Flying in my brother’s plane

At last managed to go and see, and have a wee ride in, the microlight plane that my brother David built (from a kit) in a syndicate of 4 friends. The tiny 2 seater plane is at Popham airfield in Hampshire. It was a sunny day but very cold and quite windy.

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Bothy weekend

Girls weekend in a bothy near Balmoral with friends Elaine, Gillian, Linda, Anne and Caroline, the occasion being Elaine’s impending departure to live down south in Yorkshire. A walk in snow and murk over a few hills on Saturday followed by a run round the Royal Cairns above Balmoral in brilliant sunshine and snow in the Sunday. Oh and it was a luxury bothy with a wood/coal stove.

Back to Newcastle

We spent a week or so exploring Sydney, taking in the Aquarium, the Australian museum, the Maritime museum, the Observatory, and of course the shops.  The anchorage at Blackwattle bay was fairly convenient, one could easily walk over to Darling Harbour to the centre or else get the bus.  Also spent a couple if nights at a marina and a night anchored offManly  beach just inside North Head.  Then headed north via Pittwater to Newcastle.  A kind man from the local Marine rescue helped us berth by taking our lines as we reversed into our new berth on the Fish co-op quay, a bit like a Dutch box berth with huge posts either side.  We are very grateful to Mark from the Fish Co-op and Brad from the Midcoast Boatyard for arranging the berth for us, and looking after the boat in our absence.  We busied ourselves washing and packing away everything, taking off sails etc.  Newcastle was hosting a big event- V8 Ute car racing, so it was all go for the weekend, apart from the roar of the cars there were helicopters clattering about and a jet doing an acrobatic display.  Finally the time came to sadly leave Timshel and get the train to Sydney airport and the flight home.  Arrived in Heathrow to freezing temperatures, a few days later up to Aberdeen and Storm Caroline brought wind then snow.

Timshel’s new berth

Snowy forest near Aberdeen

Bridges of Sydney

We spent one night anchored off the Botanical Gardens, great view of the Opera house and the bridge – which is apparently colloquially referred to as “the coat hanger”.  But very rolly during the day due to the amount of marine traffic going about.  So we went under the bridge and on up the harbour to go under and anchor near the Anzac bridge – apparently colloquially known as Madonnas bra (note there are twin peaks).

Sydney at last

We had to motorsail the 25 miles from Pittwater, the swell had died down but the wind had almost completely gone.  Sydney harbour is really called Port Jackson and we made our way in this afternoon, finding a public mooring in Rose Bay on the south side.  Here we had a great view of the bridge and the skyline.  It was a nice evening and we watched a huge variety of craft go past – windsurfers, a flock of kids in optimist dinghies, single sculls, (rowing) pairs and a four, high tech Ocean racing yachts, a square rigger and seaplanes.  We will explore further into the harbour tomorrow.