Rendez-vous at Port Stephens

First Macro shot of Bengie's whiskers

First Macro shot of Bengie’s whiskers

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)!

Shoal Bay, Port Stephens

Anchored in busy Shoal Bay, Port Stephens

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!

Waz and Wade

Waz and Wade

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!

25 thoughts on “Rendez-vous at Port Stephens

  1. Broughton Island looks like paradise for spear-fishing. Does it have surf too?

  2. Hi Chris,
    I have saved these gorgeous pictures as a memento of our stay with you on Take It Easy! OH how fantastic it was to spend quality time with you and to meet Wade and Benji.
    Lots of love, Lisa and Waz xx

    • It was our absolute pleasure to have you on board. If you want the high res version of the photos, yell out! Take care – hugs from Chris & Wade and a little miaow from Bengie the shipcat!

  3. Glad you are having a grt time & Santa found you ok. Grt time with friends too. Loved your shots lens is working well eh! Sue

  4. its clear your having a great time. thanks for keeping the dream alive. Non slip deck paint is going on now and internal cabling is being neatened up, plus lots more. keep the photos coming. Happy new year to you both.

  5. Hey guys the 20hp motors are now on and will be connected tomorrow. Yippee yet another milestone. Oh yeah all the deck hardware is in place and just needs sealant and then screwing down. Double yippee!!! Buggar i better go and finish the inside now.

    • Very good, Chris; it’s coming along! We were talking to Ross Hinton, builder of Phluid, a Fusion 40. He was still working when he built it. He said it took him 6 months to put the shell together and 3 years to do all the finishing of the inside! Looking forward to seeing Outback Dreamer again before it gets dragged out of the shed!

  6. Took Dreamer (formerly Peasy) for a spin on the Goulburn River today. Goes like a dream (yes its a pun) with the new 6hp motor. Pushed against a 6 knot current with plenty of oomf to spare. cheers christopher

    • Easy peasy! Hey coukd you send a hard copy of the rudder plans to James Frecheville – 59 Slip Road, Paynesville 3880. Our plan is to give James the rudders as soon as we get back. If needs to remake one he’ll then have all the details. Thanks Chris. C&W

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