Yesterday we spent the entire day on board getting through a host of phone calls to the US, in yet another attempt to get Roy's new iPhone sorted out, as well as preparing all the paperwork that is required for our alternative visas so that Elaine can get her ongoing medical treatment in Australia.However, today was a little different. Every 26th January, Australians come together to celebrate their national day, reflecting the nation's diversity and achievements, as well as its past. It is also a part of history for all Australians, since the date marks the landing of the first British fleet in Sydney Cove in 1788. Although a fateful day for the Aboriginal people, the day also commemorates and celebrates the survival of their culture. After a morning of just chillin' aboard, while observing the sights of all the powerboats motoring past us en route to the outer harbour, we saw flags of all sizes, as well as blown up toys, including huge kangaroos. It was definitely mayhem in Roseville Chase, so we can only imagine what it was like in Sydney Harbour. The petrol companies were definitely smiling all the way to the bank! This afternoon we took the bus to Dee Why, one of Sydney's northern beach suburbs, where we enjoyed a late lunch / early dinner at the Stella Blu restaurant on the seafront, while listening to the live entertainment bands, followed by a walk along the promenade. Before heading back to Paw Paw and with the beaches teaming with people, we decided to find a shady spot under the trees to enjoy an ice-cream and people-watch. Happy Australia Day to all our friends in Australia. Hope you had a fun day.
Yesterday Roy spent most of the morning doing his second dive in order to finish cleaning the port keel and then both the propellers, which were in a right mess with all the marine growth; the worst they have ever been. So much for Propspeed for which we paid a significant amount of money and had a company in New Zealand apply it so that we wouldn't have this problem. Bang went that bright idea. Just another marine product that doesn't work and, as usual, there's no recourse.Elaine spent her day yesterday sorting through all our photographs from Vanuatu and New Caledonia. She eventually got everything completed today and ready for the upload to our website gallery, which should be done in the next day or two, hopefully. By 1800 yesterday evening, though, it was time for another rendezvous at Echo Point Park, where we were meeting Angie and her mom for a "night on the town" in Dee Why; dinner at the Wildwater Grill restaurant, followed by ice-creams on the beachfront. A delicious meal, a great Boschendal wine brought all the way from South Africa by Angie's mom and great company, not to mention, more birthday gifts for Elaine, made for a wonderful evening. Today, besides doing software updates on our various electronic devices, we also took a trip up the river from Middle Harbour this morning and discovered a whole new world as we dinghied under the Roseville Bridge, in particular, a great picnic area and various hiking trails through the bush, which are part of Davidson's Park on one side and Roseville Chase on the other. The dense Eucalyptus trees and Liquid Ambers along the banks provide a haven for the large numbers of native birds such as Kookaburras, Galahs and Rainbow Lorrikeets. The park was dedicated to Sir Walter Davidson in 1923, Governor of New South Wales from 18 February 1918 to 4 September 1923, who began life as a mining quarry. Captain Arthur Phillip's, searching for "good land, well watered", led to the discovery and colonisation of the rough shores of Roseville Chase, where Samuel Bates built a farm at Echo Point on the edge of what is now Middle Harbour. The area was also inhabited by Aboriginal people, who left their mark in the form of hand stencils that can be seen in various rock shelters in the area. Also, many people lived in the Sydney bush during the Great Depression and the remains of some of these dwellings can be found in the bush at Roseville Chase as well. With the days feeling like they are "flying by", we wrapped up this one with a barbecue on board.