Christmas in Sanctuary Cove

Thursday evening (23rd December) we headed out to George’s Paragon restaurant.

This treat was our Christmas present from friends Carolyn and Ron and we spoilt ourselves with a couple of delicious courses each and some fine wine – obviously we raised a toast to them – so thank you both! We thoroughly enjoyed our evening.

Walking back to Morphie it was very quiet with everything locked up and closed despite it only being 10.45 pm. The weather was quite still and settled so we were able to enjoy the mirrored image of the illuminated palm trees on the water near our dock….

Friday morning we did the final sorting out of reinstating our lines before then heading to the pool. The forecast was for rain later but we thought we’d chance it anyway. Around 2pm it just got hotter and steamier and the clouds started building so we started to pack up and then headed across the lagoon beach towards the pool bar. By the time we arrived the heavens had opened with a huge deluge so we sat it out there – making the most of the hotel wifi – whilst we waited for it to pass through. We were lucky to get seats but couldn’t be bothered to join the queue for drinks so just sat patiently. At which point the screening above us gave way at the guttering so we got wet anyway LOL.

After a while, when the rained had eased a little, we headed back to the boat. There are a lot of swifts here in the marina and guess this little gang were just trying to dry out in a break in the weather? Luckily for us they weren’t on Morphie LOL. We then had another very hot and humid afternoon and evening down below.

Saturday morning – Happy Christmas to all our family and friends from Australia!

We exchanged our cards, Richard cleaned and tidied the boat whilst I prepped the food. We had invited Ernest to join us as he was going to be on his own for Christmas day so no pressure on getting the food right LOL as we had promised him traditional English fare. I started cooking at 2pm and Ernest arrived at 2.30 pm dressed as Santa bringing gifts. That made us laugh…..

Anyway, the cooking went well and we all tucked into a Christmas dinner which comprised of: stuffed turkey breast; baked ham; roast potatoes, parsnips and onions; Yorkshire puddings; pigs in blankets; caramelised sprouts with garlic and bacon; carrots; peas and gravy. Phew, not bad for a small oven on a sailboat although a couple of the pigs in blankets might have been a little well done LOL. And here we are enjoying our spread…..

A few drinks and a lot of laughs later (not to mention the cheesecake desert) and Ernest left us for the night. Had been a fun Christmas day despite having to stay below trying to keep cool as well as sheltering from the heavy rain.

Sunday morning we were up early and filled up our water tanks. We then headed up to the top of our Pier to meet Lester and Helen (SV Joule) who had very kindly invited us over to theirs on Boxing Day. We had a lovely time – watched the start of the Sydney to Hobart sailing race on the TV (which was quite a treat for us as we do not have TV on board) and chatting over a delicious array of foods – in their most beautiful brand new Hope Harbour penthouse apartment overlooking their Island Packet tied up to the dock on the river below them. Wow just wow! After lunch we headed down to meet SV Joule and then returned to the apartment for a delicious pavlova dessert before heading back to Morphie. Had been a really great day and it was very generous of Lester and Helen to invite us over to visit with them. Of course, throughout the day, despite best intentions I completely forgot to take any photographs so had to get them to pose in front of Morphie on our return LOL.

Monday morning we had a leisurely start and then got the bus from Sanctuary Cove over to Hope Island. The occasion was Ernest’s birthday so we were visiting with him again at Hope Island Marina on SV Crossbones.

This time it was our turn to come bearing gifts LOL

We enjoyed more good company; wine; food; and even birthday cake! And, of course, it rained again but never mind…. Another really fun time and Ernest very kindly gave us a lift back to Morphie so that we didn’t have to bother with the bus again.

Tuesday it was a very wet start so we had a lazy one – around lunchtime in between rain showers we headed out to the laundry and got some washing done whilst we had coffee in a nearby cafĂ©. The wind was howling and very strong so we were pretty pleased to get back to Morphie, put everything away, and just relax down below for the rest of the day.

Wednesday it was much brighter so we decided to head to the pool after breakfast. Walking towards the hotel we came across lots of vans filled with props / lighting etc and lots of heavy security – along with a mobile covid testing system outside one of the Intercontinental Hotel’s private function rooms. Hmmm…could this be the George Clooney and Julia Roberts movie gang again? Sadly nothing exciting to see here LOL.

The pools, beach and garden areas were very busy and still very windy so we didn’t actually go in the pool this time as unless you were in direct sunlight it felt a bit chilly. But we had a lovely relaxing time and returned to Morphie for a quiet night in.

This morning, Thursday, and Richard had just come back from the Post Office (we are selling a few bits and bobs that we don’t need right now) and I’m blogging down below whilst he is on deck reinstating the fuel cans. We were hoping to go to the pool later but the rain has just started again….sigh….. Oh well, never mind!

Tomorrow, it is New Year’s Eve, so we are hoping to go to the evening beach party and watch the fireworks – if the forecast rainy weather doesn’t stop the event going ahead – fingers crossed! Anyway, we would like to wish all our family and friends a very Happy New Year and hope that 2022 brings with it peace, prosperity and good health to all of you. Take care and stay safe.

Looking forward to next week we have a couple of social events planned but the weather forecast is absolutely awful with a very strong low heading this way with some commentators speculating on it becoming a cyclone. We just hope it stays away from the coast otherwise we might need to stay on board to keep Morphie safe here in the marina. Oh well that’s the concern for another day as we all know that the weather forecasts here can be unreliable – however, this one has been brewing for a while now, so think we’ll be very lucky not to get any impact from it. This is today’s forecast for Monday morning – we are the white spot on the map…. Hmmm….

We continue to hope to be able to visit my nephew in January – the PCR testing regime was causing all sorts of problems at the interstate border but, thankfully, they now just require us to get a ‘negative’ Rapid Antigen Test to cross the border back into Queensland from New South Wales. Only problem right now, is that we are not able to secure any of these tests in preparation for the trip as there are none available anywhere in Queensland! You really couldn’t make this up…..sigh…..

Anyway, bye for now, take care of each and hope to see you all again soon. Lots of love Jan