Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Back on the Move

We let Coffs Harbour at lunchtime Saturday for the 230 nautical mile sail to Mooloolaba, arriving on Monday morning. It was sad to say goodbye to our close friends in Coffs but exciting to once again be travelling. 

Waving Goodbye
Special Friends in Coffs Harbour

Aratika 2 leaves Coffs Harbour

We were joined on the trip by our mate Chris and it was great to have his company for the 44 hours the passage took us to complete. Not the least we enjoyed the increased sleep we got with 3 of us doing watches. Thanks Chris! 

We motor sailed the first part then the breeze filled in and we had good sailing conditions up into Queensland. Ava was determined to stay in her pyjamas for the whole passage. A feat she achieved with no trouble at all.
Ava in her passage attire

We saw lots of Humpback whales on the way which was fantastic. Many were slapping fins, spy hopping and breaching quite near us. It's so great to see this population coming back in big numbers on the Australian coast. 

Passing Cape Byron at dawn was very nice as were the views of Mt Warning as we crossed the border to finally be in Queensland and the Coral Sea.

Cape Byron

Coming in to Mooloolaba we crossed the path of the giant US Navy Super Carrier USS George Washington. We were on a collision course and had to get them to give way as power gives way to sail!! 

Power gives way to sail

We are looking forward to seeing friends here in Mooloolaba as we spend a few days exploring the local area and attractions
Sailing North

Friday, 12 July 2013

Coffs Continues

Well we have certainly been in Coffs Harbour longer than we expected. We are staying here as we sort out a medical issue. It's nothing too serious but enough to stop us sailing on just yet.

We haven't been idle though and have celebrated both the girls birthdays with friends and visiting family. D'Arcy turned 7 and Ava turned 10 with the obligatory cakes and birthday dinners for both.

We have also explored the local area with trips to Urunga where there is a great mangrove boardwalk and to Bellingen to the fantastic markets and cafes there. We also had a great visit from Emma's mum  and have had a few catchups with her Uncle John who lives in nearby Grafton.
Mangrove Boardwalk

Grandma visits
Last week we ventured up into chilly New England to visit Robb's family in Armidale. It was great to catch up with rarely seen uncles, aunts and cousins who met us with wonderful hospitality.

A walk in New England National Park
From here we went to Byron Bay where the weather was foul and the crowds huge though it didn't stop us walking out to the most Eastern point in Australia and visiting the lighthouse.
At the Eastern Point at Byron
Coffs has lots to offer with our good friends Mel, Bryan, Freyja and Milla living here along with a myriad of walks, beaches and little gems like Australia's only vegan Japanese cafe, locally blended coffee, farmers markets and an amazing organic bakery!

Not sure how much longer we will be here but there's still lots of time left in the year and Coffs is a warm and usually sunny place to hang out for a while.