Well moving the boat proved to be quite an experience .
We managed to manoeuvre out of the berth and then get ourselves alongside the fuel dock, whilst avoiding hitting the enormous multi-million dollar Americas Cup sailboat that was also re fuelling.
That done, we plugged in the coordinates for an anchorage across the other side of the harbour and set sail. It’s a busy old harbour is Sydney, but we swerved the ferries and sailboats and other various floating craft and without causing death or destruction, we reach our destination.
Given the fact that we had never sailed a catamaran in our lives, we did quite well. No one died and we didn’t break anything. Result.
Now all we had to do was drop the anchor and settle in for a sundowner ….
After three times of trying to get the damn thing set, we finally swallowed our pride and hailed a nearby monohull and asked for help. They gladly launched their dinghy and came on board to help us sort out our mess. This was to be the first of many experiences of the kindness and helpfulness of fellow yachties.
We spent the next few days swinging about on our anchor and watching the world go by.
Tim and Sandy arrived on Wednesday and we collected them from the nearby jetty in Bob (our dinghy) .
After a quick look over of the boat, Tim took charge and we were shortly motoring across the harbour to the open sea. Nothing beats sailing under that iconic bridge and past the Opera house on your own boat.
Due to the weather, we sailed overnight to Port Stephens and then hung out there for a few days to wait for the next south easterly winds to kick in. And there are a lot worse places to hang out… Fame Cove was especially beautiful, but we were on a schedule , so Saturday was spent getting last minute provisions and on Sunday we sailed out into lumpy seas and strong winds to continue our journey northwards.
DT proved her worth as we were tossed about in 2-3 meter swells and encountered 30 plus knot winds. The dolphins didn’t seems to mind the weather and we had two lovely encounters with them racing alongside us and leaping from wave to wave.
Nightfall brought our first night watches which were a huge learning curve. Depth perception is tricky at night and it’s hard to tell how far away lights are. Also a lot of fishing boats don’t have AIS, so we had to be super alert. However, with clear skies and a full moon, the night sky is a joy
Sailing past the Byron Bay lighthouse (The most Easterly point of Australia) was magical. The seas had calmed and the stars twinkled and all was good with the world.
500 miles later , on Tuesday 20th December DT sailed into her at new home at The Royal Queensland Squadron Marina in Manly. We tied off, cracked the champagne and then grabbed a cab home to say ‘hello’ to the cat and get organised for our first Christmas on board.
Exciting times ahead.