Cruising as it should be – no disaster!

May be we have got over the heebie-jeebies of rough seas and gear hassles.  Touch wood!

We left ill-fated Port hacking on Friday, having spent a full day attending to our rudder and the navigation lights, which had decided to stop working.  Mr Fix It picked up a couple more stripes on his epaulettes after this episode!  The Jibbon Beach layout is etched in our memory: West side shallow and rocky, East side nice and sandy!

Broken Bay

Broken Bay and Lion Island in the distance

With our fresh food supplies replenished, we headed off to our next overnight anchorage: Barrenjoey Head in Broken Bay.  On a lovely downwind sail, we by-passed Sydney harbour all together this year.  It was so pleasant to be out in the sunshine in a tame ocean.  That is what we signed up for!

Phil & Lindy on their Northshore 34, beautiful Frangipani

Phil & Lindy on their Northshore 34, beautiful Frangipani

With Saturday being the last day of Southerly breeze till probably Boxing Day, we decided we would top up our water and fuel at Careel Bay Marina in Pittwater, then sail up to Swansea and Lake Macquarie, a good place to wait for the right conditions to head offshore.  As we were meandering our way through the maze of moored yachts in Careel Bay, feeling oversized in this tightly packed space, we heard a radio call: “Take It Easy, Take It Easy, this is Phil and Lindy on Frangipani; we follow your blog.”  “We’ll come back to you to say hi” was our quick response.  We pulled up at the jetty, bought 80 litres of fuel and got charged another $10 for topping up 100 litres of water – what a rip off!  But it is easier than lugging water in jerry cans.  That done, we came alongside Frangipani and met the crew.  They too want to sail to Lord Howe, so have been following our adventures with interest.  It was a lucky encounter and a nice surprise for all of us.

Our Saturday sail up to Swansea, about 36nm further north, was another cruisy little passage in sunshine and kind seas.  Although the forecast was for a SE breeze, we in fact had a NE breeze at about 10kn and sailing with it on our forequarter at 6 or 7kn speed, a respectable pace with main and jib.  Take it Easy sailing into wind, instead of downwind is a rare thing!

Swansea Bridge

The Swansea Bridge opens up to let us into Lake Macquarie

Swansea marks the entrance to the Lake Macquarie district.  As we have never been there, it is a great opportunity to explore the area while we wait for the next Southerly change to head out to Lord Howe.  The bridge master opened the Swansea bridge to let us in.  We picked up a courtesy mooring on the other side for the night, and watched the fireworks in a prime position!

We are now inside the Lake for the next few days, while the Northerlies blow.  At this stage we don’t know whether we will get the conditions we need to head offshore.  We are running out of time.  But we will remain hopeful and enjoy ourselves anyway.

So folks, your good wishes for kind seas are bearing fruit.  Now we need you to think “Southerly winds” really, really hard (think hard not hard winds)!

We have a few photos to share with you.  As usual, click on the first image to display the gallery as a full screen slideshow.

13 thoughts on “Cruising as it should be – no disaster!

  1. looking at your photos its good to see you’ve unpacked the shorts and tee shirts at last. P.S. GPS, AIS GPS and AIS VHF antenna cables all now run and most inetrnal cupboards undercoated with paint. Have a merry christmas you two (not to merry. save some rum for the rest of the trip.) Christopher

    • Thanks Chris, and well done on the progress with OBD. Yes, shorts, tee shirts, sun at last! And rum… it’s rum time every night… You are underestimating our sundowner habits 🙂

  2. there is a country music song which referres to having a drink in the early avo because its 5.00 o’clock somewhere. do you relate to that:? I bought another bottle of Mt Gay rum last week. its a good drop!
    I worked till midnight last night and will have a snooze while its hot this avo and work again till late tonight. this will be the pattern for next 3 weeks.

  3. My fingers are crossed for you that you get the winds you are waiting for. I hope they come soon. I’ve been to Broken Bay, once when I was about 11 years old, I went to a school camp there.

  4. Hi Wade & Chris, great photos & lovely to see Frangipani amongst them. The fireworks must have been spectacular. We will definitely take your advice & include a trip to Swansea soon. Hoping good winds reach you in time & happy sailing.

    • Thanks Lindy – yes the fireworks were an unexpected bonus! The pics are a bit fuzzy – ling expisure shits on a floating platform just dies not cut it, but it was fun to try. The Lake here is pretty busy and the shores quite built up, but the southern end is a bit quieter. Lots of interesting coves and arms to explore in the right conditions, so do come up!

  5. Great to hear about your on-going adventure. Wishing you long-lasting southerly winds, Craig.

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