Picture: Taking Elizabeth to the Airport (boat style).
It is all over folks. On January 5th I took Elizabeth and all her things to a taxi in Sydney, which then took her to the airport. Without her on the boat the trip officially seemed over, but in reality I still had another week to go.
As agreed with the new owner, I was going to help deliver the boat back to Sydney with him. So Mike flew into town on the 4th and we spent a week going through all the systems. We practiced docking, anchoring, sailing and spent a good deal of time completing a round of engine checks as I showed him how to change the oil, fuel filters and impellers and how to trouble shoot our particularly hateful generator. And here I thought I was never going to have to do that again! But it was fun showing Mike the boat as he is genuinely excited about buying her and I feel good knowing that Honeymoon is going to a good new home.
So on the 6th we departed Sydney with a light southerly helping our progress north. We were extremely lucky with the weather, which continued to stay light and we finished the whole trip with a single stop to refuel. Five days later we pulled into Manley, where the new owner will keep "his" boat.
I had been worried about the trip being a rough one, but in reality it was quite wonderful. Winds were light and following for most of the way. We played with the sails, hoisting our spinnaker at every chance. We grilled steaks, lamb chops, chicken breasts and swallowed it down with Australian wine and beer. The swell was small, so sleeping was comfortable. We also had dolphins, some pods with babies, swimming with the boat (see previous blog).
So with that, the trip is over. I took my final look at the boat yesterday and am now awaiting my flight tomorrow that will take me back to San Francisco. I'm looking forward to catching up with friends, seeing our old apartment and reuniting with Elizabeth, but life is never going to be the same without a boat. What a wonderful year it has been - but it's time. Time to go "home."
But stay tuned, there is more to come on the blog as we have to catch up with videos, pictures and a few more Top 10s and "how to's."
Picture: Dolphins swimming with "our" boat. Pictured here is Mike, the new owner of Honeymoon.
As usual, Australia doesn't disappoint. We have seen dolphins elsewhere in the world and never got tired of sitting in our bow pulpit seats watching them play with the wake of the boat, but in Australia they do everything bigger and better.
On our third night out from Sydney, Mike was on watch and I was about to go to bed when I noticed a green glow in the water. There was almost no wind, but when the boat would create a ripple in the water it would set off thousands of tiny bioluminescence, turning the dark water into a glowing froth. I had seen this event many times before, but it was not as pronounced. Rather than see a few glowing "fireflies," this was like sailing through a field of glow sticks. At the bow, the water looked like welding sparks as it hit our hulls, bouncing up onto the hull and then dripping green down the side and back into the glowing water. And then the dolphins arrived...
Normally we wouldn't be able to see much in the heart of darkness, but this time they were glowing from their disturbance through the water. It was so clear that we could easily make out the shape of the dolphins despite it being pitch dark. Their wake would stay alight for several seconds, leaving a streak of glowing green water behind them. It was a very magical moment - one of the best of our entire trip. Unfortunately it was too dark to get a good picture and I'm sorry that E missed it, but I'll never forget what it was like...
Author: Seth Hynes
Picture: The Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge at midnight. CLICK HERE for more pictures of the day's events.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!! It's still a little strange, but we have already had our New Year's Eve celebration and will probably fully recover before the rest of the US gets down to celebrating. But at least we get to post a great picture on the 31st of December for most of you...
As could be expected, we had an amazing day. We started early by anchoring in Farm Cove at 8am, which we knew would become the boating equivalent of Times Square by midnight. And we were right. By 6pm the anchorage was packed with all shapes and sizes of boats and we found ourselves lucky to have a pretty safe zone around us. At 8pm the parade of boats went by as Roger (from La Palapa) served up a shrimp cocktail. At 9pm the "kids fireworks" went off, which were so amazing it would easily have qualified for any other cities main event. We then threw four steaks on the grill and washed it down with an excellent Australian Shiraz. Our anticipation was kept captive on the hour by short blasts of fireworks. And the wait was worth it.
At midnight a local radio station counted down to midnight and the music coordinated show started. And the whole city erupted. Literally.
Fireworks went up into the sky from the harbor barges, islands, opera house, bridge and even from buildings in the city skyline. The whole city was alight and the show went on forever. The bridge stole the show with its two towers illuminated, a LED screen in the middle and an enormous amount of fireworks both rocking up and dropping down to the water. The grand finale was so large the smoke from all the fireworks filled the sky and all you could make out was a glowing and thundering cloud of smoke. It was simply amazing...
Happy New Year World!