Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall charting our adventures as we sail around the world. We're sailing up and down the east coast of Australia after a summer back in Britain.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Sweltering temperatures as the Poms arrive .

Sydney has been experiencing some pretty extreme weather over the past week. Sunday saw record temperatures (about 47 degrees!!) and on Monday night we had the most dramatic thunderstorms, with the gap between flash and bang being only half a second. Perfect conditions for friends to leave the winter weather in England and join us aboard!

Before Karl (an ex-colleague from Yeo Valley and one of Graham's closest friends) and his 21 year-old son Harry arrived, we had the challenge of stowing sails and all sorts of other kit that normally lives in the 'garage' (aka the forecabin) to give them both somewhere to sleep. The ensuing re-organisation prompted us to dig out the sewing machine to fix some damage on the yankee (the front sail) where chafe had worn through it at the point where it leaves the furler foil. If we'd ignored the issue for much longer there'd have been a real risk of some serious rippage so dropping it to the deck early in the morning, before the breeze kicked in and the sun became too hot, was a good move.

Chafe is your enemy, again. Wear at the luff rope

Sewing in a reinforcement patch
That job completed, we moved Maunie back to the city to meet Karl and Harry from the airport train at Circular Quay. They were in remarkably good form after the long flight from Heathrow, though were understandably rather underwhelmed that their baggage hadn't been put onto the second flight in China so they had only the clothes they were wearing and a few small items of hand baggage. Monday's sail around the harbour therefore included some sightseeing, some swimming and then some clothes shopping in Manly.

Selfies with a well known back-drop

Peeling prawns for lunch

Sailing out of the harbour into the Pacific

Making selections of new underwear in Coles. Luckily their bags did arrive on the Tuesday morning, delivered down to the beach at Manly for us to load into the dinghy

A spinnaker run under leaden skies the morning after the thunderstorm
Karl and Harry left us this morning (Wednesday) to pick up a camper van for a road trip down to Melbourne. We thoroughly enjoyed having them with us for three nights, culminating in a very splendid meal in town last night. Our thoughts now turn to sailing further south but it seems that the weather has other ideas. Ah, well, there are worse places to have to wait for weather.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Sydney pulls out all the stops for Dianne's birthday fireworks

It was great to sail into Sydney Harbour, where only a few days earlier we had watched the Sydney Hobart racers depart to re-visit some old haunts and to catch up with friends we haven't seen in a while. The bustle on the water, with yachts, motorboats, ferries and cruise liners comes as quite a shock so whoever is on the helm needs to keep their wits about them but we enjoyed the iconic sights.

One of the big Manly ferries - they have right of way over everyone else even sailing boats, so don't mess with them!

Approaching the Harbour Bridge

Maunie at anchor in Blackwattle Bay - all the sunshades and the windscoop set to keep us cool

The Anzac Bridge behind us

Of course, the highlight of the past few days was Di's birthday (31st December) and once again the fireworks laid on for her were superb. We anchored in Farm Cove, right next to the Opera House, again and Bravo dropped their hook only 100m away. However this year it was pretty breezy (up to 20 knots) during the day (we'd arrived at 07.30 to bag our prime viewing spots) so we had a huge amount of entertainment watching boats dragging their anchors all around us. We were glad that no one collided with us but Graham did have to stand on the bow and tell a clueless motorboat,  who was dragging his anchor back and forth over our chain (threatening to lift our anchor out of the mud in the process) to "F**k all the way off!", much to the delighted amusement of crews on neighbouring Aussie boats.

It was all worth it, of course, when the two sets of fireworks (8 minutes at 9.00pm and 12 minutes at midnight) were set off. The wind had calmed down enough for Adam and Cindi to dinghy across to join us and Kerry aboard Maunie and here are a few photos of the display.

Here's the professional video of the whole show:

After a week of great company and excellent eating and drinking, we are back just the two of us. Kerry left today to see friends and family but we have Bravo anchored nearby and friends joining us from England for a few days on Sunday. So, the social life will continue but we did get back to boat jobs today.....