Meeting sailing friends at Lake Macquarie
10 January 2015 | Styles Point, Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia
Linda and Shelley celebrating our first face to face meeting on board Valiam
Position : 33 01.992'S:151 35.343'E
11 January 2015
Hitting the bottom in shallow water has always been a fear of mine. Give me open ocean any time with nothing to hit. After negotiating our way into Lake Macquarie we have spent several very relaxing days on anchor at Green Point. Green Point anchorage has a small beach backed by a grassy mound and bush. You can almost be tricked into thinking you are away from civilization until joggers with ear phones run past and people pushing prams. Nevertheless the outlook from Valiam was lovely looking right across the lake to the waterfront houses and hills in the distance. Sunsets are superb there.
The other day we took our big dinghy around to Belmont. Our friend Shelley recommended the yacht club for lunch so we zoomed over there and tied up to their jetty. Bill chose a burger and I fish and chips accompanied by bubbles and beer. A very relaxing place with a nice view over the yachts and harbour. As our larder needed stocking Bill drove us over to Belmont wharf walking distance to Coles. This is a very good place to provision and in fact we saw a yacht tied up there but there is a 2 hour limit. There is also a park with a tap which is handy to fill up jerry cans.
Back on Valiam with lots of fresh goodies including meat and vegetables we had steak for dinner that night. Lake Macquarie is a very friendly place and we received visits from local yachties including Watershed and Orac. For a while now, even when I was in Greece, I have been talking to many women on line on the Facebook group Women Who Sail Australia founded by Shelley Wright.
Shelley first contacted me 3 years ago after reading my book and following Lati's voyage across the North Atlantic. Since then we have been modern day penfriends talking to each other on line. We have sailed past Lake Macquarie 3 times as we were usually traveling too fast to stop or it was the wrong conditions to enter. So finally Valiam made it in so Shelley and I were able to meet face to face for the first time yesterday. Such a lovely person committed to looking after our natural environment having had many articles published in Scientific and sailing journals. Shelley and Steve sailed their gorgeous Endurance 35 yacht Orac into the harbour with her splendid tan sails. After the obligatory photos and champagne we enjoyed a Greek lunch on board Valiam. The afternoon went very quickly and I was very sad to say good bye.
This morning we woke up to grey skies and drizzly rain. At least it's not cold. We will try and escape from Lake Macquarie at high tide today. We have to phone the Swansea bridge at least an hour before to book an opening on the hour at 1pm. First we have to enter Swansea channel via the 'drop-over' which we found to be very shallow when we arrived. Our depth sounder recorded 2.4m and Valiam draws 2.1m. The bar won't have as much water over it either as it did the other day even at high tide. So here's crossing fingers.
There's a bit of a southerly which we hope will get us to Port Stephens a short 39 miles away. There are many photos of Valiam's voyage down to Sydney and back on our Facebook page 'Sailing in my Sarong'. Please 'LIKE' as 500 is the next target for our readership!