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Sailing around Australian East Coast  Sydney — Cairns — Sydney , July-December 2007

Byron Bay to Southport (Gold Coast)


Byron Bay



The wind changed from NE to N and increased to around 10 knots. We shut the engine down and were now sailing at 5 knots. We entrusted the steering to the autopilot and went inside watching DVDs, periodically peering out to check the course and collision dangers.

Already at dusk rounded Cape Byron – the most easterly point of Australia – from here the tropics are not too far.

We anchored opposite the main beach. It is an open ocean anchorage and the book doesn’t recommend it, but since the weather is calm it is not too bad.



In the morning we saw no other boats in the bay – this place is not popular among the boaties, only hippies, artistic folks and backpackers. Gonzie didn’t want to go ashore, but I wanted and we took the dinghy over, getting wet in the surf, which hadn’t looked that bad from the boat.

On the beach there was a group of hippie-looking people who were already drunk that early in the morning. We thought it wasn’t safe to leave the dinghy on the beach, carried it up a little and chained the engine to the bicycle rack.

We went into town to get some breakfast, but all the cafes were full of tourists and backpackers – Monday morning! We found one café that I’ve been to before and remember it having a good food. We were told that waiting time was 45 minutes, so we bought the cakes and coffee – perfect to start the morning with the dessert :). We ordered omlets and stake sandwich as well – other places didn’t look any quicker. Got the food in 1.5 hours rather than 45 min and it was lunchtime already. 


Gonzie didn’t want to leave the dinghy alone and went to the beach to read a book and I went for a walk around Byron – I like this place. Most of the people on the streets are young backpackers – such a contrast to Yamba. I’ve been in Byron before a couple of times and seems like nothing had changed. I bought some dry fruit (good quality and cheap!) in a health shop and went back to the beach.

Seems like surf got bigger and getting back to the boat the wave covered the dinghy getting us completely drenched. It is still winter and the water is cold!


Mackerel Tuna



In the morning we picked up the anchor and took a course to Southport, Gold Coast.

When passing by Julian rocks the fishing reel made the sound we’d been long waiting for: we hooked up a fish and it is huge! It turned out to be a Mackerel Tuna – it gave out a big fight before we could pull it in. As the fishing book says this type of tuna if frustratingly difficult to catch.

Gonzie slaughtered the fish, bled properly and filleted.  I cut the good fillet parts into sashimi. Half of the fish we ate right away raw: as sashimi with wasabi and soy sauce and in coconut milk and lemon juice – Fijian dish Oka.  From the remaining fish we made curry and steaks.


Gold Coast


In the afternoon in the horizon appeared the silhouettes of high-rise buildings like some ghost city from a science fiction movie – we are approaching Gold Coast.

 We arrived to Southport already at dark and stayed in Southport Yacht Club marina next to Mirage marina full of big expensive boats. The berth was $52 per night, well , Gold Coast is expensive (Mirage marina was $70 and it was full!).



Gonzie is flying to Sydney for a day and I drove a rented car to Brisbane to see my friends Diana and Michael, who just bought a lovely new house.



Gonzie got back from Sydney and is working on installing new toilet. The electric pump he fitted in Coffs wasn’t connecting well with the old bowl and was leaking. It was easier to replace the whole toilet altogether.


I drove to supermarket in the morning and then picked Gonzie up from the airport.

After midday I felt really unwell – I got a really bad flu. At night got fever of 39°C. Gonzie haven’t finished with the toilet and we are staying at the marina for 2 more nights.



Gonzie bought a hot air gun as Brian advised us in Coffs which made a big difference in connecting the pipes rather than dipping them into boiling water.   Also he finished installing the holding tank. I’m still feeling terribly sick…



We left the marina and anchored next to Sea World. There is a big cruising boat next to us and they have a big black dog running around the deck. I wonder how they can keep a dog on board and how it doesn’t fall overboard.

Cape Byron—most easterly point of Australia

Main Beach of Byron Bay

Holy Mackerel … Tuna!


Surfers Paradise on the horizon!

Leaving Gold Coast

Floating church in Gold Coast Seaway

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