Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Sydney update (in the rain)

We've had a week in Sydney and enjoyed exploring more of the city in spite of some pretty awful weather; lots of heavy rain and wind squalls have rather dampened our enthusiasm at times. The only real exception was last Sunday when we had a lovely sail around the harbour, with Kerry joining us for the day, dodging the racing yachts, ferries and motorboats; there was a great picnic lunch in the cockpit (with a training course by Kerry on the best way to peel prawns) and an entertainingly brisk return with the Parasailor.

Passing the Opera House with T/S Tenacious (last seen in Hobart)

One of the racing fleets

The latest must-have accessory? Oh dear....

Heading back under the bridge after a great day. Unfortunately the wind direction didn't allow us to sail through the bridge with the Parasailor flying.
Full moon rising in the last clear skies we'd see for a week
With the wet weather enveloping us like a soggy blanket this week, we've got on with a few jobs - some re-varnishing below (not a perfect success due to the humidity, it has to be said, but an improvement) and we collected the SSB radio, back in working order (a $10 transistor replaced, plus $320 of labour). We also replaced a corroded connector on our VHF radio aerial which we hope will solve our intermittent problems with receiving and transmitting.

In between the work, we've managed to tick off a few more city sights. We did join a free guided walking tour of the city one day but, when the heavens opened and the wind threatened to wrest the golfing umbrella from our grip, we peeled off (almost Mary Poppins style) and enjoyed a much drier, free guided tour of the excellent Art Gallery of NSW. The Asian Art section was a real hit, as was the Aboriginal Art gallery.

Asma'al-Husna, 99 Names of Allah (2014) by the female Iranian artist Azra Aghighi Bakhshayeshi

detail of an Aboriginal piece

... and another
 There's been some good social life too - a great Nepalese meal with Kerry and her friends Pete and Gwyn (whom we last met 3 years ago in Fiji) which was followed by watching Crab Racing in the wildly-eccentric Friend in Hand pub, an event which required unbrellas, again, but this time as protection against the water pistols and hose pipe. Only in Australia! 

We then caught up with Waiheke mates Trish and Ian who were over here for a long weekend so we dodged most of the showers and anchored in Athol Bay, just across from the Opera House for a prawns and salad lunch. Time for a little, belated celebration of Trish's and Dianne's 50th's

Thanks to Jenny for the 50th Bunting!

Look, some blue sky!! A slight clearance last night so we managed a walk over to Darling Harbour without getting wet

The plan now is to leave Sydney as soon as the wind goes southerly again - Wednesday night or Thursday morning probably. We have about 450nm to cover to get back up to the Gold Coast so we'll probably try to knock off a big chunk of that with a 2-3 day passage whilst the breeze is favourable. 

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