Eventually we dragged ourselves away from the marina and set across to Fame Cove for the night. It’s only one nm away but could be a million miles away! Fame Cove is the local’s not-so-well-kept secret. It is an almost enclosed bay, surrounded by steep bushland covered hills. There’s barely any civilisation in sight other than the six public moorings. Immediately after we entered we were in millpond conditions, and the utter quietness after three days of howling winds was pure heaven. Nothing but birdsong to hear until the dolphins came in for their evening circuit of the bay at twilight. Then there was just the calm quiet breathing of two or three dolphins lazily working the bay for their evening supper.
We spied a familiar yacht on a mooring and recalled seeing him there on the same mooring on our way north 20 months ago. Can’t say we blame him really!
In the morning the whole sky had changed. Gone were the dark brooding clouds only to be replaced with a clean blue sky and sunlight dancing on the still water. Gone also was the persistant southerly which had plagued us for the last four days.
Time to move on to our last anchorage before we return home for Christmas.
Newcastle is a nice short daysail further south and, as we arrived at the entry to Port Stephens just on slack water we had an easy passage around the headland and then a favourable wind to make our passage. (At last!)
Lots of dolphins accompanied us as did the F18 Hornet jets which fly out of the military base at Williamstown. They were too fast for my camera but spectacularly low as they raced past us.
We are now tied up the marina at the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club where all the interest has been on watching the coming and goings of tugs as they move the floating dock Muloobinba which lies opposite the marina to the next bay in preperation for it’s passage to the east coast of Africa after a refit in Singapore.
Muloobinba has been a local fixture here since 1978, so it will be quite a change of scenery for the Novocastrian’s when she makes her outward passage. Unfortunately she is now too small for most Australian ships so must find her work elsewhere.
Today her operators sank her to enable the loading of a floating crane which will travel with her, then raised her again as the tugs moved back in and she slowly made her way out of the marina precinct. Lots of people holding their breath as the wind decided to come gusting in just at that moment and we were pleased to see her safely clear our arm of the marina!