Wednesday, December 27, 2006

December 26th

I’d booked to go out for a ‘Boxing Day Lunch Cruise’ to watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart Race. (Have a look at the web site, it's quite interesting) The weather forecast had been rotten for the start so it was a pleasant surprise to wake up to a blue sky. As Abi recalls from her whale watching expedition the water can change once you’re out of the harbour so we had our fingers crossed.

A brief history of the race….Founded in 1945 the first winner took 6 days, 14 hours to go from Sydney, down the coast of New South Wales and across the Bass Straight to Tasmania. In 2005 the yacht Wild Oats (the current race leader) completed the course in 1 day, 18 hours!!! Most people will remember the 1998 race when a storm hit and 5 yachts sank with a loss of 6 lives.

We boarded the boat at 11:30 and found we weren’t sitting next to a window. With a full compliment of passengers we weren’t going to be able to move. Bummer!!! However, once we had ordered our drinks we went out on deck and had a perfect view of the proceedings. We left Darling Harbour and made our way towards the sea stopping at Shark Island, the official start line. To us it looked like every boat in Australia was there. I’m sure you could walk across the harbour without getting your feet wet.

We went back inside for lunch (not bad for a buffet and plenty of choice for fussy Abi) and came back on deck at 12:45 to watch the start. All the sightseeing boats seemed to move away from the middle of the harbour at the same moment to leave room for the yachts. It was quite strange to watch. The yachts were milling about trying to get in position before a canon was fired at 1pm. It looked like a mass of sails to me but apparently there were a number of different strategies at play. The canon fired (no boom but we saw a lot of smoke) and the yachts dashed off round the head on their three day journey to Hobart.

That’s about it really. Nice trip back to Darling Harbour, some shopping on the way back, coffee at StarBucks and an early night. Then into work today!!!!! :-(


Rags & Pam said...

Hello to both of you from Old Warden(UK)!!

Tia and Sarah are here as Tia's just come back from spending Christmas with her Dad. So we've had LOTS of present opening!! Sarah has shown me how to use my MP3 Player(with some help from Tia). As Tia has a very nice MP4 Player. We liked the photo of the Christmas tree on the beach ... very strange! We enjoyed watching the video clip too.

Tia says thank you for her presents, she really liked the cute stationary set :-)

Missing you both lots. Try not to burn! It's VERY cold here!!

All our love

Rags & Pam ( and Tia and Sarah)

Murray said...

Hello guys, It's great to see that you're getting about and enjoying Sydney over the break. I'm sorry it doesn't feel like Christmas for you due to the weather but at least you can say you've experienced it. Have a wonderful New Year's Eve and enjoy the fireworks. If nothing else at least you'll get to see what I think is the best firwroks display in the world.

Love to you both,


P.S. Alexandra is almost over the pox which is a very BIG relief to us all.