April 2007, Australia
Blue sky went for day sail to Balmoral, in Sydney Harbour, where we hiked to the old fort with Stu, Naty, Tamar, Maya, Paul, Gemma and Nicholas.
Phoebe enjoys a day sail with Mike and his kids, Lily and Eve on their beautiful boat.  Below Peter and Gill joined us for drinks on Blue Sky in Balmoral. PHoebe and Drake play with Tamar and Maya.
One last item held us up in Sydney, a part for our
windlass.  Instead of FedExing it to us, Lewmar shipped it regular mail, and it took two weeks to receive.  So we were delayed again, but enjoyed ourselves.
We celebrated Paul's 40th birthday in style.  They had a fantastic party with around 40 guests, with delicious food and plenty to drink. 
The Byrne-Quinn family is pictured above, and Paul is with Sue and Jon.  Martin is with Andrea, whose sister, Janice I knew when I lived in London.  Brenda did a great job with the preparation of the party and the cake.
Monday, April 23, 2007 was our departure date from Sydney.  Paul, Martin, Gemma & Nicholas joined us for the short hop out of Sydney Harbor.  We only travelled four hours north up the coast to Pittwater.  There we were joined by Brenda, Gill & Peter.  We all went out to dinner for one more farewell party.  Do I need to mention that it rained!
After Pittwater we had a three day sail to the Clarence River.  To the left is the way we like to see river bar entrances.  Sand builds up on these and you have to enter and exit at the right tide.  On the way in we were at the wrong tide, 20 knots of wind and rain, fortunately we made it safely. 
Leaving the Clarence River we had perfect conditions.  The tide was rising and there was hardly a puff of wind.  Phoebe and Drake enjoyed the "Motor Sail" North up and around Cape Byron. (The most eastern point of Australia)  We sailed through the night to arrive at high tide for the entrance into SouthPort.  Southport is the Gold Coast of Australia with Brisbane to the south and Surfers Paradise just to the north.  You can't miss it with all the high rises on the shore.  It boasts the tallest apartment building in the world.
To the right is a photo of Rob Mundle with Emma.  Rob is the Author of "Fatal Storm" and his latest book detailing the Volvo Ocean Race, sailing the extremes.  We met Rob in Musket Cove in Fiji. Below is  Amandine, Damion & Celine.  They are all from Brittany, France, travelling around Australia.
We met Sylvain in Vanauatu when he was crewing on Richard's Beneteau, s/v Sail La Vie.  We were moored together in Bundaberg where Damion joined the boat. 
Peter and Gill have friends who live in the area, and to the left is Jan and Nigel, who came to have a look at the boat.  We enjoyed dinner one night with Nigel, who also took us on a provision run, which was very helpful. 
The kids had a treat of going to Sea World, to the right is a view of SouthPort from the Eye Ferris wheel, our boat is somewhere in the picture.
The dolphin show was a highlight of Sea World.  Seeing the Pacific Bottle Nose Dolphins do their tricks.  Even though we see them on the ocean, it is amazing to see them perform.
The kids enjoyed all the rides, which were perfect for their age.  They had a huge Ferris Wheel, where you could see for miles.
The shark tank was fantastic, with several different kinds swimming around.  The dragon ride was the kids favorite, a water ride, and we rode it many times.  There was also a water park with some great slides.  It was a nice break from boat work.