Leaving the city behind…

We felt it was time to continue our southbound journey.
Waving goodbye to South Head and shrugging off the two Naval Frigates who accompanied us out of the harbour we set sail south. A short but lovely sail had us in Port Hacking. We had intended to stay at Jibbon Beach, as recommended by our cruising friends Deb and Neil, but a northerly was forecast so we moved over into Gunnamatta Bay and parked ourselves on a vacant mooring. So peaceful was it that we stayed an extra day, albeit having to move onto other ‘vacant’ moorings as the Christmas season wanderers returned home from their cruising grounds! On our way in and out we passed one of the most laughable cardinal marks in Australia! It is literally two feet from a solid rock cliff and there is no way a vessel could get behind it!
Another short hop had us in Woolongong.The harbour is tiny and was hand built by convicts, although a lot of the evidence of their hard labour has been covered in concrete. Here there are no vacant moorings and one must raft alongside either a charter fishing boat or a massive trawler. The charter boats are the best option. We chose one, phoned its owner and settled in. We moved the next day to accomodate his early am departure but found another boat behind him which had no plans to leave until early Sunday morning, which suited us just fine.
As with our last visit here the city was gripped by a heatwave. Friday’s temperature topped 46 degree’s C before a massive southerly change moved in, dropping the temperature by 20 degrees in five minutes and dumping loads of leaf mulch and dried grass on our decks and below!
Every commercial fishing boat in this harbour is owned by Australian Italians and it’s lovely to see the Italian names on the sides of the boats. Italian friendliness isnt far away either. Our favourite beachfront cafe is also Italian operated as is the Co-op.
The hardstand area across from our side of the harbour was a constant source of entertainment. Thursday afternoon we witnessed a scene straight from ‘Streets of L.A.’ as an unmarked police car came flying down into the crowded space, hurtling over the speed bumps. Six or seven other police cars and vans and one ambulance also arrived. We couldnt see what eventuated but finally another hotted up car left the premises, revving its engine the whole way. Later that night the local hoons gathered, around thirty of them, but they too moved on quietly. The next two days the scene was occupied by three weddings…. Fascinating street theatre!
At four thirty am this morning we moved on again, this time to Jervis Bay. We are currently tucked up at the anchorage known as ‘Hole in the Wall’. It’s a truly beautiful spot. As we sailed in today we had dolphins under the bow and in 7.7m of water could see the bottom clearly.. Magic!

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