From Brisbane to Bobbin Head

[] [] [] From Brisbane to Bobbin Head

We have completed the journey from Brisbane and are now comfortably moored at the Empire Marina, formerly Halvorsen Marina in the wonderful Kuring –Gai National Park. This has been a long, 11 day, trip with unexpected weather challenges. We finally got a break after staying at the Southport Yacht Club for four days and ventured out into the sea. The first day was good as the wind swung around from on the beam to quartering seas—a good position for Furthur.

We did an overnight run and pulled crossed the bar at Port Macquarie the next afternoon. This is a small coastal town with a small and friendly marina. We have been reading the “Cruising the NSW Coast” as it is the best cruising guide available. When we docked, Prue spotted the author’s boat right behind us. The author and his lovely wife came over, signed my book and had a chat. This couple reminds me of the Douglass who write the great NW cruising guides. Their book is essential for any Australian cruiser.

We held up in PM for another night as the wind picked back up. While there I got another great haircut from the crew. We explored the town, ate some good meals and bid Prue good bye as her time off ran out before we could finish the trip. She was a great hand coming down and will be missed.

Adom and I set out with the morning tide to cross the bar and head south. This was the banner day of the trip, sun, following seas, and tons of dolphins—one actually followed us out of the harbor and across the bar. Adom got this great airborn shot.

We ran until dark and decided to anchor at Broughton Island as the waters ahead were very crowded with ships going and coming from Newcastle. I have seen more ships on this leg than all the trip for Seattle, Australia has a huge shipping program.

We anchored just as darkness fell, Adom cooked us a phenomenal Kangaroo steak dinner—yup we ate skippy.

As we were just into our first episode of Big Bang Theory—a nightly tradition on Furthur now—we heard a loud bang—then another one? We dashed about the boat trying to find the source—nothing out of place. Adom went topside to make a phone call and I heard him yelp. Some sort of duck was committing hairy kauri by crashing into the mast and falling on the deck, probably attracted by the anchor light.

By morning we had collected about a dozen birds, all alive but unwilling to leave. We let them rest then set them flying.

We entered Broken Bay and into the Pittwater waterway and up to Bobbin Head. This is a very well protected water way surrounded by national parks and marine reserves—total wilderness. We found the marina and got our slip, ate dinner, a couple of BBT’s and got the rest we had missed. I awoke to the wonderful cal of the Kookaburra bird.

The next day I met Andrew, the marina owner and a Selene owner as well. He was very hospitable and saw to our every need. I also found Mark Halvorsen, owner of Selene Australia and Halvorsen Boats. Mark and I have been friends for years and it was good to see him. It was good to be back in the world of Selene and talk shop.