Monday, 28 May 2012

Crowdy Head to Coffs Harbour

10th May, 2012 (my Mums birthday!)

A sunny, windless, cloudless day saw us leaving Crowdy Head for Camden Haven. Motored all the way on an oily sea for about 4 hours. Entering the Camden Haven bar was very uneventful on a flood tide. We anchored just off the jetty at the Laurieton United Services Club. We met fellow Taswegians Peter and Chris on 'Honey Bee' with fellow travelers Nic and Erica on 'Jepeda IV'.

Perpendicular Point on entry into Camden Haven

Next day we walked for an hour up North Brother Mountain through a beautiful forest of cycads and enormous eucalypts. Out on the top we had a very wide view north and south on a brilliant, cloudless day. A random koala had appeared in this area about 2 months ago all by himself but according to the ranger would probably be leaving soon to find a mate. It was a quick 45 minute walk back down to the boat.

John amongst the giants on North Brother-Laurieton

Track up North Brother

Entrance to Camden Haven(Sorcerer is middle boat in foreground) taken from North Brother Mountain.

A lonely boy who will depart soon from this place to find true love.

A large fig tree-Camden Haven

Aerial roots, fig tree-Camden Haven

We are definitely having one of these in OUR garden!
 12th May we motored out of Camden Haven around 1pm on a rising tide heading north to Coffs Harbour. We took about 18 hours due to very light wind so motorsailed most of the way. We dropped anchor at 7am between the old jetty and the harbour wall in company with Trevor and Gail on 'Newtsville' who we met in Port Stephens.

We greet the dawn nearing Coffs Harbour
Arriving Coffs Harbour
Miff at lookout on Muttonbird Island, Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour Marina from Muttonbird Island

The following morning after receiving sad news from home we tucked Sorcerer into the marina and we were on a train to Sydney to collect our kids Martyn and Lindsay from New Zealand to return home for my Dad's funeral. A week later we returned to be presented with a large fresh King fish fillet caught that day by Liz and John from 'Blue Marlin'. We briefly met Liz and John just before heading to Tasmania the week before. The gesture was beautiful and very welcome. We managed three meals from their gift.
Looking south from Muttonbird Island across the harbour

Info about Solitary Islands which lie off the coast north of Coffs Harbour

Muttonbird Island is associated with a dreamtime story of the Moon Guardian who tendered the muttonbirds on the island as food for the local Gumbayngirr people and they named it Gittain Mirera.

Alarm set for 1230am we headed out into the darkness around 1am. With the South Solitary Island light winking at us and only a 5-10kn SSW breeze we motorsailed for the first few hours. As the breeze increased to 10-20kn, along with a following sea, we enjoyed a modest 5.2 kn average for the leg to the Clarence despite the East Australian Current which runs predominately south at between 1- 4 kn.  If you hug the coast it can help a lot but this is not a good idea at night. Crossing the Clarence River bar was uneventful and we dropped anchor in the Iluka Bay at 2pm.

The EAC-good for heading south!(not a good photo but you get the idea)


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Newcastle to Crowdy Head

 25th April, Anzac Day. Beautiful, cool, clear morning. Up at 0600, away by 0710. Great sail to Newcastle in 20-30kn WNW, 50 nautical miles in 8 hours. So far since leaving Tassie we have traveled 1089 nautical miles. We tied up at the public jetty next to Glenshiel and shared dinner with Jed and Jude on Sorcerer. The public jetty was very civilised and everything was easily accessible from this area. Our first priority when we arrived in Newcastle was to get the computer fixed. Everything was slowing down and then the night we arrived in Newcastle it just gave up all together and would not even turn on. We found a Mac shop and after a full investigation the computer was found to have had a dead hard-drive. We had a week to fill in while it was being brought back to life.
We had to wait off the entrance for this one to come through before entering
 Glenshiel and Sorcerer tied up at the public jetty
 Team Temperley

One of the highlights of coming to Newcastle was to catch up with our great friends, the Temperleys. The children have all grown like weeds since we last saw them and John and I spent a great few days with the family and having lots of laughs with the three very talented (each scored a goal at their respective soccer matches!) Temperley children. The few days also included two lovely meals at the Temperley household with Jed and Jude. A good time was had by all.

Merewether walkway

Merewether Cafe
Merewether Baths-hard to tell where the baths begin and the ocean finishes

Paddleboarding at Blacksmiths Beach, Newcastle

John on his way to New Zealand!

The house in Collaroy Street, Newcastle that my Dad grew up in

I couldn't believe this...mummy boot up the hill...

...and leave all the babies crying in the car park!!

Newcastle Cathedral (my Dad sang in the choir here when he was very young)

Gallipolli Flag
This flag was presented to the 13th Battalion Australian Imperial Forces by the Ulster Association of NSW.  It was used to mark the position of Battalion Headquarters at Liverpool NSW, Broadmeadows Victoria, on HMAS Ulysses, at Gaza, near Cairo, Egypt and at Gallipolli from the landing to the evacuation. To the memory of the 15 officers and 385 soldiers of the 13th Battalion AIF who gave their lives at Gallipolli. It hangs in the Cathedral.
Now there's a good idea!
Sea-run mullet caught by locals on the full moon just off the beach at Shoal Bay-Port Stephens
View south from Tomaree Head, Port Stephens
View North from Tomaree Head

Evening coming into Seal Rocks (had a very disturbed night here with lots of swell in the anchorage)

Sugarloaf Bay, Seal Rocks
Bridge joining Tuncurry and Forster. We were tied up on a couple of poles.
Historic Crowdy Head lighthouse
Crowdy Head Harbour (Sorcerer tucked up at the fishermans wharf at left in photo)

Crowdy Head (there were about 8 lights on the jetty and there was a pelican sitting on every one!)
...and on to Camden Haven...

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Sydney-Blue Mountains-Broken Bay

Sorry about the delay hard drive died and needed replacing by the lovely Mac men in Newcastle!

Now.. we arrived in Sydney on the 31st March. We picked up Peter, John's brother, at Watson's Bay and headed around to Drummoyne to pick up our mooring we had already organised. There we were met by John's younger brother David and John's parents, Michael and Marion. No sooner had we landed and the prawns and champagne were laid out in celebration of our arrival. It was fantastic coming through the heads and heading down the Harbour under the bridge-this is something John had mentioned to me years ago..."one day we'll sail under this bridge in our own boat". Well, there we are!
After celebrations we headed back to Westleigh to John's parents home and spent the next 2 weeks catching up. The following day we popped back to Drummoyne to pick up Jed and Jude to give them lunch and deliver them to the train station to get their flight to NZ. We were going our own way for a week or two. 'GlenshielVII' and 'Sorcerer' were having a well earned rest!
Houses perched on South Head at the entrance into the Sydney Harbour
Sydney Harbour
Vintage 18ft skiffs on the Harbour

We finally made it!

The brothers Fry-Peter (above) and David
John getting down and dirty at Peters place in the Blue Mountains
After spending a few days at Westleigh, we headed up to the Blue Mountains to stay with Peter, Jen and Josh to throw a bit of mud around on the walls of his shed. It was a great change and we had lots of fun.

Handing up a shovelful of mud to Josh and friend

I planted some beans in their garden(nice to get my hands in some yummy organic soil-its been a while!). We also had fun with our great friends Bruce and Alison and their children Bradley and Molly. It was great to see Ben and we had a lovely meal at the Grand View Hotel at Wentworth Falls with Jules and Paola.  Next day we headed back to Westleigh for the night and then back to Sorcerer to continue on our way.

A beautiful day for a climb at Mt York, Blue Mountains.
I have always said he looks good in a hat!
Josh showing us how it is done!

Our dear friends Jules and Paola living now in the Blueys

Kay Cottee's 'First Lady'-I can't believe I went on board and stood behind the wheel!
One of the first books I ever read about sailing was Kay Cottee's 'First Lady'. It was very inspiring and I was able to go on board her boat here in the museum. Kay was the first woman to complete a solo, non-stop and unassisted circumnavigation of the globe on June 5th 1988. She took 189 days to sail more than 22,000 nautical miles in 'First Lady'. We had a great day checking out the Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of NSW(unfortunately missed seeing the Archibald Exhibition), Maritime Museum(where we had lunch with John's brother Dave, Tatiana and all the children) and the Botanical Gardens.

Henry Moore's 'Reclining Figure'-AGNSW

Frederic, Lord Leighton-1877, 'Athlete Wrestling Python' AGNSW
Following our touristy day in Sydney,  we jumped on board Sorcerer and headed to Broken Bay and into Cowan Creek. The waterfalls were fantastic after all the rain. I managed to pick up some big, fat juicy tiger leeches on my walk to the Rangers Station. Jed, Jude and I had a lovely time picking them off in the outdoor coffee shop after the walk. 3 weeks later they are still itching!
After large amounts of rain, the waterfalls were everywhere. America Bay, Cowan Creek

Refuge Bay, Cowan Creek

Skink on Scribbly Gum, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park

Busy scribbles by busy moth larvae

Wollemi Pine, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park

Just outside Ku-Ring-Gai Nat. Park information centre.

Angophora costata with Xanthorrhoea semiplana(or australis?)
A lovely anchorage in Cowan Creek
Cowan Creek
Beautiful specimens of bottlebrush (Callistemon or Banksia...anyone?) on the way to Brooklyn.
Jerusalem Bay(Sorcerer is 2nd yacht on the left)

Me and Old Man Angophora

 Stand of Spotted Gum (Eucalyptus maculata) of state significance in Towlers Bay, Pittwater

View from youth hostel in Towlers Bay, Pittwater
After farewelling Broken Bay we headed off to Newcastle on 25th April, Anzac Day at 0600hrs with Jed and Jude. Had a great sail in 20-30kn WNW, 50 nautical miles. Tied up with Glenshiel at the public jetty. thats another story.