Friday (12th February) we had plans to do some boat jobs but both felt a bit weary so decided to just chill and instead watched the anchoring shenanigans around us as the anchorage filled up. As the day boats left for the day we picked up the hook and re-anchored further away from the shore as the overnight forecast of brief NW winds would put us on a lee shore. During the manoeuvre we had a brief dolphin visit. Always lovely to see them come by although we do worry about them swimming in the channel with the speed some of the jetskiers come through here! We also admired some strange cloud formations above us before the sun set for the day.
Settled in for the night and we just sat down below listening to the wind and the rain, it was definitely a wild one but thankfully we held fast.
Saturday it was a bit brighter and we were surrounded by houseboats and it was crazy jetski busy. We waited until most of the crowds had gone and then went ashore for a couple of drinks and nibbles.
Whilst sitting outside Tipplers Café and Bar we enjoyed visits from both a wallaby and a monitor lizard. The guys sitting near us were feeding the lizard their chips and some lettuce and, of course, it then came close to them to get a better look at which point they freaked out and were worried about their toes getting chewed. Was really funny to watch – who would have thought big Aussie guys would be frightened of a lizard eh??
We had a quiet night back on board and then retired early listening to the very heavy rain falling on the coach roof. There had also been an earthquake detected near New Caledonia which meant a tsunami warning was in place for Lord Howe Island but thankfully not the east coast of Australia. Luckily the danger was over quickly and the warning was soon dropped.
Sunday morning and it was Happy Valentine’s Day. We enjoyed exchanging our cards and had a leisurely morning.
The wind had swung south early on and we were now pointing back down the river towards Southport and as we had a good set we decided to stay put. In a lull in the rain we got into the dinghy and quickly cleaned the waterline of the light growth that had accumulated. We then climbed back on board and get the dinghy hoisted onto the arch as the next band of wind and rain came through.
The winds built up and built up but we were pleased that, by now, lots of the houseboats and day trippers had cleared out of the anchorage so we were able to put out more chain to reflect the worsening conditions. And it blew like stink – forecast of 40+ knots – and we reckon we saw that at least. As the rain eased later in the afternoon we sat in the cockpit and watched this 52ft Lagoon catamaran come into the anchorage – who then tried and failed to anchor behind us four times – and then left, probably because he was embarrassed. Oh dear, not sure where else he would find shelter from this appalling weather nearby before it got dark….
Monday morning it was still blowing but was lovely and sunny. Hurrah! So we did some hand washing and then headed ashore for some coffee and cake (although I actually had a delicious smoothie). The place was deserted although we did have two lizard encounters which was fun (and they didn’t seem too keen on each other!). By the time we were ashore we had a very large neighbour anchored in the middle of the channel.
We had a nice time relaxing in the sun on board for a little while on our return to Morphie but, yet again, we were chased down below by the rain although we did at least enjoy a lovely sunset first.
Tuesday it was cold and cloudy. Then the rain set in and the wind picked back up again. Getting a bit fed up of this now!!! We stayed on board all day and just poked our heads up to check our position as the wind was swinging SSE/ESE but as there were no neighbours we weren’t really concerned. We then heard about more earthquakes just off Vanuatu and Tonga but thankfully no tsunami warnings came about because of these. Oh yes and we saw the Lady Brisbane come down the river which was nice to see.
The weather forecast continues to show rain for most of the week and, unusually, this time they seem to be pretty accurate! Oh well, never mind…. Even the sea birds are looking a bit fed up with it all! But at least the wind died down overnight giving us some respite.
Wednesday morning and, of course, the wind picked up and then it rained again…sigh…. It really was miserable out there so we both stayed down below and started downloading all the documents that we need for our visa renewals and turning them into .pdfs in preparation for uploading onto the on-line Australian Immigration system. We then started the actual process of completing the on-line form but a poor internet connection meant we didn’t have great success so called it a day! Neither of us enjoyed doing this but at least we are getting there….
Afterwards we had another quiet night on board watching more offline Netflix content.
This morning, Thursday, and it started a bit brighter with a better forecast than previously, but then of course, it started raining.
We had hoped to get ashore for coffee at least (and to get rid of our rubbish) but decided against in the end. So I’m blogging down below while Richard is in the cockpit reading. Hopefully we’ll get out of here soon!!! Oh yes and half the Australian content is missing from Facebook today because of the ongoing row so even Bureau of Meteorology weather warnings are not allowed anymore. We can obviously access them elsewhere but seems a bit heavy handed or what?!?
Anyway, bye for now, and take care everybody, sending love and hugs your way. The Covid situation at home appears to be improving with the rollout of the vaccinations so hopefully there is an end to the lockdown restrictions soon. But, in the meantime, to keep your spirits up here is a baby Australian platypus to make you smile.