Big grin at Pittwater

Rich Carey
Thu 25 Oct 2018 07:19
To conclude on Coffs Harbor, I managed a small beer circuit. Started at 'Attitude Burgers', moved to 'Ynot' yacht club, then 'The Pier', then 'Element Bar' (had Salt and Pepper squid - nice). My first minor pub crawl for a while. Being a Saturday arvo, 'The Pier' (like a real pub), was leaping with drunken, gambling, tradies - excellent - but I thought my pony tail may give me issue, no worries, I made it out ok.

My Goodness Coffs was a miserable stop! Seven of eight days locked in by bad weather. Fenders grinding, cold, soaking, so so sodden sodding soaking, 24x7. Help - let me out!

Finally it eased enough for four Aussie boats to decide it was time to make the break. In order not to be branded a Pommie wimp, I left also, after getting a pass from Border Fierce - who were not really so fierce.

The passage can be done in 36 hrs, so I decided to take my time and stay out an extra night, to arrive at Pittwater's, 'Barrenjoey lighthouse', at 08:00. Take my time! Heck, I couldn't slow down. Major eastern Australian coastal current, big tail wind, three meter swell on the stern - 6-10 knots constant, instead of  planned 5! At one stage I resigned myself to a no option 03:00 arrival. However, I was eventually able to tuck myself in after Newcastle, and creep down in coastal shade, from current and wind. To make up for the earlier sprinting, I slowed to sometimes 2 knots. Anyway, I eventually arrived at 08:00 more by luck than judgement.

It was excellent to arrive - Coffs was a forced stop, this was my real Australia arrival. Karen and I were married on a hill in Pittwater, so I swept in past the lighthouse, with a big grin. After a full circuit that included circling Scotland Island, and passing Bayview (dog walks a decade and a half ago), and the Newey Arms (excellent place for a weekend daytime session!), I tied up at my pre arranged mooring at Careel boat yard. Unfortunately, I soon found out that having missed my slot, I'd be stuck until Monday (29th Oct), before the 24 hrs haulout.

This means I can make a local Seawind get together just 2 miles away. I was going to miss it, as I expected to be getting to my very final destination in Sydney Harbor, a few days prior, but now it would be crazy not to go. So that's my next activity - before the sailing adventure finally ends.

This week's delay, meant more jobs and jobs and jobs. Today I was up at the very top of the mast (no mean feat, at 61, using a manual mast climber!). I ws changing out both (!), the main halyard and topping lift - I'm still confounded that they both died together, in the last few days of the adventure!

Some boatyard work has been done while afloat - both engines serviced, new cooker and new fridge fitted. I also swapped the anchor (dropped it on my starboard big toe, which is now pretty blue ...), and then dropped the old one in the briney.

I've scrubbed and scrapped from bilges to roof - each scrubbed patch, further highlighting other places needing the same treatment. It could go on for ever, except that I'm definitely stopping next week, on arrival in Sydney. Cleaners will come aboard for a go, and that's it.

I did take one day off and cycled to North Narabeen and back (battery was flat by the very last hill!). Popped in at Mark & Gai's gym - and caught them both there - excellent - arranged to go up to their place next week for the night. Then I hope to head up to the 'Hunter Valley', to see another old mate - Macca. I also just caught Bill Renaud on messenger (an old friend from Microsoft), as he now lives in Sydney. I'm going to try and go to his place before I leave (Cherrybrook). Bill gave me the tip about the Russia job - 15 years ago - which started a major ball rolling. We've met up in Dubai, Sydney, Moscow, Venice, Paris, Germany, Uzbekistan (!), and Singapore - a good mate.

All's well on x86, looking pretty spick and span.