Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Pittwater Christmas

Christmas 2009 found Pelagic in Pittwater, an arm off of Broken Bay, the waterway that abuts the northern suburbs of Sydney.  At first glance Pittwater is a soul-less place where the leisure class keeps its generic, expensive, lightly-used pleasure boats, and we were a bit stunned by the anonymous water-scape of thousands and thousands of moored pleasure boats where we would spend the holiday.  But we quickly went about generating a family's worth of Christmas spirit on board, beginning by decorating Christmas cookies:

We also decorated our Christmas tree.  Note that Elias' friend Koala decided to spend the holiday in the tree.

On Christmas Eve, Elias left out cookies and beer for Santa.  I find this Australian-styled hospitality for Father Christmas a decided improvement over the milk-and-cookies tradition in North America.

In the morning, Elias was very excited that Santa had left him Six White Boomers.

Our big reason for stopping in Pittwater was a visit with our friends Peter and Vanessa, long-term local sailors who we met on the tail end of their New Caledonia-and-back cruise last year.  We had Christmas dinner on board their yacht, Akimbo.  Things started off seriously enough:

But the night soon descended to a three year old's level:

For a couple of days after Christmas we knocked around from anchorage to anchorage inside Broken Bay.  There were thousands and thousands of these beautiful jellyfish in some places:

And the weather was gray and drizzly:

This had the benefit of keeping the holiday crowds we feared at bay.  I'm sure it will be different in Tasmania, but Australians in this part of the country seem to completely deflate when the weather is cold and rainy.  It's kind of an endearing trait.

We could have explored the different nooks in Broken Bay for a week.  It's a neat spot, with big areas of National Park that provide a nice escape from the city life of Pittwater.  But we decided that we'd rather spend our discretionary time before the new baby arrives cruising Tasmania instead of Broken Bay.  So we travelled back to Pittwater, where we had a great couple of days rafted up with Akimbo:

During our stay, Peter kindly took me surfing a couple times in conditions that he wouldn't have bothered with himself.  Surfing in Sydney over Christmas - how cool is that?  And then, yesterday, we made the 15 mile hop from Pittwater to Sydney Harbor.  That's where we are now, on the last day of 2009, awaiting tonight's fireworks in the harbor, which is reputed to be the biggest fireworks display in the world.  More on that later, I'm sure.

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