|Vessel Name:||Pied-a-Mer III|
|Vessel Make/Model:||Seawind 1160 Catamaran|
|Hailing Port:||Clatskanie, OR|
|Crew:||Pam & Eric|
|About:||Pam (the Admiral among other things) Our wonderful boat cat Rose spent her final year with Terrell in the US. She lived a good life, loved to sail!|
|Extra:||Live a boards for four years mostly in Mexico. Currently cruising the east coast of Australia.|
We have taken very few trips inland during our 6 months here in OZ. We did a couple of day- trips by train, one to the Blue Mountains and one to New Castle. In New South Wales Sunday travel anywhere by train is just $2.50 AUD, fits our cruiser's budget! Recently we treated ourselves to a two day "tourist" experience in Maryborough, Queensland, traveling inland by boat. Most "yachties", as we are referred to by Ozzies, don't take their boats up the river to Maryborough because, in spots, it is very very shallow. We timed the tides and had no trouble tho we did motor very cautiously. The Mary Marina sits on a portion of the river that resembles the Clatskanie River and Wallace Slough----much like home. Maryborough was first settled in 1847 and was a "free" port of entry between 1859 and 1901----no convicts here. The town is full of historiccez buildings and homes, with many serving as museums. We purchased a "Portside" ticket which included touring the Customs House, The Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum and The Bond Store. All three were very interesting, especially The Bond Store where we bought a bottle of delicious Port. Every place we went there seemed to be a volunteer guide to answer questions or share stories---it was really hard to move on, they all loved to talk. Maryborough's other claim to fame is, the birthplace of PL Travers, author of the Mary Poppins books. There are references to the "happy nanny" throughout the town. From a stationary store we purchased large sheets of paper and two pencils and did 5 brass rubbings from her stories, each one has a little umbrella holding nanny in it. People would stop and comment as we were rubbing and Eric would say, "These are for our grandchildren"-----good Lord, they were for us! Don't imagine we will do anything with them but it was a fun project. This morning we crossed The Wide Bay Bar, which in these parts is comparable to crossing the Columbia River Bar only longer---three miles from the beginning to the end of the bar. It does not go straight in, it weaves through the shoals----lots of fun! Yesterday we checked with the Coast Guard in Tin Can Bay as to any changes in shoaling and way points. They requested that we call them on VHF before we got to the first lead lines and then call them when we were over the bar---all was good. It's not really as tricky as it sounds as long as you have good weather, which we did. We then motored a few miles and anchored at Rainbow Beach, thankful for an easy crossing. We continue our southern route to Manly/Brisbane where we are scheduled to speak at a Seawind "Seabatical" gathering.
I guess I was just born at the wrong time or to be more accurate I have not kept up with the times. Learning to sail has been and continues to be a steep learning curve----using a new washing machine has now been added to the list. Doing laundry should be a "no brainier", right? Four years ago when [...]
Sounds like we are having a real party, doesn't it? Well, our adventure continues, but this bar hopping is not a party. We are now sailing up the north coast of New South Wales, heading to Queensland, Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsundays. Our first order of business is to stop at The Boat Works in Coomera, haul out for just a few days to change oil in the sail drives, check and probably change zincs and touch up bottom paint. We have two choices for the first portion of this trip; night passages or day sail and anchoring at night. We are doing a combination of the two. The anchorages on this section of the Australian coast are all in rivers off the Tasman and Coral Seas which means we must leave the sea and enter the river via a bar, that area where the sea meets the river. Our home in Oregon is 40 miles from the Columbia River Bar in Astoria, one of the most treacherous in the world-----we respect bar crossings. So, in planning our routes, in addition to weather we must also factor in tides, currents and swells at both where we are going, if it's a bar, and where we are leaving, if it's a bar, and it's always a good idea to make bar crossings in daylight both into and out. It is a great big puzzle to get everything exactly right. Despite the puzzle aspect of crossing bars the passages and the people at the ports make it memorable. Port Stephens was our jump off point for this trip and we left the anchorage at Nelson Bay on 4-10 at 1756 wanting to cross the Camden Haven River bar around noon the next day. We had a dolphin escort a couple hours before we reached the bar---both adults and babies, they played around the boat for about 45 minutes, jumping, diving and gliding. Does anyone ever tire of watching a dolphin ballet? I don't think so. On 4-12 at 0826 we left for Port Macquerie crossing the Hastings River Bar around 1230 (very short trip that day). That afternoon we visited with new Australian friends Alan and Tania on sv Somewhere who shared with us a web site with a web cam at each of the bar crossings in New South Wales---a very good tool. We left Port Macqurie on 4-13 at 0952. While we were reefing, on my midnight to 0400 watch, I was hit in the face by a very wet flying fish---at first I had no idea what had slapped me! We sailed all night in order to cross the Clarence River Bar, at around noon on 4-14. There we met Pepe and Bear Millard who 8 years ago left Plymouth, England for a two year cruise on their boat Beez Neez--that's cruising! Then the next day 4-15, we left Iluka a little after noon so we could cross the bar at Southport around noon on the 16. During the night we lost our second reef line, went to third reef and continued----motor sailing. The excitement for this night was finding ourselves in between two cargo ships---one going north and one going south. The wrong course change by any one of us would result in big trouble. Eric called the captain of the ship that was going north as it was the one that could most likely be a problem----our AIS indicated that that the closest point of impact could be 44feet! Little to close. Unbeknownst to us another sailboat was watching the three of us on their AIS and were worried. While we were at anchor in The Spit in Southport, they came by and told us about watching the three of us and their concern. This pretty much sums up our "bar hopping" and now I am ready for a bar with wine or beer!
Goodbyes are hard, be it family, long time friends, new friends, anchorages or cities. Recently we have had to say goodbye to all of the above. This is one of the "downsides" of cruising. In reality goodbye is final, our goodbyes are more hopeful. We certainly plan on continued family visits and visits with longtime friends. Fellow cruisers are a very special group and friendships are cemented quickly and to these special people we say, "See you someplace in the world". We would like to think that we might visit favorite cities and anchorages sometime in the future, will we? Lastly, and so special, are the local friendships we have so enjoyed. We were fortunate in Sydney to meet and spend time with several "Sydneysiders" who shared their families and City with us. At this point enter "technology". Depending on where we are and where cell towers are, we can communicate via email, FaceBook, Sykpe and phone. One of the first purchases we make upon arriving in a new country is a SIM card for our phone which allows us to have local numbers and Internet via cell phone. If you can get a cell phone signal more than 2 bars you have Internet access and no longer have to search for an Internet cafe. In the last month we have visited and hugged family and friends in Oregon and Washington. We have taken several bush walks, visited wonderful museums, beaches, shops,cafes and anchorages in Sydney. We have spent time with local residents who will continue to be a part of our lives. So, I guess " goodbye" is really not what we are saying. We are saying "till next time"---Be it in person, email, FaceBook or Skype.
In spite of numerous boat projects, we continue to explore and enjoy the Sydney area. 2016 began with us at anchor in Balls Head Bay with torrents of rain. We were "boat bound" for a few days with 5 gallon buckets on either side of the cockpit catching the lovely rain water. (While our water-maker [...]
Our trip down south. Wanted to take Pied-a-Mer III back to Woolongon as that's where she had been built. Jervis Bay was a highlight because that's where we were able to meet Melinda Mathews Brogan, Melinda Altamirano's Australian pen pal (and we didn't take one photo of her)
Created 19 April 2016