A Big Thank You
26 October 2013
We would like to thank Shannon for looking after our Melbourne affairs, being secretary, handyman lawn mower man etc etc etc , we will also like to thank Joanne for looking after our mail in Sydney and John for doing the lawns at Corlette and keeping an eye on the place.
Also to all our friends and relatives that kept in touch with us via phone and messages, your kindness and support is greatly valued and appreciated :)
We are home :)
25 October 2013
Steve managed to temporary mend the auto pilot but by then we missed the weather window and we stopped at Forster / Tuncurry as 25-30 nt winds were predicted , going through the bar was another "interesting" and "breathtaking" situation but it all went well, as we were going through we could feel so many eyes on us, all the fishermen had stopped to watch us going through, maybe that was the entertainment for the day lol.( mind you there was no cheers like we had going through the Camden Haven bar lol) We also notice the guys from VMR watching and later they congratulated Steve on a job well done.
We do enjoy going around the beautiful area but at the same time we were eager to get home , so after three days the conditions improved not perfect but better than what it had been (actually the bar was a piece of cake ) so we headed home.
18 months after leaving Melbourne and exactly 6 months after moving aboard in Port Hacking we are now arriving in Corlette, Port Stephens , to our new home!
It has been a wonderful experience, we both learnt a lot, we met some lovely people, we visited some amazing places and Steve has done a fantastic job, we have had some lows and some highs but that is all part of the journey.
We are envisaging to be pretty busy settling into retirement with some of the things that have been mentioned...... woodturning, kayaking, gardening, bonsai ing , Marine rescue volunteer, animal shelter volunteer, the garage will be divided so half of it will be a workshop, Bravado needs quite a bit of work, the list goes on and on, just as well we are retired !
Finally heading in the right direction!
17 October 2013
Arrived Coffs at 8am after a 26 hour journey, it was a great feeling that we were progressing !!!!
The weather for the next few days wasn't good, strong winds , high swells , choppy seas and torrential rain, we havnt seen rain since June so it was quite an event.
Did the usual laundry & grocery shopping we also walked up Muttonbird Islandd, glad to inform you that it was easy and nothing like North Brother in Camden Haven.
We left Coffs on Sunday with the intention of doing the 32 hour journey to Corlette in one go, but as we all know.... things dont always go to plan, Otto the auto pilot has decided to play up , the sea conditions were not great so we decided to detour to Port Macquarie. Going through the bar was "interesting" but as usual Steve did a fantastic job.
Not sure when we will leave Port Macquarie, need to check the weather and Steve is trying to fix Otto.
Sorry no photo as my camera got wet in Byron Bay and Steve's photos are too large and the system wont accept them
Exploring the Gold Coast
14 October 2013
We are feeling restless and eager to get home, we never thought it would be so hard with so many delays. The weather forecasts have been very inaccurate and unreliable often with predictions of strong gale warnings and then at the last minute being cancelled. One of our friends, Irene, a veteran cruiser of something like 30 plus years tell us that seasons like this one are call "hard work season" it appears that not all years as as difficult as this one. This also explains why so many cruisers leave their boats in Queensland. Another thing that Irene mentioned was that some cruisers on go every 2nd or 3 year.
There are several boats waiting at Southport, some taking a risk and making a move south others like us waiting for the more favourable conditions.
In the meantime we made the most of if took a bus to the Gold Coast, it has been many years since I 've been there, I found it to be looking a little tired, it just didn't have the sparkle that it did years ago. We have also explored all the surrounding area by foot which we enjoyed, Steve has lost quite a bit of weight since starting cruising, 5 notches off his belt to be exact, as for me I just love chocolate and cheesecake too much lol
09 October 2013
After 5 very uncomfortable days in Byron Bay awaiting for the right weather conditions to head south and with no improvement insight we decided to backtrack to Southport.
Going backwards was a very hard decision to make but after very little sleep and what felt like being in a washing machine we felt it was the right decision to make.
Talking to other cruisers its evident that we are not the only ones having problems heading south and this is just part of Cruising Life.
As for Byron Bay "Its a sh!t of a place and I never want to come back again" this is quite a strong statement from someone who hardly ever swears and is normally quite calm.
Here is todays sunset
07 October 2013
The weather reports for the past couple of weeks have been very inaccurate, Steve checks at least 3 websites, BOM, Willy and Seabreeze, often contradicting each other.
Today it looked ok and we were hoping to get to Coffs or at least to Yamba/Iluka, by the time we were passing by Ballina the wind had turned, the swell was very high, the sea was rough after a conversation with Marine Rescue at Ballina we decided to return to Byron Bay and wait for the next window to head south.
The upside to all this is that there are still lots of whales around so it distract us from the waiting game.
06 October 2013
After walking around town and doing a bit of grocery shopping we headed back to the dinghie, by now the waves were breaking close to shore and they have a vicious streak, as we tried to push away from the beach the waves kept on breaking flooding our dinghie with our three insulated shopping bags floating inside the dinghie. Steve and I completely soaked, after dragging the dinghie back to the sand flipping it over and trying again we finally reach Bravado, strangely enough the groceries survived not so lucky was my camera and Steve's mobile.
Later on Steve was sitting in the cockpit when he notice a young kayaker not far from Bravado having problems, by now he was separated from his kayak and it looked like he was struggling making to shore. A quick call to marine rescue and requesting for the life guard from the beach to come and collect a very grateful young man. ahhhh life is never boring !!!!
Photo taken prior to beach drama !
Ohhhh Byron Bay
05 October 2013
Our intention was to go direct from Southport to Coffs Harbour, it was going to take us approx. 30 hours, however soon after leaving a strong gale warning was announced so it was decided to stop at Byron Bay for protection. With the high swells and rough seas the anchorage is very uncomfortable and we are getting minimal sleep.
Being Sunday we headed to town to the famous Byron Bay markets, I really enjoyed them (I am not sure Steve did), just walking around looking at the homemade arts and crafts and also people watching is always very interesting their alternative life style.
Finally back at Bums Bay
02 October 2013
The next day after waiting for the rising tide again we continued our way to Bums Bay, as strong Southerlies were predicted there were huge amount of boats anchored at one end of the bay. They were a bit too close for our liking so we anchored just away from most of them. After spending a couple of days just relaxing and topping up the fuel and water we were on our way again.
Continuining along the Inland Passage to Jacobs Well
02 October 2013
With the rising tide and Bravado afloat we were again on the move, however nightfall was approaching so we headed a few miles down the passage to the quaint fishing village of Jacobs Well which is situated halfway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast