Tuesday, 26 March 2013


After deciding to bypass Yamba and continue to Brisbane, we picked up some fresh northeasterlies..yeah...sails up. These took us up the rest of the NSW coast.
Cape Byron came into view not long after leaving Yamba and we passed it at 8.00pm.

After mentioning the East Coast Current, we finally met it just short of Byron...wasn't too strong but noticeable. As we moved into QLD, it definitely got stronger getting up to 3+ kts just short of the Gold Coast.
We crossed the Southport bar at 06.30 and as the tides were right we continued up the inside passage to Moreton Bay. The shoals at Jacobs Well had been recently dredged, so even being 2 hours before high tide, we still had 20cm under the keel...yes 20cm!

Our AIS tracked path

For those folks in Sydney, you may be interested in the Queensland version of a 'mooring minder'. This was sighted (if you can call it that!) just north of Jacobs Well -

Arrived at Manly Harbour at 1.30pm.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Queensland here we come

We spent last night in Coffs Harbour anchored in the outer area, close to the old jetty. Bit rolly but otherwise ok. We were going to take a berth at the marina as Cath wanted to catch up with a work colleague (Rowena) who was holidaying there. Unfortunately, the marina had no spaces due to a fishing comp and residual damage from storms earlier in the year. About 1 hour before the getogether, a massive thunderstorm was hovering over Coffs. Not wanting to leave Kittani unattended we decided to return ....sorry Ro.

The original plan was to go to Iluka (Yamba), but timings and weather have allowed us to push onto to the Gold Coast.

Clear skies, gentle northeasterlies and reasonably flat seas with no apparent East Coast Current (yet) should make it a nice but engine driven passage.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Forster Tuncurry

After leaving Pitwater we headed into Newcastle for the night....very nice marina and the loooong hot showers were very welcome.
The next morning after a leisurely start in mild southerlies we eventually reached the end of Stockton Beach....like Moreton and Fraser Islands, the beaches seem to go on for ever. As the weather was headed in the same direction, we decided to bypass Port Stephens and anchored overnight at Broughton Island in Coal Shaft Bay, on the south side of the island. We were expecting norther lies to come up during the night - they didn't - so spent a rolly night with the remnants of a southerly swell.
Coal Shaft Bay, Broughton Island

Cathy enjoying day 2!

2 days later and we are are holed up in a delightful little place called Forster Tuncurry, actually two towns either side of a small (very) natural cove at the entrance to the Wallis Lakes. The entrance has a bar, but permanent leads show the correct path through a narrow breakwater into an even narrower channel.
We are currently anchored in 2 metres of water listening to the sound of 35 knots passing over us. The only issue we have is that this area has a huge quantity of fresh water exiting the entrance to the harbour and on an ebb tide we have wind against tide so makes the boat do crazy things...not nice in a narrow channel with a 7 metre high bridge close by.
This is the first time I have secured a second anchor to our chain to minimise the pivot circle...sand bar on one side, bridge on the other and a rock wall on the third...talk about a sleepless night ! 
Based on weather predictions, we may leave here on Saturday morning and push on to Coffs Harbour.

Saturday, 16 March 2013


Finally the umbillical cords (mooring lines) have been cut!
We had farewell drinks with some of the Cammeray marina locals last night. Very enjoyable and thanks to all for making it a special night.
We left the marina at 08.00 for the 08.30 Spit bridge and picked up a mooring at Balmoral......no not nerves...just a final check of the boat and a precationary Kwell before setting off into 30 - 35 knots of southerly with a 3metre swell and  2 metre waves....the kwells did their duty, Cathy handled the conditions very well, even breaking into a smile after surfing down a big wave and hitting 12 knots. Who says Kittani is fat and slow!

3 hours from Balmoral to Pittwater.. A record for us, normally 5

We are currently enjoying a sheltered spot called Coasters Retreat and will head off early tomorrow for either Newcastle or Port Stephens..weather depending. We still have to come to terms with neither of us working and time is really our own so maybe lots of stops in lovely locations (maybe except Newcastle) on the way north.

3 years in Sydney have flown past and we will always have fond memories of some of the great people we have met and worked with.