New South Wales

Miss Molly 4
Bob & Peggy Wilkerson/Geoff & Merel Pettifer
Mon 13 Dec 2010 00:24

Saturday morning, 1 a.m. The noise from the dinner cruise boats had died down a few hours earlier and the open air live band had only just finished playing. That's when we got out of bed again and pulled up anchor to motor out of the Southport channel, backlit by street lights and channel buoys. We have never seen such a colourful set of leading lights to help us across the bar (sand bank at the entrance of the channel). They were a purplish blue. Very distinctive and therefore better than anything we have seen before, as long as there are no other blue lights anywhere near ashore.

Our departure must have meant that Geoff had recovered from his nasty bug and Merel never got it. So there we were, motor sailing South in a light Norhtwesterly. We did have a knot of current with us the whole day, but after a dry morning it was back to the usual buckets full of rain again! This rain also stole our wind and flattened out the seas so it ended up to be a motor trip to Coff's Harbour. Upon our arrival we could say that we have now left Queensland behind as we had arrived in New South Wales. Things seem to make more sense here. First of all there is an hour of daylight saving time which means it does get light at about 6 rather than 5 in the morning. Also nice to have the sun set around 7 rather than 6. The air feels crisper and humidity has dropped significantly. And the sun is out more.

Coff's Harbour has an entrance through a breakwater and the actual marina is inside another set of breakwaters with on one side the local fishing fleet and the yachties on the other side. It's all small scale and it looks very industrious here. The people seem to make more sense too. They wear sensible sun hats and all the bling we noticed in Southport seems to be left behind in Queensland. Nice chandlery, shops and restaurants and the town centre within walking distance. A farmer's market that could rival the one in Kerikeri and some sports events too: there was an outrigger and paddle board competition. From the hiking trail on Muttonbird Island, the hill next to the breakwater, we had a great view of the competitors leaving port. Very colourful. As if al that sportive activity is not enough, the local yacht club is also host to the local tri athletes. And for the less sporty-inclined a fairground was set up.

It is all happening here in Coff's. Walking back from the farmer's market we saw a look-alike of our cruising friend Sam. But he could not be here because we had heard from him that he had already reached Sydney. However, as we walked closer, it turned out to be Sam! He had flown back North to drive his car to Sydney and stopped on the way in Coff's to look for some other cruising friends, not knowing we were here too. We had a nice reunion and spent some hours before Sam took off again, and also got to meet the cruisers Sam came to look for.

Today there is a Southerly breeze blowing, not so good for the direction we are heading to. But we will soon be on our way again to head further South, we will keep you posted!

Cheers from Geoff & Merel