29 Jan 2020

30/1/2020: Penultimate day afloat

The survey, rig check and test sail last week went very well with only a few niggles identified.  We met Tumi's new owners, a couple from Melbourne, and enjoyed a few G&Ts in the cockpit in late afternoon sunshine. We'll miss the water and boat views it affords! So it's full steam ahead towards completion on 31st January and then the start of a new travel lifestyle for us.

Thursday was incredibly hot and humid reaching the low forties and the breeze was hot, rather like sitting in front of a fan heater ... even the locals were complaining. We laid low on board most of the day before joining the broker and his wife/baby for a drink at the Newport Arms, a rather famous waterside pub on Pittwater. It was still hot but the misting machines helped keep us cool and we passed a very pleasant couple of hours.

On Friday we went on our last trip on Tumi around into Cowan Creek, another waterway off the Hawkesbury River. As usual the wind was against us so we had to motor sail, an aspect of sailing we won't miss! But it was nice to be out and heading off somewhere different, admiring the woodhead headlands and coves of the Ku-ring-gai national park. Despite all the fires throughout NSW the park has escaped burning, so far. That said we did see one small area smoking on our outbound trip on Friday which we were pleased to note had been extinguished on our return on Saturday afternoon.

Our destination was Cottage Point, a small and remote hamlet of several houses and a famed restuarant,  the Cottage Point Inn. Renowned for its multi-course degustation menu, we decided to treat ourselves. Sadly, for us, it didn't live up to the hype: they had lost our reservation for a start, despite confirming it by email, and so we were shown to the only available table in the back corner of the terrace and felt rather out of the way next to the service station. Despite  our position service was then slow and the menu itself didn't really hit the spot for either of us ... generally nicely presented but the flavours didn't appeal .... what a shame as it was expensive! Hey ho, it was still nice to be out and we used their mooring for the night so not all was lost!

Sunday was Australia Day and we had been invited for dinner/overnight stay by Nikitoo, the Oyster 625 from the WARC rally, who were in the marina in downtown Sydney at Darling Harbour. We decided to make a day of it and arrived into the city late morning. Down in The Rocks and at Circular Quay it was a hive of activity with crowds lining the waterfront and Sydney Harbour Bridge to watch the procession of boats and aircraft fly pasts,  and enjoying the myriad market stalls lining the narrow streets of The Rocks ... I couldn't help myself but buy some silver jewellery that used coral as a mould! A fun and friendly atmosphere in the sunshine. We decided to have lunch at Graze, a restaurant owned by Paul's daughter-in-law's aunt and uncle. It's on the lower level of the Sydney museum of contemporary arts overlooking the water. We spent a very happy couple of hours dining and people watching.

Later that afternoon we wandered over to Darling Harbour and joined Hugh and Marianna on board their lovely yacht, the only boat we know with it's own rum tank on board with a bar pump handle to help yourself! Darling Harbour was buzzing with people, music, fireworks and we all enjoyed dinner out at a harborside restaurant before returning to Nikitoo for a nightcap.

We picked up a hire car at the airport on Monday morning to drive back to Pittwater and start the packing process, together with finally starting booking flights and accommodation for Tasmania and New Zealand. It's all beginning to feel very real now .....

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