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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Jan 2 - 16, 2011 - Sydney

Jan 2 - 16, 2011
We enjoyed our next two days with the Wise's and the Spencer's seeing
Sydney with them, of course most of it centered on the best
restaurants and bars! We bid a sad farewell to these four dear friends
on Wednesday and then got down to the business of boat chores.
We spent much of the next two weeks going back and forth between
Manly, Middle Harbor and Black Wattle visiting with various cruiser
friends, Gato Go, Endangered Species, Tuppenny, Wasabi and dining with
our new Sydney friends, Mark Dent and Heather Heckenberg.
About a week into the New Year, I made a decision to fly to Houston to
tend to family matters and to help my daughter through a particularly
rough time. So on January 16th, I left my beloved Frank and Destiny
alone together in Sydney and flew home for nearly 2 months. It was a
difficult time for all of us, but necessary, nonetheless.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

January 1, 2011 – Happy New Year, Sydney Style!

Our NYE afternoon continued to get more entertaining, and as we
watched the flotilla build around us we broke out some snacks of fresh
Sydney Rock Oysters, peel and eat prawns, cheeses, dips, crackers and
so forth to get us through the daunting anticipation of what was to
At twilight, sparks flew and crackles began all up and down the
harbor, building and building until a full blown 20-30 minute
fireworks show let loose along the waterfront. We were told this is
the early show for the benefit of young families who would want to
see, hear and enjoy the celebration and then get their wee ones safely
returned home before the big blast at midnight. It was quite a show!
We chose this time to have our full on dinner. The grilled fresh
salmon and barramundi and my marinated prawns turned out perfectly. In
fact we had so much food that we had mountains of leftovers. Nearby to
us a large motor yacht had been shuttling loads of party-goers out to
a much larger yacht anchored just a few hundred feet from us and as
time wore on the second launch rafted up to the first making a very
large floating disco with at least 100 party-goers drifting back and
forth between the two. The music was nothing short of obnoxious and
the volume so loud that even a football field's length away, we could
hardly hear each other talk. It was a real pity because this gang just
blasted right over the accompanying music and fireworks we had come
here to enjoy. Boaties all around were yelling and complaining, but
that just made them crank it up even louder. It was a shame really,
but nothing to be done about it.
The evening really began when a large lighted boat parade swept up
through the harbor and came back around several times. The decorated
yachts and large vessels were just incredibly adorned. I've seen a few
boat parades in my years but none to compare to this. It is a pity my
camera didn't get even one good shot. While the parade continued to
circle, sputters and sparks began to erupt once again up and down the
entire harbor! It was a complete over stimulation for my little ADD
addled mind! We didn't know where to look! The Harbour Bridge, The
Opera House and the entire shoreline were in a mad competition for our
eyes, minds and attention. It was everything we had dreamed of and
much, much more. Television does not do this event justice. So instead
of frantically trying to catch it on film, we just sat back in wide-
eyed awe at the splendor about us. Even the grinding disco music
couldn't detract from the wonder of this experience. She how went on
for ages and it seemed billions of fireworks must have been spent, but
we never wanted it to end. Never has this chatty 6-some been this
silent for so long. When the last fizzle settled down in to a rising
wisp of spiraling smoke, we sat still and quiet for a bit, just
feeling the pleasure of the night. This was the most memorable and
happiest New Year Frank and I have ever had. Neither of us can imagine
topping this one.
Eventually, the area settled down into silence but for the obnoxious
floating disco that raged on for anther couple of hours. Most of the
boats, tinnys, yachts, launches and various floating craft thinned out
by the time we were ready for bed. The six of us sat for a while
reliving the night and sharing our thoughts and feelings before
heading off for bed.
Happy 2011!