I find myself in Australia for yet another Australia Day, or Invasion Day as some call it. For your typical Aussie, its a day to hit the beach or get out on a boat, throw a few snags on the barbie and blow the froth off a few cold ones. For the indigenous people, its not quite the same. It does seem churlish to celebrate a day which was the start of much pain and suffering to so many of the population here. The indigenous peoples would prefer the celebration to be on almost any other day (and you have to wonder why the day Dirk Hartog nailed his plate up on the west coast isn’t as good a date as any).
So here in the Sunshine State, Australia Day has started out grey and damp with intermittent rain. However, we’re still expecting lots of boats to be out and about - and there are some fireworks later. Anchored off the Australia Fair mall, we’ll be in the thick of it - and indeed, the number of boats in the anchorage has tripled in 2 days. We’ll be staying onboard to avoid the craziness ashore and to keep an eye on things. We do have the snags ready for the barbie (and maybe some homebrew cold ones too).
With the haulout booked and fast approaching, and even more importantly, flights booked - we are doing our best to avoid the rampant Omicron thats hitting the Gold Coast pretty hard. We have to test ahead of our flight to be allowed to transit Singapore, and getting a positive test would make things complicated, to say the least. We’ve been ashore a couple of times to shop, and say goodbye to friends but thats about it. We can get tested on Sunday, which should hopefully give us the green light to fly. Until then, we’ll be as careful as we can. The biggest concern is when we haul out, suddenly we’ll be amongst people again - and I have to see a few contractors to prep for work that needs to be done when I return. The rules in the UK seem to be returning to (dare i say it) normal in that double vaccinated arrivals after Feb 11th (alas, I arrive a few days before then) no longer need testing at all and soon there will be no requirement to isolate if you get a positive test. I can only hope Australia go that way soon so I can return to the boat and cruising can return to some sort of normality.