Newcastle -to Lord Howe Island


Sunday 18th June

Departed Port of Newcastle around 9:30am after clearing Customs.  Set out with light NW winds, so motored for a while until the wind swung around to SW, but still light.  Many ships passed by to and from the port.  Wind gradually strengthened until we were sailing well!  Up to 8 knots!  Then rain squalls started appearing on the radar, so reefed the main and partly furled the headsail (at 3am of course!).  Then the Eastern Australia Current started pushing us south of our course ie we were aiming 060 while we were travelling 120!  We then steered north while travelling around 045 - 060.  The water temperature had risen from around 18deg to 20.9.  We then decided to motor-sail to try and get out of the current and make some forward progress.  With the continuing rain squalls, we left the reef in the mainsail.  Because the wind swung around to east, we put the headsail away as it wasn't doing anything useful unless we tacked a long way off course.  Gentlemen (and Meridian) don't sail to windward.

Eventually the wind came back to SE and SSE, but not far enough or strong enough to get a good sail, so we motor-sailed on.  Poor Danny the Detroit Diesel got a good workout, but ran on strongly, hour after hour.

Thurs 22nd June

Eventually after 4 days and nights, we arrived at Lord Howe Island.  Snr Constable Richard who is the Police, Customs and Immigration Officer guided us to the leads in through the northern entrance of the lagoon, and then to a mooring.  What blessed relief to be able to have a hot shower, a nice meal and a good night's sleep.  Life on passage is not all that comfortable, with meals often prepared under difficulty, and sleep often in two hour breaks.

Fri 23rd June

Our first trip ashore and a walk, greatly enjoyed. LHI is such a beautiful, unspoiled place, very low-key, friendly locals.  We strongly recommend you visit!  Today we had coffee, went to the Post Office, Museum (lunch), Ned's Beach for the fish feeding.  Checked out where we can get diesel, bread, and the key to the 'facilities' near the jetty.  These include toilets, showers, a laundry tub, and clothes line.

The roads here are narrow, but lined with mown grass, palms grow everywhere, and lodges unobtrusively and discretely hidden.  There are a couple of general stores and restaurants, and other services such as hire bikes, diving and fishing trips, etc.  see for more!


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