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.

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

Cruising Australia

Hill Inlet Whitsunday cruising continued to be a relaxed affair and quite different from other South Pacific islands. First noticeable difference is that there are no locals paddling out to the yachts in their dugouts to exchange fruit for T-shirts. Secondly the anchorages are packed with bare boat and backpacker charter boats. Continue reading Cruising Australia

Inland Dreaming

Harvest Brisbane was hot and steaming when we returned to Duet at the end of February, not that this worried us having left an extremely chilly UK behind us. We packed up the car and set off for stage one of our intended inland cruise around Australia. First on our list was to head for the vineyards of the south. We had developed a passion for Shiraz — the rich black gold of the wine country.

Continue reading Inland Dreaming