Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Houseboat/Wedding Trip Day 5: Hawkesbury River -> Home

We awoke with no rush to another sunny morning and pottered about the houseboat. Tony cooked bacon and eggs for breakfast and we ate them up on the roof. Afterwards we went for a swim off the back of the houseboat - Caitlin and I were much more confident this time and stayed in for ages, and Amelie and LiAM came in with their life jackets on - at first for very quick dips then back on the boat, then becoming more confident and staying in for longer. The water felt amazing and it was a beautiful place to be swimming. Tony and I were in and out depending on what the kids were doing (so that there was always someone either in the water or on the boat if that's where the kids were).

We had seen a few sea eagles during our time on the boat, including a couple circling straight overhead when we were onshore on Friday. This morning an eagle came and landed in a tree on the shore closest to our boat - then circled round and around, low, in our bay. Very exciting. My aunt and uncle came to visit us in their tinny, pretty cool to get visitors whilst on the water!
The view from our houseboat in Deep Bay

Sea Eagle


We decided to get moving fairly early as the forecast was for 41 degrees and we knew from Friday that it felt much hotter down in the gorges of the creek than in the more open river closer to Brooklyn. So after our wonderful swim we set off - the cool thing about travelling in a houseboat is that we can do the dishes and cleaning up while en route - Tony drove and I sorted out the kitchen. I had planned to pack our bags while we were moving but it was more interesting talking to Tony, looking at the scenery, helping LiAM with his lego sticker book. We had music playing on Caitlin's iPad mini so there was dancing happening as well.
The view as we left Berowra Creek and headed up the Hawkesbury River

We made good time up the creek and went the long way around an island rather than the shortcut we'd taken last time, then under the bridges again and around to near Hawkesbury River marina where there were more public moorings. We moored here and I started to pack - there were so many other boats going past, on a hot Sunday morning, that the boat was constantly rocking in the wake, and with my head down packing bags I was feeling more and more nauseous and kept wandering outside to breathe. We decided to move somewhere quieter and just float around rather than mooring, so we went around the far side of Dangar Island and looked at a little waterfall there, then after a while headed back under the railway bridge and just cruised up and down in the large area of the river between the bridges. Eventually we were packed, Tony made lunch and cleaned up the kitchen, then we were ready to head back in to the marina so called for a boat to come out and pilot us in (around 2pm).

We were taken back in, got our stuff of the boat, left some bags at the desk for Mum and Dad to pick up on their way to Newcastle, and the guy dropped us at the station just in time for the 2.37 train. It was pleasant to be in the air conditioning of the train after the heat of the day. It looked like a storm was coming too, so while it was sad to be off the boat, we were glad not to have to face any bad weather while onboard.

From Central Station we caught the rail-replacement bus out to the airport, where we had plenty of time to check in carefully and slowly (no rush this time), then go and have a leisurely dinner in the food court, and watch the low clouds racing across the airport outside. We had a few hours at the airport and it felt like just the right amount of time - then our plane was delayed as the crew had been delayed on their trip up from Melbourne - the storm had prevented planes from landing for a while - so we left about half an hour late and the kids were really ready to go by then. It was a bit of a bumpy trip, but uneventful. The kids and Tony all watched movies and I did puzzles in my book. We arrived in Melbourne after 10, went and picked up our car, then home at 11.30pm with 3 sleeping kids, moved them and our bags inside, fed the animals, then went to bed ourselves.

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