Parekura Bay

174.14 E 35.15 S
Parekura Bay
Bay of Islands. New Zealand.

We expected the learning curve on Duet ll to be steep; we hadn’t imagined it to be vertical. Our maiden voyage up to the Bay of Islands from the Hauraki Gulf, is a passage of only 100 miles, all the same we stopped for the night along the way, as we didn’t fancy anchoring for the first time in the dark. The wind was a brisk 25 knots from the South East, perfect for heading north. Continue reading Parekura Bay

Duet II

duet ii Gulf Harbour
New Zealand.

Christmas isn’t Christmas without stress! Simon had gone back to New Zealand ahead of me to oversee and install the new radar and wind instrumentation. The original equipment being 10 years old and was in need of an update. Continue reading Duet II

Careel Bay

33 36.88E
151 19.24S
10th May 2007
Careel Bay, Pittwater

Day of domestic crisis. I was in the process of making yoghurt when the boat lurched on an unexpected wave sending the bowl containing a liter of thick creamy yoghurt mix flying. Result? A thick gloopy mess that oozed everywhere. I turned on the tap which then exploded in my face. The jet of water hit the ceiling, sprayed out everywhere creating a water feature in the galley. Domestic goddess lost sense of humour. Mr Fixitski, the resident plumber says we need a new tap. What’s the betting that Aussy taps don’t fit European fittings?

Pittwater

33 36.13E
151 17.86S

Tuesday 8th May.

We departed Broughton Island as the sun set for an overnight passage to Pittwater. The wind picked up and we soon had to reduce sail to slow down. Didn’t want to arrive before first light. Off Newcastle I counted 18 ships at anchor. Fishing boats without lights made for an interesting time. Dawn broke as we passed Barrenjoey headland. 80 miles on the log.

Broughton Island

32 36.72S
152 18.13E

Sunday 6th May 2007

It’s supposed to be early winter but instead it’s hot sun, gentle breezes and the golden light associated with late summer. We set the sails and slowly drifted from Port Stephens to Broughton Island. A low scrub covered island with three anchorages, two to the south and one to the north, Providence bay where we are anchored.

Port Stephens

32 41.05S
152 03.73E

Fame Cove, Port Stephens.
3rd May 2007

Last night was slow progress. No wind or what there was from astern. A blazing full moon compensated for the lack of sailing. Dawn brought a breath of wind that freshened enough for us to contemplate continuing on to Pittwater. But as Simon had just bought a new chart of Port Stephens seemed a pity to waste it. An hour or so later when the wind dropped again there was no discussion and we altered course. After 156 miles we are now on a public mooring in a secluded bush surrounded bay with nothing but the call of water birds for company. Bliss.

Duet’s progress

30 54’58S
153 10’30E

Wednesday 2nd of April.

We left Coffs harbour around 0630 with the promise of N’ly winds. So far we’ve motored for most of the time. Wind is in the right direction but little of it. Dolphins and shearwaters. The Tasman sea seems to produce the biggest swell I’ve ever seen. Now we seem to have picked up the East Australian current which is giving us 1.5 knots. Close inshore fishing floats with long lines attached are a pest.

Coffs Harbour

30 18.25 S
153 08.82 E

Coffs Harbour.
Friday

Once south of 28 south the whole atmosphere changes and we are suddenly into the Tasman Sea. Balmy weather and the blue waters of semi tropical Queensland are behind us. We have seen dozens of yachts en route migrating north like a flock of swallows. Are we mad? As I was tossed about in my bunk last night whilst we bashed to windward on our way south, I certainly thought so. Continue reading Coffs Harbour