Down Under

Really enjoying being in Manly, similar in some ways to Camps Bay in Cape Town, Manly’s got that village feel to it without feeling far from everything. Sandwiched between two beaches we are perfectly placed with the parks and views from north head only a short cycle ride away. It has the best snorkeling in New South Wales and fantastic surf plus we could eat at a different restaurant every night of the year if we could afford it! ūüôā Heading off to the UK for a month and will sorely miss the southern hemisphere. Back to back compulsory training on level 1 & level 2 for the clipper 13/14 race, I’m nervous and excited but dreading the cold and hoping that the arctic conditions improve before we go out to sea! Will try to take lots of GoPro footage and pictures to post up afterwards.

Some panoramic views:

Manly WharfManly CoveManly Beach Manly BeachNorth Head North head looking back to the citySunset Manly Wharf

Manly cove sunset

Man(ly)child

2013 has got off to a flying start! Arriving back in Australia last month, thanks to Adrien and Daniella, I had a roof over my head in the lovely Mosman! Running in the morning down to Balmoral beach was a pleasure but looking for apartments in Sydney is very competitive! Having decided on Manly as the best option for someone at my stage in life, I looked at several apartments over a two week period. In Australia, as some other places, the apartments are shown to would be tenants at predetermined dates for 15 minute intervals. However with everyone viewing at the same time, vying for the agents attention, asking questions and measuring up, its a cut throat business! For each place there were at least 4-5 potential suitors, so in the end Gumtree came to the rescue and I found a little bachelor pad through a private landlord. “Nestled in among the back streets of Manly, a stroll away from all the amenities, is this charming semi furnished studio”…..read broom cupboard with sofa but its home and I’ve got wifi so am settling in nicely. No sooner had I unpacked from 8 weeks on the road however, I packed up again and headed off to¬†Minh and JessieJervis Bay for a party with fellow MGSM graduates and a refreshing scuba along the coast with Minh and Jessie. Its been 4 years since I got my PADI in Zanzibar but it all came back very¬†quickly. Cyclone Oswald didn’t do us any favours and the swell and thus boat trip out was eventful, but once in the water it wasn’t so bad even though the viz was pretty poor. We saw octopus, shark, lots of weird fish and dolphins a-leaping, so in all it was very successful, mind you any dive where you don’t drown is arguably so!

Having returned to Manly it was time to get the fitness regime back on track for the pending Round the World sailing training in April. So I’m now doing yoga three times a week followed by a 8-10k run towards Spit Bridge and a short swim in the ocean. Squash has recommenced on Mondays with Don Diego and the apartment block has a gym in it so I can do weights in between days. Today is Tuesday so naturally I can barely walk! Adrien (being a ex sailing instructor)…. (I think) has offered to give me some extra tutelage, so last week we took the seas in Hunters Bay in a Dart 16 catamaran. With such a small “vessel” you are really with the elements and everything happens very quickly, so naturally I capsized us within half an hour – a baptism of sorts you could say! Not to be disheartened we joined the club to get some extra practice in before D-Day!¬†Living the dream or trying too hard….you decide!

Of course there is always business….. this year being that of the water snake (my birth year is the fire snake) ought to be a good one I think. The rationale being that as Pisces is a water symbol, maybe the water snake might have mercy! This time next year baby…….. oh yeah!Living the dream