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Sunday, December 26, 2010

December 20-26th; Summertime and Christmas in Sydney

I'd love to say that we did all the fun touristy things that we had planned to do in Sydney, but the truth is I've been dealing with some health issues that have cut into a fair amount of our time here and our time in Brisbane. It is also a small part of the reason I am so delayed posting updates of the last 6 months of our travels.
However, we did some walking around the city, and got to know the place fairly well in between my doctor visits and lab tests. Suffice it to say I will live, and there is nothing that needs to be reported on our blogs.
We had been reunited with some of our cruising friends since arriving here and were planning a busy holiday season. Cammeray Yacht Club extended an invitation to all of us to join them at their annual Christmas Eve party. Cammeray is located over in a whole other area of Sydney Harbour, several bays away from our present anchorage so we made the little journey over there to join our fiends for a few days. We caught up with Renata and Helmut (s/v Nuku a'lofa), whom we hadn't seen in a long while. We all prepared our potluck dishes and piled into the yacht club owner's home. Wow – what a feast! There was so much good food I wish I had two stomachs!
We left early Christmas morning to get over to Manly Bay to celebrate our own private Christmas and to be in position for the start of the Sydney-Hobart race on Dec. 26th. As Christmas day wore on, we got more and more crowded in by other yachts hoping to gain a good vantage point for the departure.  Finally on Boxing Day, Dec 26th, the excitement rose to new heights all around. Frank was very eager to hike up to the top of the heads to watch the start. It was pouring rain and I wasn't up to it, so sadly he went at it alone.  I couldn't see much from where we were wedged in so I turned on the TV and watched the race from the dry comfort of Destiny. It was very exciting, nonetheless! What a thrill to be here for such a big event. There were tense moments as one of the spectator boats (other reports said it was actually a media boat) was trying to get as close as possible to the racers and actually got in the course, colliding with one of the racing yachts! Idiots! It was so crowded out in the harbor that I would not be surprised of more such incident occurred during the frenzy.  Frank returned very happy. One more for his Bucket List for sure.
By late afternoon, the carnival atmosphere had settled down as most of the Stickybeaks retreated. Only the die-hards stuck around to finish out the holiday. Manly is a very popular holiday boatie spot. Frank and I made a last minute clean-up and boat check before retiring, making sure everything is ready for the arrival of our friends John and Loretta Wise on the 27th.

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