Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Week 5: Port Stephens

Home sweet ocean

Thirty hours later we arrived at our destination; the Port of Stephen. Conditions had been less than ideal; a constant large swell combined with a variety of wind strengths competing with an opposing current. Rounding the last cliffs into the Port Stephens inlets was the slowest part of the journey, sails flapping noisily, ditsy wind all over the shop, (remember we had no engine to motor us through this part). Tired skipper and crew finally drifted to a halt, dropped anchor and staggered about the cabin muttering with slow weak jerky withdrawal symptom-like movements. We cooked and ate in a daze before collapsing for a well overdue rest.

We loved remaining marooned on the boat for the entire next day, indulging in chilling out, reading, smiling, and stuffing our faces with M&Ms (Paul’s one vice) whilst film watching. 
Duchmans Bay

Energy restored, we spent the remaining days tied to a free mooring jetty alongside a gaggle of fellow yachties. Our first boating community was born.

Our yachting community
Weather reports dictated that it would be at least a week before we would be able to leave again... such is the cruising life (on a boat with no engine :p). And so that week was spent slowing down and adjusting to the leisurely pace of our days to come, hilltop walks, 4-wheel drives over sand dunes and evening strolls along stretches of sand.

Free climbing
Paul's Spiderman impression
Look at meeeeeeeeeee!

Evening cruise through the sand dunes

Cosy evenings were spent filling our nostrils with fumes from storms (of the food variety), which were taken in turns to be cooked aboard each vessel in our community, re-enacting nautical versions of the TV program “Come dine with me”.

Dinner on Gypsy Lover, a Roberts 37 with Brad, Jon & Cheryl

Burritos on Windy, a Beneteau 43

I remember feeling frustrated when first learning that it was going to take so long to get moving again, but after having taken time to slow down and enjoy such a beautiful place, I feel lucky.

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