09/02/2010, Pittwater, Sydney
Well, we are officially land lubbers! We sold Drimia and moved off last weekend. I had hoped to have time to make her clean and shiny and then spend the weekend sailing around Pittwater, anchoring overnight in a pretty bay, have a last night sitting in the cockpit sipping G&Ts and musing on the past year. But in the end, she came out to have some work done on the rudder and the new owner decided to have her anti-fouled (again) at the same time which meant she had to stay out of the water over the weekend. We spent two days emptying all the lockers and carrying vast quantities of stuff down the ladder! I have to say I was a little weepy when we put the hatch in for the last time and our last look at her was up in a cradle in the yard!
We have moved into a granny flat for a couple of months until the unit we've bought becomes available. It's OK. You can get things out of the fridge without having to move several baskets out of the way first. You can make a cup of tea and the mug stays where you put it. You can flush the toilet as many times as you want! But there's no cockpit to lie with a cup of tea watching the world go by, no changing view out of the shower window, no people dropping by around 5 pm for a sundowner. Very strange.
I think we've realised that we'll have to do it again. We have been to such fabulous places and met such amazing people that we'll have to do it again. Thanks to everyone we met who made it such a great trip. From those of you in the Caribbean who have watched our progress and stayed in touch and wished us well to our fellow Pacific crossers who we had such good times with and shared so many experiences. Keep in touch and wherever you are, we wish you fair winds and calm seas.
Jane and Andy
26/01/2010, Sydney Harbour
Australia Day is a holiday here and there are masses of events on to celebrate it from brekkie on lots of the beaches in the morning, ocean swimming races and surf canoe racing, concerts and special exhibitions. There's a special Australian citizenship ceremony when many thousands of people from dozens of countries get their citizenship.
We were invited by Nemesis to go out with them in Sydney Harbour where lots of things had been planned but, as the weather looked as if it was going to be wet, we all ended up on White Hawk so we could shelter from the rain. In the end it turned out to be a beautiful day. Hot and sunny. Lots of boats turned out to watch all the events, most of them decked out with flags and bunting. The Sydney Ferries also get dressed up (by their sponsors) and race from Circular Quay round Fort Denison and back and there's a tall ships race. Then there was a flyover of a Tiger Moth, and a squadron of fighter planes followed by a air-sea rescue helicopter towing a huge Australian flag. We found a spot to anchor and had the tradional Barbie and in the afternoon went round by Piermont where there was a jazz concert. Some excellent music including a surprise appearance by Leo Sayer, who became an Australian citizen on Australia Day last year. And yes, he did make us feel like dancin'!!!
Such a good day with fabulous company. Thanks to all for making it such a lovely day.
31/12/2009, Sydney Harbour
Well, another lifetime's ambition has been achieved. New Year's Eve under Sydney Harbour Bridge. I've managed to miss seeing Sydney's NYE fireworks up till now but it was certainly worth waiting for. We sailed down from Pittwater on 30 December and anchored below Toronga Zoo. We had researched for months where it would be best to go depending on the wind or weather. Forecast was 8-10 knots North to North West wind so Torongo Zoo should be sheltered and calm. And it was! We had hoped to anchor with Nemesis, White Hawk and Newtsville and even possibly raft up together but in the event, Nemesis and White Hawk anchored over in Farm Bay as they had friends joining them. Luckily we were next to Newtsville so Jonny, Kate and Jonny's mum and dad were able to come over for sundowners and nibbles while we waited for the show. Our friends, Max and Christine were also on board with us which was fantastic. They have been looking after our affairs while we've been away so it was great to be able to share this great night with them as a very small repayment for their help and kindness over the past year!
There was lots to watch while we waited for midnight. A flyover of old planes at 5 pm and the kids' fireworks at 9 pm plus all the other boats coming and going. The ferries were all lit up and paraded around the harbour and there was a fantastic atmosphere. And when midnight came, lot of boats sounded their horns and people cheered every firework. Brilliant.
Needless to say we toasted all our friends, old and new. We wished you could have been with us and hope all of you have the most fantastic 2010 full of good health, fun and adventure.
Look forward to seeing you either here some time this year or in the UK when we're back for three weeks in May.
Much love to you all.
Jane and Andy xxx