Sydney, December 2006
Before the holidays we were treated to Sydney sight seeing.  Above is the Bowling Green Lighthouse, which is located at the Maritime Museum.  Emma's parents, Ruth and Ed stand in front of the Royal Sydney Opera House and Ed's brother Peter and his wife Gill are by the Harbour Bridge.  It has been wonderful having family in town, and our own personal tour guides.  Below is a replica of the Famous s/v Bounty, from which Captain Cook first saw Australia.. 
To the left is Peter, Ed and Ruth waiting for us at the Maritime Museum Ferry.  The nauticle flags are displayed outside the museum.  The museum is free to explore, however, you can pay to go on all the ships, including; The Bounty, Endeavor, a modern Australian navy ship and a Russian submarine, all very interesting.  Below is a replica of Captain Cooks Endeavor, which the kids loved to see, especially the toilet, which is a hole in the front of the boat. It would have been difficult to use in a gale!  I could not imagine sailing on it, we have more head room.  Bottom left is Jim's dream boat, made out of beer cans.  The museum is a must see for anyone coming to Sydney.  They also take the tall ships sailing, which must be a fantastic experience.
Many a party was had at Emma's cousin Paul's house.  Pictured above left is Emma, Gill and Peter, Paul and Brenda, Ed and Ruth and Jim.  Nicholas and Gemma are next to Phoebe and Drake.  Paul is a Chef and there is never a dull meal.  They have a beautiful new pool and we can not keep the kids out of it.  Above is Peter (Paul's Dad), Paul, and Edward Byrne-Quinn.
Paul is the Chef for a private Golf club, and we were treated to an evening out one night.  Jim kindly baby sat, so Emma could go out with the family.  Paul is pictured with his brother Martin. (Who you may recognize, as he joined us in Mexico for a couple weeks.)  Emma is pictured with Martin and her Mom.

Emma's parents, Ruth and Ed in their Blue Sky T-Shirts, on their last night with us.
Phoebe and Drake are with Granny and Grandpa on their last night.  To the right we are all pictured with Sydney behind us.  As you can see it is cold, we thought it was supposed to be summer here!
Tom and Amy, from team Sandpiper, finally arrive in Sydney!  Perfect timing as it was Tom's 40th.  Of course he gets a Blue Sky t-shirt.  We also re-gifted a sparkly hat that he gave us in Bundaberg.  Our friends Alison and Paddy, from s/v Zafarse, were also in town from New Zealand.  We all celebrated on Blue Sky.  The next day we took the ferry to Double Bay.
In Double Bay our other friend Angela, from s/v Holokai joined us, and we all went to the Australian Cruising Yacht Club, which is one of the host clubs for the Sydney/Hobart race.  Alison's is from Australia, and some of her family joined us. 
To the left, is our new friend, whom we met at the club.  It just happens that his T-Shirt is a 2006 Santa Barbara-King Harbor race shirt.  This is the race we used to do on our friend's Bob and Val's Olsen 30, s/v Priorities!  It was nice to see a reminder of home so far away.  It just happens he raced on s/v Pywacket, which is Roy Disney's old boat.
Below is the favorite  for the Hobart Race, s/v Wild Oats.  They are docked in Woolwich, just around the corner from us.  You can see the guy up the huge mast. 
Christmas Eve found the kids in the Jacuzzi at Paul and Brenda's house.  This is the first one we have been in since Mexico.  Emma cooked a Mexican dinner for everyone and our friends Ann and Pat, from England, joined in the festivities.

We received a wonderful Christmas greeting from Tri-iso.  The company which Jim worked for in Los Angeles.  They have added to the staff, and it was nice to see everyone looking so well. 

To the right the kids are ready for bed, they left Santa a mince pie and can of Guiness and the reindeers some carrots.  We looked up his position on the internet, which said he was in New Zealand, so they immediatly ran up to bed!
Santa's helpers are busy at work, near midnight, trying to put together the basketball hoop for the kids!
Santa left all the children's presents in a nice pile.  Phoebe got what she asked for, a CD player and a CD. Drake received a game boy game.  After the wild opening of presents the Dad's decided to go back to bed.  Martin received a pair of shoes, that he left on Blue Sky in Mexico.  They travelled all the way across the Pacific. 

The table set for Christmas dinner, I helped Brenda's mom make the Christmas crackers, which was fun to learn.  The port is decanted in our late Grandfather Cleo Byrne-Quinn's crystal decanter.  The meal, as always, was fabulous, Paul and Brenda out did themselves!
s/v Blue Sky in her Slip?  Drake contemplates getting on, and Jim provides him a lift.
Boxing Day is a huge holiday in Sydney, it is also the start of the Sydney to Hobart race.
We took s/v Blue Sky out to watch the start, and anchored in a great spot.  Before the race, the tall ship fleet sails down the line, which included the Endeavor and Bounty. 
The ABN-AMBRO sled is putting up her Jib, she actually was dismasted during the race.  Pat is above enjoying the show.  Top right is the start of the race, and the boats sailing past us.
Terry, who is pictured with Jim and Tom, is Brenda's Dad.  It was his birthday and he is an avid sailor. (He's done the Sydney/Hobart twice) 

Pat, Martin and Paul watching the race.  After the start, all the boats watching follow the race fleet out of the harbor.  We are still anchored and just happy no one "t-boned" us.  No such thing as a no-wake zone. Wild Oats was the big winner.
New Year's eve.  Blue Sky has a wonderful view of the Harbor Bridge, so we had the party in Woolwich.  We woke up and steaked out the perfect spot.  It was a windy day, but at least it did not rain.  The kids enjoyed a game of cricket and the adults enjoyed relaxing.
At dark the sparklers came out.  There was a fireworks show at 9:00pm coordinated with the music from "The Wizzard of Oz" and at mid-night there was a second, larger show..  Thankfully the kids had a nap in between.  To the right is a picture of Sydney at night.  There were over one million people watching the show.  It was the 75th anniversary of the Harbor Bridge, so the show was larger than the millenium show. 
Here are a few photos of the fire works, which we going off the bridge, off the buildings downtown and off barges up and down the harbor.  It was amazing.  This is the first time Emma took photos of fireworks, and did a pretty good job.
As you can see the show was amazing.  We finally went to bed around 2:30.  It was the first time we have actually stayed up past 10pm on New Years Eve! 

The next day all we could muster was a quick dinghy ride for the kids.  Gemma and Phoebe, then Drake and Nicholas. 

What a year it has been, we have crossed the Pacific Ocean and made it to Sydney!  We would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and thank you for your support.

Next we are flying to New Zealand.