Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Spectacular Sydney

We were overcome with a ranging set of emotions as we slowly made our way through the Sydney Heads at dawn on 22 December. The city was just stretching its legs and arms to wake to a spectacular day and I will boldly say that it was somewhat more spectacular for us, as we rubbed our tired eyes and warmed our hands in the chilly summer morning air. We were coming home.

Approach to the Sydney Heads

I think my most dominant feeling was one was relief - at making it all the way without any bad incidents that we could not manage. The next was a sense of joy at coming home to Sydney (and she did put on her best dress for us, glowing in the golden sun of the new morning). It was just us and the first ferries of the day, it was like the boats had been cleared as we sailed down a flat and calm Sydney Harbour making way for the glittering CBD and the icons of the Opera House and the Bridge. We could not wipe the grins off our faces.

Good morning Sydney. So happy to be home!
(you can just make out the New Years Eve Fireworks rigging on the bridge above our heads that
will light up at midnight, revealing a burning emblem to wrap up 2014 or give promise to 2015)

We were having a fabulous sail, except for the dwindling wind speed and wake from the ferries as we neared Circular Quay which we bounced around on. But nothing could dampen our spirits today as we were finally completing our journey which we started 20 months ago, whilst doing something that not many people do, we went east to bring the boat back from South East Asia.

A statistical rundown of the whole journey:

The 2013 numbers have us travelling west, while 2014 was solely an eastern
pursuit to bring the boat home to Australia's eastern coast.
Did we really sail the equivalent of 1/3 the way around the world?

That we managed to make our timeline for returning home by Christmas was also a wonderful feeling, particularly after our many long nights at sea as we crossed the Pacific this year. It became hard to believe that only 9 months ago we were plotting our course while targeting a Sydney arrival before the end of the year, so to achieve it was something else entirely! Apart from catchups and many sighs of relief from family members, Christmas meant Christmas hats made out of the wrapping of 'Who Gives a Crap' toilet paper, the clean water and toilets charity. 

So without any 'next port' to think about, we might just sit and relax for a little while and get used to the big city and ponder what is next for the crew of Elizabeth Jane II.



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