Blue Water Dreaming
Noumea to Brisbane - The End of 2013 Cruising Season
At Port Moselle Marina - Preparations for the Passage Noumea-Brisbane 20 September to 12 October 2013
With a mix of sadness for leaving and excitement for starting a new endeavour, Graciela is leaving Oscar in Noumea and flying back to Sydney.  The task for Oscar is to find crew and get ready to sail back to Brisbane. 
Oscar has been lucky before when he found Georges who gave us a great service with the new rigging and now he finds out that Georges also delivers boats as a professional crew. Nothing better than to hire him, an expert catamaran sailor to join Zenitude's crew. With that settled, now is just a matter of waiting for a break in Georges busy schedule and a good weather window. 
In the meantime, Tortuguita with our dear friends Dave and Booker have arrived to Noumea from their Pacific crossing trip and are ready for the last leg coming to Australia as well. It appears that Crisaloha has also arrived today to the marina, planning to come to Sydney this season. With the cyclone season approaching most of the visiting boats in New Caledonia are heading to either Australia or New Zealand.
Underway Noumea to Brisbane - 12 to 18 October 2013
After hectic preparations and wondering if this is indeed a good window, as per usual before a passage, Oscar and Georges left Port Moselle. A quick stop at Ilot Larengere allowed Oscar to clean propellers and hull ready for the crossing. 

It was a slow start with light winds but nothing is real slow with Georges on board and they made good progress most of the time.
Probably the last leg for the overworked Main and Jib. They both need replacing before Zenitude's next trip
Zenitude will stay in the dry in Gold Coast City Marina until we are ready to go sailing again, sometime in April 2014. In the meantime, there is a lot of work ahead to keep her in good shape. The biggest tasks are the upgrade of the Navigation system and new sails. But for now we are taking a break in Sydney and looking forward to the holiday season with family, just around the corner. Sadly, no fireworks in Sydney Harbor for Zenitude this year.
After a week in Rivergate Marina in Brisbane, having completed official duties without problems (they even allowed to keep the Reblochon, our favorite French cheese), having rested and later received friends Tortuguita and Crisaloha, Oscar was on the move again, solo sailor, but behind Tortuguita towards the Gold Coast.
The Gold Coast - Hauling out Zenitude - 18 October to 6 November 2013
It was a very calm day and having done about 30 miles of motoring down Moreton Bay, Tortuguita and Zenitude found anchorage to spend the night.  This part of Moreton Bay is like a river delta formed in a meandering way with many shallow spots where you can easily run aground. Anchoring with good light well before sunset is the sensible thing to do in this area.
Continuing the trip the following morning Zenitude behind Tortuguita again until the Coomara River entrance, where Zenitude turned towards Gold Coast City Marina and Tortuguita kept going south towards Bum's Bay.  
The weekend after there was the boat show hosted in the marina and not long after that Zenitude was hauled out. The official end of the 2013 sailing season.
Gold Coast City Marina

A world class shipyard and marina located in the Coomera River.

We've been very happy with boat services in the shipyard as well as in this area in general.
Again Roger Badham did a great job on weather advise and they had a good crossing arriving in Brisbane on Friday, early hours, ahead of a strong front forecast for noon.

As per Oscar account the stressful part of the trip was actually inside Moreton Bay, with 30 knots winds, lots of big ships to avoid and the darkness for the last miles before arriving at the Quarantine docks at 1:00 AM.