We spent our last week in Batemans Bay enjoying coffee’s and lunches with cruising friends, old and new. Team Zolibato (Neil and Deb) came and rescued us from boatland, taking us down to Broulee for lunch and spending the afternoon wandering around the delightful village of Mogo. Mogo is a window shoppers dream, lots of interesting places to wander in and out of. The crew of Fare Thee Well joined in for an afternoon of Bocce in the park, as did the crew of Argos. It was a tight competition, with the threat of buying coffee’s for all the next morning hanging over the head of the loser. Luckily the evening insects saved the day and it was one all for each team! Fare Thee Well had been headed for Hobart’s Wooden Boat Festival but came into the bay to sit out ex T C Oswald. Unfortunately when they attempted to leave they hit the bar and damaged their steering, ending their cruise. They headed home the day we left the marina and we wished for a fair passage on their way north. We remembered seeing them at Eden two years previously, also on their way to Hobart.
With a good deep tide we exited the marina and headed over to the moorings under Square Head to sit out the worst of the southerly. Pre-dawn two days later we headed down to one of our favourite ports on the NSW coast, Bermagui.The day was dark and cloudy and the wind always within thirty degrees of the bow but the scenery great and the sailing easy. Fling made good speeds as she picked up the East Australian Current. We rafted up third boat out and sat back to enjoy this pretty harbour.
Next morning a text message from Team Zolibato, who were headed south to go camping saw us at Mr Jones for coffee’s. Mr Jones is a tiny hole in the wall coffee shop run by no other than Mr Jones, an artist and ex Melbourne Barrista of renown! We sat on our upturned milk crates and laughed that the last good coffee we had enjoyed together was at Mr Bones, another establishment run by an ex Melbourne Barrista. Mr Bones is at Airlie Beach in Queensland. So on from Mr Bones to Mr Jones! Coffee’s morphed into a long lunch on the deck of the Fishermans Wharf. Fantastic fun and so good to catch up! Neil and Deb headed off to the dubious comfort of their tent somewhere on the south coast and we retired to Fling.
Another perfect day of Bermagui weather kept us harbour bound whilst the wind blew. We tramped up the hill to visit the Blue Pool, an ocean bath, but the strong winds didn’t encourage swimming. Dinner at the downstairs Asian restaurant back at the wharf completed Valentines day perfectly.
Up early and off to Eden, after a slow start we had a great sail again riding the tide and current almost all the way. As we entered Twofold Bay a lone Laser sailed out near us. We tied up to the wharf and waited for a yacht to depart from the only fishing boat to raft up to. Just as we were casting off out lines a friendly voice offered to jump on the fishing boat and take our lines.
Lo and behold it was Gote, our cruising companion from two years ago! He and Rosalind were here in Eden for a weekend Laser regatta and he had recognised us sailing in! Their yacht Veedon Fleece is currently in Borneo awaiting their return. Today Rosalind has so generously driven us up the hill to reprovision and refuel. The visitors wharf here is under refurbishment which prevents the fuel truck from driving on it, so this kindness saved us hours of back breaking labour! We look forward to catching up this evening to hear of Gote’s progress in the regatta.
It constantly amazes me how tiny our sailing community is. We bump into fellow sailors in all sorts of unexpected places. A wooden yacht returning from Hobart is rafted outside of us today. One of the crew remembers our yacht from when she was first imported into Australia, when she was berthed in Pittwater. Feeling Yachts are rare in Australia but this man was able to recall seeing her both in Pittwater and from when she sometimes was based in Townsville some ten years later.
I enjoy spending time in a working harbour and this morning’s special joy was watching the spectacle of the Eden fleet being visited by the Bishop of Goulburn and Canberra. He arrived by boat and received a large wooden cross and visited the working fleet to celebrate the Dioscese’s 150th anniversary. The cross will be carried in a pilgrimage up the south coast and will complete it’s journey in Canberra. Nothing like a religious spectacle at 7am on a quiet Saturday morning!