17 March 2007

We Won A Chicken!

On Mooring Ball, Nelson Bay
Port Stephens,
New South Wales, Australia

Happy Birthday Pat!! (Amy's Mom)

We are still on our free mooring buoy here in Nelson Bay right off the marina at Port Stephens. The morning we arrived we slept for most the day recovering from the previous nights voyage. We then dinghied in to town to check it out. Port Stephens is a very small town that caters to people coming out on vacation, to spend a weekend fishing, or to check out the dolphins in the bay.

As per our things that we like to do, we found the nearest RSL (Returned Services League) for a cheap beer and to see if there was anything happening while we were in port. Just our luck... it was raffle night for a meat tray, a fruit & veggie tray, or a chicken. I think this is a regular attendance for the locals here, but we were probably the most excited persons in the RSL when we won a chicken!! They told us that they would cook it up for us and all we had to do was show up on Friday to pick it up.

The following morning was bingo day at the RSL. Some of the really nice people that we had met the day before saved us a table for Bingo. Bingo is quite the event at the RSL, and it becomes very crowded. It is not the bingo I am used to in The States. Here it is called extremely fast. It took me some time before I could keep all my numbers stamped. Good thing that Amy was paying attention because we won $30!!

Port Stephens is quite a large bay, larger than Sydney Harbor. Except there is no one here. On Friday, we decided to take the dinghy across the bay to visit the town of Tea Gardens, which is about a $15.00 ferry ride. We thought we would save $30 bucks by taking our own dingy. But I am not sure how good an idea that was. It was twice as far as we had thought it was going to be.

We finally made it to the docks at Tea Gardens where there was, thankfully, a fuel dock. So we were able to get our fuel can filled since we were completely out of gas.

One cool thing about about the very small town of Tea Gardens was that they had a free community pool. We jumped into as it was super hot out.

We contemplated having one of the ferries bring us back with the dingy, but decided to suck it up and make the trip back. The trip back was much nicer as we found a small channel through the sand dunes that saved a few miles. We were able to make it back in time to run up to the RSL to get our prized cooked chicken.

We met some really nice people while we have been here. We met Chris, and his wife Robin, who were here on vacation. They corrected us that we did not win a chicken, but had won a "chawk", which is what Australians call chickens. I am not sure who is right, but the bag did say "chicken".

We have been here waiting for the next southerly to blow through so we can head north again. But once again the southerly that is blowing through tonight has 30+ knot winds with thunder storms. So this time we are going to wait overnight for it to blow itself out. We are planning on leaving first light tomorrow morning, hoping to make the 90 mile trip to Port Macquarie before the winds shift back to the north.

Our friends on S/V Shiraz have been moored there for the last 2 weeks and are waiting for a long southerly that will take them, and hopefully us with them, north for the next leg, which is about 200 miles.

Tom and Amy

Notes From Ron:

  • Actually, Aussies call a chicken a "Chook" (sounds like "Cook").

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