We weren't alone either, with several other yachts out doing the same leg.
Pittwater was as beautiful as ever when we arrived, and we pulled into a berth at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club at Newport. Which was where I'd initially purchased "Endurance" from, so I thought it was an appropriate place to stop for a few days and complete the circle.
It's a difficult place to be without a car however, a big hike back into Newport, and an even bigger taxi ride home from a friend's house towards the city.
After a few days of dinghying around Pittwater, we fuelled up and found a mooring at The Basin, opposite Palm Beach, for a night.
A beautiful little place, but being a perfect-weather Sunday night, the traffic of passing boats heading for home was enormous, and the rollyness of their wake continued until well after dark.
We noticed a big catamaran hugging the coast, with a headsail spinnaker flying, but soon left her behind as Derek The Diesel chugged away, quietly pushing us up the coast.
With the radio monitoring Ch. 16, we heard a dramatic call for help as crew fell overboard from their fishing boat off the beach at Norah Head. It was frustrating listening to the hapless volunteer Marine Rescue operator making silly conversation while the people swam for shore. Don't ever get into trouble off Norah Head!
Meanwhile, we kept chugging along until pulling safely into Newcastle and the marina that's up the river a bit...not quite by the beach and CBD as we expected, but welcoming and comfy nevertheless.
It was just too rough to clamber around the deck raising the mainsail, so we hoisted the jib, kept Derek running, and headed north regardless. The catamaran, "Tell-Tails" had the same idea and we travelled in close company for the next few hours along Stockton Bight, with another boat under headsail out to sea and ahead from us.
The weather cleared and the wind backed off as we approached Port Stephens' spectacular entry, and we made our way into Nelson Bay.
To see more catamarans! Tim and Leanne from "Gemini Lady" and John and Jo from "Kirra Kirra", who we'd met back in Bermagui, and again in Sydney Harbour, were moored off the beach. And it turned out that "Gemini Lady" was the headsail that we'd been seeing since leaving Pittwater.
The next day, the cat we'd travelled up the coast from Newcastle with, "Tell Tails" also came in, and along with another monohull couple, we enjoyed a barbecue on the beach at sunset.
Nelson Bay's a great mooring spot, a short dinghy ride from all of the shops and facilities.....which, unfortunately, we needed, as our electric toilet decided to stop working!
After three days of filth and degradation, and a couple of trips to Bunnings later, I finally won the battle with the calcification in the toilet pipe and had the time to catch up on the blog.
Today, we're moving back to a mooring in the sheltered and natural Fame Bay, and planning on a departure towards Foster/Tuncurry tomorrow. Or possibly an anchorage at Seal Rocks....or....
Anyway, that will be next month's blog.