12 months on. . . . .

We cannot believe that 12 months has nearly gone by. . . . . . 

Although this past year has been extremely busy!

Early September we flew to Cairns and picked up a one way motorhome rental, 6 berth, $5 per day with 2/3 of the fuel paid for! Over 8 days we drove from Cairns to Sydney with a 4 day stop at Proserpine to surprise Mum and Dad, and SURPRISE we did!! 
In September & October last year we flew to Hawaii for son, Nathan and Nicole’s wedding in Maui and then relaxed into the Hawaiian lifestyle for a few weeks until we stepped aboard Cruise ship Rhapsody of the Seas for a 3 week trip home via the South Pacific islands. A very welcome break! We love being at sea! Who would guess!!
We spent Christmas New Year housesitting here in Newcastle whilst enjoying being close to the family. January /February the activity heightened as we prepared for the ‘BIG ADVENTURE’ navigating the Darling River, the third longest river in Australia, measuring 1,472 kilometres (915 mile) from its source in northern New South Wales to its confluence with the Murray River at Wentworth, New South Wales. It was necessary to carefully watch the rainfall in South Eastern Queensland as this would give us extra water in the river to allow us a better passage downstream. 

We were helping deliver a 45′ Catarmaran to Victoria which ended up with us going straight to Hobart as the boat was only imported into Australia a few weeks previous but due to the type of refrigerant onboard, a vital piece of paper was needed to import the refrigeration gas into Australia. So Customs requested we go straight to Hobart, the home port of the vessel!

It was during this trip that the rains came down up north, so we hastened our plans and prepared all our gear to travel the 768 klm to Brewarrina. Friends Barry and Noel came as back seat passengers to drive the car and trailer home for us, Many thanks xxxx!!

Early hours on the 25th February we left Newcastle and by 6pm we were on our own on the river bank, with all the contents of the car emptied and around the camp! 

The tinny was off the boat deck of Opal Lady, with 2 x Biminis attached and loads of gear to sustain us for a couple of months we began our trip.

Look at the Darling River page for updates as they appear.
After returning mid April we deserved a REAL holiday and headed back to the South Pacific for a well earned 2 week rest aboard a much larger vessel!!

Since then we have been busy with family, helping Nathan and Nicole paint their house and preparing for the arrival of their first child and our first grandchild, expected in the next few weeks.

Above: Sunset over Belmont Bay.

Meanwhile we spend any spare time aboard Opal Lady doing our normal boat maintenance/housework/chores, interspersed with the odd cruise on Lake Macquarie, normally with the kids and fishing rods, we are the mother ship, supplying food and a warm bed!

Look at the chartplotter, we have woven a macrame pattern on the lake!! Note: Swansea is not where it shows on the chart, it is where the little camera symbol is to the right. It is the town at the entrance to the lake! And the island is Pulbah Island.

Look closely and you can see the 3 even short masts of Opal Lady amongst the yachts in the marina at Marmong Point. Look just to the left and above, of the 4th cruiser from the right!!

Above: My Three Sons xxx

Looking forward, cruising Middle Harbour, Sydney and the Pittwater/Hawkesbury region is on the cards?? Who knows where we will be??

But before we go anywhere we will be putting Opal Lady up on hardstand and giving her a scrub,bottom paint, new annodes, and a polish!! Any takers with some spare time???? Lol!!

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