Our shipping date from Newcastle has been delayed by about 10 days (now due on the 16th March) and so we have decided to stay in beautiful Pittwater and Broken Bay, to enjoy the sunshine and get as many boat jobs done as we can, before sailing north to meet the ship. The MV Damgracht sounds like a German swearword but looks pretty impressive:
This area has to be one of the best sailing playgrounds that we've ever known and being here has made us do something that live-aboard sailors often fail to do - go sailing just for the fun of it. Long-term cruisers tend to think in terms of passages from one harbour to the next and then the sails are stowed and we start living in the new temporary neighbourhood. Somehow the effort of rigging the boat for anything other than the journey to the next place seems too much. It has been lovely, therefore, to have the time here to say, 'It's a great sailing breeze, let's go and play for a couple of hours' and,of course, all the local boats racing or just messing about on the water just act as encouragement.
|Di on mainsheet-traveler trimming as we beat out into a 20 knot breeze|
|Lovely downwind sailing into Cowan Creek|
|Those returning home on a Sunday evening had a less pleasant experience, motoring against wind and swell|
|One of the many free visitors' moorings - this one at Cottage Rock Beach|
|The view from the beach|
|After months of conserving water on Maunie, an unlimited fresh-water shower was a wonderful thing....|
|..... even though it's cold!|
|Somebody has even bolted a hook to the rock to allow you to fill a bucket or jerrycan|
|Perseverance was built as a Navy work boat during the second world war and was given a new cabin and a massive 6-cylinder Gardner diesel engine in the 1990's|
|Dennis, left, does the hard work of the race committee whilst everyone else drinks and eats|
So, very sadly, this is our final weekend in Pittwater. We celebrated with a superb spinnaker run to a mooring at Hallets Beach yesterday with a wee refreshment en route; Graham is very delighted to have found Thatchers Cider on sale in local bottle shop!
We'll sail up to Newcastle on Monday - it's about a 10 hour passage and there's a southerly wind forecast to help us along - and then we have about 10 days in the marina to get Maunie ready to meet Damgracht. The list of jobs covers a side and a half of A4 paper so we won't have too much time for regrets about leaving here.