How many people get to live their dreams? I am..........!

This is my story from the time when Capt'n John and I first decided to sail around the big block, to circumnavigate this great land of ours, AUSTRALIA.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Sydney to Lake Macquarie

Sydney to Lake macquarie

I have been back in Brisbane for nearly a month and you would think that I would have made it back through my blog. Not so! I would have never imagined not having enough time for my photography and writings once the sail had stopped. But sad to say it is so true. All I seem to be doing is running around and cleaning the boat; cleaning out two years of collections – collections of stuff, things and hidden grime. I have been getting heaps of exercise while walking to doctor’s appointment for myself and MrJ or walking to the handyman’s lolly shop where you can get lost in all things marine, hardware or outdoorsy.

This post will be another photographic tour; this time of what I did or saw north of Sydney and in Lake Macquarie on the central NSW coast.

24th March 2014 - 4th May 2014

Leaving Sydney
Through the Spit Bridge, Middle harbour again
Out through Sydney Heads (looking back at part of North Head)
into some sloppy seas and rain squalls
we seemed to be taking the rain with us
Overnight in Broken Bay
a grey wet passage to Broken Bay to seek refuge in Cowan Creek for the night
just what I love, working in the rain............
we anchor at Hallets Beach till early morning comes
morning brings out the sea birds - we didn't see a huge amount of wild life (sea birds) since we have been on the NSW coastline - this maybe because this coastline is so heavily populated and the people have pushed the wild life out.
we motor sail up the coast under a big sky of clouds - looking out to sea
Into Lake Macquarie
looking toward the built-up area around The Entrance on the Central NSW coast
the waves crash around Moon Island outside the entrance to the Swansea Channel
some of these waves would be great to surf if not for the rocks
over the past years I have seen many ships at anchor off Swansea and further north; waiting to get into the Port of Newcastle - this time there were not many ship at anchor
passing the leads into the Swansea Channel
I had booked an opening for the Swansea Bridge and San Souci followed ALANA ROSE through
along the inside channel the seabirds line up for a chance at tit-bits - one good thing going for the inland waterways is the sea life - love it!
the calm waters of Lake Macquarie - we anchored in Frying Pan Bay, a bay in the southern part of the lake -  looks like the rain was still with us
the next morning the rain poured down
the heaviest that I have seen since crossing Bass Straight
the rain left large puddles of water on the hatches
AR anchored in Frying Pan Bay, Lake Macquarie
the third morning brought with it another warning for more inclement weather
but I do so love colour in the sky

Easter with the House House

Brian and his wonderful "PIG", camping BBQ (boys and their toys)
Easter was an enjoyable time spent with special friends, eating food cooked the good old Aussie BBQ style (no not on the PIG) and a couple of ales to reseal the friendships
Colleen was our "Communication Officer" for the whole trip round AUS
And boy, didn't I get into trouble if I hadn't called in!  ;o)
the boys
the girls
The Family Fun
Carol and Mal's visit

Days on the Lake were filled with.........................
beautiful sunrises
and classic sunsets
All About Boats
People and their boats on Lake Macquarie...........................


looks like the pelican has moved in

the power station chimneys are very predominate around the lake

"Sailing Days on Lake Macquarie" in B&W

Lake Macquarie Yacht Club

the day ALANA ROSE pull alongside at the Lake Macquarie YC, Kudos had just arrived back from their adventures up north in the Louisiades 

stopping in at the LMYC gave us a chance to get off the boat and walk to the shops

Wangi Wangi
Wangi Wangi (pron. wonjee wonjee) is an aboriginal name - variously translated as "water, night owl or darkgreen tree". The area has strong traditional links with the Awabakal people. Located between Toronto and Morisset commercial centres, Wangi is approximately 1 1/2 hours drive, via the F3 Freeway, from Sydney, and about 35 minutes drive from Newcastle. (Morisset freeway exit from the south and Toronto freeway exit from the north).

In the past I have corresponded with a few sailing people from the Lake Macquarie area. I have met a couple of these friendly people. I was now invited for a meet with and by sailing lady Shelly, over to Wangi Wangi on the western side of the lake. As soon as we met it felt like I was greeting an old friend again, not meeting for the first time. I love that about the sailing fraternity! 

On our way way across to Wangi I spotted several dolphins that swam along with the boat till we rounds the point. Dolphin sightings have been reported in the lake for several years, mainly in the northern sections and the number were no more than two or three. Shelly was telling me that this year kayakers were spotting dolphins in numbers of four or more further down the lake, near Wangi Wangi Point. My photos confirm these sighting and I counted six. The dolphin in the bottom shot is thought to be the crocked fin dolphin from the northern side of the lake. Shelly believes that a number of new dolphins have made the lake their home,  the two groups have now mixed and enjoy more of the lake together. How wonderful!

night falls on Wangi Wangi
still visible around the shoreline are the moored boats and the Wangi Workers Club lights. The Club has great facilities and enjoys a waterfront reserve location and features commanding views across Wangi Bay and Lake Macquarie. 
silhouette of the old power station 
The Wangi Wangi Power Station operated between 1956 and 1986 and supplied electricity to New South Wales.
In 1946 the New South Wales Government approved the construction of the power station on Lake Macquarie at Wangi Wangi by the NSW Government Railways. Wangi Wangi was chosen for its proximity to a large body of water and the coalfields. The power station was officially opened on 7 November 1958 after ten years of construction and two years of progressive commissioning of the six turbo-alternators from C A Parsons and Company, which gave it a capacity of 330 MW. One thousand men camped in Wangi Wangi during the peak construction period. Wangi Power Station played an eminent part in relieving New South Wales of drastic power shortages during the late 1950s and playing a major role in restoring power supply to New South Wales after the total state power shutdown of 10 June 1964. Wangi Power Station was decommissioned in 1986, approximately thirty years after the first turbo-alternator commenced operation. The greater part of the generating equipment was removed by the early 1990s. While the generating equipment has been removed, the main buildings and emission stacks still stand as of November 2012. The site has been subject to proposals for redevelopment into residential and retail properties since the 1990s.
night time on the water
ALANA ROSE was moored near the Wangi RSL and Amateur Sailing Club; their lights made a great colourful display across the water. The Club offers excellent facilities for all occasions.
The Wangi RSL Amateur Sailing Club was formed in 1967. It is a credit to the members that led the Club from small beginnings, through difficult times, to become a flourishing part of the local community.  At this Club sailing is enjoyed by young and old! 
"Pelicans" in B&W

Morning Light - Three in a row.............

ALANA ROSE on the public mooring in Wangi.
Lake Macquarie has many public mooring in several place around the waterway.
ALANA ROSE and ORAC in Wangi Bay
me and Shelly
Shelly and Steve  on their boat ORAC

That afternoon MrJ and I motored sailed AR back across the lake to our home away from home, Frying Pan Bay in time to catch another wonderful sunset.

Catherine Hill Bay
Catherine Hill Bay is a coastal bay and village on the southern peninsula forming Lake Macquarie, south of the Swansea entrance channel. The village is the oldest continuous settlement in the City of Lake Macquarie. The settlement was first made after land was purchased on 1 April 1865. The town of Cowper was created, to serve as a base for coal mining by the New Wallsend Company in 1873 with the first shipment on 17 December of that year. The name Catherine Hill was adopted to commemorate the schooner Catherine Hill that had run aground in 1867. Later, the Wallarah Coal Company mined and shipped coal from the area including its nearby Crangan Bay mine. This was taken over by the Coal and Allied Group. A railway originally was used to transport the coal to the wharf; later, trucks and automated loading belt systems were used. Rutile (a mineral composed primarily of titanium dioxide) was mined from the beach sands during the 1960s.
 Proposals for rezoning and redevelopment of the area for upmarket housing were opposed by residents, many of whom lived in older style and small miners' cottages, and by environmentalists, who contended that the heath lands around the village contained a large variety of wildflowers, some dwarfed into unusual forms from the exposed coastal conditions. On 1 September 2009, a court ruled the development agreement illegal.
ruins by the jetty - Catherine Hill Bay
building ruins from the big fire that went through during October 2013
All that is left of historic Wallarah House at Catherine Hill Bay
The 126-year-old heritage house was razed by bushfires that tore through the historic mining village in October 2013. Wallarah was built in 1887 as the mine manager's home. Last I heard the block of land was up for sale and sold for a hefty price; more than $2 million. The fire had cleared many heritage issues and blackened much of the headland, which from an investors perspective, the lack of trees had improved the ocean views.

Views Around Summerland Point

Summerland Point is a pretty peninsula village nestled on the eastern shore of Lake Macquarie. Many of the streets have aboriginal names. Eg. Illawong Road - Illawong is an Aboriginal word meaning 'view of the water'. (Source: "Aboriginal Words and Their Meanings" by JH Sugden). Kullaroo Road - Kullaroo is an Aboriginal word meaning 'road leading to water' (Source: "Aboriginal Place Names" by A.W. Reed). Bambara Avenue - Bambara is an Aboriginal word meaning 'forest country' (Source: "Australian Aboriginal Words and Place Names" by S.J. Endacott).
The jetty at Frying Pan Bay - Summerland Point
From a boaties perspective, this jetty has fresh water and blackwater pump-out facilities, otherwise the jetty is a delightful peaceful place to relax and try your hand a t a spot of fishing or get to know the local wild life. 

Around the Boat Harbour
The duck pond, which is really a small boat harbour and a haven for the bird life.

a pair of geese have made the boat harbour their home, they have live around this waterway for as long as I can remember

Around Town

wonderful natural gardens

lush cut lawns

winding pathway that lead you to some interesting things

things that come out from hiding

and if you look real close you will see a lot of activity going on
Around the Waterfront

where you can sit to admire the views

or watch a game of cricket on the grass
or soak up some sun
maybe take the kids to the play-park
or a quite spot of fishing
or maybe not
whatever you choose to do on or around the lake there is always a sense of peace and calm

I like to sit and daydream
or watch the bird antics

but at the end of the day it is the sunsets that I enjoy most of all