The day has finally dawned for departure on our new adventure. We’ve set aside a minimum of six months to go cruising and see how we like the lifestyle. We were anchored overnight in Morning Bay, Pittwater (Sydney) and set the alarm for 5:30AM, planning to be underway by first light and have sails up by sunrise. It was clear and cold (April weather) and we procrastinated a bit, but by 6:15AM Maria had weighed anchor and we were sailing up Pittwater towards Barrenjoey Head.
Our target for today – a safe, easy sail/motor to Broughton Island, east of Nelson Bay.
Always keen to ensure we get a bit of bush walking in everyone obliged ‘mother’ and walked to the ‘Tangalooma Desert’. It was huge (good training should we find ourselves in Namibia) and beautifully peaceful. We didn’t take boards to slide down them – we knew who’d be tasked with carrying them to the top!
If you look hard you’ll see a dot in the middle of the dune (Hugo). Looker harder and you’ll see a tiny wee dot beyond him – Oscar, of course.
Gerhard took off to encourage them back before they ran too far and discovered the sand was burning their bare feet!
Lots of people have left for home – leaving us behind – hoorah!
A lovely day of fun with the boys: dragging them around on the donut (and making sure they fall off and then making sure they swim to catch us up – anything to wear them out, and jumping off the boat on a rope swing, and clambering up more high sand dunes ….and feeling very old, as they trot effortlessly up and call down to check if I’m ok. Honestly! How did that happen?!
We also went up to the Tangalooma shipwrecks (http://www.visitmoretonisland.com/sights/tangaloomawrecks) for a snorkel. It was interesting to see how the coral has started to grow on the ship wrecks and there were lots of fish, but unfortunately visibility was poor ( and we’ve been so spoilt with our other reef snorkeling experiences). We’ll try again later in the week.
It was such a glorious day, and evening, that we decided this was the night to enjoy our last bottle of bubbles and our second can of foie gras (thanks to my dear friend Wid, en France). It was the end to a perfect day – and before I forget, there’s the couple of turtles who seem to hang around our boat, and the dolphins who swim by, including a calf, and a full moon rising to top it off. Perfect!… And privileged.
We left Mooloolaba for Tangalooma (Moreton Island) on Friday – both of us keen to get away from the confines of the marina and Mooloolah River (although we were grateful for a few days of breeze when anchored in the river over New Year). It was a brisk sail, and the boys and I had to acclimatize ourselves to the swell of waves again, but it was wonderful to be under sail and feeling the boat fly along.
We sailed into the Tangalooma anchorage late in the afternoon and all jumped off the back of the boat and enjoyed the late afternoon sunshine.
Despite Saturday’s morning rain we enjoyed an afternoon of counting starfish, climbing huge sand dunes and watching the sunset.
It’s great to be on the anchor again (and good old Gerhard has put a stern anchor out too to minimize the rolling).