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.
We’re heading south, but without Sunny Spells and without wind power. After various discussions and planning and replanning we decided to leave the boat behind and fly down to Tasmania. We are both reluctant to leave her behind – it feels a bit like we are leaving our home for the second time in six months. However, the relentless humid heat of the Queensland summer (wimps that we are. Whinging pom that I am – I do realise) has taken its toll on my tolerance and I’m looking forward to the cooler climes of Tasmania.
What Mooloolaba has certainly given us is a social life. My word! Our social calendar has been booked up with sundowners and supper every evening with some really interesting and lovely people. My only regret is that the boys have not had the fun of lots of kids on the neibouring boats. They had ‘live-aboard’ friends prior to Christmas, but they’ve all moved on, and not been replaced. The boys are therefore twitchy: finding the heat hard work, and nowhere to call home; they mss their friends; their beloved toys and even miss school (hardly surprising when the alternative is grumpy-mum as your teacher!).
So we’re heading south, excited at the next stage of our journey, but with a few regrets about what we haven’t done, and haven’t achieved a long the way. There’s always next time, I keep telling myself…..
George and Sony (who are kindly caretaking Sunny Spells at the end of their pontoon for the next few months) came out for a perfect evening on Sunny Spells. It was another hot and steamy evening on the Mooloolah River (well, for those of us unused to the tropics), with just enough breeze to allow us to put up the headsail and potter along the river, and to give Sony and George a taste of what passage on a boat should be like…quiet…no engine…magical.
We of course continued what has become our established evening practice…sundowners and snacks at sunset.
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!