Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Last shots of Sydney...

I just had a few remaining shots of Sydney flagged in iPhoto, so I've edited them and popped them into this quick post to share.

One clear memory I have of our last weeks in Sydney is rain. Rain, rain, rain, some wind and then more rain. So I could hardly NOT have any rain-related shots, could I?

Our newly acquired mini-olympic-sized swimming pool/baby bath tub/emergency water supply/drogue/PITA :-)

...and of course, what goes in, must come out...

Taking due precaution against howling gales...

Our time in Sydney was also filled with lots of last-minute tasks, like changing the port of origin on Lucey Blue's transom. We said 'adios' to Leesburg Virginia (a past port of origin for Lucey Blue) with my hairdryer (talk about heart palpitations - using a hairdryer in a dinghy on the harbour - I was very pleased when that job was done).

...and bonjour to Sydney!

...and putting our name on our bows in order to satisfy the requirements for registration...

We had some left-over vinyl lettering, so I decided to decorate the life rings too (see, you can take the girl out of the craft room, but you can't take the craft-room out of the girl ;-)...

It wasn't all work though. The kids enjoyed hours of playing lego on the marina pontoon...

Talking to each other...

Lounging about...in true, first-class passenger form

...and I enjoyed watching the sun go down over Middle Harbour (once the rain finally cleared)!

In the end though, we weren't sad to say sayonara to some Sydney skyline pollution.

Thanks also for all your comments and emails. It means a lot to know that family, friends and fellow bloggers are thinking of us, and I will reply to your messages as soon as I can get the baby back to sleep ;-).

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bonjour from Beautiful Brisbane


We interrupt this period of non-transmission to bring you a community service announcement...
LUCEY BLUE IS IN BRISBANE! The Brisbane River at Kangaroo Point to be precise….and has been for almost a week :-)

Nick, Ryan and Nick's parents left Sydney in LB on Friday 10th June. Nick will fill you in on that somewhat eventful journey at some point soon (maybe). In the meantime, Emily, Eric and I stayed with my mum in Sydney for a week, then flew up to brissy on the 18th. We got REALLY lucky and completely missed any airport ash cloud chaos…which was nice because one adult travelling with a 7 year old, a 4 month old, a large hiking backpack (choc full), a large duffle bag (also choc full), a stroller, a car seat and two small carry-on bags….was no mean feat. But, with the help of mum, some lovely QANTAS staff, the helpful Budget rental car staff, and a very kind gentleman in Brisbane who dragged all of my baggage off the carousel for me (I had Eric in my pouch and could barely bend over, let alone remove baggage from the carousel)…we made it in one piece, tired, but all accounted for!

I never got a chance to wrap up our Bantry Bay stay, as well as a couple of other bits and bobs from Sydney...so here goes. One of the Bantry Bay highlights for the kids was, of course, the ice cream boat! YES…you read it right…the ice cream boat! Kinda like a Mr Whippy on the water, but with no Greensleeves playing. He zips around selling ice cream and coffee, there are actually a couple of them operating over summer, but in winter, we only saw this one. What a great idea! What a cool job!!

When they weren't scoffing ice cream, the kids were entertaining themselves drawing pictures in the abundant window condensation…

Another item being scoffed that weekend was some boat-baked chocolate brownies...these lasted all of about 15 minutes in my estimation ;-)

...and one small boy was only too happy to help out mum by licking the bowl absolutely, positively, spotlessly clean (the 5 year old...not the 4 month old ;-).

...baked in our shiny new SMEV 7000 oven, which was purchased for its gorilla...every boat needs a gorilla apparently, how else would a certain old salt make his beloved cheese on toast??

It was a fun weekend, but some of us also managed a spot of much needed shut-eye...

...and the whole thing was topped off with a wonderful, fantastical, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious trip to see Mary Poppins at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney!

Please don't mind my scruffy looking kids! We aren't really kitted out for a high-flying night-life here...and had to just make do with what we had that was clean :-).

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Life-vest Orange is NOT my colour...

Look at this hideous thing my parents expect me to wear...They say its French, I thought the French had good taste!

 It makes my head looks small, and my skin look all washed out...or something! Something BAD.

It makes me want to cry!!

QUICK...call the fashion police! Someone...SAVE ME!!

...and if that whole episode wasn't bad enough...they also decided to try me on solids today

 This stuff LOOKS bad, it SMELLS bad...

I KNEW IT! It tastes even worse than it looks.

Why am I smiling? There is nothing to smile about here. I want to lodge a formal complaint for crimes against babies! Or at least put them in touch with someone from Masterchef. They need HELP.

Mum and Dad even tried to set my brother and sister adrift in the dinghy today...

Lucky for them I was on deck and could throw them a line...

...you'll be glad to know that everyone made it back on board safely.

I don't know why I bothered though, they wouldn't share any of the good food with me. Stinkers!

Luv youse all,

An overnight excursion to Bantry Bay

I am still working on some posts about the boat bits and pieces that we are getting done...I am being a bit slack about it though...sorry.

Yesterday we slipped off our Pearl Bay mooring in the late afternoon and motored up Middle Harbour to Bantry Bay.

It was very quiet here over night. No wind, no rain, and we were the only ones here! I didn't miss the Friday night Spit Bridge traffic at all. We were all in bed with lights off by about 7pm (such party animals we are). Eric fed about three hourly through the night...which was not so much fun, but it was nice to lie there and listen to the various quiet water and animal sounds outside the boat while he did.

This morning we were treated to some blue sky, and barely a breath of wind. Excellent weather for some of the other odd jobs Nick has in mind, like applying our name labels to the bows, and fittings for the bimini shade cloth sides too.

Bye, bye from beautiful Bantry Bay! Hope you have a lovely Saturday too.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Weekend Visitors from Canberra

Like I said in the last post, even though we are crazy busy with a multitude of pre-departure tasks, some bigger and more time consuming than others, there is still time for plenty of fun on Lucey Blue! Last weekend was one such time, with visitors from Canberra expected on both days.

The weekend forecast was for patchy cloud and showers, but our visitors on Saturday crossed their fingers and toes, piled their four kids in the car at 0500 (YIKES…this would have been a deal breaker for me) and headed north.

We had great luck with the weather, and although it got cold and windy at times, no-one got wet…well, at least not from the precipitative kind of water…I did, however, spy a few soggy limbs towards the end of the day following some skylarking on the sugar scoops!

We managed a tour out through The Spit Bridge, up the harbour and past the Opera House, under the Harbour Bridge bridge and up to Darling Harbour…

Calisthenics on the bow!

Underway and enjoying the view

Sticking with Mum (literally)…just in case

Learning the finer points of navigation from an old salt

The Sydney Harbour bridge is no match for this 7 year old

…then we turned around and motored back to Athol Bay and moored in front of Taronga Zoo and had some lunch onboard. After lunch the kids (big and small) went ashore in the dinghy to scout for…lions, tigers and stuff!

Hope this dinghy chauffeur knows what he is doing!

The boys waiting patiently for their ride

Revving them up on the bow

We then motored back to Pearl Bay and had some afternoon tea prior to bidding our friends farewell.

A small power nap was required after a big day out on the harbour.

On Sunday, we also had pretty good luck with the weather and missed any torrential downpours (wish I could say the same of the weather we have had since then…but more on that later). Our friends arrived and we motored up Middle Harbour to beautiful Bantry Bay in the Garrigal National Park, just a few kilometres from the hustle and bustle of Sydney's North Shore. We picked up a mooring and sat back to enjoy the view...there was 'so much serenity' (and only the occasional drone of a big two-stroke engine on full throttle ;-)...

There were, of course, the mandatory skippering trials to be undertaken…some skippers being slightly more theatrical in their approach than others ;-).

Followed by the post-lunch explore ashore…which apparently also involved a little tick shopping (ooops)!

In all it was a really lovely day out and about.

Thanks so much for making the big trip up to see us everyone! We loved catching up with all of you and showing you around our floating home :-).