May be we have got over the heebie-jeebies of rough seas and gear hassles. Touch wood!
We left ill-fated Port hacking on Friday, having spent a full day attending to our rudder and the navigation lights, which had decided to stop working. Mr Fix It picked up a couple more stripes on his epaulettes after this episode! The Jibbon Beach layout is etched in our memory: West side shallow and rocky, East side nice and sandy!
With our fresh food supplies replenished, we headed off to our next overnight anchorage: Barrenjoey Head in Broken Bay. On a lovely downwind sail, we by-passed Sydney harbour all together this year. It was so pleasant to be out in the sunshine in a tame ocean. That is what we signed up for!
With Saturday being the last day of Southerly breeze till probably Boxing Day, we decided we would top up our water and fuel at Careel Bay Marina in Pittwater, then sail up to Swansea and Lake Macquarie, a good place to wait for the right conditions to head offshore. As we were meandering our way through the maze of moored yachts in Careel Bay, feeling oversized in this tightly packed space, we heard a radio call: “Take It Easy, Take It Easy, this is Phil and Lindy on Frangipani; we follow your blog.” “We’ll come back to you to say hi” was our quick response. We pulled up at the jetty, bought 80 litres of fuel and got charged another $10 for topping up 100 litres of water – what a rip off! But it is easier than lugging water in jerry cans. That done, we came alongside Frangipani and met the crew. They too want to sail to Lord Howe, so have been following our adventures with interest. It was a lucky encounter and a nice surprise for all of us.
Our Saturday sail up to Swansea, about 36nm further north, was another cruisy little passage in sunshine and kind seas. Although the forecast was for a SE breeze, we in fact had a NE breeze at about 10kn and sailing with it on our forequarter at 6 or 7kn speed, a respectable pace with main and jib. Take it Easy sailing into wind, instead of downwind is a rare thing!
Swansea marks the entrance to the Lake Macquarie district. As we have never been there, it is a great opportunity to explore the area while we wait for the next Southerly change to head out to Lord Howe. The bridge master opened the Swansea bridge to let us in. We picked up a courtesy mooring on the other side for the night, and watched the fireworks in a prime position!
We are now inside the Lake for the next few days, while the Northerlies blow. At this stage we don’t know whether we will get the conditions we need to head offshore. We are running out of time. But we will remain hopeful and enjoy ourselves anyway.
So folks, your good wishes for kind seas are bearing fruit. Now we need you to think “Southerly winds” really, really hard (think hard not hard winds)!
We have a few photos to share with you. As usual, click on the first image to display the gallery as a full screen slideshow.