In hindsight we probably should have pressed onward toward Sydney, even though the weather wasn’t ideal. As it is, the day after arriving in Coffs Harbour the wind turned southerly now making the jump south impossible, and it looks like it won’t be changing any time soon.
One morning we heard a North American voice on the VHF radio reporting their arrival in Australia and requesting instructions for inward customs and immigration clearance. It was almost exactly a year ago that we arrived from New Caledonia in this very port so we were eager to welcome them.
They were instructed to anchor in the tiny mooring area for clearance, a daunting task as there’s barely room for the two courtesy moorings with a stone jetty on one side and a massive fishing pier on the other. Still, the sailors positioned their shiny new catamaran in the only tenable spot, closer to us and the other moored boat than you’d really want to be, but safe. I ventured out on deck and shouted over, “Welcome to Australia!” The young man on the bow yelled back, “Thanks! We’re glad to be here!” adding “My wife has read your whole blog!”
It’s not unusual these days. Everyone blogs. In fact you’re only unique if you don’t. Most of us do it because it’s the best way to bring our friends and family along for the ride, and to record for ourselves the experiences we’re having. I followed a lot of blogs when we were still at the dreaming stage, then as we began our journey I read blogs to learn specific ins and outs of the cruising life. We found our boat through the blog of the previous owners and reading every word of the entire four year circumnavigation convinced me that this could be our boat.
Now that we’re Out Here I have less time and bandwidth to keep reading many blogs and we mostly keep up with good friends or consult the blogs of people who’ve visited places we’re considering. An interesting evolutionary step in travel blogging is the move to video, or vlogs, especially among young people. We love that there are so many young couples and young families on long cruises, something that used to be very rare. I imagine more fluid career paths, the ability to work remotely, and the willingness to take a long sabbatical knowing you can always jump back in are all factors, but whatever the reasons, the fact that our community is multigenerational is as enjoyable as its multinational nature. We are always a gathering of very different people, with different reasons for being here, different backgrounds, different cruising destinations and long term goals, but with this one big thing in common, that we all choose to see the world by traveling the oceans in our own boats.
I looked up our new neighbors, Starry Horizons, and discovered they have an elaborate blog (as most of them are theses days; EV is woefully inadequate in the html department. Any volunteers to spiff us up?) and a popular YouTube channel. We applaud the effort they put into sharing their experiences with well-produced travelogues of the places they go. I know if these kinds of vlogs were online when we were planning for the cruising life I’d have been a dedicated subscriber to a lot of them. With high quality compact video cameras and especially drones, the footage can be stunning. When people find out our work life was in the video business they often ask why we don’t shoot video of our travels. “Too much like work,” we say, and when we saw, a few days later, David and Amy shooting a standup for their vlog, we appreciated once again how much time and energy it takes to put together a good video and how much we don’t want to be doing it. But it’s nice to see how many are, and hats off to them. They’re rewarded with thousands of loyal followers. You can check out Starry Horizons here.
Almost as soon as Starry Horizons got the anchor down Marine Rescue hailed them again on VHF and instructed them to proceed to a marina berth for clearance. I don’t think there’s much meaningful communication between Marine Rescue and Australian Border Force, but eventually Starry Horizons got cleared in and a few hours later we met the sleepy crew for happy hour along with the crew of Erie Spirit. It was the first time in recent memory we’ve been in company with two other American boats.
The weather continues to deteriorate and we’ve resigned ourselves to a prolonged stay in Coffs Harbour. We’ve overstayed our welcome on the courtesy mooring but rather than anchor in the rolly harbor we took a berth in the marina. A week at the dock will let us catch up on laundry, take long hot showers and give EV a much needed wash down. It’s all good.