Our next stop up the coast was the town of Newcastle, the second largest port in New South Wales and a real industrial center. We spent a couple of days exploring the largest sand dunes in Australia and climbing the town’s famous phallic tower (known locally as the ‘Giant Penis’?!). The lonely planet says ‘you gotta love this city’ but Jimmy and I both agreed that two days were enough so we upped anchor and headed on to Port Stevens!
We loved Port Stevens on the way down the coast and it’s still just as great……Long white sandy beaches, quaint little towns and lots of bush walking trails.
The real excitement came with the arrival of two packages at the post office from both England and Florida. My dad sent us a mobile phone and my old digital camera and Jimmy’s dad sent a huge package filled with new running shoes and an underwater camera for me along with dock shoes, running shoes, a new barometer, loads of T-shirts and the all important Loo seat for Jimmy!! It was like Christmas all over again and the boat was filled with and explosion of goodies.
After a week of relaxing on the boat we had some great news that Jimmy’s cousin Mac and his wife Julienne were in Sydney on business and really wanted to come and find us for a couple of days. The sun god decided to bless us with a predicted nine day heat wave and as the temperatures soared we got to work cleaning and organizing realizing how much we’d been neglecting our boat chores lately!
Mac & Julienne were to be our first guests on board since Jimmy’s mum in Galapagos and a couple of cruising friends during the Panama Canal crossing. I was really worried that they’d feel cramped, especially trying to fit Mac’s 6ft 3” frame into our tiny V-birth! However, Jimmy cunningly prepared them that it would be a lot like camping and when Julienne arrived with her own toilet roll I was able to relax that it had to be better than they expected!
With the sun shining and not a cloud in the sky we spent two days showing them around. With the perfect weather, however, came little wind so when we went out sailing we were only able to turn off the engine for a couple of minutes, just long enough for Julienne to take the helm and get a couple of all important Photos. Extra hands also came in handy especially pulling our dinghy ‘Goliath’ up the beach, it weighs a ton and with the big tides here I think we’re going to have to invest in wheels!
We had a great time and really enjoyed having Mac & Julienne on board, Jimmy loved having some fellow Americans around to talk about home and have a break from all the Europeans and Australians! They were great guests and very easy to please, we were sorry to see them go but at least we now feel a lot more confident about having more visitors……So what are you waiting for?!!
Since they left were still experiencing the heat wave with temperatures rising to over 35*C. We’ve made the most of it by having BBQ’s on the now famous ‘Jimmy’s beach’ (yes that’s what it’s called) and searching for the illusive Kuala and Kangaroo – which as of yet we still haven’t been able to find!