We went snorkelling and diving with our favourite dive buddies, the Vonic family. Ilija and Anka have their open water dive ticket and their son Nikola has just done his dive course. Their younger son, Luka, not yet a diver, and I, never to be a diver, had to contend with snorkelling, which is never dull!.. “I was a little apart from everyone else, but not so far that I didn’t hear the urgency in Dwayne’s voice when he told everyone to dive deep and swim out of the cave. I was a few seconds behind the others and too late to withstand the onrush of water. I was tossed over and over as I was pushed along with the water rushing into the cave…
When it was time to leave Koh Phayam we pulled up the anchor and pushed the accelerator lever into forward. Surprisingly we didn’t move forward; the motor just revved in neutral! We had no forward or reverse. While Dwayne fiddled with the accelerator lever we were, unbeknownst to Brian and Debra, slowly drifting over towards SV Chinook…..
Hauling out was easy with the experienced staff at Phitak Shipyard Services, and soon Thorfinn was safely on a cradle and we were set up in a small apartment along with a snake, a few rats and a couple of large spiders! It was a very busy time for us but in true Trippin’ Turpin fashion we still were able to have a lot of fun… We had regular BBQs with our neighbours in the little row of units (we dubbed Ramsey St), and at the shipyard itself we had BBQ night on Fridays as well as some during the week for birthdays… including Dwayne’s 50th.
After the relative peacefulness of Gili Air, Kuta during the holiday season appeared pandemonic. The chaotic cacophony was made worse by the heat in the un-air-conditioned van that slowly made its way through the congested convoluted streets. Upon arrival at the hotel we found there had been an error in the booking and three of us did not have a room. Following a long exhausting debate over what we should, could and would do, Dwayne, Alex and I went and found another hotel room for a couple of nights. The disorder at the next hotel would have been comedic had I not been so tired…
We arrived in Bali on the 12th of December 2014 and got a berth at Bali Marina in Benoa. My mum always told me if you have nothing nice to say about something, don’t say anything at all. So I just say it was convenient to leave the boat there while we stayed in a villa with the kids. The boat was safe. The AUS $35 per night was too expensive for what you get… or not get as the case may be. Electricity and water cost extra. We needed to stay in the marina to keep our freezer going…. which is something we may have to rethink. I have no photos to show you as there was a sign that prohibited taking photo of the marina…
We enjoyed Port Stephen in beautiful mild winter weather. We had some luck fishing and also caught an octopus. We saw a penguin and had a close up experience with a couple of humpback whales. Port Stephens is a wonderful sailing and cruising destination.
As we were sailing through the Bass Strait Oil Fields there were oil rigs all around us. They appeared as huge monoliths that would have looked more at home in a Steven Spielberg movie! Into our second night sail we had eight oil rigs around us and, as the sun fell, they lit up like small cities in the night sky. The setting sun was a glorious ball of red and orange.
This part of our journey didn’t go totally according to plan. Our calculations for the time it would take to get to Refuge Cove from Port Fairy were slightly out. Someone…..(not me) came to the conclusion it would take us around 44 hours sailing at 5knots. We averaged 6.5knots, left a little earlier etc. Anyway, needless to say our calculation were all wrong for many reasons, and after 32.5 hours we arrive at Refuge Cove at 2000 on a very dark moonless night, and proceeded to feel our way blindly into the cove, drop anchor and go to bed (thank goodness for GPS).
We walk along the wharf, where we tied up, and found plenty to see. Firstly, we came across the crew of ‘Putty’s Pride’ hand-making their crayfish pots on the wharf. A lucky look into the water, at just the right time, revealed an eagle-ray swimming by. Another ‘local’ which hangs out at the boat ramp, is a fur seal. A Nankeen Night Heron turned up early for his night time hunting and posed for me on the wharf!
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