Friday, December 22, 2006


Xmas 2006 Newsletter

2006 has been an event filled year
as we decided to try our hand at sailing in the Roaring 40’s circumnavigating Tasmania. Tamara and Samantha came with us for part of this trip, meeting us at Launceston for Christmas, sailing up the Tamar River, around the North East corner of Tasmania, swimming at Wineglass Bay before catching the bus at Swansea to Hobart for their flight home. I don’t think Tracy cried so much when they left but we enjoyed their company.

Continuing on we visited the stunning anchorages that Tasmania offers, such as Port Arthur, D’entrecasteaux Channel, Recherché Bay, Port Davy, Gordon River, Hunter Island Group convincing us that Tasmania was a cruising paradise (just need to heat it up a bit). And YES we did complete a total circumnavigation of Tasmania.
Wintering in Melbourne at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club Paul and I went back to work in order to top up the cruising kitty. Paul worked for Flagship Australia and Tracy at the Thomastown Library.

Danielle and Chris came over to Melbourne for a week to visit staying with us on the boat. They took off to explore the Great Ocean Road and attend an AFL match before heading back home to Perth and their new house.

Paul finished work one month before Tracy, and took this opportunity to do some maintenance on Cockatoo II, getting the rigging replaced, the sails restitched, moving the Nav Table, installing a diesel generator, etc. We took the opportunity to explore the delightful Port Phillip Bay before heading out the heads on our way to Sydney.

Tracy got a beautiful kitten called “Coco” for her birthday. “Coco” loves cuddling up underway. Anchored at the stunning Refuge Cove we left our mark at the Boat Wall of Honour before embarking on the long trip to Eden through the Bass Strait Oil fields.

You can read more details at

Sydney is our Christmas destination as we are planning to catch up with Samantha for Christmas Day and plan to see the Sydney Harbour Bridge lit up for New Years.

· Tasmania-sailing the Roaring 40’s
· The fantastic people we meet along the way
· Seeing the girls again
· Crossing Bass Strait
· Sailing up the Gordon River
· Visiting Darwin

Not so good parts:
· Hitting a submerged uncharted rock
· Leaving people we meet
· Chris and Lilly “Azure” departing on their trip north

All the girls are busy with their lives and we are so proud of them all.

Danielle and Chris are in Mandurah and have moved into the house they have built. Both are working hard and enjoying life.

Samantha has completed her Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science and has moved to Brisbane Queensland when she has been accepted into a Masters in Occupational Therapy.

Tamara has deferred her uni and is working at Bankwest. She has found a new place to live in Hilton with other friends.

Paul and I send you all our best wishes and hope that you have a safe and happy Christmas and that the New Year brings you good fortune and good health.

We would love to hear your news. Please contact us by email

Paul and Tracy Bushell
Cockatoo II

Gordon River, Tas.-reflection.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Eden to Botany Bay

24 December-Christmas Eve
Botany Bay

Left 9.30 on an overcast day, after a quick breakfast and cuppa tea. With the main up to stop the sloppy seas making us too ill we headed off to Botany Bay-5nm. Fancy sailing into Botany Bay where Captain Cook sailed before-anyway it is industrial and not as attractive or romantic as I thought. Never mind we are here with our middle daughter on Christmas Eve!! Sydney tomorrow.

23 December

High tide at 10.55, Dropped the mooring lines and headed back to Cronulla. We decided not to go up the other bays as tide was limiting us as we wanted to be back at Port Hacking to pick up Sam and do a little shopping before hand.

Tied up at the Club wharf and refilled with water, we went across to see Chris and Marylin on "Mutineer" to see how their new auto pilot installation was going. Had a lovely cuppa aboard before we went in to stock up on Christmas goodies. Fresh fruit, meat and booze. We had to carry it all back to the dingy. Returning we had a nap and headed up the club for a Christmas drink with Chris and Marylin (The club had lots of poker machines, TAB, TV screens, etc and very noisy) before heading off for dinner and to meet Sam.

Dinner was Chinese and we caught the train to the domestic airport where Sam had been waiting for us since she got off the plane. It was cold and wet, we got off the train donned out wet weather gear and took the dingy back to the boat. Sam was well and truly welcomed into our lifestyle. Hitting the sack about 11.30pm we slept well.
22 December
Gooseberry Bay

A quiet day, rained again last night, woke up to an overcast day but the sun has appeared. We may install the new saltwater pump today, but Tracy has her nose in a book so it may be difficult to get her to assist. We will spend the night here heading off on high tide tomorrow back to Cronulla ready to pick Sam up at 2100 Saturday night from the Airport.

21 December
Gooseberry Bay

This is the view from our boat.

Leaving at high tide we headed up river to the Royal National park, having to pass under electric cables and over shallow shoals. Paul negotiated all successfully and we are now on a mooring owed by the yacht club in this beautiful serene, forest with the noise of wind through the trees, cockatoos noisily chatting. It is a very popular spot with boats coming and going.
We spent the day relaxing and enjoying this beautiful sunny day.

20th December

We caught the train. We had to go to Whitworths to pick up parts for the new salt water pump.

On the way back-we called into the secondhand bookstore and exchanged some of our books before getting back to the yacht. The wind was still strong pushing us against the jetty. We waited until nearly 4pm before the wind abated and we could get off and re anchor.

It poured with rain during the night, so the boat has been rinsed well. The dingy had to be emptied as well as it was quite full.

19 December

We got one night free at the yacht club and $20 for each night thereafter.
This morning we took the dingy back to Cronulla and did some fresh fruit and vegi purchasing and posted our Christmas Card we also caught the Train into North Sydney to pickup our mail as this is being fowarded to a friends place, had a small walk around Sydney as well

18 December

Tied up at the Royal Motor Yacht Club and filled the tanks with water. Had a long warm shower and two loads of washing. Leaving the boat looking like a Chinese laundry we then we took the dingy over the other side and walked up the mall, down to Cronulla Beach which is beautiful and had lots of people swimming and sunbaking on the beach.

Taking a train trip up the rail line we got off to attend a physio for Tracy's sore neck.

The wind had increased to 30 knots on our return amking it a very wet trip back to the boat-another rinse off in the shower. Thankfully all the washing was still attached (maybe it was the ten pegs on every item that helped).

17 December
Jervis Bay to Port Hacking - 75 nm

We left Jervis bay at 5.30am and motor sailed for 12 hrs to Port Hacking, it was a lovely trip with large pod of bottle nose dolphins seeing us into the entrance of Port Hacking, the wind started off at 5 kts SW and slowly swung around to a NE at 15kts just as we arrived. Seas were calm and sun was out but there was still a cold wind. Anchored in suburbia (Gunamatta Bay which is the next bay up from Cronulla). The coast line had huge sheer cliffs on the way up and we could see the Sydney city skyline and the planes taking off from Sydney airport as we came up the coast.

16 December
Darling Road to Vincentia to Darling Road, Jervis Bay-6nm

Kookaburras woke us up the morning after a beautiful sound nights sleep. After a leisurely breakfast we took off to the town of Vincentia. We motor sailed as the wind was very light a southerly 5-10 knots. Vincentia is a holiday town with white sand, lots of holiday homes. We took the dingy to the beach and bought some provisions and the paper.

Motoring back as the wind was right on the nose, we took up the same mooring and will prepare for our 70nm trip tomorrow. A coast watch plane went over head, we listened to them radio back to base reporting that there was a 1.5 metre shark in the bay up from us.

15 December
Surfside Beach, Bateman's Bay-to Darling Road, Jervis Bay-53 nm

The Southerly came in late last night waking us up, and making further sleep difficult as the swell came through making the boat rock. We slept on and off rising at 3am to prepare for departure. The wind was gusting from 20-40 knots and the well was up to 4 meters, thankfully it was coming from the south and was behind us. The south wester never came in. The weather was overcast and it rained (good for the bushfires and the water table). We were wet and cold with waves crashing over the deck and over us occasionally. Dolphins were on our bow and surfing the waves near by, coming leaping up out of the water. We pulled into Jervis Bay which is very well sheltered from the southerly and took a mooring at Darling Road, near the Naval Academy. The trip taking 8 hours.

Jervis Bay is a Marine Park so they do not like one using the anchor due to damage it can cause to the sea grass. Beautiful white sand, blue crystal clear water and forest down to the beach. We are moored near the Hole in the Wall. We took a stroll along the beach this afternoon and walked upto the Hole in the Wall and also walked up the main road through the forest.

14 December
Chain Bay to Surfside Beach -Bateman's Bay -1nm

Thinking that the NE has passed us by we poked out nose out of the headland only to be greeted with a NE gusting to 30 knots. Decided the wise thing would be to reanchor so sailed at 3 knots to this beautiful beach. It is a very hot day temp is meant to be 30 degrees and feels every bit of it.

13 December
Broulee Island to Bateman's Bay/Chain Bay-10 nm

Leaving Broulee Island at a respectable 7am we headed up to Bateman's Bay before the NE was due in. We wanted to get to Jervis Bay but also wanted to be at anchor before the NE came in at the expected 30 knots. There was no swell and no wind so we motored, anchoring in the beautiful Bateman's Bay off Chain Bay.

We took the dingy into the town and posted items and bought a loaf of bread. It is a very beautiful clean town and very much a holiday town. Taking the dingy up the river we went under the bridge and saw the electrical wires across the river further up at a Height of 15 metres, to low for us to get under. On our way back the swell rose to about 1 metre making the ride back very bumpy. We met a couple Bev and Graham on "Prince of Tides" who are planning to head of next year when they sell their farm.

12 December
Eden to Broulee Island-75nm

Arose early morning 4am after a restless night with winds. Made breakfast and a cuppa before heading off at 5am on a SW change. Dolphins led us out of Twofold Bay and followed us up the coast. We stayed coastal so as to avoid the currents, with the winds at 20-25 knots we sailed at 7 knots. Paul put the fishing lines in but did not catch anything. The wind dropped out later so we motored the rest of the way anchoring off Broulee Island at 5.30pm. The trip taking 12.30 hours.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Hastings,Victoria to Eden, NSW

4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11 December

Moved to East Boyd Bay as the Southerly is due in with a vengence-swell was almost 2 metres on the way from Snug Cove. A sever weather warning and thunderstorms due in the next several hours. SES states that loose objects be put away or secured, unplug computers, avoid using the phone, stay indoors and away from windows and keep cars from under trees and power lines.

Anchoring we nearly lost the anchor as the shackle had worked its way loose. Tying another rope on the anchor we pulled it up over the side and reshackled the anchor. Whew! If the anchor dragged last night it mught have been interesting re anchoring without an anchor.

We be staying aboard and keeping an eye on the anchor alarm. Ready to head off early am.

Updated the photos in our website and I finished reading a book. Paul worked on the website and emails. Rather a lazy day again. We have decided to head off Tuesday morning to Bateman's Bay early.

Lazy day-reading and doing a bit of maintenance. We went into town, had a shower, collected the mail, and did a bit of shopping. Visiting the Eden museum was interesting as there was a killer whale called TOM that used to herd the whales into the bay for the whalers to slaughter. Emptied the rope locker to fix the salt water pump, Paul altered the exhaust on the generator and we went over for dinks on Phencara this evening. It seemed like we were slowly drifting back (there is a hug barge behind us) so pulled anchor on return (pitch black) and re anchored. Slept soundly.

Paul got in the middle of the night to get the fly spray for one mosquito and left the cupboard open. When we got up the next morning half a packet of cat food had been devoured by Coco-she had eaten through the cardboard box.

Just got an email from Raima-WA. She is taking 6 months off work and will be travelling around NZ. This is the third person in so many days.

Invited Carolyn and Stephen from Phencara and Sarah and Rupert from Burning Palms over from drinks. A very pleasant evening. Sarah and Rupert are heading off to Tasmania tomorrow morning and staying in Peter and Sue's pen at Kings Pier Hobart-small world. We told them to say a big hi for us.

Having a rest day-Paul has a new Next G card and is playing around with the computer and I of course and here updating the blogg. We are wondering how Dave is going and how close to home he is. Wage Easy has been sold, Gene is off to France-it is all happening out there. Samantha heads off to Brisbane on Sunday. Tamara has to vacate her unit by 5th January. I'll put the kettle on and ponder on what is happening in the universe.

We took the bus to Bega to check out the area and attend a doctor's appointment, I have been experiencing dizzy spells and have a virus. The dizzy spells make life interesting making the rolling of the boat even worse. I cannot wait until it passes and I am able to walk up the front of the yacht without feeling like I am going to fall over. Returning to Eden the winds had moved to a Southerly 25-30 so we had a very wet trip out to the yacht pulling anchor and reanchoring in East Boyd Bay again.


We moved to Snug Cove close to the main town. We took the tender ashore and explored the lovely township of Eden. It is very much a country town and a holiday place with lots of motels and places to stay. It must be in transition as there are quite a few shops closed down but overall a lovely tidy clean town.

We met a english couple who are sailing and have taken four years to get from Melbourne to Eden. They also have been doning a lot of land cruising as well. We had a cuppa on board thier yacht and enjoyed their company for the afternoon.

3 December 2006
Bittangbee Creek to Eden
2 hours

Heading off to Eden at 2am with a southerly wind we had a lovely sail staying close to the shore to avoid the swell. We got a call from Dave Henderson whom we were hoping to catchup with, he had just purchsed a new yacht and was heading back to Adelaide. He was at Gabo Island so we just missed seeing him. He had tried contacting us by phone but we had been out of phone range until we got to Eden.

Approaching Eden we saw a large pod of dolphins feeding close by. Entering Eden we anchored at East Boyd Bay, near the woodchip loading wharf.

30 November 2006
Refuge Cove to Bittangbee Creek
36 hours

Paul unable to sleep decided to head off at 11pm rather than at the agreed to 3am. Heading off out the cove we found little wind and medium swell so motored. The wind soon picked up to 30 plus knots and the sewll to nearly 3mtrs. We were lucky it was all behind us and we reefed in the sail. The winds abated about 2am, then we had a very pleasant sail. We saw one trawler who passed by very cloe to us. Deciding that the entrance to Lakes Entrance was too dangerous to pass over the bar we decided to head on thwards Eden.

Passing through the Bass Strait oil fields was interesting with the huge structures rising out of the water in the middle of the ocean. We were buzzed by a helicopter checking us out. Halfway across there was thunder and lightening, Paul placing our spare GPS into the microwave-just in case.

The next moring we were greeted by dolphins at our bow. Passing Gabo Island the swell abated and we were soon entering Bittangbee Creek which has three catamarans already anchored. We anchored and meet these sailors who were heading through to Lakes Entrance, having a BBQ on shore.

28 November 2006
Cleeland Bight (Phillip Island) to Refuge Cove
12 hrs 30 minutes

Waking early to greet a delightful day-with variable winds, we motor sailed leaving at 4am and arriving at 4.30pm in the delightful Refuge cove. Two other boats were already anchored and there were lots of backpackers walking the beach. We anchored in crystal clear water and took in this beautiful pristine marine park. The quietness and beauty austounding us. The two days here have been sunny and warm, we will wait out the weather and wait for the westerly to come through. We got a scare when our anchor alarm went off and we pulled up the anchor in rolly and windy conditions to move to the north side but it was even worse there so at early morning (still dark and no moon of course) we re anchored and when back to bed sleeping in late.

Getting to the beautiful beach was tricky at the waves we coming in but we made it and checked out the boat camping area. There is a wall (wood) with all boat names engraved on it. We found Azure's sign so Paul picked up a piece of driftwood, got the planner and router out and made a Cockatoo II sign and it is now up there with the rest of the yachts on the wall.

We are planning to head off 3am tomorrow am for Lakes Entrance – Lake Macquarie with a noptorious bar. Will let you know how that goes.

27 November 06
Hastings to Cleeland Bight (Phillip Island)
5 hrs 30 minutes

With a reasonable swell and little wind we motor sailed to Hastings staying at the Hastings Marina ($30 per night) where we caught up with Di and Ross (Dolphin III), Iain and Jane (Just Because) and John (Fidelio) we unfortunately headed off early and missed catching up with Evan (Fidelio) who called us on the radio to wish us all the best. We meet some lovely people in the marina including Ray and Maria, and Laurie (Pieces of Eight).

We had to leave Hastings early (after a post office and bank run) as the tidal movement meant that we had to get out before low tide. We were aiming to be on the eastern side of Phillip Island so we could leave early for Refuge Cove arriving in daylight. The wind was on the nose until we got out of Western Port, motor sailing we anchored at Cleeland Bight in rather rolly conditions due to tidal swell.