I’m currently motor sailing between Foster and Crowdy Bay in what can best be described as “a lumpy sea” after the southerly change of last night. A bit uncomfortable but all under control.

I left Sydney on Wednesday morning and sailed to Newcastle, anchoring behind Nobbys lighthouse. Those bloody ships going in and out all night did not make for peaceful sleep!

Yesterday was a stunning day. I left Newcastle at 7 and dropped anchor at Broughton Island at 12:30. Spent the afternoon exploring the island on foot after launching the kayak. What a wild place! I would have been better off going all the way to Seal Rocks for the night as the first 3 hours this morning, to Mt Sugar Loaf across Providence Bay, was at a very awkward angle to the sou’easter and the sea. Hey ho, always wanted to go to Broughton and yesterday was the perfect day for it.

Got up and 5am and will be in Port Mac by 9pm tonight, so a long day. Planning a rest day there tomorrow before continuing to Coffs on Sunday, when it’s meant to be sunny.

Broughton Island

Providence Beach, Broughton Island
Providence Beach, Broughton Island

Broughton Island… Often wanted to stop there, but the conditions were never right.

It’s wild and pristine (if you overlook the prickly pear that has invaded large areas of the vegetation near the shore).

There are three campsites in Esmaralda Cove, on timber platforms with tiedowns for the tent lines – very nicely done. I’ll send you photos when I’ve processed them.

I stayed in North Bay/Providence Beach as I knew we were due for a southerly overnight, but there’s a footpath across to Esmaralda Cove, only a couple of hundred metres hike. Unfortunately the rest of the island is covered in very dense scrub (and prickly pear) so I couldn’t explore inland or get to the little peak. I tried! I did hike along the shore though and it is very beautiful. Lots of rock pools and kelp beds etc. Must be good snorkeling there.

Engine Trouble

Noticed a pool of oil under the engine as I got to the RMYC marina last week. After a clean and hard run we confirmed it was coming from the bell housing, so out with the engine. What inconvenient timing! I have to now move onto the boat with the green death squatting in the middle of the saloon. Still, could be worse. At least we’re not all four living on board up the Queensland Coast!