Waves picked up the huge blocks on one side of the break-wall and tossed them over onto the marina, causing much damage

We arrived in Coffs Harbour Marina just a few days before the storm that caused all the damage. I had committed to work for three months in Coffs Harbour and we had paid in advance for our stay.

The storm caused damage not only to boats but also most of the fingers on the marina arms.

Ken checking the lines again Note how close we are to Tony’s damaged boat and the missing finger, walkway

Marina staff worked around the clock to secure the broken fingers and remaining walkways.

Nichola was lucky to only receive minor scratches (gotta love a steel boat!), but many vessels were damaged. Ken and Steve, the fellow in the boat tied onto the other side of our finger, spent the day before the storm preparing. Steve had lived through the last storm here so had heaps of good advice to share.

All hands on deck – everyone rushed to help secure vessels that had become compromised by the broken marina

The thorough preparations meant that when the finger broke away, it was securely tied between out two boats and so caused little damage. The fun came when we needed to move away from the arm to relocate to the relative safety of the wharf. The finger on the starboard side of Nichola had come apart and damaged the boat on that side. Ken used nearly all our remaining lines to secure it to prevent it ‘floating’ off and breaking into more boats, us in particular. There were a few tense moments when we got Nichola detached from the broken finger.

Ken and Steve check out things from their boats, note the angle of the broken marina finger, held in place securely by lines between our two boats

We were concerned that Steve’s boat would be damaged once we moved away. The wonderful guys from Marine Rescue came to our aid and managed to pull the finger away from Steve’s boat after we moved off. Boats were rafted up against the wharf for a while. Many boats left Coffs Harbour Marina. The remaining vessels began a ‘game’ of moving boats began as marine staff shuffled us around to allow vessels to move on or be returned to marina arms as sections were made safe.

Rafted up against the wharf, The tide was so high that it came over the wharf itself.

We moved five times before being settled back on D arm. We had a few weeks without ready access to fresh water or power.

High tide was not too difficult ‘walking the plank’ onto the floating jetty and then up the ladder onto the walkway

Before things got restored, a fun time was had walking the plank across a floating jetty and up a ladder to get onto the walkway. I rather enjoyed the adventure, especially walking the plank each day and I was almost disappointed when the new ramp got installed.

Once you had walked the plank, you walked across the floating jetty and then jumped onto the ladder, climbed up and around it to get onto the walkway. A fun workout to start the day!

Check out the photo album we uploaded to our Sail With Us Facebook page to see more images from the stormed. We were astonished that our photos got over 400,000 views!

Coffs Harbour Marina 2016 - the storm that took everything out
We checked the lines in the middle of the night. Many of the boats did not have owners on board so we needed to make sure they were secure
Awaiting repairs, the force of the waves was so great that it was able to lift huge concrete blocks and rocks over the break-wall and drop them onto the walkway which caused so much damage

The Coffs Harbour marina lost their office in the storm, it was eciting to watch the force of the waves ‘take it out’. Obviously no fun at all for the marina staff, but the power of nature is amazing.