How many people get to live their dreams? I am..........!

This is my story from the time when Capt'n John and I first decided to sail around the big block, to circumnavigate this great land of ours, AUSTRALIA.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Catching Up with Family in Port Macquarie

Catching Up with Family in Port Macquarie
overnight passage to Port Macquarie - what a way to break my day
Port Macquarie - heading into the Hastings River

Life Goes On - The Hastings River Anchorage
Port Macquarie is a true water lover's paradise with the beautiful Hastings River waterway to play on or away from the river, Port Macquarie has clean and uncrowded beaches.

During our stay in Port Macquarie MrJ and I had ALANA ROSE anchored in the Hastings River a little way past the PM marina in extremely shallow water; that shallow that we would go partially high and dry during the big moon tides.

you can always rely on a pelican or tow in the river waterways

do you get the idea that there are a few pelicans on or around the river
and then there were the corellas 
the river waterway with its calmness was the perfect place for all kinds of water sports

swimmers were out in droves, every morning, swimming in the brown river waters
he got very excited to have his picture taken
and more kayaking
kayakers and dolphins
the anchorage between the marina and Pelican Island
this old steelie was too big to anchor near
we would both swing different way and I know who would come off second best.....
morning over the waterway
the neighbours are a bit messy
guess which is not like the others...............?
the sloop on its side
most days it was fine with a few clouds building in the west
other days it pored with rain
raining over the town of Port Macquarie
sunshine and clear skies was nice when it happened
cloudy skies make for great reflection photography

The Things We Saw and Did Around Port Macquarie
There was a Vintage Car Rally in the Resort grounds near the marina - some beautiful well kept old cars
MrJ and I took a stroll through the Sunday Markets
loved this man's metal work, not too many people around with expert Blacksmith skills
we could feed the fish at the marina while sitting sipping a glass of wine
at the cafe
then there was the carting jerries to get our  fuel
we went for a beer at one of the local waterfront pubs
and met up with Marita and Jeff for a yummy Thai diner
sunset from downtown
sunset from the town jetty
Bella, Edward & Livy
three of my grandkids were in town for the night over one weekend with mum, Carla and dad Corey
we had lunch with Cherie, Tarryn & Lindy
We went with the family for a fun day at the beach
Port Macquarie’s most popular family beach, Flynn’s Beach, features cafĂ© with a timber deck and grassed, shaded picnic area to the sand.

Steve, Sam and Lindy enjoy a dip.

More things we saw or did...................
There is a very interesting walk out along the the river to the mouth. Lining the edge of the walkway is the rock breakwall which has had most of its rock painted by local people.
abstract rock painting
The town beach is off the southern side of the Hastings River mouth. It is here, when the surf is running, that the boys and girls ride the waves.
In the Zone
Wipe Out

The Park Street Bridge is only a small bridge that crosses the waterway to access the residential areas on Settlement Point, an island in the Hastings River. This bridge was directly west to our anchorage behind Pelican Island.
Red Sunset
Running the Bridge
Another Runner
A Moody Sunset
Soon came the morning to be leaving............

Steve and Sam were on the break wall to wave farewell
MrJ and I had calm seas and great weather to sail up the coast once again. Our next port of call was to be Iluke at the entrance of the Clarence River.

Monday, 9 June 2014

A Stop-Over in Port Stephens

A Stop-Over in Port Stephens

5th April 2014
Here we go again; off to another stop-over with the rain following.
This is my view as ALANA ROSE approaches the entrance to Port Stephens.
Port Stephens Lighthouse stands tall and elegant on Fingal Island with a view over the rocks of Fingal Bay. Built in 1862, Point Stephens Lighthouse features a swept tower base and first floor entrance that give a flared appearance. This construction, along with the terrace of Lighthouse Keepers’ quarters within the lighthouse precinct makes Point Stephens unique among Australian lighthouses.
the swell ponds the shore of Fingal Island
a power boat ploughs through the swell to get out of the port
immediately inside Port Stephens is Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay is named after the numerous sand shoals which are scattered around the area. 
Port Stephens offer a wonderful water playground for the sailing enthusiast 
oour first night in we took up a public mooring in Nelson's Bay, the courtesy moorings in Port Stephens are labelled with a 24hour limit although I have been told that some people stay on them for as long as three days
MrJ says cheers to some great sunsets

6th April 2014
the numbers of bird life has definitely increased since coming into Port Stephens
and so did the rain - we had moved around to a public mooring in Salamander Bay
to be able to meet good friends Cath and Tim Deverell for lunch,
Cath worked with MrJ in the NSWRFS many years ago
in between showers MrJ though he might take a ride in to see where we would be meeting
the rain came down and drenched him 
the rain finally went and we were able to get ashore
Salamander Bay has a lovely sandy beach that shoals out a fare way
when the tide is out you will need to drag your dinghy a long way
so close to people and the bird life was prolific

MrJ has the job of pushing the dinghy back into the water while I take the photos ;o)))
second evening glorious sunset

7th April 2014
Port Stephen is also known for its dolphin watch tours
MrJ had been contacted by another couple of friends Don and Carol Luscombe;
he had made arrangements to meet them for coffee at Nelsons Bay
ALANA ROSE was back on the public mooring at Nelson's Bay 
Public jetty inside the Nelsons Bay boat harbour is used by the ferry that travels between Nelsons Bay and Tea Gardens; tying up here is not allowed. There are three or four free pens but these are far too small for our ALANA ROSE
d'Albora Marinas  owns the Nelsons bay Marina – no wonder they are so expensive to berth in
That afternoon finds MrJ and me back in Salamander Bay
We were in luck again as the single mooring was vacant so we picked it up again.
A friend Barbara from the WWSA FB site and her hubby Jim had invited us to dinner. Barbara and Jim were couple of Americans who work here; they are sailors themselves and have a yacht moored in the next bay. After a great meal and a lovely evening Barbara and Jim waded in the water to assist us getting the dinghy back in the water. Wonderful people!
The sea bird seem to love this little sand bank right out front of Barbara's house.
Kookaburras in the garden
feeding the Rainbow Lorikeets 

8th April 2014

ALANA ROSE moored in Fame Cove, a beautiful small sheltered cove that has five public moorings.
Public moorings are very popular in Port Stephens (I think they are great) as there is a lot of sea grass in the waterway. In NSW you can be fined if you anchor in the sea grass.
MrJ and I spent a quiet day in Fame Cove,
we did take the dinghy up the creek but the water runs out of depth only a short distance in.
 Up the creek there is plenty of mangrove swamp to be infested with mossies and sandflies in the warmer weather.
Can you see the big bird?
From a long way off using a zoom lens I think it could be either an eagle or an Osprey;
has the head and beak of a bird-of-prey.
MrJ and I love exploring a new waterway
Fame Cove is home for many other sea birds.
the sun begins to set
the sun has just dropped under the horizon and a pelican floats by
the night is beginning with a great show of colours
Thought I would throw this one in just to show that the colours are real..............!

9th April 2014

as the sun rose it splashed golden colour across Fame Cove
MrJ released the mooring line
we were on the move again, this time heading for Shoal Bay
last stop before we leave 
on the way out we stopped to say G'day to another boatie, John on Love of Gia
he was a friend of Barbara and Jims
passed a couple of early morning kayakers paddling around the waters
passed a dolphin watch vessel on its way in to pick up its passengers for the day
western end of Shoal Bay with the VMR station up on the point

the anchorage in Shoal bay
we were lucky once more to be able to pick up another public mooring
Shoal Bay is also home to a lot of sea birds

once tied to the mooring MrJ and I went ashore
Shoal Bay has always been a favourite with me, it has a smaller community than Nelsons Bay
there is a great long sandy beach and plenty of wonderful walking trails
not to mention a fabulous cafe on the waterfront
The Sandy Foot Cafe is one of my favourites
but you have a variety of cafe along the waterfront at Shoal Bay
the weather stayed sunny and warm all day
the sun was beginning to settle in the sky
it was time for MrJ and I to sail ALANA ROSE away from the idyllic place
we were going to sail overnight through to the Iluka on the Clarence River
Australia at War
As MrJ and I motor sail out of Port Stephens we pass the old WWII gun emplacement; part of Fort Tomaree on Tomaree Head or what is left of it. In the early 1940s Port Stephens was a large natural harbour close to the vulnerable, yet essential steelworks of Newcastle. Australia was at war with Japan. An unguarded Port Stephens could have provided an easy landing place for any hostile force. The guns at Newcastle were too far away to provide protection for Port Stephens. By the end of 1942 Fort Tomaree was constructed and ready, with two "six inch" (152mm) guns, torpedo tubes, mortars, machine guns, rifle pits, search lights, command posts, observation posts, barbed wire entanglements and accommodation. The guns were never fired in anger. Their installation did however provide peace of mind and the facilities for artillery training. Fort Tomaree included search light stations, a radar tower, torpedo tubes and barracks, where around 500 army, navy and air force personnel served. Most of the Fort’s buildings and guns have been removed; however the historic gun emplacements remain, a visual reminder of Australia’s military history.
Boondelbah Island, also known as the Boondelbah Nature Reserve, is an uninhabited 14-hectare island lying 2 km off the mouth of Port Stephens 
the sun began to set over the land  as we sailed further away from Port Stephens
the night slowly took over the sky and little was seen of the land behind
MrJ and I sail on into the night
anticipating our next adventures that the morrow would bring