We are currently in Eden, NSW. Eden is a former whaling station, now considered the best place in Australia to witness the annual Humpback Whale migration. It is also one of the rare places in the world where you can observe the whales feeding. Besides the Humpback whale, the Orca, Southern Right and sometimes the Blue whale can be seen. Eden is also the departure port for boats like us that are planning to sail further south to Tasmania.
We arrived here after four big hops down the coast from Bundaberg, a distance of about 800 nm. The EAC by the way is East Australia Current, and man does it move. Sailing down the coast is like riding a conveyor belt. (We were so impressed that Liliane wrote a song about it …recording to come ). We would pickup the southbound current about 15-20 miles off the coast. The other thing to contend with are sand bars at many of the port entrances which must be timed with the incoming tide to transit safely. On our leg from Mooloolaba to Iluka/Yamba, we needed to slow the boat down so as not to arrive to early to cross the bar. First time we ever dropped all the sails and were still doing 4 to 5 kts. We even dragged some lines to slow us a bit. The fun will be when we need sail back up the coast later this year. Hugging the coast on the way up seems to be the strategy.
We stopped at Mooloolaba to visit our friends Sheryl and Ian (formerly on Faraway) who we met in 2010 in Panama, then again in the Marquesas. They have a beautiful home near the beach just north of Mooloolaba. We stayed with them a couple of nights and they showed us the sights in the area.
Think they have been bitten by the boat bug again, as they are out looking at catamarans. It seems difficult for former cruisers to every truly leave the the sea behind.
We spent a week anchored at Iluka in the Clarence River where we met up again with our friends Joanne and Serge on Spirare. We did a lot of great rain forrest and beach walks. From there we did a two day run (Christmas at sea!) down to Broken Bay.
Next was a 36 hour sail to Eden. We purposely skipped Sydney, much to busy this time of year, with the plan to spend time there on the way back up the coast in April.
We have been busy playing music and Liliane has just finished another song called “Drinking Rain Water In My Hands”. It is a great song that describes the freedom and wonder of living a life on the water. Have a listen:
Joanne purchased a copy of the song “Friends” (Liliane’s first sale!). Here is the photo to prove it.
Eden is a nice spot to wait for the weather to cross the Bass Strait. The next week outlook does not look promising, so one day at a time. Meanwhile a few small boat projects, fill the boat up with diesel and play more music.