Day 31 July 4, happy 4th of July

Well a lot has happened since last I wrote. We finally left Newcastle on Wed 2 July. We liked Newcastle but really a long weekend is all you need there. After the Fort (Strickley, from where Japanese subs were fired upon in WW11), the pretty beaches, the Museum, the Art Gallery, a lovely riverside area full of restaurants & low rise apartments & businesses (Docklands designers take note), there are countless 2nd hand book shops, tattoo artists, & a shopping mall (pedestrian as well as the enclosed type), there’s not a lot else. O & a lighthouse. We were there so long, we were put on the weekly rate!! So on July 2, we headed to Shoal Bay in Port Stephens. We had originally thought we would spend a few days there but we’re just so keen to take advantage of the good weather, that we left next morning early and arrived at Forster-Tuncurry, Cape Hawke Harbour, late in the arvo. A series of unfortunate events caused us to clip another Cat while trying to berth alongside some pilings between 2 boats, fighting a 3 knot tide in a very narrow channel. No damage to us, very minor to the other, & the owners very sympathetic. My first, and last (thanks Al) mishap I hope. Steve left us here, situation at home requiring his return, so after a month it was farewell. Tom had joined us in Newcastle, so we are 3 again. Seas over the last couple of days have been variable between messy, 1-2.5m swell, couple of us a bit seasick the first day, and calm. And the winds, yet again right behind us, we have the sails up & occasionally get a bit of speed up. Watching whales breaching within 100 metres has been spectacular if a little disconcerting. Dolphins often follow us, gorgeous playful creatures, breaking up the monotony of their day & ours. A pod just escorted us then. In our excitement, the fellas grab cameras & I start yelling, they’re not hooked on! We have decided to make a run for Coffs Harbour which means my first overnight sail. Not really looking forward to it, but very keen to get there as there is some bad weather coming & we could get stuck. Will try & upload some dolphin pics soon. O and a momentary panic, opened the new pack of coffee only to find it’s the whole beans & no grinder. Necessity being the mother of invention, a clean rag & a hammer, hey presto coarse ground coffee. Saved!

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