Family welcome in Brisbane - almost home
26 October 2010 | Brisbane River
After a fabulous week cruising the Whitsunday Islands, we made our way down to the marina at Mackay where we had to hole up for a few days while a 40 knot southerly blasted through. Fortunately we caught up with our good friends, Stewart and Trish off Rhiann Marie, and had a couple of hilarious nights waiting for the weather to abate.
We then made for Bundaberg, 290 Nm south and on the second night sailed into the Burnett River (Bundaberg) and put out the anchor at around 9:00PM for a well earned rest. The next morning we had a lovely sail down to Urangan and thence through the Great Sandy Straights which separate Fraser Island from the mainland. Whale spotting was the order of the day and we were not disappointed!
Last Wednesday we went over the Wide Bay Bar at 6:00am at high tide
(a rather notoriously difficult bar but on this occasion thankfully there was only a little swell), then sailed down to Mooloolabah where we dined out on fish and chips with Shane, Nicole and 3 kids off "Grace" who have now settled down to 'normal life' after cruising the world on their Hallberg Rassy for 3 years. Had a surprise visit from Carl Schmidt who I used to race against at Black Rock YC years ago which was lovely.
Another day's sail brought us down to Brisbane and along the way we saw several whales quite close to us. We had a lovely sail up the Brisbane River as the sun was setting and were delighted to see cousins Keith, Glen, Cassie and Jaime waiting to take our mooring lines at the Dockside Marina adjacent to the Story Bridge. They took us to Uncle Bill and Aunty Anne's house for a Dransfield family BBQ that went long into the night...
On Saturday morning, we were nicely surprised to be visited by the Darveniza clan - Nada (Helen's mum), Uncle Ted/Esmai, Uncle Matt/Irene, Uncle Louie/Marion, cousin Paul/Julie. Thanks go to Marion for the wonderful lunch.
We have also been to cousin Elspeth and Chris's house for Sunday brunch and seen all the Darveniza cousins and we're having dinner at Martin's new house tonight. Wow, we've had a wonderful time here in Brisbane - as usual spoilt by all the rels and thanks to Uncle Bill we have had a car for the whole time which has been brilliant. We fitted in a trip to South Bank and to the lovely parklands and city beach area and museum which was a delight!
Tomorrow we depart for Southport where we hope to take the kids to Seaworld. Then it's on to Sydney via Coffs Harbour where we hope to catch up with the Sunboy crew and also our crazy friend Daniel Freuden.
THE BIG NEWS is that we've just found out that Helen is pregnant!!!!!!! When she continued to feel seasick inside a marina we knew that there was something else going on! A bit of a surprise but we are very excited! Sorry to be telling you all via the blog but as we have so many friends to call and Hels blushes every time she tells anyone we thought this might be an easy way to spread the word!
The other big news is that we will be coming into Sydney Harbour on Saturday 6 November and berthing at Middle Harbour Yacht Club at 1:00 PM. Everyone is welcome to come along and say "Hello" on board Nika, which we're told will be berthed at the end of "D" dock. Parking is available in the yacht club car park (if you're very lucky),or up Parraween/Parriwi?? Road or at the Pay & Display public carpark on the opposite side of Spit Road. Please come, bring some grog, nibbles and cups - we'd love to see you!
For those who wish to see Nika in action, we'll be sailing down past Curl Curl beach around 10:00am on Saturday 6 November and through the heads at around midday on Saturday all going well. Looking forward to catching up with you all soon.