Monday, March 26, 2007

 

Port Stephens


26 March
Went to marina to fill with water and do a couple of loads of washing. It is very social in the marina. We met a boat that sailed through the two days of 30knot+ winds from Lord Howe Island and Sassoon from Maloolaba. Chris came over for a farewell cuppa before we headed off in the morning.

25 March
Raining and very windy. Paul took Gene and Cate ashore between rain and wind squalls. We had Footloose II over for a cuppa and went over there for a sundowner.

24 March
Gene and Cate took us to the Hunter Valley wine region. We had a lovely day and it really is a beautiful area, reminds me of the Margaret River area. Very hot day but wine tasting was pleasant. We bought cheese, bread and olives and ate it in the garden of a winery. A really lovely day.

30 Knot winds started last night, played 500's and then hit the sack.

23 March
Sailed from Fame Cove to Nelson Bay to pick up new sewing machine from Post Office and do a bit of food shopping. Then sailed to Salamanda Bay and picked up a courtesy mooring. Expecting Gene and Cate night. They arrived at 9.00 and we had a game of 500's.

22 March
Taking the dingy up the inlet we went a long way, right up to main road and bridge. Upon return we then motored to Fame Cove and dropped anchor (had to do it twice due to soft mud). It is Hot 30+ degrees and met Jane and Harry from Comorant again for a cuppa.

21 March
We rang Samantha early in the morning for her birthday. I got into the dingy and washed the hull of the boat so it was clean and then treated the few rust bits that were coming through. Paul recieved the latest SeaMap disc. He installed it and got it up and running.

We motored slowly to North Arm Cove (we were going to Lemon Tree Passage but the tide was low and the depths minimal). We picked up a mooring in this bay, there are houses on the West side and bush on the south. Very pretty.

20 March
We both went ashore and explored this township, The beach has white sand and clear blue water. It is Samantha's 21st Birthday tomorrow.

19 March
Paul caught the bus to the dentist. I went to Bunnings to purchase sunshade material. I spent the day sewing back shades for the boat until I picked Paul up early that afternoon. They repaired his tooth and all if fine. The anchorage is rocky so have motored to Salamander Bay.

18 March
Spent the day sewing up a canvas cover to cover the middle of the boat. I am not loving my sewing machine as it is having a hard time with the canvas-broken six needles-so the cover does the job but I would not show it to anyone. Paul stays out of my way as I lost my temper a few times.

17 March
It rained last night and this morning it is very overcast and is a relief from the heat and humidity of yesterday. Picked up a courtesy mooring next to Azure. Paul is catching the bus tomorrow morning at 6.45am to Newcastle to see the dentist so we are going back to Nelson Cove.

Spent the day sewing up a canvas cover to cover the middle of the boat.

16 March
NE came in yesterday, making this a very rolly anchorage so early this morning we dropped the mooring at high tide and and motored (no wind and water still like glass) to Fame Cove watching the sunrise underway. We picked up a courtesy mooring in this lovely cove. It was a hot day and we went swimming, the water was warm. Coco was thrown into the water from the front of the boat and swam to the rear where she could climb back on deck. Now we know she will know what to do if she accidentally falls in.

15 March
Took the dingy into shore, tied up at the marina next to "Aphrodite" and explored the township of Nelson Bay. The wind is coming from the NE and we are going to head off tomorrow am to Fame Cove as the anchorage is getting rolly and we are having a pizza night tonight onshore with Chris.

Paul chipped his tooth and broke a section off. Paul will catch the bus to see dentist in Newcastle on Monday.

14 March
Lake Macquarie to Port Stephens-45.5 nm Total time 6 hours and 50 minutes.


Left for Port Stephens motoring down the Swansea channel at high tide, not bottom bouncing this time, we had a bridge opening at 9am.

After going through the bridge we did hit the bottom slightly going out over the bar but all okay. Putting the sails up we motor sailed to Port Stephens (we were going to Newcastle but the weather on the water was superb). The swell was 2-3 metres we went out to sea as there was NE predicted which we could tack into Port Stephens. We went close to many big ships waiting out from Newcastle.

The entry to Port Stephens is majestic, green headlands giving way to white beaches with sparkling white sand and clear blue water. Chris from "Azure" is here too. We picked up a mooring at Nelson Bay close to Azure and had dinner and drinks aboard Cockatoo. It is so good to see him again and catch up on all the news.

Listening to the big tourist cruise boats on the radio calling each other and telling each other where the dolphins are-poor dolphins.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

 

Lakes Entrance (Lake MacQuarie)

13 March
We motored around the corner to the public jetty to fill up with water, we did two loads of washing.

The wind picked up and we sailed to Belmont Yacht Club were we picked up a mooring outside the club. We put the washing out all over the boat-looking like a chinese laundry and got some looks from boats passing by.

We went ashore, had a drink and lunch at the club before heading off down the main street.

Leaving at 7.30am for Newcastle/Port Stephens tomorrow.

12 March
Hazy conditions this morning and swell was picking up as there was a strong Southerly expected tonight. We motored to Pulbah Island and then sailed with genoa as the sind was behind us. We anchored in beautiful Styles Point near Rathmine Reserve. We went ashore for a walk through the reserve-lots of birds, rosellas, galahs, kookaburras and ended up at the other side of the point where there was a small shopping centre. Northern Star was here as well. We were well protected from the southerly that evening.

11 March
Motored to the south side of Pulbah Island were there are no boats and a mooring free. Picked up the mooring and will do a bit of fishing while the newletter is written up.

No fish, decided to explore down to Mannering Park end of Lake Macquarie where the powerhouse is so motored and anchored off a bay south of Point Wolostoncroft. There are lots of skiers in the area and a catamaran "Mahi Mahi" selling hot food. Dave and Lynn came over for a drink and a chat later that evening before heading back to their marina.

10 March
Carole and Len from "Running Gale" the other Roberts Offshore came over for morning tea, we had a lovely time and then Paul built the shelf around the water separator in the workshop. He even tidied up the workshop and it looks fantastic.

9 March
Overnight it was raining and very windy. We waited for the tide to rise making our way up the channel. It is well marked and there were a few places that were very marginal, touching bottom. One spot we waited a while for the tide to rise more. It is quite deep once in the Lake.

We motored to Toronto Bay, where we picked up a moring outside the RMYC while we went ashore and explored the township of Toronto.

Here we purchased more fishing tackle, sunshade and wood for some jobs we had to do on the boat. We also shouted ourselves a cappacinno while we read the newspaper.

Dropping the mooring late afternoon we motored down the Wangi Wangi bay before putting sails up and tacking to the northside of Pulbah Island in the middle of the bay. There was a mooring free so we picked that up. The island is a nature reserv e and looks a popular weekend spot as it is busy filling up with boats. There is a strong SE expected and we will be protected here. Paul took the dingy across to another Roberts Offshore that just arrived and did not come back until 8.30pm.

8 March
39 nm 8hours and 30 minutes
Well we left Brisbane waters in the Hawksbury at 9am as the tide was just coming in, we were still touching bottom as we went out over the bar and this took us about 1 hour.

We then headed off for Lakes Entrance with light winds around 10kts (18km) this slowly increased to around 16kts allowing us to sail up the coast for a fair way. Tracy moved the main and lost the brake over the side so Paul got busy and fixed it up making it possible to do this from the cockpit rather than having to go out on deck. Clever man. We arived at 4.30 pm at low tide crossing the Swansea Bar with breakers on our starboard side touching the bottom as we went in here also but did not get stuck. We had on our lifejackets (law in NSW) and the companionway boards in just in case but it was a perfect crossing..

It was quite amazing to see how many ships are waiting to go into Newcastle for coal as this AIS photo shows over 60 are at anchour.

The bridge opened early for us and we have taken a courtesy mooring up river as the tide current was very strong deciding to wait until morning to venture further upstream as some of the depths are minimal.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

 

Hawkesbury River-NSW

7 March
Took the dingy up the river and went food shopping at Woy Woy. The dingy was very laden on return as we could not get it out on a plan. Got the boat ready for open water as we are leaving for Lake Macquarie tomorrow.

6th March
Woke late and decided to explore Pittwater went around the bay and Scotland Island. We passed Palm Beach where Home and Away is filmed. We put the Asymetric up and as we passed by the headland we got caught in strong winds so pulled it down agan. Brisbane Waters entrance is very narrow and very shallow in spots. We got stuck on the bottom, grounded, thank goodness for motors. The channel is not correct, the ferry actually travels outside it so we followed it in with the dingy in front checking the depths. Took a mooring at Hardy's Bay. Had a well deserved glass of wine.

5 March
We had an appointment in Sydney CBD and caught the train into the city, we stopped to see sunrise being filmed in Martin place and then spent the rest of the day at the American Embassy organising our visas. As there was a severe wind storm expected decided to head to Pittwater and picked a mooring up in Coasters Retreat. Very windy and lots of rain.

4 March
A huge luxury motor cruiser had anchored off Cottage point so we sailed around her on the way back to Brooklyn. The cruiser was called Boadicea and belonged to Reg Grundy. Dropping Gene and Cate off we decided to have dinner ashore and met up with Ella and Alan whom we had met
on Texas Lady in Sydney. We than had coffee back on board.

Thunder and lighting and strong winds during the night.

3 March
After picking Gene and Cate up we took a mooring at Refuge Bay. We all swam ashore and all went under the waterfall before taking off to Castle Bay sailing with a good 15-20 knot breeze behind us. Had a BBQ aboard and played a game of 500's.

2 March
Motored taking mooring at Refuge Bay where the waterfall was running. We took the dingy ashore and had a shower under the waterfall. Had drinks aboard Kiwiriwa III before motoring back to Brooklyn for dinner ashore. We were picking up Gene and Cate for the weekend.

28 February
Woke up with eggs and Bacon on the back deck. Mist is low on the hills and the water very very still. We motored to the end of Smith's Creek before heading back up into Cowan Creek on way to Bobbin Head (home of the Halvorsen). We were able to see where the fire had raged through previously. We refueled and restocked with water before heading off to Lord's Bay. Heavy rain cover came over as we picked a mooring up. There were lots of huge jelly fish in the water.

Coco is getting braver exploring in the boom and right back out to the solar panels, she still won't go back on the backboard as she has had too many bad experiences, but she keeps in touch with the oracle of the plughole (inside joke).

27 February
Rain stopped so motored to next bay. It is again a beautiful bay with water streaming off the cliffs. Picked up a mooring and took the surf ski for a paddle, We had a lovely peaceful relaxing day. There is mist up on the hills and the water is very still and reflective.

26 February
Yesterday I dropped Paul off at Jeruselum Bay so he could walk to the train and catch it to Sydney as we require bearings for the motor water pump. Bildge pump is working overtime. Paul stayed overnight and returned the next morning. the pump was fixed and then went to Brooklym.

We needed to be at Brooklyn so we could collect the surf ski purchased. We had a drink at the local Angler's Club while we waited for the truck.

We then took the boat to Stingray Bay. Raining, visibility poor as there was little wind we motored and picked up a mooring.

23 Frebruary
After taking dingy ashore and walking part of the Great North Walk we returned and headed down Coal and Candle Creek finally taking a mooring at Yeoman's Bay just up from Castle Bay. Insatiable III is here as well. They are an American couple which we met in Tasmania, thier sister Alison is on board as well. Had a sundowner and a BBQ dinner on board.

22 February
Took the dingy ashore to look at waterfall, it was not running due to lack of rain. Then we moved onto to Pinta Bay, one bay down from Jeuselum Bay. We put the shades up as it is a hot day. We swam, Paul put Coco in the dingy and did a bombie off the back of the boat which scared her and she leapt of the dingy trying to get back to the boat and missed falling into the water.

21 Frebruary
Motored as I had my art all over the table. We had a lovely trip across to American Bay and took a mooring right at the end in 4 metres of water. Tomorrow we will go ashore and check out the waterfall. There are two eagles soaring near the water, one a baby. Paul replaced the impella in the generator.

20 February
Castle Bay to Brooklyn, we explored the Jeuselum Bay area and took the slow trip to Brooklyn. w
We had Steve and Leanne from Brooklyn aboard for a BBQ dinner.

We think this area reminds us of the Gordon River, with woodland rightdown to the water.

17 February
After a beautiful day swimming, eating, drinking and exploring. Enjoying everyones company we saddly headed back to Brooklyn to drop the Whalley's off.

After they leave we sailed back to Castle Bay. We had the bay to ourselves as all the other boats returned home to go to work.

We had been missing Coco, assumed she was hiding from Savannah but she had actually climbed into the bildge and locked herself in. She was covered in grease so she was washed.

16 February
We motored across the river to Brooklyn to pick up our guests for the weekend being the Whalley family also the gen set needed a new impeller so Paul went looking to see if he could source a new impeller. We have picked up a courtesy mooring. Expecting Peter, Rene and kids to stay over tonight.

Stitched zip at rear sail cover (sun damage) and also the bilmni plastic zip (small tear). It is a hot day and there are boats galore out on the water.

Peter, Rene and kids arrived late afternoon and we motor sailed back to Catle Bay/Lagoon. We anchored and tied the stern to a tree. We had a beautiful BBQ on board. I forgot how fast young children can move, Savannah is nearly two. She was standing at the top of the steps and I thought she was going to fall so I leapt up. caught my foot on the cushion banged my head on the cockpit and still saved Savannah. Kyle is only three weeks old and is such a gorgeous baby.

15 February
After Battery chargers arrived we left Port Jackson at 11.45am for the Hawkesbury. We had a hot day with 15-20 knots coming from the N-NE with all sails up we where sailing as close to the wind as we could to save the tacks at times we motorsailed to keep the boat speed up at over 5 knots. We had a few waves of water over the deck as the swell was running at about 2 metres but all in all it was a very pleasant trip. Arriving at 4.25pm we took a courtesy mooring at Refuge Bay. Upon entry into the bay and as we where about to drop the main the boom jibbed and Tracy forgot to duck got the boom across the head , splitting her ear it was lucky that there was no power in the sails at the time as we where basicaly into the wind.

Lots of boats and power boats in the bay, bush down to the water, very pleasant, a lovely nights sleep.