Its Saturday morning, freezing and pouring with rain. We are anchored Iron Cove, Sydney Harbour with the genset and the heater on. We planned to do a big re provision today over at Birkenhead Shopping Mall but unless the weather improves we are staying put in our little warm cocoon.

Back to where we left off last time.

Wednesday 17th April

Left Middle Harbour to catch the 10.15 am Spit Bridge opening. Had a good look at flash harbour-side houses perched on the cliffs before passing through the bridge.

We picked up a mooring just past the bridge in Chinaman's Bay and after an early lunch went to MHYC to join the crew of Stormaway a Sydney 36 racing yacht for the Wednesday afternoon midweek stern-chaser. Heather had arranged this for us. Jack, Colin (owner or the catamaran Richocet that I like), Mike and Irish made us very welcome. Our role was basically just ballast but we had a great time. Had to hold our breath as we threaded the needle through fleets of other boats, racing with other clubs, as we all converged near Clark Island. I believe Saturday races are much worse, as not only are there even more boats out but they are using spinnakers as well. These guys race very seriously, always comparing boat speed with wind strength and angle to a known performance graph called a “polar”. And I thought I was competitive!

After the race and a couple of beers onboard we retired to the clubhouse and had a terrific afternoon talking boats, racing and cruising. A most enjoyable afternoon was had and a big thank you to Heather for arranging it for us and the guys for making us so welcome.

Thursday 18th April

Spent the morning waiting at Chinaman's Bay to see if our new SUP would arrive at the shop that morning. It also gave me more time to work on the Blog. No luck with the SUP so we headed off back to Iron Cove to meet up with Greg and Janie. I kept typing as Lea drove the boat and I ended up quite nauseous thanks to the swell coming though the Heads and the Ferry wakes. Anyway the Blog was finally up to date. Yeah!!

Greg drove us back to their son's apartment together with our washing. After the washing was on we enjoyed a few drinks before glamming up ready for our big night out at the “Basement” an iconic Sydney nightspot, for dinner and a show. The meal was great and we enjoyed meeting Alan, a lifelong friend of Greg's. The show was a “Muddy Waters Tribute” featuring old “Blues” music from New Orleans specialising in the harmonica and slide guitar. Not really our favourite genre of music but the quality and technical excellence of the band members was outstanding.

Taxied back to the dinghy mooring and had a fast, midnight run back to the boat.

Friday 19th April

Not much of day yesterday with strong winds but did finally get the blog up which has been quite a saga. Helped Greg reseal a fitting in a diesel tank then he took us to Manly to pick up the second SUP. Checked out a couple chandlers on the return but nothing much of interest other than helping Greg plan a toilet diversion for his boat. Could be a good idea but I'll let him experiment and get all shitty first.

Janie returned the first load of washing to us all neatly folded and ironed. Luxury!! Thanks Janie. Looks like I didn't press the right button on the machine to start the second load of washing so it was not ready. Ooops!

Saturday 20th April

Back to where I started on hour or so ago and its still raining.