Thursday, September 21, 2017
Our cruise up the Swan River took us to Sandalford winery. As you can see from the photo of their award wall, this is one of the best-rated wineries in Australia. Our only problem was that we arrived soaking wet from the trip between the wharf and the winery. A large golf buggy was there to take us, but it had no side curtains and we got soaked anyway. Fortunately, there was a fire going in one of the dining rooms and we were able to steam ourselves dry. Near the fireplace were 2 large candle stands. These looked like something out of Frankenstein's castle as the melted candle wax had been allowed to drip down and form fascinating patterns as it solidified. Before lunch was served we had a lesson in the art of wine tasting. There were 6 samples and the idea was to test and rank them. Mum did OK, but Dad's idea of wine tasting is to raise the glass and gulp the contents. Actually, Sandalford wines are pretty good. There is, of course, a large cellar door shop and we left loaded down with wine "gadgets", presents for family and friends. Is the Sandalford cruise worth it? Too right, even in bad weather.
Labels: Perth, Western Australia
Friday, September 15, 2017
Swanning Up To Sandalford
During our stay in Perth we took a cruise up the Swan River to Sandalford winery. Our boat was Captain Cook Cruises' "River Lady". Like nearly all the vessels that go upriver from Perth, she is built low to fit under some of the bridges. In fact, at a really high tide there is one bridge that she has to wait at for the river level to drop. The weather on the day of our cruise was terrible - heavy rain and gusty strong winds. The map tells the story, Perth is right under the densest part. The weather system stayed pretty much the same all day. Anyhow, I had fun. The captain was a lady named Catherine. I called her Cap'n Cat and she let he help drive. I worked the throttles while we were clearing the dock, and did a lot of the steering when we were on our way upriver. How does a small bear steer when the wheel is so big that I can't reach all the handles? I just jump on the appropriate handle of the wheel until the boat is aimed in the right direction. As this was a winery cruise, we had wine tasting on the way. I managed to get a small taste of Mum's samples; 4 whites and 4 reds. I think whites are much nicer, but reckon that the ones from Marlborough in New Zealand are the best. Mind you, we tasted some really good wines later during our road trip in the Margaret River region south of Perth. We met some wonderful cheeses as well. One was so good that the Oldies bought a Kilogram back with them; it didn't last long. If you have a free day in Perth, this winery cruise is well worth doing, regardless of the weather.
Labels: boats, cruising, Perth, Western Australia
Wednesday, September 06, 2017
A Light Between Two Oceans
Cape Leeuwin lighthouse is on a headland that is near the spot where two oceans meet. To the right is the Indian Ocean and to the left is the Southern Ocean. Now I should mention that geographical nit-pickers will claim that the Southern Ocean is only south of 60 degrees latitude and the cape is only at 34 degrees. But there is only ocean south of this point until you hit Antarctica, so as far as most Aussies are concerned this is indeed the meeting of the two oceans. I reckon that I could see the churned-up area of ocean where the currents of the Indian and Southern were meeting and causing bigger, rougher waves. In fact, some ships have been badly damaged or sunk by sudden gigantic rogue waves in the ocean to the south. The cape is named after the Dutch ship Leeuwin (Lioness) which was the first European ship to map this area of coast in 1622. The lighthouse is built of local stone and was built in just 1 year. It has been in operation since 1896. There has not been a shipwreck on the cape since then.
Labels: lighthouse, Western Australia
Well, another long break between posts due to family troubles. Mum has had a rough couple of weeks and I have been busy being nurse and comforter. 14 days ago Dad foolishly left a box in the doorway and Mum tripped on it and really banged up her leg. The bruises and swelling have still not completely gone. That is bad enough, but yesterday she was due to have a thing called a cattyrack (Bart means cataract
- Dad) removed from her eye. Naturally she wasn't going to let a small thing like a bunged-up leg stop her so she went ahead with the surgery; I am not sure if that rates as bravery or stubbornness. Anyhow, she saw the surgeon today, the eye shield came off, the surgery was successful and she can now see properly out of both eyes again. Here's a photo of her just after coming out of surgery and one of her just after arriving home. I kept her company and wore an eye patch for the rest of the time just to make her feel a bit better.