Australia! We’ve bloody made it! We sailed into Newcastle just as a front hit us but it wasn’t a biggie, not the nicest way to get back home but we were so excited about arriving safely we didn’t care!

A few have asked why Newcastle? Why not Sydney? Two reasons. First is that Sydney isn’t really set up to handle small craft returning to Australia. They deal with the big boys over there really.

Secondly we joined the Port2Port rally which meant we got a free week at the lovely Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club and a lot of support for bringing our boat into Australia. As we needed to pay tax and import fees this was actually a big deal. It can be a long and frustrating task that but the rally organisers have worked with Border Control to make the process very simple.


Australia gets quite a bad rap when it comes to visiting boats. Maybe things were bad in the past but we couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome. That’s not to say they weren’t thorough, they went over every inch of the boat, but they were generally interested in our trip and very professional.

So. We’re back! What’s next? Well we’ve always wanted to sail under the Sydney harbour bridge to mark the end of our trip so we need to get down the coast for that. We also need to sell poor Interlude which we have very mixed feelings about. She’s been such an amazing boat that’s got us safely 2/3 around the world but the reality is we’re pretty broke now and need to sell her and get back to work. We’ll hopefully find her a nice buyer who’ll enjoy her as much as we have but it’s going to be hard to hand over those keys.

First though we’re going to just relax and celebrate having all the major crossings behind us. Coastal passages can of course have their fair share of challenges but if anything does happen you’re always going to be in radio range, and swimming range if you can outrun the sharks!

12 thoughts on “Newcastle

  1. Bloody well done you two, an amazinng achievement, good to hear you are safe and sound, proud to have been a very, very, very small part of it right at the beginning

  2. Congratulations Simon and Helen on your massive achievement. What an adventure you’ve had. Shame you can’t keep the boat though. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed following your blog all the way – all the ups (which you’ll remember forever) and the downs (which you’ll soon forget). Fantastic. Well done! Geoff

  3. Simon and Helen, thanks for being our beacon as we sailed from Newcastle to Sydney. We’d follow you anywhere—well, almost anywhere😀.

    • Hi Pam, it was great fun sailing with you and Whale and Bird. We miss it already! Hopefully catch you guys out there in a few years when we’ve saved back up again. :)

  4. Hi Simon, Helen.
    Congratulations. You’ve done it!
    It has been some time since we first met in Brest, and later on in Alicante, but we continued following you online. It was amazing!
    We’ll miss Interlude I – news
    Bart & Chris Nurse-IT

  5. What an amazing and fantastic trip you have had. Have enjoyed dipping in and out of your blog for the last year. We have decided to charter in the Caribbean for 3 weeks in mid February this year and spend 3 days exploring Dominica.

    I know it was now a year ago that you were there, but do you by any chance have any contact details for ‘Beans’ – he was obviously an excellent guide. Also did he pick you up from Roseau in the South or from Prince Rupert Bay/Portsmouth in the North?

    Hope you have a good trip to Hobart.

    Many thanks

    • Hi Nick,

      It’s quite a small island. If you mention ‘Beans’ over the radio or to any of the locals they’ll know him for sure.
      There’s also a small tourist office in the main town that would be able to put you in contact with him.


      • Hi Simon and Helen, Many thanks for your response. We got back from the Caribbean yesterday. I took a couple of copies of your blog on Dominica with me and left them with Beans and Sea Cat – they were both over the moon to see what you had written and have already used it to show other boat owners that they are the ones to explore with. Needless to say they gave us a really great couple of days touring the island/ waterfalls/ diving/ snorkelling etc. and taking us to places that most tourists and the cruise ships do not visit, so very many thanks for tips and your blog. All the best – Nick Russell

        • Hi Nick,

          Glad it all worked out! He’s quite a character hey? Such an amazing island. Still blows me away how each island in that chain can be so different even though they are only 30-40 miles apart. I miss the whole area and hope to return one day.

          All the best,

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