Hawkesbury & Pittwater

Refuge Bay

From Lake Macquarie, we picked up one of Tom’s sailing buddies Peter early in the morning and headed south to the Hawkesbury River. Not long into the trip the wind became confused, making it difficult to weave our way around all the gargantuan ships that were waiting their turn to enter Newcastle Harbour. From a distance we saw some whales swimming past with their tails waving hello in the air. But soon we had an even more amazing greeting as we were passing a ship whose crew were all out on deck watching the spectacle. No, the spectacle wasn’t us, but a whale probably less than 50 metres from us that fully breached in the air and came crashing down creating a massive wave that we surfed all the way to the Hawkesbury. Okay okay, maybe the wave and surfing have been a little embellished, but the whale DID fully breach next to us! Continue reading

Newcastle to Lake Macquarie


Two Sundays ago we’d planned to sail south from Newcastle to Lake Macquarie only a couple of hours sail away.¬†As boat life tends to go, those plans didn’t quite stick and we had to postpone. Later on that week we woke late on what turned out to be a stunning Thursday morning and decided we’d quickly make those plans happen and set sail with some help from Tom’s Dad. Continue reading

Cruising Port Stephens


Our second attempt to sail to Port Stephens was a lot more successful. Setting out bright and early we had some nice weather with good winds and were making good progress. Next thing you know though, there was a bang behind us and we turn around to see a storm heading right for us. Thankfully it just blew over with some rain, but it also killed our wind. But hey, as those crazy Norwegians apparently say, “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing”. Continue reading

A Sharky Encounter


The plan was, to sail to Fame Cove in Port Stephens and chill out on the boat for a few days and then meet our friends at Shoal Bay for Australia Day. The wind had another idea though. We set off this morning and were headed almost directly into the wind so had to mostly use the engine instead of the sails. It was what I would call ‘pretty rough’, but what Tom would probably just call ‘motoring with the nose on the wind’. The pictures will never do it justice, but although it was probably only about 1-1.5 metre swells, it really did feel quite big and rocky to me. Thankfully though, I didn’t get seasick (but queasy at times), so we can tick that off the list of things to check before sailing around the world! Continue reading