Although we left Broken Bay on Sunday to sail further south, we only managed 40 miles in strengthening conditions. It was a fairly rough passage to Jibbon Beach, Port Hacking, in short chop, rain showers and threatening skies.
The forecast for the following days looked mean; we never like seeing lots of orange and red on the wind charts – even less burgundy! We had two days of gale force wind, heavy rain, thunderstorms and brilliant sunshine in close succession. Wild weather!We knew we would need to stay put at Jibbon Beach for most of the week, but it is a safe place to be in the SW gale and once the wind and rain ease, there are stunning walks in the Royal National Park, beach wanders for our Bengie, easy dinghy rides to Bundeena for food, and the ferry to Cronulla for a change of scenery. So it is actually easier than if we had stayed in Broken Bay.
Wade is a very good spotter of tiny little birds. On one of our walks, he saw this brilliant male Variegated Wren and his female mate staying in the bushes close to their unfledged chick, despite his presence. This gave me the chance to set up my camera and click away. Having never seen this particular wren before, I was very impressed. Here are our two favourites images out of the many taken.
A few other critters caught our attention – just as well Bengie was not with us as she has a particular liking for both dragonflies and lizards, with dire consequences for them!
And then there are the big waves! With a forecast of 3 to 5 meter swell and the warning of “large and powerful surf, hazardous for small crafts and bar crossings”, we are glad to be in a sheltered bay. Out in the ocean, it is looking ugly, but spectacular!
We are not sure when we will be able to move on. The weather has been very unsettled and contrary, and after big storms the sea is horrible when the wind finally shifts. Since Broughton Island, we have repeatedly had a week of bad weather, followed by only one or two days of NE. It has suited us up to a point, allowing us to explore different spots and spend time with friends. But all of a sudden we start wondering about our timeframes! We thought we had plenty of time, yet at the rate we have been going for the past month we might soon be under pressure!
So we are prepared to motor in light conditions to make progress, hoping to get to the Crookhaven River or Jervis Bay on Friday night and Broulee on Saturday. But who knows!