Sunday, 30 November 2014

Houseboat/Wedding Trip Day 3: Hawkesbury River

We had an unsettled night (it was hot on the boat) which involved lots of bed swapping and me sitting out the back of the boat watching the stars when I couldn't sleep. We woke up to a beautiful sunny morning which became warm then hot very quickly. Tony took LiAM and Caitlin for a row around the bay, and then to shore where they climbed up the rocks and explored the echoes of the surrounding cliffs. Once they came back I had a swim off the back of the boat - I was a bit nervous and it took me a while to jump in, then it was amazing to be in the water, so glad I made the effort. Caitlin joined me briefly and Tony had a quick dip after us, then we set off on our way.

We made our way slowly back up the creek and past the opening to the ocean, under the railway bridge (nearly managed to go under as a train was passing) and across to under the road bridges - going under 2 bridges next to each other was pretty exciting and looked spectacular. On our way we saw lots more jellyfish, other boats, Caitlin had a turn at driving, the kids watched 'How to Train Your Dragon', we drank cups of tea and snacked, sat out the front and watched the river pass by - very enjoyable morning. As we headed down towards and into Berowra Creek the weather got hotter and hotter - it was hard to be inside the boat for very long, even with the windows open. After a while Tony had the idea of using the fire bucket and filling it up with water from the river and tipping it over himself and the kids - helped everyone cool down somewhat.

We reached Berowra Waters in the early afternoon and circled around for a while until my brother met us with a tinny - a little motor boat that was being lent to us by the Marina (as our family was renting the Penthouse at the marina) and that would make it easier for us to get back and forwards to wedding events. We sent all our wedding clothes ashore as we grabbed the boat too, as I had been worried about carrying them in a little boat and losing them all overboard. I felt much better once the clothes were safely where they needed to be.

We motored back down river a bit and moored in Deep Bay (easily this time, just approached the mooring and attached the boat to it). It was low tide and there was a little beach at the end of the bay, so we all got into the rowboat and headed ashore. We played in the water - I just lay down in the shallow water for a while which cooled me off nicely - and on the little sand bar, and had a picnic lunch on the rocks. We went exploring into the exposed land at the end of the bay - lots of crabs (different ones this time, they were orange and black, and went into pre-dug burrows rather than burrowing under the sand - I haven't yet looked up what type they were), lots of mangrove trees and plants, lots and lots of mud - I nearly lost my river shoes a few times until we found a more solid area to walk on. Beyond the mud and mangroves there were rocks to clamber over, and a natural cave right at the end of the cove which was amazingly cool on this hot day. It was weird to think that in a few hours this whole area would be underwater when the tide came back in.

After another swim we rowed back to the houseboat, then got ready and jumped in the tinny to go back to the marina and see all the family before the wedding. We spent a lovely couple of hours in the penthouse, getting to know C's family a bit more, playing with baby T, chatting with mum and dad and my sister and one of my brother's friends. I took the opportunity to have a shower as well. Around 7pm we motored back to the houseboat and cooked dinner as the sun set. We ate sitting in various spots around the boat, admiring the darkening sky and cliffs, and headed to bed soon afterwards

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