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The morning after crossing the Clarence River sand bar I telephoned the delightful team at the Yamba Marina. I needed a berth for Ellie. I was in luck, one was available. We had anchored in the anchorage on the iluka side of the Clarence River entrance (lower left image) and it would be a short hop across the river to the Yamba marina where a full range of services are available (lower right image).

Yamba, and a new VHF radio







My wife swung into action and booked a hire car from the marina and flights from regional Grafton airport to Sydney. I had to get my brother back for work and I had business to attend to over the next 2 weeks.So we left Ellie secure in her berth and drove to the Grafton airport. Our flight to Sydney was smooth and relaxed. I had a window seat and I watched Yamba fade in the distance as we flew South. We followed the coast line down to Sydney and I planned and wondered in my head what the the south passage would be like from Yamba. I needed to find a crew member as my brother was going to use his remaining holiday leave to travel to the UK in late August.

I started to plan the next steps. for this epic journey.

Sailors are a social and supportive community. I saw a small houseboat 3 berths up from Ellie’s. I packaged up all our food and took it to the home away from home. Our neighbour was delighted with the offer and  gratefully received the food. Save a trip to the supermarket. We got chatting and I mentioned I needed to fit a new VHF radio. Lucky for me her partner is an auto electrician. Within 5 days I purchased a new radio in Sydney, shipped it to him and he fitted it for me along with 4 new USB charge ports. Ellie was upgraded from the old cigarette charge port from the 1958. Good neighbours are so important aren’t they?