Taking the plunge

We finally got everything on board, though I think we will continue to rationalise! Pete contacted a couple of Holden dealers to see if he could get the car traded in today, Saturday, but we decided that he should arrange the deal when he comes back from Newcastle. This would allow us to get to Pittwater at a reasonable hour.

At 10.30, Susie and Kev dropped by to wish us farewell, and I finally met their v cute dog. They gave us a beautiful bottle champagne which immediately went on ice! We departed the dock at midday with our crew Trent and Jane, and farewelled Sydney on a glittering autumn afternoon.

IMG_1753Pete saubraged the champagne as we went through the heads, and we toasted the trip ahead, and drank fine wine as we headed away. Funny to think we would not be coming back soon.

We had a lovely easy motor sail up the coast, chatting, fishing, eating chorizo balls! I managed to do a bit more packing away, and some dinner prep.

Just after Pete went on to autohelm there was a big clunk, and the boat started behaving strangely. It seemed the ram had come away from the quadrant. Some lack of checking at the boatyard….this resulted in a strenuous half hour in the quadrant on arrival at Mushroom Bay, where luckily Pete was able to fix the problem. There was however damage to the structure in the quadrant that will need proper fibre glass repairs soon.

Having anchored and reset, fixed the autohelm and settled with an anchoring G& T, Pete realised he had left a multi grip in the quadrant. I had to deconstruct the cabin to access the quadrant again and get in to find it. Luckily it was there and we were able to close up and make up the spare bed yet again!

Dinner of roast lamb, spuds roasted in duck fat and chorizo oil, leeks in Chardonnay and pea salad, followed by Trents stupendous chocolate, stout and cream cake and we were all buggered. Ready for an early night.

we woke early to find the bay shrouded in mist, thoughwe were close enough to warp alongside Audacious, to complete the five yacht raft! A gentle morning as the sun burnt through to reveal a quiet anchorage, calm water and tree lined beauty.

Pete took the dinghy to pick up Fran and Chop at 11:30, and by 12:30 we were comfortably at Pilu, for the fabulous sharing lunch. We sat looking out over the deserted marina to the tranquil beauty of coal and candle creek, as we ate five delicious courses and supped delightful Sardinian wines.

We returned to the boats at around 3, and spent an hour or two in the rela ation floatation station, more wine, beautiful sunset, then Jane’s version of my paella, which went down very well indeed. Once repeat, however, the Wine-Dark Sea dance party got underway, and you will need the check Facebook for the pictures!

We did eventually get to bed around midnight, most of us sleeping like the dead! Monday was spent jet boating in Richards pride and joy, Wulffn, and the visitors packing and leaving, until at around midday, Wine-Dark Sea was down to 4 pob for the start of the Squadron Cruise.

We motored slowly round to Hallets Beach, via Akuna Bay to drop rubbish and get ice, and Cottage Point for Milk. We had a light lunch on arrival at Hallets, then as boats started to arrive, we acquired a necklace of race boats. Williams was first, then One More No More, and finally Hell Razer. We couldn’t stop to party though as committee members had to get to the beach to BBQ.

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A fantastic evening, back to the boat for a coffee and baklava, a glass or two of Malbec for World Malbec Day, with Willyama crew Trish, Eric and Wendy, then an early night. Lovely start to the Cruise!

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