18 September 2012 | Coffs Harbour
Was that a sleep or a general anaesthetic?
Our visit to Brisbane was an in-and-out affair: arrival at Caloundra at 20:00 Friday night, the long motor into Moreton Bay and through the reefs and shoals to Brisbane River Bar, through the commercial docks and up to Rivergate Marina (arrival 09:00 Saturday - a long journey after "arriving" at Caloundra). Check-in, fork out $618 AUD, collapse into coma having had 2 hours sleep in the previous 48, wake and call Emma and Ian ("Desire ll") our cruising friends and arrange to meet them. Lunch Sunday with them, a quick trip to the IGA Supermarket and back on board to leave at 20:00 on the outgoing tide for Coffs Harbour. Same snake-like exit and then the open sea at 05:00 Monday morning.
We had a gentle trip to Coffs, with light NE breezes and no hassles for most of the voyage. From the moment we cleared Moreton Bay and slid south past North Stradbroke Island, we were almost surrounded by whales. They are prolific this year - adults and calves frolicking and sunning themselves - mothers seeming to instruct the young in the correct methods of breaching, tail-slapping and rolling. It is nice to see how the numbers have recovered in the last few years. We had one very close encounter as we raised the mainsail just out of Moreton Bay, near the fairway buoy, when one curious adult came and just sat watching what John was doing for a minute or so from a distance of 10 metres - close enough to smell his bad fishy breath!
Coming into Coffs we were set upon by a severe electrical storm but the winds and waves from it were insubstantial and we were able to motor into the Marina as it passed (we were within internet range so Shauna monitored its progress on the Met Bureau website - so useful!), and Pete Walduck was there as usual to greet us and help us onto the dock. A couple of very welcome lagers with Pete and a reheated curry saw us off to bed for 10 hours of the deepest slumber we have had for many a week.