Our first day in Port Stephens was one of fantastic weather so we took the opportunity to walk up Tomaree Head to be rewarded by great views up and down the coast. We also visited the old WW2 gun emplacements designed to defend the port from invasion. We always take the opportunity to grab a Geocache when we can so also picked one up on the headland as well. We spent the afternoon swimming in Shoal Bay before moving around to Nelson Bay before the next few days of forecast rain arrived.
|Shoal Bay anchorage|
|The view North from Port Stephens|
|Rainy day entertainment|
We moved the girls from their berth up front back into their sea berth in the middle of the boat, stowed the dinghy and set out at 10:30. It was pitch black and the run out tide at Port Stephens Heads made it a very lumpy exit into some steep seas. Once out we turned North and sailed for Seal Rocks while Em and I settled into our three hours on, three hours off watch system.
Ava slept in the cockpit with me on watch until about 3:00am as it was a bit lumpy for her downstairs while D'Arcy snored through the night in her bunk below!
|Ava on watch!|
|Dawn and we are sailing North in good conditions|
With some trepidation we lined up to cross the bar and surfed the swells in to the narrow entrance with breakers either side. It was a good day on the bar, though for us novices on Aratika 2 there were still some elevated pulses!
|Crossing the bar|
|In the river.|
We are snug in the Hastings river now and the girls have already been spirited away by their beloved grandparents for sleepovers and endless treats!