April 27, 02 Update:
Hi to all: ,
We are still bumming around Sydney. We are having a great time with our friends Ross & Lynette - & Bob and Karen and others that we have met. Our Social life is not lacking. Richard thinks it is too busy but is really enjoying it. You would not believe how many dinners I have served to 9 & even 10. Would be nice to have a dishwasher.
Our friend Crystal who we met in French Polynesia is visiting so the kids are having a ball - shopping, clubbing and visiting the sites like the zoo. She will head home on Sunday - we've had a great time and luckily the weather has been quite good - "fine" as they say here.
I met the wife of possible transit crew David. She is a sewing teacher - out of her home now that the school system stopped teaching it. She picked me up and we toured a lot of fabric stores and even a store of just buttons - had a ball and did not buy too much. Haven't done much sewing as Crystal has been here and we have been busy socializing.
Last night was a special night. Here is the story: Last year Peter Warner gave us a model of ASTOR with the glass case it measures 40"x40"x12". It is a scale model of ASTOR as she looked when she was raced by Peter Warner during the Sydney to Hobart Races. Obviously too big to keep on ASTOR. It would be expensive to send it home to Newport - and then who would see it?? So ... we arranged through Ross MacDonald to have the Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club(RPEYC) keep on display for us. What a perfect home. The RPEYC is a small yacht club that Sir Alexander MacCormick (the first owner of ASTOR) started in 1922. Last night they had a party and ceremony for the model - they love it and appreciate it. It was a perfect solution. We had a wonderful time!!! I did get digital photos - will get those to you soon.
We are trying what to decide to do next --- we'll keep you updated.
Miss you ---Lani
April 5, 02 Update:
Hi to all: ,
We were disconnected from the electronic world for a while due to a computer problem. All is fine now, It was just a display problem that was hard to cure(took 4 tries). The good news is that no data was lost and the repairs were under warrantee. Dell did an on-site repair of a 2+ year old machine, purchased in the US, at no cost (new display, new display inverter, and new mother board, etc). VERY impressed here.
We are still in Sydney, currently anchored in Elizabeth bay, enjoying city life and doing boat maintenance. Tomorrow we will be sailing to Pittwater for a week up there and then back to Sydney to meet Mariah's friend Crystal who is flying out from the states for a 2 week visit (she sailed with us from Rangaroa to Tahiti last year).
Last month we entered Astor in the Wooden Boat Festival in Sydney which was put on by the National Maritime Museum. It was a great 2 day event with a good turnout of boats and Sydneysiders. There were displays by boat builders, vendors with antique boat treasures, steam yachts touring, Sydney ferry races, entertainment, parties in the evening, a movie on Fife yachts, and much-much more. On top of all the festivities we met many more people who remembered Astor from her Sydney days, lots of new stories and photos. It took us a week to recover.
After our recoup we took Astor up to Middle Harbour for a few days. This is in the northern part of Sydney and is surrounded by National Park. It is a very beautiful place but you have to go through a shallow channel and a narrow lift bridge to get there. The bridge opens every hour for about 5 minutes so your timing must be good and you have to watch the tides. We did it without a problem but there were some nervous moments.
Hi to the usual suspects, Richard & crew
February 20, 02 Update:
Hi to all: We are currently in Pittwater which is part of Broken Bay just 15 miles north of Sydney Harbor. Broken Bay is really bigger than Sydney Bay. It is unbelievably beautiful as most of it is a National Park with a million little coves to anchor in. It is a great place to go to escape the big city life in Sydney.
Richard and I are sitting here on ASTOR all alone as the kids are off to Sydney via bus so that Daniel can take a radio class. They are staying at Ross & Lynette's home. We had a great Birthday party for Richard last night. Ross, Lynette, Wayne & Margaret drove up from Sydney - about hour drive. We had crab cakes, chicken cordon bleu, creamed spinach followed by gorgonzola cheese with apples and finally brownies with chocolate rum sauce. Oh God - I'm full.
It was odd not having the kids here - but we could play our oldies but goodies music without comments. They will return on Friday. We will relax abit more before heading back to Sydney for the wooden boat festival at the Maritime Museum March 2-3. We hope to see all acquaintances at the festival. So we are busy sanding and varnishing - Richard is a happy man!!!
After the festival we will head north and probably off to New Caledonia in May/June and Vanuatu in June/July.
The Olympic coverage is not the greatest here - when it comes to the Americans - Did Michelle Kwan win gold???
Miss you all - hope all is well at home ---Lani
February 15, 02 Update:
[Special report from a visitor]
Apparently, all is not all play and lounging aboard ship. For this update, I've attached some photos of Astor taken in the Hawkesbury River on 14.02.02. Here, she is at anchor in Refuge Bay having some work done to her before she participates in the Sydney Wooden Boat Festival in early March.
Richard can be seen in the red shirt applying varnish to the rear coach house roof and Daniel is also in the picture working just as hard, Lani and Maria were down below at the time.
It was great to catch up with the crew again after being in Tasmania with them last year, they arrived in the Hawkesbury on 12.02.02. From Sydney it's only a short hop of about 15~16 miles. They had a great sail doing between 8/10 knots all the way.
Kind regards - Michael Robinson (S/V Jolly Jack)
January 2002 Update:
We have been going non-stop this month. We have made so many friends here in Australia. I feel bad about not keeping our friends up to date on the website. This should get you all up to speed.
Through the month, we have been consistently entertained by the MacDonalds and in between, it has been time to get some work done on ASTOR. This included varnishing the spars and buffing the hull. We also caught up on some varnish work on our Caribe dingy and a few minor repairs to the generator. Every now and then, Daniel has been able to hitch a few rides on the local race boats for the evening races.
Now we are getting ready to go to Pittwater. It is a bay just a few miles north of Sydney and is reported to be excellent cruising. We will let you know.