Bill and Caroline
Sun 24 Nov 2013 00:12
Leaving Noumea for Coffs Harbour, New South Wales early Sunday morning with a reasonable weather window and a five day sail anticipated. The cold weather was a difficult adjustment with thermals, fleeces, full wet weather gear, hats and gloves at times. The chilly 800 plus mile journey was made in solitude with no other boats until within sight of Coffs Harbour where a dolphin escort joined us for a while. The 9ft shark a couple of miles out was less welcome from our perspective!
A pleasant welcome from customs and immigration who kindly took our lines and quickly completed formalities. Fortunately we have minimal 'real' wood otherwise the process may have been a little longer. A good nights sleep and an early morning foray to the fishing boats alongside the wharf to buy fresh prawns off the back of the boats for breakfast.
The weather has once again been varied. Sub tropical heat, blue skies and beautiful sunny surf beaches quickly followed by force 8 gales complete with cricket ball sized hail stones. Hopefully warm settled weather will win out. The welcome in Oz has been amazing - days out with locals to the rain forest and bush (complete with hungry mosquitos and leeches, lifts to shopping centre (with Aldi, Reject Shop and super markets) and offers of a car or truck should we need it. And a welcome chance to meet up again with people seen across the Pacific.
Thoughts so far ….
Amazingly friendly and kind
Real shops and a chance to find an electric toothbrush, a tea pot and reliable working internet
English speaking makes it so much easier to get to know people
The vastness of Australia and where to start
A chance to get rid of some of the accumulated 'stuff' that isn't needed or needs replacing with the recycling facilities to do it