April 2004


3 April - Sydney

Yesterday evening we saw the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge (known as the “Coathanger” by locals) for the first time. Well it isn't exactly the first time, but it was the first time we had seen it while sailing. Because it is seeing it for the first time on the boat, instead of on the plane, it is definitely worth mentioning. Here is a joke that I found in a bookshop in Coffs Harbor. I forgot to post in earlier.

One morning papa bear and baby bear walked to the table for brekky. Baby bear whined “Somebody has eaten my porrige.” “My porrige is gone” grunted papa bear. Just then Mama bear came in. “Oh stop that whining you bloody idiots,” she yelled, “I haven't even made the damn stuff yet!”

We also went to Manly, where Sydney goes to the beach. It is nice, but we didn't really do anything there that is worth mentioning.

14 April - Top 2 things we did with Kaj and Shay

April is our visiting month. First we have Kaj, Shay, and Bruce from Pacifica came, and tonight we have to pick up my Grandpa and Grandma who had a 19 hour one stop flight from Schipol (In The Netherlands) to Singapore to Sydney.

  1. Jump of the rocks at Manly

    While we were in Manly with Kaj and Shay, we discovered a 15 foot high jumping rock. We were told about it by Chris and Mandy on Bedouin, who we saw again in Coomera. There were 4 different platforms, two of abut the same height, and the other two were higher. I jumped off the lowest on once, just to get the feel for the jump, and I did the highest one ( About 20 feet) twice. To get up you have to find a way up through barnacle and oyster encrusted rocks. Bruce and Shay both got a cut. I think that after about half a year on a yacht you get toughened soles and you get more agile and quicker reflexes. I have never gotten an oyster cut, probably because of this.

  2. Building dams across the creek in Refuge Beach

    We have done this before, but we have never made one so good. There are three potential spots to build a dam. We use the first two. First we built a high maintenance dam that kept the water back until we had finished a better dam further down the creek. The best dam was about a foot and a half at the bottom and a foot across at the top. It would have held a long time, but we got tired of waiting for it to break, so we broke it ourselves.

Expensive, cool,or funky cars I have seen before during or after the Tassi visit.

  • 2 Aston Martins
  • At least 15 Porches
  • 1 Maserati
  • A Ferrari 360 in a Ferrari dealership
  • 3 Smart City cars
  • 1 Smart roadster
  • 3 Rolls-Royce 1 Silver Cloud, 2 Sliver Shadows
  • 7 Mini Coopers
  • 1 Chrysler Crossfire
  • 2 VW Beetle Cabriolets

14 April - What we have done so far

A few days ago, we picked up Opa en Oma ( Grandma and Grandpa in Dutch) from the Sydney Airport. So far we have gone to Manly and the Sydney Aquarium. At Manly Nikki and I jumped of the highest rock 8 times!!! For more info, see the journal before this. The Sydney Aquarium was OK. It would have been better had there not been so many people. In the whole Aquarium there must of been at least 500 people. We just walked through the tunnels without looking at the Animals, and we looked at them later when there was a better, less claustrophobic spot. It was one of those “walk this way only” places, not one where you can walk around freely. I saw some people walking around with those phones that can send pictures to other phones. It looked like they would take a picture, and then send it to the other people in their group. There were some Platypuses, and I actually felt sad for them, as there were some 30 Japanese tourists crowded around the tank and taking pictures while jabbering away about how weird he is. The Platypus looked stressed. Soon we are going to Manly again, which is good, because I am desperate to go swimming in waves.

22 April - Manly

[In six foot swells]

Today we went to Manly Beach with Opa and Oma. I could not get Oma to get in, but Opa Agreed to come in for a little bit. Nikki and I swam out to the place where the waves would break. Actually it was not quite that spot, but it was a little before the would break. The waves were up to a meter and a half high!!! After a while I decided to try and bodysurf one. I had tried around 5 times already, when there was this particularly good looking one, around a meter, so I went for it. I had just thought “Nope, not this one” when I got sucked over the falls. I was flipped and twisted for a couple violent seconds, then I jumped up and took a deep breath. Right after I came out to recover, a lifeguards moved the flags down the beach and asked everyone to get out of the water and move towards the Corso area of the beach. Later I went in the water again -by the flags, of course- where I swam out again. This was actually a good thing, because there were some freak waves that were over six feet tall!!! I thought it was really fun just to avoid getting sucked in and tumbled around.

29 April - Jenolan Caves

Yesterday we went to Jenolan Caves, in the Blue Mountains. The Blue Mountains get their name from the Eucalyptus oils that turn the water in the area a faint blue. OK, back to the caves. While we were there we went in two caves, Lucas Cave and Orient Cave. Lucas is the biggest cave in the system, and one of the caves that makes a round trip, instead of turning back. The most famous formation in the park is located here. The Broken Column is a column that has been broken apart, as the name suggests. The bottom section stood on a rock, which in turn stood on a river bed. When the river changed its flow, the rock lost its foundations, so it fell and slid a little bit. The Column wasn't strong enough to hold up the big rock, so it broke. What is interesting is that it was a clean break, so if you could fit the two pieces back together, they would fit perfectly. Lucas cave also had the tallest cavern in the whole entire cave system. The Cathedral is 56 meters high and was the first bit of the cave system discovered 200 years ago. The people that discovered it were actually mountain climbers who stumbled across a hole in the ground. Jim and Bob (I can't remember their real names, so they are Jim and Bob for now) were curious people, so they went down the cave as far as they could, until the came to a HUGE, BIG DARK SPACE!! Extremely excited they came back to their town (a few houses and a general store) and told the people about it. The next day they took 15 people and made the first tour of New Cave. There were also a lot of women who discovered the caves. They weren't allowed to have credit for them, because women DIDN'T discover caves, so they told a man who told the boss who got all the credit for it.

Orient Cave was soooooooo beautiful. For once the Aussies weren't exaggerating in their brochures. It was truly awesome. The discoverer named the caverns after stops in Sinbad's journey, names like Persia, Egypt, and India. That's enough about the Caves, my brain is scrambled about them.

We lived in a cabin that was a 10 minute drive from the caves on a windy road that gave Oma half a heart attack every time. The day we left, there was this extremely thick fog, so we added another 30 minutes to our 3 hour long journey and went the long way, because going down the twisty road in the fog would have been too scary.