Shoal Bay, Port Stephens
Wed 30 Mar 2016 00:06
Look at that sky: there’s a change in the weather coming...
The weather predictors told us that there was going to be a change: a front would pass then we’d have a day and a half of Southerly winds and then light winds from the North for another day or so. It was good enough for us: we’d be able to get up to the Gold Coast in that window, even if it meant motor sailing into the wind for the last day. So we dragged ourselves away from lovely Fame Cove and, with a stop in Salamander Bay to go get some provisions, we anchored in Shoal Bay, just inside Port Stephens, so we could get a good start in the morning.
This close to the mouth of the bay the water is fresh and clear. It was good to be able to look over the side and see the anchor chain as it went down, instead of being in green creek water, it was good to feel the anchor dig into clean sand, instead of knowing it would come up covered in sticky mud, and it was good to walk along the sandy beaches, watching the crystal water sweep up and back. We didn’t leave the dolphins behind either, they were pottering in the bay, closely followed by whale and dolphin excursion boats, and, although we didn’t see Black Swans or Sea Eagles, the hundreds of parakeets and cockatoos - over 50 in a flock, kept us amused, as well as the ever present kookaburras.
Next morning a rainbow hung over the entrance to the bay, beckoning us outwards. A good omen I felt; it was going to be a lovely passage this time.