Monday, May 07, 2007

 

Ballina

7 May
Ballina to Gold Coast, QLD 63nm 11.20hours
Pulling anchor at 7.15am we passed through Ballina heads-Alan and Ella were on the breakwater to farewell us. We would have loved to stay longer but need to meet up with Sam before she enters the Navy.

We motored as there was no wind and stayed coastal to avoid the current. Passing Byron Bay lighthouse-the eastern most point of Australia-the wind picked up and with conditions improving we decided to bypass Tweed Heads and continue on to the Gold Coast. We were able to see the highrise for a fair distance off. Sunset came and went and we entered the heads in darkness and anchored in Bum's Bay just off Sea World. There are lots of boats here-long weekend holiday tomorrow.

6 May
We were picked up at the beach by Alan and Ella and taken to a lovely roadside cafe for a big breakfast. Driven around to see the sights, beautiful green hills, lots of macadamia plantations and a coffee farm. We had a coffe and pancake at the coffee farm and headed back to thier farm. Had a tour of the farm, 7,500 trees on a beautiful hill. They have converted part of the shed into a beautiful home, basic but very comfortable. We spent the afternoon learning to sort nuts on a conveyor belt ready for market.

Finishing at 5.00 we headed off to the local pub for dinner and back to the boat.

5 May
Allan and Ella Greenaway are picking us up for breakfast and taking us to visit thier macadamia farm.

4 May
Went across to town again, had a coffee and explored the Maritime museum.

3 May
Caught the bus to Byron Bay and wandered around town and the beach. Lovely place. Bought a massage chair. I went for a paddle in the surfski across the river and back.

2 May
Took the dingy across to town and walked around the town. It is a lovely clean town and is close to the water. There was a sale on upholstery fabric and we bought some fabric for new sofa throws. They are on already and look great-cost $2.00 per metre.

On return we talked to Paul and Bernadette (two deaf sailors) and after that I put the surf ski in the water and went for a paddle.

1 May
Headed off to Ballina through the Yamba Illuka Heads right out to the 20 fathom line at Evans Head bombing range (F111's) as it was active. The water was a beautiful saphire blue and we had a good trip. Paul saw a stingray jump out of the water and a pod of dolphins feeding not far from us just out of the heads.

We arrived at Ballina one hour after sunset, there was a full moon which gave good visibility. Crossing the bar was fine and we anchored in Mobbs Bay. We will head off to explore the town today. Samantha has been officially accepted into the Navy and leaves at the end of the month for Melbourne.