Dolphins and fairy penguins

We departed Newy at 0930 with two excited six year olds wanting to know when we were going to sail! We had to negotiate an incoming ship first, which arrived earlier than scheduled and needed four tugs to assist. We got a close look at ship and tugs!

Once out of the harbour the forecast swell showed its ugly self and we rolled our way north, staying wide of our course so we could sail to reduce the roll. Once we killed the motor and hand steered it was ok, but too late for poor Sophie who was quite green by now. She had also eaten a pile of grapes, so when she finally succumbed to the vomit, it looked like she had had a long night on red wine! At least that’s how Stu looked, who caught the main flow on his white tee shirt and shorts pocket! Sophie seemed a little better once she had got it out of her system and curled up for a snooze in the blanket. However Caitlin then felt bad and needed lots of cuddles to make the boring sailing better!

Everyone perked up when the fishing rod screamed out with a fish on the line, but as Pete started fighting it, trying to get it in, we were all horrified to see a small shark leap out of the water on the line! Though Pete tried valiantly, eventually the shark took fish, lure and line and we returned to course. By now we were at the heads of Port Stephens and the motion started to improve, helping the girls get back to normal, and starting to look forward to meeting mum.

Despite the lack of sun, Port Stephens turned it on for us, with Dolphins meeting us as we entered the Bay, with a small escort of fairy penguins. The girls were delighted.

We docked at D’Albora marina, met Megan, had Nutella sandwiches and then waved goodbye, as they all headed back to Newy and we settled in to planning our next leg. We will have a day of work tomorrow, with Noakes doing some repairs, we will prepare some meals for a couple of nights at sea, and do the final packing of engine spares and wine. At this stage Lord Howe is unlikely, with the route planning showing

upwind or motoring for the next week. Alternative is therefore Mooloolaba, with a possible stop at Coffs if need be. We will make final decisions tomorrow based on updated forecasts, and probably leave here Tuesday or Wednesday.


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