12 - in Australia
Nicky just completed a two-week project of developing a 3D-model of Namani and animating it into a short video clip. Working from photos and some blueprint drawings, he used an Open Source software called 'Blender' to develop and animate the model.
Check out Nicky's page to watch the 30 second long animated video clip.
We have been working hard here in Scarborough, not far north of Brisbane, getting Namani looking good and finally getting around to the little things - a new light, a new faucet, little touch ups. Until recently, we've been in good company with our friends from Victoria just down the dock, as well as a Swiss couple we know. Both families have gone off on land travel, however, so we're back to just the three of us. A sailor's social life definitely comes in spurts! We enjoy it when we have it, but also enjoy balancing it with family time.
We arrived at the dock here in Scarborough (close to Brisbane) yesterday (Sun, 12JAN) afternoon, almost a week after we slipped our mooring in Sydney's Middle Harbour. After our pit stop in Port Stephens (see previous post) we pulled into Coffs Harbour Thursday evening to spend the night at anchor as we were just passing the entrance at sunset.
We left our anchorage in Middle Harbour's Sugarloaf Bay yesterday morning, made the 11:15am opening of the Spit Bridge, and sailed out between the Heads that mark the entrance to Sydney around noon, bound for Brisbane (about 300nm off the northern edge of the chart image above). So far so good. The plan was then to sail out to the NE as shown by the blue line in the above image Overlaid over the chart above is Meteo France's current prediction for this area (arrows denoting direction of current and color shading denoting current strength).
A few posts ago we showed a picture of Nicky during our first visit to Sydney in 2005, when Nicky was 18 months old. During that visit we did a "house swap" vacation with Tony and Julia. The way dates worked out back then it ended up being less of a swap but rather a "sequential mutual hosting". So when we were in Sydney back then, Julia and Tony were very generous hosts to us and we tremendously enjoyed our stay with them.
We got lucky with a great spot for Sydney's NYE fireworks. We were anchored in Rose Bay with a clear view of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. The scene in Rose Bay was quite relaxed and not as crowded as we had feared. Hence we spend a very nice relaxed evening with Tab and Jez and enjoyed an extended dinner, interrupted by three firework shows and kicked off by Freddie Flinton's "Dinner for One" (thanks to YouTube - you will know this if you ever spent NYE in Germany in the past 40+ years).
We had an exciting morning a few days ago, watching the start of the Sydney Hobart yacht race on Boxing Day. We went up to South Head from where we could see the boats come up the Harbour channel from the starting line, and then round the corner into the Tasman Sea for the 630nm race to the southern end of Tasmania. The picture above shows Wild Oats XI, followed by Perpetual Loyal, as they sail between North and South Head (Wild Oats has by now taken line honors for the 7th time, the overall handicap winner is still open, with the smaller boats still racing).
When we left Maine in 2011 we put a 'Sydney' waypoint into Namani's GPS (think big... ;-) - today we passed it when entering the harbour after a swift sail from Pittwater. The picture above shows our view during dinner tonight, while anchored off the zoo, across from the Opera and the Harbour Bridge. Tomorrow we'll find out if we can still cope with big city life...
Some more progress on the picture front: We've put up a selection of photos from our month in Vanuatu under this link.
We've enjoyed our almost two weeks here in Pittwater (named after the same William Pitt, The Elder, that Pittsburgh, PA got its name from - a small world even back then) and Broken Bay and will leave for Sydney tomorrow.