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Christmas Cruise

Posted by on December 24, 2013

Every year, we have to get out the Marina for a couple of weeks over Christmas, to make way for the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race. Every year it’s a struggle to get the leave period sorted with work, get the boat provisioned, get Christmas shopping done, find a home for the car, etc.

What with Dad’s place lost to the fires, we decided to have a quiet Christmas this year, tucked into our favourite anchorage, the Duck Pond.

With blustery southerly weather forecast, we waited until an approaching low to catch it’s leading edge norther lies down the east yet and into the channel. Despite planning take the Friday off (didn’t happen, too much work, and even then I didn’t get it all finished!), despite last minute provisioning, fuel, water, Christmas presents, birthday presents, and clothes washing, we were ready.

And then this happened:


No rubber tip on the BBQ has feed line… Strewth and crikey, well it wouldn’t be an .Aussie Christmas with the bloody barbie, now would it!

Surprise, good friends won 4 tickets to see “Ender’s Game” at the cinema, and we had a legit reason to stay awhile longer to fix the BBQ that didn’t make me seem like some odd cross of macho alpha male and whiny cook.

Sunday, departure day, came around with the inevitability of a planet rotating on its axis, and we were up bright and sparky to catch the bus over to Eastlands. The movie was great, capturing the duality of the book nicely while being satisfyingly epic SF. Well worth the watch, and a big thanks yo our friends for donating the tickets!

We could the back into the city and trekked up to K&D for the rubber tip bits (got spares too, BBQ’s Galore out of stock), dropped by the pet shop on the way by popular request (“if we get a bigger boat, will it fit an aquarium?”), and down to the boat to cast off.

After a short delay required to discover we hadn’t quite untied all the lines before attempting to back out of our marina berth, we were off! The Christmas Cruise begins!

And then it started raining.

No wind… Just rain. We motored south, steering by compass in the fog and drizzle. IPhones really don’t cut it as a chart plotter in the wet.


My family abandoned me for the warmth below decks, and the good wife put a chicken on to roast. They boys fired up “Rise of the Guardians” for the umpteenth time, taking advantage of the engine running.

The breeze picked up in the channel swinging from a light sou’easter to a 20 to 25kt NE wind. By that time I was too bloody cold and wet to bother with the sails, but apparently not beyond a selfie…


Don’t I look all cold and wet to you?

We anchored down in the Duck Pond without drama, and we are the only boat here… The chicken dinner was awesome, thanks to my darling wife, and was just the thing to thaw out my bones!

All in all, a good start to the Christmas Cruise… I wonder what tomorrow’s 35kt SW change will bring?

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