February 24th 2018
Back in the saddle we set sail at 0840hrs from the Gold Coast seaway bound for Sydney town. Three POB – Werner, Russell and myself, Liz.
Halcyon2 has a few additions since returning from the Whitsunday area.
A composting toilet in the aft head. Abetterwaytogo!!!
A Telstra aerial up the mast with an old iPhone as a wi-fi hotspot.
A sonar hull vibrator (to keep the hull clean)
Kayak racks with a 2 or 3 person kayak.
A forward facing booster seat for me over the starboard seat in the pilot house, so I can keep lookout when seated.
A skippers perch at the helm.
Vegetable stacked racks under the dining table.
A new toolbox that fits under the helm and doubles as a step for shorties.
A pocket spring mattress from Clarke Rubber for the aft cabin.
A clarinet to complement the tenor saxophone.
The forecast was OK on paper but the sea is very confused and the rain 100% chance of 30-90mm. The sky did fall!
This was our first overnight sail and we had the theory and the roster sorted but the pot still erupted. Seasickness to a new height or low, I thought.
Russell suffered in sympathy but was able to report for duty but Werner won the long service medal.
Soon we were on the lead lights at Coffs Harbour. We picked up a courtesy mooring at 0640 or 0740 NSW time. A 22 hour endurance passage.
Flapping from the bimini was a bad sign. We rang around and found a willing repairer, then played cycle tourist in the rain. Nice place with a hilly backdrop.
We stayed 2 nights on the mooring and one in the marina.
Full moon was timely for a walk up Muttonbird Island. We hesitated to go as the sun had set. We see nests of the wedge tailed shearwater birds that nest in burrows on this island.
We were bathed in moonlight and it felt magical. We had a following wind up the hill and the heat of the day dissolved.
The breaking waves out to sea and pounding onto the breakwater were sparkling. Turning back to the mainland the lights on the jetty and marina and beyond to the town welcomed us back.
After 3 nights the wind and rain had settled, so on y va!
Coffs to Port Macquarie Wednesday 28/2
Good motor sail with a crescendo breeze.
Came in the narrow entrance and thought we might anchor in the pond before the marina, but the wind blew Halcyon onto the mud flats. Stuck…
Some brain waves from Werner and Russell eventually towed us out. They winched a rope from the bow to a vacant windward mooring and after much grinding we had water under us again and happily berthed at the marina in fading light.
The evening flowed nicely with our new neighbour, also named Russell who sailed a cat with one motor.
He was a convert of female crew from findacrew.net but learnt it was highly desirable if they understood English.
We rode up all the hills in search of hot chips. For these chips we certainly out cycled the fork. We settled for Shelley’s beach takeaway as their reviews exceeded expectations. The bottom line was the chips rated 4/10 on our scale.
Port Macquarie to Forster/Tuncurry Friday 2/3
Crossed the bar out of Port about 0800hrs. Very calm compared to the incoming crossing.
VMR commented that it was forecast to be very calm and suggested we delay our journey. Willy suggested a calm day with 15kn max breeze but the day revealed much more. Seas up to 2-4 meters and breeze 15-20kn. Sailed most of the day. Motor was only on for tacks. Max speed with moi at the helm was 9.1kn. All sail!
My excitement was short lived. Head back in the bucket for 3-4 hours.
Without warning, the motor overheated. Too rough to look at so turned it off. Turned out to be an airlock.
Easy though tight courtesy mooring to starboard up near the bridge.
Tuncurry to Port Stephens Saturday 3/3
Port Stephens to Broken Bay and America Bay 4/3
Eldon 111 with Captain David and Millie onboard raft up with us on 8/3
We enjoy a couple of lovely days socialising, hiking, swimming and showering under the Recluse bay waterfall.
We drop anchor near Brooklyn for Russell to catch the train home early Saturday morning. Thank you Russell, for sailing with us.
Marco and Nichola join us on Saturday and the tales get taller.
Saturday evening we are back to just Skipper Werner and me the cook. We enjoy five very relaxing days exploring the Hawkesbury area. Chips at Patonga pub rated 9/10. (The fish shop is closed until May)
Hiking at Bobbin Head and icecream making featured.
After failing to find a gelato shop I created a mixture of cream cheese, ginger, honey, milk infused with lemon myrtle leaves, cardamom and chilli drops and a little cream. Whipped into shape we waited three days for it to freeze. Mmmm
Broken Bay to Sydney Harbour and to mooring at Balmain on Thursday 15/3