Santa found Take It Easy in Lake Macquarie at the Pulbah Island anchorage (now renamed Poo Bah), and down the hatch came some presents: a serious fishing rod, assortment of lures, new hat and shorts for Wade, a Canon EF100 1:2.8L IS USM macro lens for Chris – what a seriously good addition to the photography kit – and Bengie got a new bowl.
Christmas Day was quiet to start with, but ended up with a sound and light show as lots of thunder and spectacular lightning happened in the late afternoon. Hocus Pocus, the lightning deflector, proved its worth… We did not get hit (just as Bengie the cat keeps the boat mouse free)!
Boxing Day saw us escaping out of Lake Macquarie to sail to Port Stephens in sunshine and light breeze. We had a rendez-vous with our friends Lisa and Waz, who were driving down from Port Macquarie to join us on board for a few days. I know them through my business consulting work and they were meeting Wade for the first time.
It is always a delight to introduce people to sailing, to Take It Easy and the pleasures of the cruising life. We are all big kids at heart and love an adventure. We spent three days together. We sailed to nearby Broughton Islands, circumnavigated the group of islets, and then anchored in Coal Shaft Bay, staying there for two nights. Funny enough, a yacht called Aquila from Sydney anchored nearby. We had been with them last year in the Lord Howe Lagoon. Cruising is a small world!
Except for the last day, the weather was grey and at times rainy, but it did not deter us from playing and enjoying ourselves: paddling on the banana boats (our yellow kayaks), fishing, snorkelling, eating well, drinking nice wine, talking about our lives and dreams, and adding to our respective “bucket lists”. We saw a few turtles and moray eels, some interesting looking fishes, like the boxfish with a full body carapace; we even caught and released a grey nurse shark which was hiding in the shadows under our bridge deck. These are a harmless and protected shark specie. We would have loved to catch one of the three kingfishes lurking under there too, but they were too smart! It was good fun and as usual, our boat name was true to label. It was just lovely sharing happy, relaxing moments together.
Our time with Lisa and Waz has been a highlight and a fantastic way to mark the half way point of our cruise. Port Stephens is as far north as we will go on this voyage. We will be in the Port Stephens region for a few more days while the wind is southerly. Once the weather allows, probably on Thursday, we will start our descent south.
We have a nice mix of photos to share with you. Click on the first image to display the gallery in full screen slide show. Some were taken with the new macro… Ooh la la!