Sunday, March 28, 2010


We left Coffs Harbour early in the morning on Saturday, and again it's mostly motoring that we reached Yamba in the Clarence River. Wonderful entry. A little stressful as the markings are not all that clear and we had the sun in our face, making it difficult to see the transits, but really a great place.
Yamba is a small town, probably less than 10,000 people, and it feels like a vacation place with camping sites on the riverside.
We took a walk up the lighthouse yesterday and today went to the market where I resisted the impulse to buy yet another hat coming straight out of the "crocodile dundee" movie.
We will stay another day here as Olivier and Debbie want to enjoy the place a little more. We will leave tomorrow afternoon and shoot directly for the marine stadium at the entrance of the Gold Coast Seaway.
This time, it is the "Fireboy" that failed us ans we had to remove the electro-magnetic valve until we find the energy to go in there and check the connections. I know the failure is not coming from the main panel as the freezer is still working and it is on the same circuit.
Also today, for the first time, I tried to make contact with "Cosinus" which is still in Coffs Harbour using my brand new SSB ICOM IC-M802 but got nowhere (we tried 4200 and 6450).
It has been so long since I used an SSB that I will have to get myself into the manual and spend time as I know I will need it in the Indian Ocean.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Coffs Harbour

We sailed overnight from Camden Haven to Coffs Harbour, and we enjoyed being able to actually sail for half of the way. Early in the morning, we had to start this damn engine again, and to make matters worse, the autopilot went on strike and refused to help. But, all that was well worth it as Coffs Harbour proved to be a very nice and pleasant port of call. I did not expect to find so many services available at the marina, laundry, showers, restaurants, schipchandlers, yard and even an electronician who fixed the autopilot in less than an hour.
Yesterday, Bernard and Claudine left us to fly back home and they are leaving a big hole behind them. Bernard had a very strong and pleasant presence, not to mention the "french cuisine" with butter and cream.
After they had left by taxi, Olivier took me to a 10k walk to get to the downtown area where we could find an Irish Pub and have a couple of beers before returning, still walking, along the river to return to the boat, exhausted but very pleased to have moved my butt a little bit. . . .
Today, we did it again, this time to go to the shopping mall, about the same distance as downtown, with a MacDonalds, a KFC, Target, etc. . . . I bought a typical australian hat and a "gorilla pod", kind of flexible tentacles that allow me to install my camera on a branch, on a rail, etc.. I even took the time to learn how the timer works on my camera.
Also today, Cosinus arrived in port from Opua, with Christian and Jean-Louis. Very pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, we are still planning to leave on Saturday morning, but this will at least leave us time to have dinner together tomorrow.
Also tomorrow, Debbie arrives from Sydney by train. She will stay with us for a good portion of the trip around Australia.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pelican kingdom

This time, we are in Camden Haven, and to be more specific, in the little town of Laurieton. We tied up at the United Servicemen Club, free for five days, with shower and toilets.
To get there we first went to Cape Hawke Harbour, with a nasty bar at the entrance. We had tied up on the side of Tuncurry, also a very small town, but with a post office, a supermarket and a few small shops. Again there, the berth was free.
Here in Laurieton, we also had to get through a bar, but much nicer than the one in Cape Hawke. We are 3 miles up the river, in a very quiet place, with not much to do apart from walking up and down the main street. The show is provided by a bunch of huge Pelicans waiting for people to come back from fishing and throwing to them the guts of the fish.
We are leaving this afternoon to sail overnight to Coffs Harbour where Bernard and Claudine will leave us to fly to Sydney and then on back to France.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cruising northward

We were expecting a little more from Port Stephens than what we got. It's a place famous for its whale watching and dolphins watching, but apparently we were at least one or two months early for the whales. But the dolphins were there to welcome us.
I tried to contact the various marinas, got in touch with only one, with berth available at 105 dollars for the night. So, we went into Nelson Bay marina which has casual berths available at the entrance, free for the first four hours. Olivier had been fishing again, I had prepared some mayonnaise, and we had a quiet lunch there at the marina, before proceeding under sail towards what turned out to be a very nice and quiet anchorage at Fate Cove. There were half a dozen moorings there, public moorings free with a limit of stay of 24 hours, which is more than what we need.
We enjoyed the quiet evening and the night being disturbed only by the sound of a dolphin coming up to breathe.
We left early, at 6, hoping to get at least some shore breeze in the morning. Unfortunately, all we got was calm weather until 9 a.m. when the sea breeze started to blow in our nose, lightly at the beginning but fresher and fresher up to 18 knots by the time we got to Cape Hawke Harbour.
There the wind was blowind into the harbour right onto the axis of the entrance with a strong outgoing tide at about 4 knots, making the sand bar at the entrance a little bit uncomfortable.
We were anyway able to get in, being escorted by a group of large size dolphins, and under the watchful eye of a small crowd of people on the breakwater.
Once inside, still with a very strong current against us, we found a berth were we could tie up for the night, again free (this time because there is nobody during the week-end to collect money) with electricity and water.
Tomorrow, instead of going all the way to Port Macquarie, which was my original plan, I will only push to Camden Haven, hoping to get there before the sea breeze makes the trip uncomfortable again at the end. Apparently, Camden Haven also has a sand bar at the entrance.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The return voyage has begun.

After a very enjoyable stay in Sydney, with many parties, and thanks to the Australian brothers, especially Peter Smith, an unforgettable stay right in the middle of Sydney in Cockle Bay, we have started the voyage to return home in Norfolk.
We spent a week tied up in the Cockle Bay marina, right in front of the hotels where the brothers participating in the 2010 World Zaf were staying, and right in front of all the restaurant and disco of Darling Harbor. We were 2 minutes walking from the maritime museum, the aquarium and maybe 10 minutes from the fish market. And all that for less than we would have paid for a marina in Fort Lauderdale.
To get to Cockle Bay, you have to go through the Pyrmont bridge which has to open fully (mean
ing including the monorail) for us. This was done, coming in and going out, at 5 in the morning, so as not to disturb traffic of the monorail.
Out of Cockle Bay, we went straight back to the Gladesville marina, as I still had to have the four new portlights installed in the forward cabin. We also, thanks again to Peter, did the provisionning for the next few days and purchased a chart for the Coco Isles and books for the cruise around Australia.
We left early on Tuesday morning and went to Pittwater, to fuel up and also because the leg to Newcastle would have taken too long to get there.
We went to Refuge Bay, on Peter's advice, for lunch, then to the Royal Motor Yacht Club to fu
el up and drink to Olivier's 52nd birthday and then anchored in front of Palm Beach, near the entrance, to cut the leg to Newcastle as much as we could as we new that there was going to be almost no wind.
Olivier had an explosive start with 2 fish caught for his first day on Papy Jovial.
From Pittwater to Newcastle, we motored most of the way, with the sails up only for about 2 hours.
It is probably going to be much of the same going to Port Stephens, after which we might to a little bit of sailing.

Where is Papy Jovial ?

A few hicups with Purple Finder require some update.
Go to ""
Enter "sailtheworld" as user ID and "sailtheworld" as password.
When the map opens, click on "asset map" and select "papyjovial" from the drop down menu.
The new map opens where you can zoom as usual.
Bingo, you are there.
Good luck !

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cookle Bay

I am taking another day off before the final evening of the meeting.
I realise that there might be readers out there who keep wondering what is that stuff called the brotherhood of the coast.
My personal definition, shared only by myself is : it is a highly disorganised group of boaters bound by love of the sea and sense of friendship. Nothing more, nothing less. We are approximately 3,000 worldwide over some 32 countries and we like to meet somewhere in the world once every four years. In 2006, we met in Buenos Aires and there we decided that the next meeting would take place in Sydney, Australia in 2010. Which is why I sailed away from Norfolk to get here.

The other practical detail that I need to share with the readers since there has been some change in the setup of the transponder that transmits my position twice a day. If you are asked for a user name and password, the username is "brisegalets" and the password is "papy jovial 41".

If you want to see the whole track of the boat since I left Norfolk, then go to "", clique on "localisation STW", then on the drop down menu "localisation des bateaux en mer" and then on "suivre les bateaux equipes" and that should take you there. Click on "asset map" on the top left and choose Papy Jovial.

Tonight we will say Farewell to all the brothers who have gathered here in Sydney and we will start preparation for the voyage back home via Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Broome, Port Headland, Mauritius, Reunion, Capetown, Cabedelo, Porto Rico and up the east coast of the US.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Catching up !

Since I left for New Zealand on March 2nd, I have not been able to find time to update the blog, although a lot of things have happened in the meantime.
I left Sydney on the 2nd in the morning and came back on the 6th. I had gone there to help out and to participate in the yearly meeting of the Brothers of the Coast of New Zealand. Arriving in Auckland, Gary was there to meet me and to take me to Nigel's place where we spent the rest of the day.
On Wednesday morning, we went to pick up Yves and Ingrid Balmas at their hotel and then proceed to Russell where the meeting was taking place. In Russell, we met a nice group of brothers from the US, the UK, the Netherland and Germany. Altogether, we were 19 brothers and their wives, and we had a very pleasant and happy dinner
together at
the Duke of Malborough.
Then, Thursday morning (the 4th), we all went aboard the tall ship Tucker Thompson for a nice sail in the Bay of Islands, with barbecue lunch and a walk on the beach on one of the islands.
Back in Russell, after a short break, we all gathered at the Russell boat club for the event. There we met with the Kiwi brothers which are a very joyous and friendly group. At the end of the evening, it was time for the induction of a new brothers, exchange of gifts and flags, and surprise to me, I was made an honorary brother of the table of New Zealand.
The next day, Gary drove us back to Auckland and I spent the night in a motel near the airport since my flight was at 5:50 in the morning.
I arrived back in Sydney on Saturday the 6th and went straight to the marina and Papy Jovial where Bernard and Claudine had a
rrived the previous evening.
A little bit of shopping and provisionning and we settled down back on board preparing to move the next day.
Sunday late morning, we left the marina to proceed to the marina of the FishMarket where we were planning to spend afternoon and night before moving on to Darling Harbor.
Monday morning, up at 4 and through the bridge at 5, just in time for the closing of the night clubs in Darling Harbor (the music stopped at 5:30), wondering if it was going to be the case everynight. Fortunately, it was not and the following nights were to be peaceful.
And then, since we arrived, it's been a continuous string of meals, excursions, parties with no time to update the blog. So today, I have decided the skip the excursion of the day to catch up with the blog and other items.
Tuesday night, I had all the french speaking brothers on Papy Jovial for drinks, joined by Debbie and her friend. I had 20 guests on the boat, which so far could stand as a record. On Wednesday, the brothers from the Chesapeake Bay table and Mike and Jeanine Arnold came for one of our emergency meetings, after dinner this time.
I will stay inside Darling Harbor until Monday morning, when the Pyrmont bridge will open again, and again this time at 5 in the morning, to get back to Gladesville Bridge marina for the day. Hopefully, this will be enough time for Tony to put in four new portlights for the forward cabin. I will have to wait until we reach Brisbane to take care of the other sources of leaks.