Thursday 12th November 2015
Distance run: 189 nmiles
We had a two-day window to get down to Newcastle, or wait a week for a low to pass through. So although we were really enjoying Coffs Harbour, we decided to go for it, and dropped the lines at 0600 yesterday morning. After doing a little dance to get Scott-Free out of the alley between pontoons – we really must see about getting the bowthruster fixed – we were soon out of the harbour and heading south.
We motored until early afternoon when the wind picked up and we could sail, and then put the engine on again four hours later when our speed dropped. We motor-sailed pretty much the rest of the way there to keep our speed up in light winds, as we wanted to make sure to arrive in Newcastle before dark. It was quite busy out on the water with several yachts heading the same way and cargo ships plying the waters between Newcastle and Brisbane. Mostly the big ships kept to a line at the edge of the continental shelf and passed by a safe distance off, but Steve had to call up one who might come uncomfortably close if he maintained his course. As we were sailing and couldn’t alter our course, he very kindly made sure he cleared our stern.
An interesting sky at sunrise with Darramy in silhouette.
With the help of a good strong current from Port McQuarrie south, we made excellent time and entered the river mouth at around 1100 this morning. An hour later we were tied up in our berth in Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club. Shortly after, Howard, the manager, came by to welcome us and take us on a tour of the marina and its facilities. It is a very clean, modern marina and we are looking forward to resting up here a while before heading on down to Sydney, 60 nmiles or so down the coast.
Entering the river at Newcastle.