Christmas week at Sanctuary Cove

Saturday (19 December) after I had published the latest blog we headed into the Marina Village for coffee and a cake at the Anchor Buoy.

We also had a look around the shops and I tried on a couple of swimsuits but didn’t like the fit or the price so decided against in the end. Whilst we were out, we had hoped to be able to download some more Netflix content to watch offline but, for some reason, my computer couldn’t find the marina wifi so we had to give that up as a bad job. Back on board we had another quiet night in.

Sunday morning we got ourselves ready to go to the pool and headed there via the IGA to pick up some lunch (they do very tasty wraps). We had a lovely day by the lagoon watching lots of people having fun especially when a family turned up with loads of floating flamingos which meant that the big bean bags were abandoned by the kids so we could do some more bobbing ourselves LOL.

Later on we came back to Morphie via the showers and had a quick drink in the Tavern before having a light supper on board and a movie night. We then found out that Queensland had slammed shut the interstate border again to anyone in Greater Sydney, the Northern Beaches and the Central Coast (New South Wales) in response to the latest Covid outbreak and people were panicking and rushing to try and get back across the border into Queensland by Tuesday 1am so they would not end up having to do 14-day compulsory hotel quarantine on return home (at their own expense). So, once again, our plans to visit Jamie and the family in January are up in the air. Fingers crossed it gets sorted out quickly. And, of course, the new Tier 4 lockdown restrictions were announced at home too so on both sides of the world family Christmas plans were sadly overtaken by events.

Monday morning we headed to the pool around 11ish. It was cloudy most of the day and was very hot and steamy so we stayed in the shade apart from when we spent some time chilling out in the lagoon pool. We came back to Morphie via the showers and had a salad supper onboard before talking a walk down the dock to see the ‘little star of Bethlehem’ when Jupiter and Saturn were closely aligned. We had a good view but our camera sadly wasn’t able to capture the moment so here’s our traditional view of the Christmas star instead.

Tuesday we headed out again to the lagoon pool and it just got hotter and hotter. Then suddenly, from nowhere (and not forecast either) the sky darkened, the clouds rolled in, and the heavens opened. We rushed to the hotel pool bar to sit it out before heading back to Morphie.

Wednesday it was another hot and sunny day but the clouds were building around us.

So we decided we would spent the day catching up with chores instead of more pool time. So we headed out for coffee and cake (at a different cafe this time just for a change); picked up some fresh vegetables from IGA for Christmas; got medical prescriptions filled at the chemist; withdrew some cash from the ATM; picked up a lottery ticket (fingers crossed); and did the laundry. Back on board we then flushed both the water tank and the bilges through and, once it was all pumped out, we refilled the water tank.

Afterwards we just rested up down below before getting ready to go out for dinner. During the afternoon the winds picked up and gusted up to 30 knots momentarily. So we double checked all our lines again and then got dressed up and returned to George’s Paragon restaurant. This is a walk in restaurant – no reservations allowed- and we weren’t surprised to find the queue out the door and into the street. So we headed to the wine bar next door and had a quick drink before re-joining the slightly shorter queue. We actually didn’t wait that long before we were seated and had another wonderful meal.

Really good food here…in fact so good…we even succumbed to a desert which isn’t something we do very often LOL. Great evening and, as we tend to eat dinner later in the evening than the locals we were pretty much the last people to leave the restaurant.

Completely full up we enjoyed the Christmas lights in the marina village as we strolled back to our dock.

Thursday morning, it was Christmas Eve, and we had an early start to go to the pool. It was cloudy for some of the day and when the wind picked up it even felt a bit chilly but we didn’t mind and enjoyed bobbing around. We were expecting everyone to be full of the joys of Christmas but, has become the norm, we were completely on our own and didn’t really engage with anyone apart from a couple of neighbours who said goodbye as they vacated their sun beds (as they recognised our accents). People here are mostly in groups of family or friends so they tend to focus on each other and we end up just watching them. It certainly didn’t feel like Christmas to us….

On our way back we came across some kangaroos enjoying a munch on the grass, including one who was having a bit of a lay down. Check out the length of those legs LOL. Some of the hotel guests then came along to check them out and, the stupidiest thing we have ever seen, is a man taking his very small baby (about 9 months old) out of its pram and sitting it up on the grass just in front of a kangaroo for a photograph. Does he not realise that these (wild) kangaroos can do a bit of damage? Seriously, what an idiot!!!

We stopped off in the Tavern for a couple of drinks before heading back to Morphie for a quiet night on board. Before we turned in I did at least remember to get the meat out of the freezer for defrosting overnight LOL.

Friday morning and Happy Christmas to you all! Not the Christmas we had expected but that was true for most of our family and friends with lockdowns and travel restrictions across the world.

We went to the pool early and had a lovely time bobbing around before returning to Morphie via the showers around 3pm.

On our return, Richard relaxed in the cockpit while I got on with preparing and cooking the Christmas dinner. We decided not to go Australian with a BBQ so instead I prepared a full traditional dinner with only a few missing items (sprouts and pigs in blankets LOL). So the menu was a rolled and boned turkey, roast potatoes, roasted parsnips / carrots / onions, yorkshire puddings, peas plus cranberry sauce and gravy. Oh yes and don’t forget the stuffing. Considering the restrictions of two shelves only in my marine Force 10 oven I was pretty happy with how it turned out and we thoroughly enjoyed our meal.

After dinner we had a Netflix binge before an early night as we were both pretty weary.

Saturday morning (Boxing Day) we had a leisurely start and awoke to a overcast day and some rain. So we decided to give the pool a miss and headed out for coffee mid morning. This time the computer was able to pick up the wifi signal so I was able to download a few things to watch offline while we were there. Yay!

We then walked to the hotel and went inside for the first time. It really is quite nice. We chatted to the concierge about options for New Year’s Eve as we knew that they were having a couple of events – but we certainly don’t have appropriate clothing on board to attend a ‘masked masquerade ball’ that’s for sure LOL. Anyway we found out that the lagoon pool bar is going to be open in the evening so we can catch the fireworks from there as they are set off over the canal behind. So that was a good result. On the way back we popped into the Voyager Bar for a quick drink (or at least I had one as Richard remains on the wagon) and then walked back to Morphie via the road rather than the marina village. We think it might actually be quicker this way….

Back on board we spent the rest of the day relaxing down below and having a traditional Boxing Day dinner of mashed potato, pickles and cold meats before another movie night.

Sunday, we headed back to the pool again but, this time, the hotel was really busy. In fact the busiest we have seen it so far and the lagoon pool was crowded with lots of kids around. We eventually set up camp by the other hotel pool instead having been lucky enough to nab the last two sun loungers with an umbrella for shade.

We enjoyed our day there although found the constant reggae music blaring from the pool bar a little irritating rather than the peace and quiet of the adult’s area of the lagoon that we usually frequent. Oh yes did we tell you about Queensland’s track and trace system? We have to scan a bar code into our phone wherever we are and, in this hotel, they use it to monitor the numbers for social distancing purposes and, to buy a drink at the bar, you have to show them this completed registration before they will serve you. Up until now most places have been happy to take a written record when you arrived at their venue – but, in the latest news from NSW it appears that there are a lot of Donald Ducks and Mickey Mouses living in Australia! So compulsory bar code scanning for venues is Queensland’s response – luckily there’s an app for that.

Having had a nice time we later returned to Morphie via the showers for another quiet night on board.

This morning, Monday, and I’m blogging while Richard is relaxing and apart from a bit of shopping later that will probably be it for the day. So I just want to take this opportunity to wish you all a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year. Please take care of each other. Bye for now.