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Friday, December 11, 2009

Trial Bay

The weather gods favored option one, which means instead of wind demons knocking us about, the day ran out of puff by early afternoon. Thundery rain squalls followed, accompanied by mini-blasts from every point of compass frustrating our attempts to make any further miles by sail. So, about 4 pm the iron topsail was ignited and instead of plodding on overnight to Port Macquarie, under a steady throb we slowly made our way towards Trial Bay. Wondering all the while how badly the north swell would attack the open roadstead. Cruising is like that.

These last few days have been hampered by haze making our passages much more isolated than just the few miles we've been off the coast. Encircled by darkened ocean, only vague mountain silhouettes occasionally cracked the mist, so we left navigation entirely up to the electronic blackbox housed back aft. And it showed a slow but steady progress towards what we hope would be an anchorage suitable for a good nights rest.

Fortunately the passage wasn't dull like the weather. A small family of bottle nosed dolphins first paid a visit racing the bow for several minutes, replaced a half hour later by a much larger pack of the rarer spinner dolphins. So named because they are quite acrobatic and like to hurl themselves clear of the sea then spin like propellers. They're sharply marked in contrasting gray and soft white with Pinocchio long noses that seemed to center their spins. This clan numbered maybe a hundred and they cavorted round Banyandah for so long we grew weary watching, and waving to them from the bow rail we then reclined in the cockpit to finish watching their performance. Such happy creatures always wanting to play or nuzzle another, seems there's a message there about living.

The lesson learnt entering Trial Bay with the sun casting golden shafts over the small township was if we crept into the corner as far as water depth would allow, while we might still roll side to side, it'd be in a tolerable manner to sleep fore and aft after I locked myself in from falling out the bed.

It is Friday morning now and both of us slept well. The predicted southerly change is just starting to strike. Therefore it was a good decision to stop here for protection from those winds. There's more on the way from that direction, so we might be here a few days. Now, if the sun would come out...or a suicidal fish bite our fishing line....

On the point is a goal built from locally quarried pink and gray granite by convicts in 1877. It was built to house the convicts while they constructed a break wall across the bay that was suppose to provide a secure anchorage between Sydney and Brisbane. But, alas, nature kept washing away the results of their hard work. So the project was abandoned in the early 1900s and the prison vacated. Later on, it was used to intern Australian Germans during WWI.

View Trial Bay in a larger map

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