This is it! We have come to the half way mark of our Summer 2014/15 Cruise. Port Stephens would be a nice area to explore outside the silly season. After dropping our friends back ashore, we mill around the region for two more days, waiting for the NE wind to pick up. It gives us a chance to do a great walk up to Tomaree Head, the Southern headland marking the entrance to Port Stephens. This is when we discover how extensive this natural harbour is – bigger than Sydney Harbour – and how beautiful those waterways area.
But it is a very busy place and being used to isolated anchorages, we decide to escape the hustle & bustle and rock & rolling of Shoal Bay and spend New Year’s Eve at Fingal Bay, just on the outside. Amazingly, we have this stunning bay to ourselves and go ashore for a walk to the lighthouse. True to form, we are in bed by 10.30pm and kiss each other Happy New Year the next morning!
For the first day of the new year, we start our descent South. The breeze is NE and gentle, dolphins come and play at our bows. It is warm and sunny, just perfect. It is a Big Red day and we have a fantastic 10 hour sail under spinnaker, all the way to Broken Bay. We average 8kn speed for the 80nm passage, with peaks at 14.3, and come screaming in around Barrenjoey Head at full speed. Great fun! It would have been quite a sight to see this cat of ours and its big red balloon charging into Broken Bay! Hee, hee!
After a “waiting day” at Barrenjoey, where we were being waked by every man and their boat and even by sea planes, we escaped again on Saturday. This was an easy 35nm trip down to Port Hacking, another Big Red sled ride in the sunshine, with a spectacular arrival right into Jibbon Beach, which gave the tourists something to look at! We have anchored this time and given a wide berth to a certain rock! We will be here for a few days and will have Sue, our dear friend from Sydney, on board for two days. Our intention is to go up the Port Hacking River into the Royal National Park… somewhere new to explore!
We have a few photos to share with you. Click on the first image to display the gallery in full screen slide show.