without smashing part of your body in the process. Ramp Rats are really enjoying themselves now. I have seen this a few times and trust me, you don’t want this to be your boat. Easy to happen at Low Tide while your struggling with your transom swinging around in surge and swell. LOW TIDE BIG ROCK There is a rock that comes up 1m or more from the edge of the sea wall just off the edge where the sea wall takes a left angle. At dead low this is at a pretty lethal depth. Make sure you don’t cruise past brushing the sea wall or you may get a brush underneath. In some lighter Quintrex boats this might not be so good. THE BOMMIE Stay on the Port side of the Red Marker Buoy. Don’t cut in on this if you don’t know the area and especially if it is dark. NAV LIGHTS!!! Unbelievable how many people leave in the dark in little boats with no lights and then decide to fish close to the ramp near the marker buoy. Right where everyone is coming out. If you don’t have the right lights then wait for the sun. One day someone at Bellambi is going to get run over I swear it. Almost every time we launch before dawn we come across some idiots who either don’t have them on or forget. We yelled out at some idiot a few weeks ago which we came way to close to and he said his lights did not work….like that’s ok then…not your fault? DON’T LEAVE YOUR BOAT ON THE JETTY Don’t be in-considerate and leave your boat tied to the Jetty and then stand around talking. Other people need to use the Jetty. We need to pick up crew or for guys launching on their own they need to tie off. We have asked some prize tossers why they are sitting on the jetty and we have had responses such as. “Waiting for our mate” …… Don’t launch if your mate is not there or launch and wait for him in the boat in the harbour or, screw him he’s late. Go fishing. “The battery is dead” ……Sorry no excuse to launch a boat with a dead battery. Get the boat of the water and deal with it “What’s the hurry”…… It’s 6am in the morning you inconsiderate ******* We all wanna go fishing put out your ciggy and lets go. One morning we had three boats tied up to the Jetty and not moving and 5 boats circling trying to pick up crew with more boats trying to launch but could not as no space. All these boats tied off were from Sydney and none them cared the least about the drama they were causing. Anyway after waiting and waiting my mate jumps on one of the boats, I pulled up my nose to the boat and he jumps on. These turkeys are yelling at him and he yells back some well selected words. From now on this is what we will be doing and I encourage others to do the same. Just use their boats as an extension of the Jetty. GETTING READY Understood, you need to get your boat ready before you can launch. Don’t park at the top of the ramp blocking access to a lane while you fart around. Remember at Low Tide Bellambi turns into a single lane ramp. If people come who are ready and swing in to the ramp in line with where your parked then don’t get snotty. Understand this, we don’t get up super early to watch you muck around. If your in that position you need to be launching not almost there…” hold on” “wait a minute” “Where’s Kalib”? “He’s 10 min away”. Seriously, get out of the way! COMING IN. Come in slow please. The wee harbour is a pleasure to snorkel in and lots of people do. Many or most don’t run Dive Flags as they are kids, so please be careful. Also people fish off the Jetty. Give them a chance to get their lines in. It’s not your private ramp mate! Same rules apply to coming in as going out. Don’t park your boat besides the cleaning tables. Get your esky off, no worries but don’t leave your boat there. Ok if the ramp is not busy but when it’s flat out your just being in-considerate If Locals give you advice, listen. Don’t leave whole fish carcasses to rot and stink. Feed them to the Rays or throw them over the sea wall. Don’t tie off at the Jetty and fart around. Get the boat out asap. Other people want to use the Jetty and people probably want to fish from it as well. JET SKIS Well you lot are not really very welcome at the ramp at all, but you have as much right to it as the rest of us. But the harbour is not a Jet Ski rec area. Please, launch your Jet Ski and then go somewhere for your boring hobby. Don’t buzz around the small harbour ruining the area for everyone else. Please know that you’re having a heap of fun but the people trying to fish, snorkel, fillet fish, having a looksy etc and retrieve their boats are becoming highly annoyed with you acting like a tosser. Also when you won’t leave the wee harbour it looks like you’re too scared to go out and about in the scary ocean. You look like a sissy. Perhaps the lake is better option for you? So be safe at Bellambi Ramp. It is a tricky one when the weather is a wee bit off and it is a very busy ramp when the weather is perfect. But also above all remember that you need to be quick, in and out. Show respect and do your best to not come unstuck. Don’t rush into disaster.