Saturday, May 28, 2011

Southport to Mooloolaba (23rd to 28th May)

Monday morning and it is time to leave the hustle and bustle that is Southport and head for quieter shores.  We are heading up the inside route which at times is quite a navigational challenge.  'Hope Harbour Marina' was our destination for Monday night.  The day was beautiful and quite warm although we know there is a bit of a front on the way which is due to bring some heavy rain.
Hope Harbour is a quite little marina up the Coomera River - not far from Sanctuary Cove.  As the boat show ended on the Sunday there was plenty of NEW BOAT traffic heading the opposite way!!

Ian & Karen - Tipplers Passage
Tuesday morning we headed over to a little anchorage called Tipplers Passage which was a  really pretty little place.  We stopped there for a spot of lunch on the aft deck before tackling the 'Shallow Part' of the inside channel near Jacobs Well & Steiglitz.  We timed our run to get through there close to high tide and almost made it through apart from a very gently nudge on the first lot of shoals.    After plenty of winding and weaving we got to our anchorage at Brown's Bay about 4.30pm just in time to see a spectacular sunset.  It was a pleasure to be out of marina's and back on the pick for the night.
BBQ Night - Manly Harbour
Heavier winds were forecast for the Wednesday and that is very much what we got with up the 30knots across the decks,.  We finally emerged from the maze of the inner channels into Moreton Bay and headed to Royal Queensland YS at Manly for a few days of R&R.  We caught up Leapy for a meal on Wednesday night at RQYS and also happened to run into Jimmy the Magician (from RMYS) who was trolling the bar.  The State of Origin game was televised at the club and luckily for us we were all barracking for the Maroons or else it might have become a bit ugly in the bar.

Thursday was another beautiful morning and we all had a leisurely day wandering around Manly.  Looks like we have also lined up a place to leave Sally on the trip south when we head home for Xmas.  Rose and Dave (Quinco) dropped in for drinks and it was great to catch up with them again - amazing how times flies - apparently they have now been living aboard for 7years!!

Sally at the Moreton Bay Boat Club

Friday morning and we were on our way to Scarborough which is right at the top end of Morton Bay.  We had a lovely sail and pulled up to Pontoon 1 at the Moreton Bay Boat Club for the night which happened to be right out the front of the club which was kind of handy!!
Deception Bay - Scarborough

The gang was up bright and early this morning for the trip to Mooloolaba which is about 35NM north of Deception Bay.  Upon arrival at the Mooloolaba Yacht Club Marina it was time for a late lunch of fresh prawns on the rear deck before going for a wander up into have a look at the town. 

We are hoping to get some good boogie board action here as we have set up camp for the week.
Tomorrow Karen and Ian will be leaving the boat and heading down the coast towards Ballina for a few days before heading back to Melbourne.
Michael and Monica are hoping to come and join us on Friday for the next part of the adventure

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Time in Southport (17th May till 23rd May)

Sun Rise approaching Gold Coast
We did an over-nighter from Yamba and as we got closer to Southport the lights got brighter and as the sun rose we finally got to see just what a crazy place the Gold Coast is!

Originally we were planning on staying at the Southport YC but were not able to get a suitable berth but luckily we were welcomed in at the Marina Mirage which we found out is the home of the super yacht. 

Little Sally
It was quite enlightening when we quickly figured out that we are the 'little boat' in this marina and we have to wait till at least 9.00am in the morning before the sun rises due to the height of the decks around us.  Basically this place is mad - great fun to visit but not quite the place that you would want to live.  There are helicopters flying in and out all day, there is a floating church, a million and one eating places and a lot of really big boats up for sale.

The "Liquid Church"
We had to say goodbye to Leapy Lynda on Thursday after a very big celebration on Wednesday night.  She is off to spend some time with friends in Brisbane and make plans for the next leg of her travels.

Thursday was a pretty damp day but did manage to find some time in between the showers to wander up into the main part of Surfers and have a look around the myriad of shops, tour booking agency's and souvenir shops.  We decided to head off to the Boat Show at Sanctuary Cove on Friday which was also pretty mind blowing.

Our new crew Ian & Karen Hughes arrived on Saturday arvo so went and had a bit of a swim before they arrived.  It was also presentation night at Safety Beach SC and through technology we were able to become part of the evening through a Skype hook up (thanks to Ross & Louise).  It was great to see all the members and we were thrilled to find out that we took out the double whammy!  Mark being awarded the very prestigious title of  "Club Person of the Year" and myself & the Sharpie crew taking out the Club Championship for the second time in a row.  Naturally we were all very excited and really thrilled that we could actually be part of the event!!
Sea World - Dolphin Encounter

Sunday was our day for adventure at Sea World,.  We are got out of bed early and prepared for our Dolphin Encounter which I have been wanting to do for years,  It was amazing being so close to these fantastic creatures and we were even allowed to touch them which is apparently equates to a job well done in dolphin speak.  Anyhow we all had an awesome morning which was followed up by some roller coaster action, the amazing seal show and some more dolphin encounters before we finally wandered our way back to the boat.

Tomorrow morning we leave Southport and will most probably be heading to Hope Harbour Marina up the Coomera River.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Coffs Harbour & Yamba (14th to 17th May)

Alan Lucas's Boat - Soleares
We made it into the Coral Sea and got into Yamba well and truly before any nasty stuff arrived.  We were greeted at Yamba by a few of the local including the cruising person's guru - Alan Lucas.  He currently has his boat "Soleares" berthed at the Yamba Marina.

We headed up to the largest Bowl's Club in the world for dinner and then watched a bit of footie before hitting the sack.

Clarence River Bar
View from the Pacific Hotel - Yamba
The weather in Yamba has been delightful with cool and crisp mornings but lovely warn and sunny afternoons.  We have done a few walks around the town and checked out all the local surf beaches. 

Due to the location we decided that we must go to the Pacific Hotel for lunch on Monday.  What an awesome view and the food was excellent.  Due to the large surf and ebbing tide the bar looked a whole lot more menacing than when we made our entrance on Saturday,  We are intending to go out in the flood when we depart for Southport late on Tuesday!!!

Leapy headed off early this morning for a yoga class as the life saving club - pretty nice way to watch the sun-rise over the beach.  As the swell has now dropped off a bit and the waves more 'Di Size" we decided to drag out the boogie boards and go for a bit of a surf this morning.  The water is amazingly warm and the waves manageable so we had a really fun time.
Main Beach Yamba
Lunch is not far away and we will then start getting organised for our over-nighter to Southport.  The plan is to leave around 15:00H and arrive tomorrow morning (Wednesday) around 9:00H.  The forecast is for light winds, low swells and a full moon so a lovely night for a yacht.

We will be staying in Southport for about 5 nights and have another crew change coming up!  If all goes well we are planning to do a swim with the dolphins at Sea World on Sunday morning so can't wait!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Forster Tuncurry to Coffs Harbour via Camden Haven & Trial Bay (11th - 13th May)

After much rain in Forster Tuncurry we woke to a bright sunny day with light westerly winds on the 11th May.  Our original destination was Crowdy Heads but as we were making excellent progress decided to continue on to Camden Haven (Laurieton) which is about another 10nm down the track. 

Perpendicular Point - Near entrance to Camden Haven

We arrived late into the afternoon and negotiated the bar (not much going on really) and had a fairly windy entrance we then headed to the visitors pier where we spent the evening.  Laurieton looks like a pretty little  wplace to spend a bit more time so hopefully we might get the chance to stay for a few days next time we are heading up or down the coast.
Sunrise leaving Camden Haven

Next morning we were up early again on our way to Trial Bay (~50NM).  Again we ended up having a lovely sail and arrived late in the arvo.  The weather was so delightful and the water a balmy 23.6C we all decided to go for a bit of a swim before dinner. 

The BOYS doing a bit of steering

It was a bit of a rolly night so we were all glad to get up and going on our way to Coffs Harbour.  Again we rose to a sunny morning and goods sailing breezes and made excellent progress to Coffs so managed to get in for a late lunch on deck.  We headed off to the Yacht Club for our evening meal and Leapy Lynda (now referred to as tinny) had a winning ticket in the meat raffle so we now planning a BBQ at Yamba in a few days time.

Marina at Coffs Harbour
Left Coffs this morning - the weather is certainly starting to get better and warmer as we head north.  There is apparently plenty of wind down south which is meant to be heading our way but hoping to make it into Yamba before anything nasty arrives.  We are expecting to enter the Coral Sea (Lat 30S) by 10:00H today *YAY*

The new hunter and gatherer

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Newcastle to Forster Tuncurry (6th - 11th May)

There have been a few issues with Blogspot so apologies about the delay.

We had a great time in Newcastle and went for a big walk around the town and it has certainly changed a lot since I was up hear last.  The marina is excellent and worth dropping in if ever you are up this way.

Rob with Leapy Lynda
 We headed off to Port Stephens on the morning of the 6th with the plan to spend a few nights.  We had a lovely night on the pick in Fame Cove.  The next morning we got in touch with Rob - some of you may remember him from RMYS (aka Morelli - sorry if the spelling is wrong!).  We had a great morning with Rob and he showed us his new project which is a house that he is building in North Arm Cove.  That night he joined us for dinner at Soldiers Point.  The marina at Soldiers Point is pretty flasho and has set a new gold standard in bathrooms and also berthing fees (the picture may explain a bit clearer).
New Gold Standard at Soldier's Point

The next day we headed up to Nelson Bay which is also pretty impressive.

En-route to Forster Tuncurry

On the morning of the 9th we left Port Stephens with the next destination of Forster Tuncurry. It was a lovely calm and sunny morning but there is a bit of bad weather following us up the coast so we are hoping to get in before it gets us.   Luckily we made it with plenty to spare and ended up anchoring in the inlet on the Tuncurry side.  We went to the pub for dinner in the hope of seeing the Carlton V StKilda game live but unfortunately this was not the case so we ended up trying to watch it via the computer on the boat which also wasn't that successful so ended up watching the replay on the TV so it was a rather late night to bed.   GO BLUES!! 

Spent the 10th also in Tuncurry as the weather was a bit ordinary but had a nice day lounging around and a couple of us even made it up to the gym for a bit of exercise before enjoying a Leapy Lynda Chilli Con Carne for dinner.

Unfortunately we lost a crew member this morning.  Phil has had to head back to Melbourne unexpectedly so we gave him a bit of a send off last night over a few glasses of wine.

This morning looks awesome with bright blue skies and light winds so once we are a bit more organised we are off to Crowdy Head.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sydney to Newcastle (2nd May to 5th May)

Lunch at America Bay (Pittwater)

We headed off from Sydney Heads on a bright sunny morning although there were some showers looming.  The destination for today was the Pittwater.  We spent the first night up a little arm called Smiths Creek which was beautiful and very serene.
After a leisurely breakfast on board we wandered fup to Cottage Point for a Late before  heading off to the basin where we spent a leisurely afternoon (there is a lot of leisure going on during this part of the trip).  We even managed to catch a little fish with a well known bait - CHEESE - but decided to give him a kiss and send him back.

Smiths Creek (Pittwater)

On the morning of the 4th we headed out of the Pittwater on our way to Newcastle which is around 50NM.  The day was a bit bumpy and quite a few showers were around but we had a rollicking ride with Max 'The Auto-Helm achieving a PB of 11.5knts!!!

We tucked up last night into Newcastle Marina and plan to spend the day here as there is a bit of a front passing us by and hopefully will be heading up to Port Stephens tomorrow for a few days

Leapy's Feet