Thursday, April 26, 2012

Eden to Martha Cove (8th to 19th March)

East Boyd Bay
Yes we did finally get out of Eden.  We managed to get over to the pier the day before we departed to find Xanadu still there.  He tells us that he will definitely be gone next time we pass through Eden!. We did a bit of a provision shop and some laundry for the final assault to get us home *yay*. 
Despite pangs to go north again to warmer waters think it will also be good to spend a bit of time on dry land and get us all enthused for our trip out into the pacific in 2013.  Yep this is already being discussed and planned as we venture south....

Green Cape Light
We left Eden very early on Monday morning (12th).  It was very dark and only light breezes blowing which was a pleasant change after the last few weeks.  We made good time down to Green Cape and were lucky enough to come across heaps and heaps of seals, dolphins and sea birds as we moved into Bass Strait - lovely way to start the morning. 
Due to the recent floods we did also see plenty of floating trees and other matter in the water so before night fell decided it was prudent to head off shore a few miles in the hope of avoiding any nasty bangs in the night. 

We had some good breeze from behind kick in during the afternoon which meant we had a lovely overnight sail through the oil rigs however, this dropped out in the morning and we were back to motor power to get us the rest of the way to the Prom.  Despite the lack of wind the day was gorgeous and the water so still that the dolphins we saw looked like they were swimming in a mirror.   Late in the afternoon we could finally see the prom (the day was very hazy so visibility was quite low) however, we didn't get in till around 8pm and again it was really really dark as there was no moon at all which made the entrance into Refuge Cove a little more nerve wracking than expected so we  were happy when we did manage to drop the pick and settle in for the night

Despite being a bit tired on Wednesday morning after our big sail we decided that it was such a nice day that we should go for a walk so we did  - all the way over the Little Waterloo Bay and back (~15kms).  The walk was fantastic with some beautiful views of the prom to be had but we were both a tad weary by the time we got back to the boat but had to go in for a swim which was a little more refreshing than we hoped for but might be the last one as the weather is all about to change!
En-route to Little Waterloo Bay
View of Waterloo Bay

Braveheart Sea Kayakers
As predicted a change came through yesterday evening so Thursday looks like it is going to be a bit more leisurely.  There are a few other boats anchored in at refuge so there is plenty of company.  We were also joined by a team of Sea Kayakers today who are paddling down to the north coast of Tassie for charity (Braveheart!).  They all turned up late morning and were expecting their support boat to be not far behind.  Initially it all seemed to be a bit of fun and they kept themselves amused playing games etc but things all got a bit anxious when the support boat hadn't showed and dark wasn't too far away.  Things were getting that desperate that us sailors had already come up with plans of housing the kayakers for the night but just in the nick of time the cavalry arrived and the support boat showed up - I think there might of been a few choice words muttered!

Thursday is a bit bleak again with showers around however, we braved the elements and headed off to the look out on the way to Sealers Cove - always a good spot for a walk.  We also checked up on the boat signs and were very pleased to see that the Mustang Sally Placard is still present and is now updated with details of this most recent visit.  The prom still seems to be closed to walkers which is kind of freaky but it does mean we have it all pretty much to ourselves.

Mustang Sally Sign still
hanging at Refuge Cove
Looking at the forecasts looks like we might be able to get out of here tomorrow around lunch time and if all goes well might be able to sail through the fleet on Sunday afternoon - nothing like making a grand entrance.

Well the plan kind of went half right.  We did get to leave Refuge Cove just after lunch on Friday however, the forecast of SSW winds going southerly turned out to be a lot more westerly than what we hoped for so after pushing into a 20-25knt headwind for a while we decided that it might be prudent to head to Bird Rock in Waratah Bay for the night (just near Cape Liptrap Light).  Think this was a bit of a master stroke as we had a lovely still night anchored in behind Bird Rock and after again checking the weather decided at 9.00am to make our final assault to get back into Port Phillip Bay. 

We had a lovely motor sail not far from the coast and managed to pop back in through the heads at around 9.00pm on Sunday night.  As there is plenty of shipping traffic these days we elected to go down the Sorrento Channel which is nothing but exciting when you have approx 3knots of tide pushing you along and most of the channel is unlit - thank goodness for the chart plotter and torch!
As it was late and we had a solid South Easterly blowing figured it would be a good option to anchor off Safety Beach for the night.  As we had notified a few of the locals of our impending arrival Graeme (aka Roger) offered some guidance and lit up his new home on Mount Martha as a beacon to lead us home and it certainly worked as we could see it for miles. 
We finally dropped the pick around midnight and after bit of a celebratory beer and wine hit the sack. 
After an excellent sleep we were up early and after a bit of breakie headed into the marina at Martha Cove which is going to be Sally's home for the next 12 months).  It also happens to be Mark's birthday and as he is doing such a great job as BLOG photographer he is getting an even better camera for our next adventure.

All up the log now says that we have travelled over 7,200NM since we left the heads in April 2011

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bermagui to Eden (28th February - 8th March)

We haven't made much progress since the last Blog - approximately 40NM.  Unfortunately the weather gods are just not playing fair with us.
Bermagui Harbour

We ended up spending 8 days in Bermagui (27th February to 6th March) which is definitely a record.  For the first couple of days in Berma we were pretty much boat bound as it was pouring rain so when the rain finally broke on Friday (2nd March) we were off the boat like a shot and headed out for a walk over to the Blue Baths.  On the way we checked out the outdoor sculpture display which was pretty interesting but they picked a crappy weekend for an outdoor display.  The waves around at the Blue Baths were pretty big and we figured swimming was off for the day as the chances are you would end up outside the baths pretty quickly.

Blue Baths

Saturday morning was fine so again we are out for a walk but in the arvo the rain returned and we are back to on board activities.  Finally on Monday the weather turned for the best with plenty of sun and a gently breeze blowing so we just couldn't help ourselves and decided we had to check out the golf course which was still pretty wet under foot but we all had a lot of fun chasing the little white ball around the course (or in Barry's case a little fluoro yellow ball).

The weather looks like it is starting to form into some sort of shape to get across the paddock so the plan is to head down to Eden on Tuesday.   We did find a ripper of a Patisserie in Bermagui called Cream and would highly recommend it if you are ever in the Bermagui area as we certainly enjoyed many a coffee and a little sweet treat or two during our stop over.
Sunrise leaving Bermagui
Tuesday 6th March and we finally put Bermagui behind us and we are off down to Eden. It is a pretty big day (~40NM) so we are up early and our way at first light.  The trip down to Eden was rather pleasant with plenty of sun and light winds (mind you they were pretty close to being on the nose) so we motor sailed all the way and arrived latish afternoon.  As there is a ship in at the naval wharf loading ordinance we had to go around the anchorage off Boyd Town for the night with the plan to head off at first light and get across to the prom.

Seahorse Inn
We are all up early however, yet again the weather is not playing fair and we find that it is blowing around 40kts out at Green Cape and an east coast low is forming a bit further south than first expected so it looks like we are going to be spending a few days in at Eden (definitely not in the brochure).  The one positive is that we are anchored directly off the Seahorse Inn and it is open to guests for both lunch and dinners.  Every other time we have been in this part of the world it has been shut.

As the whole trip is becoming a bit longer than first anticipated and with plenty of things going on at home with renovations, family reunions etc Barry has decided to vote himself off the island so we figure it is the day to stop in for a bit of lunch at the Seahorse Inn which certainly didn't disappoint.  The inn was built in the 1850's and has recently been renovated for guests, functions, weddings etc.  It is a beautiful old building which has had plenty of love and has some excellent views out over Two Fold Bay.
8th March and Barry is off early in the morning to catch the bus home.  It wasn't quite the departure he was hoping for as it is pouring rain and he had the negotiate the creek which was about 3 foot deep to get to his taxi rendezvous point.  We did hear from him a little later in the morning to let us know that he had safely made it to the bus stop.

As there are big swells and wind forecast we figure it is time to move anchorage to East Boyd Bay for the day.  As it is raining again outside it looks like we will spend the day on indoor activities and may even get to make a cake in the arvo.

Based on the current weather outlook we are kind of expecting to be here until Monday morning and weather dependant may head over to the pier tomorrow for a few days before we move on.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Broken Bay to Bermagui (18th - 28th February)

We arrived at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and quickly enjoyed the wonderful facilities and had a spot of lunch at the club.  After the usual jobs and a bit of pottering around we caught up with Ron, Ros, Brian and Sue from Cloud Nine and went to the RMYC just up the road for a lovely meal and a catch up on our various adventures etc.  Cloud Nine had an excellent day on the water and got a third so a bit of celebrating was also enjoyed!
During our stay at RPAYC Mark spotted a number of new yachts which certainly caught his attention including the new McConaghy 38 all carbon everything race machine,  the super luxurious cruising Buizen 52 and the very fast "Cruising" 66' Gunn Boat
New Buizen 52

66' Gunn Boat

McConaghy 38

19th February
Leaving Broken Bay
It is a beautiful day and after a leisurely morning we leave Broken Bay and head south along the coast down to Sydney - as usual we are staying at the CYCA which almost feels like our second home these days.  The trip down the coast was really lovely with a very gently northerly blowing and still seas so we hugged the coast and enjoyed the awesome coastal panorama.

20th February
Jobs day. Did the washing, Mark serviced the main diesel motor which has now done 1500hrs and did a general clean up on the boat in preparation for the final chapter in the journey back to Melbourne!

21st February
Decided to do a bit of sightseeing and at the recommendation of Sue and Ros decided to take the ferry to Parramatta.  The day started early catching the 9.15am ferry from Darling Point across to Circular Quay where we caught the Rivercat which travels all the way up to Parramatta which takes around 1hour.  It is a really pleasant trip through the harbour and the up the narrow, shallow and windy Parramatta River.  We wandered around Parramatta for a few hours before we headed back on the ferry and decided to stop at the Sydney Rowing Club for lunch.  What a spot which a great location, excellent views and a comprehensive wine list.

22nd February
Our new crew Barry (aka Walu) arrived in the arvo and after settling in we wander up to the club for dinner and met up with two of his nephews that joined us for a meal.
New Farr 400 at CYCA
There was another a new arrival at the CYCA which caught Mark's attention - the new Farr 400 .  As well as the chaos of the Wednesday arvo twilight race there was a new boat / arrival party going on the aft deck of the Farr 400 which we believe belongs to the very well known Matt Allen.

23rd February
We are on our way south again.  First stop is the fuel wharf and then we head out of Port Jackson on our way to Woolongong.  It is around 45NM to Woolongong and we have a light North Easterly blowing and arrive around 4.30pm in time to have a quick shower before heading out for a meal at the local leagues club

Jervis Bay Lighthouse

24th February
The good weather continues at this stage and we have another sunny morning with light winds for our trip down to Jervis Bay.  We arrived at Montague Roadstead anchorage and the north end of Jervis Bay mid afternoon and enjoyed a swim off the back of the boat however we have noticed a distinct drop in water temp which is down to around 23C "BRRRRRRR". 

25th February
As we are spending the day at Jervis Bay we have a more leisurely morning before we head off for a beach reconnaissance.  We originally thought this was going to be a quiet little anchorage but it looks like it is quite a popular spot for all sorts of water craft especially as it is a sunny weekend!.
With great pleasure and relief our dinghy outboard starts first time after the various trials and tribulations we have had with it lately.  We first wandered down to South Long Beach where the boats  launch on the beach only to find someone bogged.  We then walked to North Long Beach where we were lucky enough to get a lift with the ranger to the start of the Green Point walking track which then took us along the coast back to our anchorage.  We had a great stroll and enjoyed a swim when we arrived back at the boat and had a leisurely afternoon on the boat and in the water.

26th February
Back on the road again but today it is a fairly short hop of 30NM down to Ulladulla.  Luckily the harbour is a lot less busy than last time when we were here, which was Easter when all the trawlers are in for the blessing of the fleet, so we manage to find a nice spot rafted up to a big 50' catamaran.  We had a good sail today with a 20kt northerly blowing.  The first time we have sailed (without the motor running) since we arrived back on the boat in Manly.

27th February
The march south continues and we are up early for the big trip down to Bermagui (70NM).  Again the winds are favourable so we are able to sail for most of the day and also have a bit of current just to make the trip a bit quicker.  After a good day on the water we arrived around 4.30pm into the snug little harbour of Berma. 
It looks like our good run of weather is about to stop as we have rain forecast for the next few days and we are also a bit miffed about the wind forecast which seems to keep changing on a daily basis so we are not quite sure how long we are going to be here before we can start making our way south again.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Southport to Broken Bay (10th -18th February)

10th February
On  the road again - Southport to Coffs
Luckily we were able to find someone to fix the dinghy outboard motor so it seems to be running like a new one - at least for the time being. 
We caught up with Colin and Anne from Annacol and had a lovely meal at the Southport YC.  We had the steak dinner special which was pretty awesome!

11th - 12th February
Finally we are moving south again. Depart the hustle and bustle of Southport and head out into the ocean again for the trip straight through to Coffs Harbour (~158NM).  This is Alison's first ocean experience and she seems to have taken to it like a fish to water.  The trip down to Coffs was a pleasant one with light North Easterlies blowing for most of the day however, we did have a bit of excitement when we were hit by a rather large thunder storm during the evening.  We arrived in at Coffs Harbour around 11ish and first stop was the fish co-ops fuel wharf which is never a fun experience but we managed to get in, fuel up and get out without too many issues.
Fuel Wharf at Coffs Harbour
We went for a bit of a boogie board in the arvo which turned out to be an excellent idea as the waves here are very "Di Sized" and most suitable for boogie boarding.  Eventually we dragged ourselves out of the water and on the way back to the boat ran across Malcolm and Kathy from Atticus which was just tying up so decided we would all catch up at the Yacht Club for a meal.

Kathy & Malcolm - Atticus

Dinner at the Coffs Harbour YC

Atticus tied up in Coffs Harbour

13th February
Alison getting ready for a walk
Yet another great day with plenty of sun,  Considering the wet weather that they have recently had along this coast we have been blessed with beautiful sunny weather with only the odd thunder storm in the evening.  As Chris and Alison are heading off tomorrow they have offered to cook up the winnings from The Little Ship Club in Dunwich so it is going to be steak dinner tonight.

14th February
Up early to see Chris and Alison off to the train station.  They are catching the train down to Port Stephens to catch up with some friends before heading home to Melbourne.  
Grant and Leanne from Masala were kind enough to pick us up and take us for a wonderful tour around Coffs and to their new home town of Bellingen.  We had a fantastic day and was good to get out and about a bit and see some different sites.  We now also understand the move to Bellingen as it is a really pretty little spot with plenty of community spirit. Hopefully we might be able to do the same for Grant and Leanne one day if they drop by down south for a visit.
View of Coffs Harbour

15th February
The winds are continuing to blow from the south so elect to spend yet another day in Coffs Harbour.  Luckily we like the place and it does give us another opportunity to spend some more time in the waves which has been excellent fun.
Dinner on the boat tonight as we will be up at first light to continue the southward adventure

16-17th February
Sunset at Sea
*Yay* - the weather is sticking to the plan and blowing from the east so we are out of here and back on our way south.  As the weather is looking good we plan to head straight through to Broken Bay which is around 230NM.  Although there is not a lot of wind to assist there is plenty of current and at times we managed to sit on 10knots SOG so it is certainly going to be a quick trip. 
We had a pretty uneventful trip which is always good and pulled up a mooring at America Bay at around 3.30pm and looking forward to a good nights sleep.
As it is a Friday night there are plenty of boats in the anchorage - we have never seen it quite this busy.

18th February
After a great sleep we are off to spend the night at RPYAC and really looking forward to catching up with Ron, Ros, Brian & Sue from Cloud Nine.  We were also hoping to catch up with Ross & Lorraine from Elvina but unfortunately that does not look like it is going to happen.
On the way down the Pittwater we crossed paths with Cloud Nine who are on their way out to do the Saturday race but will catch them in the bar later and then we are off to RMYC next door for a meal.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Back on the road again - Manly to Southport (Feb 2nd to 8th)

Xmas Day @ Sorrento
After a couple of months at home doing home type things we are back up on Mustang Sally in Manly (Brisbane).  We had an excellent time at home which included some sailing on Ray Bateman's Couta Boat - LOLA and also Al's 80th birthday party.

Al's 80th

As the BOM keeps telling us that there are southerlies blowing it is going to take us a bit longer to head south from Queensland than originally thought so have now moved onto Plan B which involves a nice slow trip from Manly down to Southport via the inner passage.

Lola and Ctrew
Through some earlier communication via US Yachts (the Hunter importer) we were lucky enough to get in touch with the original owner of Sally who strange as it may seem just happens to be in Manly with his newly imported stink boat - Atticus.  We were lucky enough to catch up with Malcolm and his mate Bruce in Manly for a drink but couldn't chat for too long as they had a couple of big days ahead of them sorting out the new boat before Malcolm's better half arrives on Friday,  They are also heading back to Sydney so we are guessing that we  will be crossing paths with them along the way

Chris and Allison arrived on the evening of the 2nd and as expected we enjoyed a nice meal at the Southport YC.  We headed off on Friday morning and did a heady 10NM across to Dunwich - the home of the Little Ship Club.  We had a great night here and the people were very welcoming.  Allison helped out as the barrel girl and did an excellent job as we ended up winning a meat tray and a bottle of wine!

The next day we headed off to an anchorage off Russell Island and had great intentions of heading ashore for a bit of a reconnaissance but unfortunately it is looking like the dinghy and the normally trusty 3.3HP Mariner motor really are now on their last legs as the motor just would not fire no matter how much encouragement it got.  As we were close to the shore decided we could paddle in for a bit of a look see.

After a couple of cruisy days we finally ended up at Tipplers Passage which is a really nice little spot  just north of Southport only to find Annacol which is a Hunter 45CC.  We had previously met Ann and Col at the Marlin Marina when they kindly grabbed our lines for us.  As is usual with cruising boats we decided to catch up for sundowners at 5pm.  During the arvo we managed to paddle the dinghy ashore again and went for a great walk over to the other side of South Stradbroke Island to see the surf and had a walk around the various shops and buildings that are there.

Sally & Annacol
On Tuesday (7th) we were hoping to stop in at Couran Cove for lunch but unfortunately it is only open on weekends so we made the rash decision to head into the madness of the gold coast a day early which may not be a bad thing as it at least gives us a day extra to see if we can get the trusty outboard repaired.