Newcastle, the biggest port on the East Coast of Australia, is a stone throw (measured on an Australian scale!) away from us, here on Lake Macquarie. So, one sunny day – the norm around here – we thought why don’t we visit the Port of Newcastle? The name of this strategic Aussie settlement didn’t sound too appealing to us, so we kept putting this off. Until yesterday.

What a beautiful encounter this trip brought about! What an emotional moment! An encounter with a very old friend. A friend that we hadn’t seen or talked about, like in ages…A friend that seemed long forgotten, like it never ever existed in our lives…Yet, a friend that held our hand and cocooned us over many years. A friend who was never deceitful, but always told it like it was! A friend who was our biggest ally and carried us through its treacherous tumult to bring us to this special land of Oz, and many other special places all along the way: the Ocean.

The Ocean hugging Macquarie Pier, home to Nobbys Lighthouse that guides an impressive number of ships

This reunion was by no means anticipated or thought of in the slightest. Hence it kept its element of surprise. We were going to see the Port of Newcastle merely as a tick off exercise, as otherwise it would have been a shame to spend all this time on Lake Macquarie and miss its biggest neighbouring town. 

It was a sunny day with light winds. Almost a bit too hot. As we head towards the Port, we spot Nobbys lighthouse on the horizon. Like a magnet this pulled us towards. As soon as we approached it the mighty ocean reveals itself to our starved eyes. 

For me, the emotion was palpable. I was again face to face  with its limitless. With its beauty. With its fascination. As I was walking on Macquarie breakwater I could not take my eyes off it. Thoughts were rushing through my mind. How come you were so close, yet so far? How come I’ve completed forgotten you, dear friend? Why? You, who always have been there for us? You, who always guided us in the right direction like a loving parent! How could I forget you so quickly? 

Spending time on mostly uneventful Lake Macquarie and its comfortable flat waters made us forget our big love: the Ocean

My eyes could not get enough of it, as its white silfide arms were embracing the shores in a perpetual exalted motion, whilst sea birds were ballet-ing on the perfectly blue horizon. I was filled with love. I was filled with guilt. It felt like I had been cheating on a long standing partner with a frivolous young lover. Redemption. Happiness.

Sailing around the world is a discovery journey, both outwards and inwards! The moon rise, turning red, on a still Lake Macquarie – one of those moments inviting introspection…

In that moment, I knew that once we set our compass back to the ocean, we will be happy. We are happy now too, but lured by the comfort and security of being on a lake, we completely forgot our true love: the Ocean.

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