s/v Charabia

17 December 2018 | Middle Harbour Sydney
16 December 2018 | Middle Harbour Sydney
15 December 2018 | Middle Harbour Sydney
14 December 2018 | Manly Cove
13 December 2018 | Manly Cove
12 December 2018 | Tasman Sea
11 December 2018 | Charolotte Head
10 December 2018 | Tasman Sea
09 December 2018 | Tasman Sea
08 December 2018 | Marine Stadium Anchorage, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
07 December 2018 | Marine Stadium Anchorage, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
06 December 2018 | Marine Stadium Anchorage, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
05 December 2018 | South Stradbroke Island, just south of Tippler's Island, Queensland, Australia
04 December 2018 | South Starbroke Island, Queensland, Australia
03 December 2018 | Woogoompah Island, Queensland, Australia
02 December 2018 | Anchorage off Lamb Island, Queensland, Australia
01 December 2018 | Horseshoe Bay off Peel Island, Queensland, Australia
30 November 2018 | Sand Hill, Moreton Island, Queensland, Australia
29 November 2018 | Moreton Island Anchorage, Queensland, Australia
28 November 2018 | Rivergate Marina, Brisbane, Australia

Boat Work

17 December 2018 | Middle Harbour Sydney
The winds picked up late yesterday. We had a light sprinkle and the stiff gusts lasted all evening. After dinner, we started watching the movie, Australia. I remember watching it years ago. It got late and we were both tired so we headed to bed. Slept later than we expected. I think all the walking exercise is helping us sleep better. Met the couple on the boat behind us and had a lovely chat with them on our dinghy ride to the park. Got in the dinghy to head to shore. Our first stop was the Cammeray Marina to check in. Mark filled out a couple of forms. He also asked if we could stay a little longer and they will find us a mooring. Mark had done some research on sail repair companies. He found one that was about 20 minutes from here. They have promised to get it done by Friday. We dropped it off just before lunch. Our next stop was at Bunnings Warehouse, which is just like Home Depot and Lowes. He found some parts including some water hose to replace the ones that had leaked. Then we stopped for lunch and ended up at Social, a lovely coffee shop that also sold lunch. I noticed a Dentist office and have been meaning to book an appointment to get our teeth cleaned. They didn't have any appointments today, but they did on Friday. So, we will return to pick up our sail and get our teeth cleaned. As we were walking back to the car, I noticed a business that advertised foot reflexology. Decided to take a short appointment as my legs are hurting me as is my sciatica. I really felt much better walking after my session. Picked up a few things that we were out of at a local grocery store. Then headed back to Tunks Park and our dinghy which was tied up at their floating dock. No one minded us parking over night. Back to the boat, Mark checked to see if the parts he bought were correct and figured out that he needed a few more. So, we got back in the dinghy and headed back to a closer Bunning Warehouse. Mark could not find the specific plumbing parts, so we had to make a trip to another one. This one carried the parts that he was looking for. Drove back to the park and took the dinghy to our boat. Mark replaced the pieces while I turned on the water pressure a few times. Mark clamped off the water so we can use it tonight. More to do tomorrow. The sun shone all day. It was quite hot so the temperature must have gotten up to 80 degrees. The afternoon breeze kicked in. A steady cooling breeze, which feels good. The sky is clear so there should not be any more rain coming our way. Joining Mark in an sg&t tonight. Thanks for your emails and messages!!

A Drive Down Memory Lane

16 December 2018 | Middle Harbour Sydney
The rains continued after sunset. Big gusty winds. Thankfully, all the boats are staying on their moorings. Started watching the first dvd on Corporations. It's a documentary that was recommended by Brett, who also works at our marina. It was getting late, so we didn't finish watching it. Headed to bed after 10 pm. Slept well. Slept in until after 7 am. Firstly, happy birthday to John!! Woke up to perfectly flat waters around our boat. Several boats headed out early this morning. There is a boat ramp on one end of this bay. Most of the boats going by were launched there. After breakfast, we decided to take our dinghy over to Trunks Park and tie it there. That meant I didn't have to climb a 100 steps up to the street above. Mark hailed an Uber Car Pool to pick us up and deliver us to the Budget location in Cammeray. We picked up one other passenger along the way. The driver was not quite sure where it was located. Budget was in a large office building with a nail salon on the street level. I decided it was time to get my nails done especially since there was no wait at all. I didn't think there was much open on Sundays, but I was wrong. After getting our car, we headed to Wahroonga first, which is a suburb of Sydney where Mark used to live. He found the house and we parked and got out. Mark said that someone enlarged the house and changed the exterior. We walked up to the house and the owner asked if we were lost. We said that Mark used to live here many years ago. Had a nice conversation with her. Walked up the path to his friends' house only to find that the house was no longer there, but the girls' school had expanded in its place. Stopped at the train station where Mark used to walk to. Had a lovely lunch on the main street. Then we drove two train stations down to Mark's school called Barker College. Lots of changes. They are no longer all-male. We drove to another house that Mark also lived in in Turramurra. Found the house and it looked the same, he said. We had planned to stop in Pittwater, prior to Sydney, as that was where Mark's dad kept his boat. The marina is part of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. We drove around the park and the it's a proper marina located at Bobbin Head. We enjoyed stopping at the Kalkari Bush Discovery Track. Got some great exercise looking for koalas and roos, but didn't spot any. They had a lovely lookout down the hill that looked out on the water. It was a much hotter day today. They also had some aboriginal art carved on rocks. We were sweating after our long walk. By the time we drove back to Trunks Park, the wind had picked up. We were lucky to find a parking spot. Lots of people around. Mark had to squeeze our dinghy past several hard dinghies that were also tied up to the dock. There were small choppy waves in the marina waters, but we stayed dry. It rained very briefly once we were back on the boat. The wind gusts are around 26 knots and the sun is still shining. Since we have been here the highest wind gust was 32 knots. Thankfully, all the other boats are holding on their moorings. The breeze has definitely cooled off now. Thanks for the emails and messages. All are appreciated. Tomorrow will be boat stores to replace the cold water hose, and a few other things. We have a suggestion for a sail loft to re-stitch our jib sail. Enjoy the weekend!!

Moved to Middle Harbour

15 December 2018 | Middle Harbour Sydney
Had an easy night. Another evening with thunderstorms. Glad we didn't stay longer at shore or we would have gotten wet. After dinner watched the movie, Bicentennial Man. Not sure how it got so late, or if the movie was that long, but it was 11 pm and I was falling asleep. The bars along the pier were going strong with lots of laughing and talking which floated out our way. We didn't see the end of the movie, plus I missed some of the scenes. Oh my! Fell right asleep. Mark got up around 6:30 and I stayed in bed longer hoping for more sleep. No luck. So, I got up and got dressed. Mark put in the route and checked the Spit Bridge for opening times. The earliest opening was at 8:30. So, we started breakfast and Mark turn on the engines. We finished our breakfast as we motored over to Middle Harbour. It was only 3 miles to the bridge. We had a wait of 20 minutes, so we tied one line to the open mooring ball by the entrance. The bridge had a traffic light. Florida needs more of them as it worked well. The two sailboats on the other side went first and then we released the mooring and motored thru the open bridge. I really didn't realize that Sydney was so hilly. There are boats everywhere, on moorings, on anchor, at docks. We saw lots of really beautiful expensive mansions along the way. They cascaded down the hills with docks at the water level. Some had very steep sets of stairs. There were two Rally boats behind us, but they went a different direction once we got into Middle Harbour. Mark tried calling Cammeray marina which we were told to do, so they could show us our mooring ball but no answer. We motored up to the marina office area where there were a couple of docks and thankfully someone on the end of the dock. We asked him where mooring ball #58 was located. He said back towards the end of the marina mooring balls. So, we headed back and secured to the correct mooring ball. We could not see a number on the mooring ball. Buzzy, the weekend tender drive called Mark and told him his phone was set to airplane mode so he missed our call. He confirmed we were at the right place and would pick us up when we were ready to head to shore. We decided to get our shower things together and check out the marina facilities. It took a while for the tender to arrive. Then he made stops to pick up passengers off other boats as well as drop some of them at the state park dock. That way they could get to their vehicles without having to walk a huge number of stairs up from the marina office. That was good for us to know. When we get our rental car, tomorrow, we will see if we can park it there. We found the showers and they were nice and hot. Once done, we purchased some laundry tokens. They only have one washer and one dryer and each cost $4. Got the ride back to the boat, stopping again at the park dock. Had lunch on board. Mark took a nap. I joined him for a short time. Then we put together two loads of laundry. Helped Mark launch the dinghy as we didn't know how long it would take. The tender service runs thru 5 pm. Got one load of laundry going and decided to walk up the stairs to the street level. It was not an easy task when we have been on a boat for so long! I was sweating by the time we got to the top. The lady in the house next to the stairs must have heard us. She came out to say hi. We started walking, they said one kilometer, but it was much further. We didn't really walk too far and a car stopped. It was the lady that we had met and her husband. They dropped us at a small mall that had a grocery store, butcher and bakery as well as other shops. We stopped for a pastry and coffee/water. Some business around there had free wifi, so we spent a few minutes there. I didn't know how long the washer ran, but told Mark we had to get back. Of course, it started sprinkling. The sun seemed to still be shining but water was coming down as we walked. Thankfully, it was all down hill, so our pace was pretty fast. We kept walking and eventually found the street by the marina office. Rescued my laundry, putting the load into the dryer and adding the second load. We visited with Brett and others at the cruisers' area. Then the heavens opened up with gusty winds to boot. Lightning and thunder too! Lots of water came down. Finished the two loads and I had packed a couple of garbage bags to keep the clothes from getting wet. Thankfully, I had washed one of my sweaters. I was cold from the breeze and rain, so I put on my warm sweater. By the time we were done, the rain had ended. We loaded up the dinghy and headed back to Charabia. The water was flat as a pancake and we didn't get wet. However, by the time we got the two bags in the boat, the rains and gusty winds returned. Ready to start dinner. It's blowing a 'hoolee'! We are nice and dry, despite leaving one of the engine room windows cracked! Thanks for all the emails and messages!! It is really such a blessing to hear from you!! We plan to pick up a rental car tomorrow. We have to find a sail repair place, but that won't happen until next week. Our jib sail seam came open just where it conacts the spreader. Mark suggested taking it down this morning when there was zero wind, but we will find a calm time to do that. Enjoy the weekend!! Can't wait to see this place after dark. Lots of houses and boats have Christmas lights on. Mark said we will need to hang our up as well.

Downtown Sydney

14 December 2018 | Manly Cove
Started watching the movie, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I didn't really like the movie. We decided to just head to bed as we were tired as well. Got to see the thunderstorm. Lots of lightning around but nothing close by. Some thunder, but mostly rain. Decided to sleep in. Got up just before 8, so we are making up for some of our lost sleep from this last passage. Had breakfast and dinghied to the beach in front of us. The wind had shifted so Charabia was facing south. At least it's protected and not too rocky. We are affected some by the mega ferry boats moving in and out. Mark tied and secured our dinghy to the last piling of the screened protected area once again. We caught the 9:30 high speed ferry to downtown Sydney. The return for both of us was $36. We chose second level seats on the one side. I was regretting not taking a jacket. It took 20 minutes to get there and was a pretty smooth ride. I was cold. A very overcast day. Our pictures of the downtown area were reflected the dull day. The ferry docked at Circular Quay, just up from the Opera House. On the other side of the pier was a P&O cruise ship. Lots of people at the pier and all around the downtown area. A suggestion from some Volunteer Information Staff was to check out The Rocks area. They also recommended the restaurant up on top of the Art Museum. We ended up doing both of those things. At lunch we were able to look out at the pier, the Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. There were hundreds of choices for lunch. The Rocks area included a Christmas Market area with many shops and eateries. We walked up to the Government House which was supposed to be open until 4 pm, only to find it was already closed. The building was beautiful and I would have loved to tour it. Will put that on our list for next time. Walked thru the Botanical Gardens and on down to the Opera House. It was like climbing mountains as the area is very hilly. We climbed up the outside steps of the Opera House. It is a beautiful structure for sure! By now the sun decided to make an appearance. We were both hot and sweating. It was so nice to get some clear pictures of the area. Walked back around and decided we had enough walking for today. Got back on the high speed ferry. They had a bar on the first floor in a nice air conditioned seating area. We walked up the stairs to the outside area. But it started raining, so we took shelter inside until we docked. We were surprised to see the Aldi grocery store at the pier sold alcohol. Decided to check it out. They carried beer, wine plus a few other types of alcohol. Bought some Irish Creme, which was a very good price. Headed back to our dinghy. Pulled it back down the beach into the water. Mark steadied it while I climbed in. The waves were bigger than yesterday and he ended up getting his cargo shorts wet. Headed back to the boat. Then we noticed a large power boat, used our same spot to leave their dinghy. They asked us if we were really from Florida and we said yes. Then they asked how long it took to get here, guessing 6-weeks. We said, no, it took us one year to get here!! Power boats do go much faster than sailboats!! Mark decided to find another sun shower that we had as a spare. The hose decided to disengage, so he was planning to replace it with the current one. His marlin spike slipped and he hurt his thumb. It's never a dull moment onboard. It didn't really bleed, but I put on bandaid right away, while he kept it elevated. Looks like there are sailboat races on Friday night. The storm has cleared and the sun is trying to shine. Lots of people at the cafes and bars at the pier. We can see a lot of people walking along the waters edge. Thanks for your emails and messages. Our plan is to move over to Middle Harbor tomorrow morning. We have to get through a lift bridge into that area. The bridge has set times when it opens. Mark has an email confirmation on our mooring location. Our boat is rocking gently. The wind was not forecasted to be coming from the south but it has been blowing from that direction all day. I'm just glad we are off the ocean or it would be a motor for us.

Arrived in Sydney!

13 December 2018 | Manly Cove
We changed clocks to match New South Wales time, which is one hour ahead or Queensland as they are on Daylight Savings Time. So, I ended up taking my 1st sleep at 8 pm which was really 7 pm. Got to sleep for almost 4 hours, but I woke up. The main sail was rocking the boom and making a clunking sound. Mark headed to bed as he was really tired. We were not making much speed, which was okay as we didn't want to get to Sydney too early. Just before my shift was over, the Off Course alarm sounded. I turned it off but the boat would not steer to the port side, and we were heading towards shore. The wind had changed to West, on the beam, and even higher...the boom needed to be moved to the other side of the boat. Mark woke up and helped. Then he went back to sleep for another hour. I was happy to be out of the cold breeze and into our warm cabin bed. Mark pretty much stayed up the rest of the night. He woke me up as we got close to the magnificent rock wall on the starboard side of the entrance. Very impressive. One engine was running as the wind had lightened. The second engine was added as we motored thru the huge entrance. There was a high rock walk on the port side of the entrance and we could see the high rises at downtown Sydney in behind. Saw a huge number of ferry boats going back and forth. Decided to head over to Manly Cove. I put us in the wind and Mark dropped the main sail. We motored over to where several boats were on mooring balls, plus anchored too. One pink mooring ball was open, so I snatched it up and put our two lines thru it. Once secure, we headed for a nap. I know Mark didn't get enough sleep overnight. Woke up around noon. Helped Mark launch the dinghy. Headed to shore by the Manly Pier, only to find many signs that forbade tying up to the pier. So, Mark walked the dinghy thru the shallow waters over to a penned area with netting, meant for swimmers to be safe from sharks, along the beach in front of us. He tied and secured our dinghy to the piling at the end. Then we walked up to the Manly Pier and checked out the mega number of restaurants, including McDonalds. We selected El Camino and enjoyed our delicious Mexican meals. Then took a walk a few blocks over to the ocean. The breeze was cool, but with the sunshine, the temperature was pleasant. I wore my running shoes, so I didn't go into the water. Mark dipped his feet in and said the water was cold. We walked along the beach. The water was such a beautiful color as it came crashing thru many waves towards to the shore. There were lots of people in one section, which was deemed safe by the life guard station. We walked back on a different street and found several stores, many to do with the beach. We found one store called Humphreys. Mark found a new Tilley knock off hat. When we told them our last name was the same as the store name, they gave us a shopping bag with the store name...Stopped at Aldis at the Pier and picked up a few things. Then walked back to the dinghy. The tide had gone down and we had to heave it down to the waters' edge. This time I had to take off my shoes and socks just to get in. We dinghied back to the boat. Put away our groceries. It was too late to call anyone as it was after midnight on the east coast. Mark had a bit of a rest while I posted pictures on Facebook. Thanks for your comments and messages today. Just as we were enjoying an sg&t being in Sydney, a sailboat over 50 foot motored past the boats on mooring balls and dropped a hook by the pavilion. Looks like a Christmas party on the upper balcony. Then another sailboat, 45 foot in length, motored by us and dropped their hook just off the netted area...they better hope the wind stays from the east, or they will be in the netting. There must have been fifty smaller sailboats out on the harbor racing tonight. They were not only racing but dodging the many ferry boats going by. We may take the fast ferry boat over to Sydney and experience that...walk around the downtown. Not sure if we can stay on this mooring ball another night or not. We can always anchor too. The sky looks overcast now, but there was blue in the sky today, for the first time in days.

Moving but not Horrible

12 December 2018 | Tasman Sea
I put a lot of items into our pressure pot for dinner last night. Chicken, carrots, onions. broccoli, zucchini, potatoes. It was really yummy! After dinner, we were able to watch one episode of Justified before we collapsed. It was raining some, but the big winds and seas were left out on the ocean. We felt some swells rocking as they passed under us and splashed up on Elizabeth Beach, further in to the shore. We were protected behind Shelly Beach. Got to sleep at the same time as Mark. I was so very happy that we made the stop. The location was beautiful. Lots of mountains around. Headed to bed after 9 pm. Our anchor alarm woke us up at 4:30 am as the wind had shifted to the North. Talked about sleeping longer but we could hear the wind blowing. Figured we just might have some wind to sail by so we got up. Motored out of the bay and Mark hoisted as I steered us into the wind. Had to go around Charlotte Head and then followed our rhumb line. There were many houses on the other side of Charlotte Head. We were on a beam reach from the East. Then the winds moved to a close hauled sail. Over the day it switched to the other side, from the West and behind us. Mark dropped the main sail. Then after a while, Mark noticed that our jib sail had a tear just above the spreaders, so he furled it in. We had been motor/sailing as the winds were very light. Both of us took turns having a nap as we didn't get 8 hours of sleep last night. I was out like a light, sleeping on the salon settee. Our temperatures were cooler today with the overcast skies. We only saw the sun briefly. Our salon temperature was around 76 today. The breeze outside was cold. Saw lots of ships, including other sailboats, power boats and cargo ships. Especially, around Port Stephens. The wind has picked up as the sun is getting ready to set. It's actually trying to shine, despite the cloud filled western skies. I helped Mark hoist the main sail and sailed just fine with the main alone as the wind pick up some. We were making 5-6 knots of speed which is fine with me. Sailing downwind is a more gentle ride. The waves are around 3-4 feet. So, really not that big. The calculation is that we would arrive in Pitwater early morning in the dark. So, we decided to skip Pitwater and continue on to Sydney Harbour. Lots of bays and coves. Our destination will be Manly Cove. There are supposed to be complimentary mooring balls. We'll see. We do have a mooring ball reserved in Middle Harbour. We both enjoyed an sg&t with a can of Pringle chips that we still had in our locker. We are around 10 miles off the coast. Wind has shifted once more. It is now coming from the NW at 9-11 knots do we gybed the main. Our speed dropped but it's back to 5 knots. May have a current against us now. We are getting back to our rhumb line. We can see at least 3 cargo ships out on the water, closer to shore at Newcastle. Thanks for your emails and messages. I didn't have the wifi on very long today, mostly because we were far from shore. We are planning to take 3 hour shifts tonight, as we will get there early tomorrow. Looking forward to my first glimpse of Sydney Harbour!!
Vessel Name: Charabia
Vessel Make/Model: Fountaine Pajot / Athena
Hailing Port: Jacksonville, FL
Crew: Mark &Helen
We are both computer folks that were live aboard cruisers back in the 90s. We settled in Jacksonville Florida after escaping the great white north and cruising the Bahamas, T&C, DR and points south down to Trinidad. [...]
Extra: Charabia is a French slang word for nonsense or gibberish. It derives from Arabic "sharab" which means alcohol.When you drink (too much) alcohol, you start talking Charabia. The original owners named her and Mark liked the name so it stuck.
Charabia's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 20 of 20
Nov 2017 trip south from Jacksonville
9 Photos
Created 23 August 2018
Upgrades and maintenance to Charabia
79 Photos
Created 27 June 2017
72 Photos
Created 16 May 2015
46 Photos
Created 15 May 2015
72 Photos
Created 7 April 2015
95 Photos
Created 4 April 2015
106 Photos
Created 31 March 2015
Get the boat ready to cruise.
10 Photos
Created 14 March 2015