Where’s Wally

2017-08-19 20.36.04

Hi Amazing Peeps,

This week has been a time of screaming, pulling out hair and crying. This was Steve.

Nearly 2 weeks ago we motored over to Jibbon Beach for our day out with Sean, Mel, Cath and their gorgeous children. After that marvelous day, we motored back to Gunamatta Bay and dropped anchor again.

We normally start the motor everyday yet we missed a day. After 2 days, it’s really time to start her again.

We do the normal steps:

Put power switches to Allcheck
Primed the motor with fuel check
Allow glow plugs to heat motorcheck

Turn her over – silence. Ahh, turn her over – crickets sound in the background. Please turn over – Nothing!

We were a bit shocked. It should of started.

We check battery voltage. They are both around 12.1v. That’s low. We look at voltage metre as we try to start her and see that it goes below 10v. Obviously not enough power.

So now we check battery cells with our hydrometer. We find that one cell in one of the batteries is completely dead – clearly this is not helping our starting issues. We then check the CCA’s for our batteries. These are Cold Cranking Amps. This is the amount of Amps to start a cold diesel. Our batteries both had very low CCA’s. So even with one out of action battery, the other doesn’t have enough kick to start her over.

So with much research we buy 2 new batteries, both with 1000 CCA each. We are able to get them delivered to just across the bay from us, which was great because another problem had arisen.

Our dinghy motor had stopped working……….again.

This happened before in Eden but there wasn’t a lot of distance to motor. Here, we have a literal nautical mile to the dock from where we are. Rowing a nautical mile, in an aluminum dingy is hard work. Which is why it was so good the battery guy dropped off the batteries just across from us. We are only 200m away from there, which is an easy row. Even with 2 batteries aboard.

So back to the batteries.

We row back to Sumbawa and use the main halyard (the rope that lifts the mainsail) to bring the batteries aboard and lowered them into the cockpit. We then, removed the old ones, put in the new ones and did our normal checks.

You know what’s coming don’t you?

Start……….Start……….START DAMN IT!

Heavy Sigh.

It made exactly the same noise as before. The volts on the new batteries were 13.1v – both of them. That’s lowish for new batteries but with 1000 CCA’s each, should have been plenty to start. So what now?

We put the batteries on charge and they jump up past 14v. That’s great. We leave them on charge for 2 hours to push power into them. Maybe they are just too discharged.

After 2 hours, while they are still on charge we try again……Nothing! What The Hell!

We brainstorm for the rest of the day and Steve spends it researching. The starting solenoid maybe the culprit. We also start looking at our charging capacity. Our alternator is so small in relation to our system, so we decide on a larger alternator as well.

Our current alternator only charges at 55 amps at about 4000/5000 revs. Sumbawa’s motor just doesn’t get pushed to that extreme often so our charging is terrible. We order a 160 amp alternator, which will give us about 80 amps at our typical 1800/2000 revs, which is perfect.

Thursday Steve and Tasha go out. It was Tasha’s birthday the next day but we were expecting 35 knot winds so we wouldn’t be going anywhere. This was her pre-birthday trip.

Dad and Tash pick up the alternator and a new solenoid which evolves a 2 hour train ride all the way to Ingleburn and then another train to Liverpool.

They managed to have some fun along with the jobs and brought home pizza for dinner. It was a late dinner but it was good to not have to cook.

The next morning was Tasha’s birthday and we woke to gale force winds. As we were just anchored and unable to start our motor, we opted to install the solenoid first, to make sure we could move if we needed too.

Tasha is one of those amazing girls, who loves the sailing life. So she perfectly understood that we couldn’t go out and that we needed to do some motor work on her birthday. She really is a sailor at heart. She has already got plans to solo sail. No land for this one any time soon.

Steve and I get to work, then the wind really hits. We get to our 35 knots and then 42, 47 and finally 55 knots. It is violent! We are heeling at 30 degrees as we are hit beam-on before we turn into the wind. Things are crashing everywhere. Someone has to stay by the stove (as we are only using camping stoves at the moment. No boat stove) so things don’t fly everywhere. It is crazy. We are used to heeling like this under sail but at anchor, it’s a new experience.


Kernel is us with 55 knots, Sydney Harbour has got 57 knots and Sydney Airport reached 56 knots but it hasn’t reached it as of this photo.

We had to stop working to monitor everything, anchor, baskets of clothes, kids and so on. Finally we get to work regardless of the wind, because it is not stopping.

Steve removes the old solenoid as Tasha assists him. It is in a weird place, attached to the side of the motor, behind the alternator. Then he installs the new one. There is a kind of relief in this as now we know things are fixed.

He wires it up and we turn on the power. There is now no power to the ignition. Why? We trace wires, trace more wires and more wires. We finally find that one of our wires are on the wrong connection. Steve fixes this and we turn on the power – WE HAVE POWER!

There is a sense of trepidation. We turn the motor over.

Do you hear that? No Really; do you? NEITHER DO WE! NOTHING…….BLOODY NOTHING!

This is when the crying started.

What else is there?

We have got brand new batteries with high CCA’s, we have changed our solenoid, we have checked to see whether the motor is seized by turning it by hand and it turns fine.

Maybe the starter motor.

After all those things, we are now looking at the starter motor as well. To say it is a bit stressful, is an understatment! We had 55 knot winds yesterday and although BOM says only 35 knots today, they have also said that it maybe the same as yesterday – so be prepared. And we have no motor!

But we have another problem.

Steve is burnt out. His not eating, feels rotten and barely finished his coffee, which means it is really serious. He needs rest, so regardless today, we rest.

There is no work on the motor, no work to the boat, no anything – other than of course an anchor watch because we already have reached our 35 knots and it’s only 9:30am. That will be my job along with some older ones. Dad can sleep.

We will let you know how we go with it all. Hopefully we can just pull out the starter……..no, no work. Stop thinking about it! NO WORK! NO WORK!

Talk soon

Love you guys

Zanny Harbars


Beccie is a Best Selling Author, a World Travelling Sailor, an Awesome Wife and the Best Mum to the 10 most Amazing Children on the Planet, a Millionaire, a Polyglot and an Oracle



My day out with Dad

By Natasha Soetekouw


Preparados, listos, ya! (Ready, Set, Go in Spanish)

Hia. It’s me again. Tasha.

We are still in Cronulla and we are exploring, which is SUPER fun. The post you are about to read, is all about exploration, as it’s all about my first day into town. How about I start from the beginning.

It all began one early Sunday morning. I was in bed reading my favorite Biology book while talking with the fourth munchkin. Mum was in the galley making coffee. She hears us talking so she knows we are awake. Mum calls over to me; “Tash, make sure you have your going-out clothes ready because you are going-out with Dad today.” I leap up. “Okay” I call excitedly.

I hurriedly check for my going-out clothes, but our room is a mess and I can’t find anything. Aaaahhh! A sock_ no, not what I want. A pair of tracky pants_ no. A big fluffy jacket_ no. I pull out my pillow case of clothes. Yes, a pillow case. It’s what I keep my clothes in. I empty it’s contents onto the bed. At last I’ve found what I am looking for. I put them aside and clean up my mess. Then I get dressed and come into the saloon with the other munchkins.

The night before we had pancake hotdogs but we had leftover sausages. So we had those for pre- breakfast. They were delicious. They were gone almost before one could blink. Surprise, surprise

We are ready. Dad is checking the weather and we’ll soon be off! I’m super exited. When going into new places I always get exited.

Soon we are in the dingy and we cast off the painters. We arrive at the little dock a short time later. Dad and I climb up and blow lots of kisses as we wave goodbye. Mum starts the outboard and roars off. Well sort of. It’s more a mix between an engine with a cough and a roar. Anyway, we walk into town to catch our train.

We walk up to the train station and scan our opal cards. Boop! Boop! It’s always fun to scan our opal cards. We walk up and our train is all ready there. We board and ride on the upper deck because the are double deck trains, and ride all the way to Woli Creek.

We disembark and boop our opal cards again. Then we mount some stairs to catch a bus.

There are people everywhere. “Why is everyone crowding around?”Dad thinks as we look about for a bus stop. We soon have our answer. A crane has broken it’s mounting, fallen across the the railway and landed on another building. It is too dangers for trains to pass underneath. Some engineers more or less pointed at the fallen crane, and explained that it was just being set up.20170806_140248-1

Now we have to catch the same train to go to somewhere else (I can’t remember what it’s called). But eventually with some walking we got to our destination (pant pant pant). After we finished there, we had to do some more walking to catch a bus (wow it’s stinking hot. Pant pant pant).

Three or four buses stop but none of them are the M20 that we are looking for. Finally a bus with no label stops.”M20” the bus driver calls out. We jump up. “About time” we think as the bus had been delayed about four times.

We get to the train station and after getting a bit lost, we catch our train. It has been a big day, and it is going to be a long train ride. We stop several times, but thankfully the train takes us all the way to Cronulla. So we didn’t have to change trains. We disembark at Cronulla station and walk to Woolworths to get some dinner because we had none. Then we headed back to the dock.

Soon we were back on board.

We had hamburgers for dinner. With hash browns. YUM!!!!! I polished off three and a half no problem. And they weren’t you average size hamburgers, with a paddy and cheese. They were HUGE!!! Yes they had a paddy and cheese, but the paddy was massive and there was heaps of cheese, grated carrot, and then there were the hash browns.0570bec997a055f5609fbff1e8cfde53--biggest-burger-cheeseburger-cheeseburger

After we had finished dinner, I realized how exhausted I was. I can hardly keep my eyes open. I am going to sleep really really well. I’m going make sure of it. I kiss Mum and Dad good night and wearily climb into bed. The moment my head hit the pillow, I was out.


Well I guess there’s not much more to tell because I was asleep by then and I don’t remember anything at all. That’s good because I slept like a log, no literally, I didn’t move once.

All’s well and I had heaps of fun.

I hope you enjoyed, and until next time



Natasha is a Best Selling Novelist, a World Travelling Sailor, an Accomplished Musician, an Underwater Photographer, a knower of all things Spanish and a Caring, Loving Sister.

Let’s take some Little Ones



Hi Amazing Peeps,

Yesterday was an interesting day.

We had run out of perishables and I was going out to replenish our stocks. I had this daft thought ‘ Why not take some little ones?’

I decided on Munchkin 5 and 8. Munchkin 5 is 8 and Munchkin 8 is 4 years old. I wanted to take them on the train but not just make it a supply run but fun as well.

After much talk with Steve, we decided to go back to Miranda Westfield. I knew that there were the food shops that we needed, some other shops I really wanted to check out but most importantly, somewhere for them to play.

We let them know that they were coming but didn’t tell them where. They were super excited. They donned their life jackets, hopped into the dingy and we went to the wharf.

Once there, they said their goodbyes to Dad and ran ahead in excitement.

We walked to the local news agents and got them their own Opal Cards. They were now jumping up and down. They tore the card packets open and proudly put their own Opal card in their pockets.

Then back to the train station.

People bustled past them in their hurry but the Munchkins stood their, proud as punch, holding their Opal cards to the machine. It is easy to get engrossed in their excitement.

Once we were all booped on, we walked onto the platform. There was a train waiting.

We all held hands and stepped on together. ‘Ohhh! We’re on a train! WE’RE ON A TRAIN!’ They were yelling.


Mum asked the same silly question as last time ‘Upstairs or downstairs?’ You know the answer.

As we took our seats, Munchkin 8 wanted to sit next to me. He was a little scared. It’s all new and big and having Mum close was comforting.

Munchkin 5 sat by himself, by the window, like he had done this a thousand times. I’m sure if someone had of asked him what to do, he would have given a whole bunch of info, probably none of it correct. Yet he felt so big, so adult. It was funny to watch.20170808_121759

We had to wait for 8 minutes before the train took off. It was almost too much. They just wanted to move.

Finally the doors closed and we were off.

They saw the water and were positive they could see Sumbawa – it’s at the other end of the bay.

Then came the questions If this was a boat, how many knots would we be going? Is it faster than a power boat? Like the cigarette boat we saw the other day? Where’s the driver? I can’t see them. Is that end the front or that end? Are we going backwards? WOW, A CRANE!”20170808_121811

We stopped at our first stop – Woolooware. The kids were amazed but a little frightened that we were hopping off, we just got on. The doors opened, then closed and we were off. Their sigh of relief was audible – we are still on here.

Then the second stop – Caringbah. This is where Dad sometimes shops. They can’t see the shops or much other than houses. You can tell they don’t know what Dad does when he stops here but that he just does stuff and comes home with groceries. Maybe it’s magic.

Door close and we are off again.

I let them know that we get off at the next stop. As we slow down, they get up and head for the door. They can see the other carriages moving around, they’re not sure about that. There is so much bouncing.

We slow to a stop, all hold hands and step off the train.

The Munchkins watch as other people get on, here the announcement again “DOORS CLOSING. PLEASE STAND CLEAR.” Then they watch the train take off. “It goes so fast.” Then it is gone.

We walk out of the station and to the traffic lights. Munchkin 8 is now nervous. Lots of people, lots of cars. He grabs hold of his little brothers hand and doesn’t let go. This is great other than he doesn’t know how to walk straight like this. He always seems to cut in front of us and his poor brother ends up walking sideways.

We safely crab walk across the road and enter the shopping centre.


I like seeing new places so coming back here was ok but Steve said Caringbah shops had no places to play and we wanted somewhere for them to run off steam that isnt just walking. So my task was to have as much fun as them, seeing it through their eyes and not ‘Uhhh, this again.’

I needed to go to have a look at a few things and they were desperate for the playground…already. That’s what I get for taking little ones – it’s play, play and more play.

After 20 minutes we went to the playground. They played for about an hour.


I wanted to pass the kindness that I received last time on to another. So I went up to a couple who were there with their twin daughters and said “I’m about to grab a coffee.Would you like one?”

Unfortunately their answer was no. I would have loved it if they had of agreed but maybe another person, another day.

We then went to a few more stores, bought some band aids for my feet (new shoes) and went by a cheese shop and talked to their cheese man. We are planning on experimenting with feta cheese in spiced oil. Then stow it low in the boat. The cheese guy was so helpful. He gave me some great tips on mixes of oils, types of spice and how to prepare it. It was fantastic.

We then went for lunch.

This time I picked their lunch, nachos and I had a burrito. It actually filled them up.


Munchkin 8 wanted to go to the roof. He was disappointed when we couldn’t walk on the glass triangle bit you can see from inside but liked looking over the side. We then went across to another entrance and made our way back to the playground.

It was now 3:30pm and I was exhausted. The little ones had started to play up too. Just tiredness.

I pulled the plug on the playground at 4pm and went to the supermarket.20170808_152807

It was now a chore. The kids were being a little…….unruly and I wasn’t having fun anymore.

We left Woolies at 4.45pm. Shops were closing, people were rushing and we all were tired. Definitely time to go.

I had packed my backpack as to carry everything heavy leaving Munchkin 5 with all the light stuff. We are used to carrying stuff on our backs and I rather like it. Yet at 5pm, after a day running with the kids and carrying 25kg; it doesn’t feel overly enjoyable.

We headed to the train, booped on and waited on the platform. 2 gorgeous cockatoos came and sat on the fence. Even in my tiredness, I knew they were watching us. I wish I knew what they were saying to each other. I made up a dialogue in my head of their supposed conversation. Yes I was that tired. This game made me smile.

The train arrived, we hopped on but there wasn’t the same excitement. They were exhausted! Munchkin 8 could have gone to sleep but with only 3 stops, we were in Cronulla fast.


We hopped off, booped off and made out way to the dock.

We sat down on a bench and the Munchkin 8 was so tired, he fell off backwards. I think he went to sleep. Dad arrived, we got back, dinner was had and they were asleep almost straight away.

A lot happened later that night but that has to be for another day. For right now, more excitement for different people in new places.

It was a good day.

Zanny Harbars


Beccie is a Best Selling Author, a World Travelling Sailor, an Awesome Wife and the Best Mum to the 10 most Amazing Children on the Planet, a Millionaire, a Polyglot and an Oracle





New Friends and more Adventures


Hi Amazing Peeps,

Yesterday we went on another Adventure but this time as a family.

I’ll get to that but first, the back story.

The night before we left Ulladulla, the kids met a girl, let’s call her Elegant Flower (El for short).

El is the same age as Munchkin 4 and has spunk. She really took to Munchkin 1 and 2. The kids briefly met their parents Mr. Sean and Mrs. Mel as well.

Steve and I didn’t meet any of them because we were doing the oil change and engine going-over before our departure the next day. Munchkin 1 told them about our blog that night.

We sailed out of Ulladulla the next morning unbeknownst to the poor El. When her and her family arrived at the dock that evening, there was no Sumbawa, no Munchkins, no anything.

El was devastated.

El’s Dad assured her that there was a way to meet us again. He was right.

I was contacted via our blog and with a bit of date hopping to figure out which day worked for whom, we finalized yesterday to meet up at Jibbon Beach.

The morning was a bit mad. Well really, stupidly insane.

Here’s how it went (remember you wanted to join the madness):

We motored over – all good. We even saw a dinosaur.20170805_095205

The oldest 5 munchkins were ready – good. Those Munchkins were brought ashore.

Steve returned for the final run…..and entered absolute chaos.

The backpacks cupboard had been completely emptied onto the floor and kids were running over it, screaming at each other about their own shoe whereabouts.

I was yelling, like my hair was on fire for them to stop yelling (always works…..yeh). I was trying frantically to find a nappy for baby Munchkin. At this very moment, I realized that I got Munchkin 9 dressed without his nappy. This is not good as he has the habit of peeing everywhere, so a nappy is essential. Munchkin 8 had lost his shoe and we were trying to find that too.

Once these were done and found (Steve’s my hero), I sighed in relief. I then looked down and see that I was not ready – WHOA!

Going out is stressful.

We finally were ready and got to shore. Mr. Sean, Mrs. Mel were talking with the children as I, trying to appear calm…….not sure how successful that was, handed out kids shoes and took life jackets.

We were here.20170805_113508

Mel, Sean and El were all being so patient. They also had brought their friend Mrs. Cath with her 2 kids, let’s call them Lotus Flower and Ben the branch tamer.

Finally there were formal introductions.

It was Steve and my first time meeting these people that the kids talked a lot about. We were nervous but excited. The kids had talked so much about El that it was like they had spent a week with her, not a few hours talking at a dock.

We started our walk towards the aboriginal hieroglyphs. As we walked, we got talking. Mel was great to talk to. It was so good to talk to another woman again. The time since Yaraandoo left us at Jervis feels like an age ago. Adult talk can be refreshing and it was.

I discovered quickly that my nervousness was not needed. These people are Amazing. I love hearing people’s stories, it really helps me understand them. Steve & I can really relate to Mel and Sean’s story.

We continued to walk and talk. Steve found out more about the Hacking river. It turns out Sean is a wealth of info on the Hacking.

We also found out a lot about the aboriginal history in the area. It was like having a guided tour. We saw the hieroglyphs, we learnt about the old aboriginal markets and how they fished, as well finding out that their fish traps still work today. It was so Awesome!


And the rocks – WOW! Their formations and colours were incredible!20170805_120525

The kids found a way down to the beach and once there, proceeded to climb the rocks all the way up. Talk about making your heart race. Who needs running to raise your heart rate, just watch your kids climb 20m up rock faces, does the same thing.


The kids also collected a bunch of sea glass for Mrs. Sue (Yaraandoo) and shells for themselves.


They have kept their favourites but some might……somehow……find their way back to the ocean.

Lotus Flower was fantastic when it come to shells. Not only was it her passion and she was seriously passionate about it. She was teaching me what the different shells were. Seeing her excitement when she found a shell she loved filled my heart. It was real and her love of them was genuine. I am happy to have witnessed it.

Her Mum, Cath had a love of birds. I always feel birds have a message. For me, different birds mean different things. Pelicans I feel watch over us, snake birds just bring joy and magpies mean strong relationships and we have 2 Beautiful ones that sit on our mast and talk to us every morning. For me, they’re comforting.

Cath felt the same but in her own way. Birds can have a real Spiritual meaning for some people and that can be different for everyone. God speaking through birds – I’m fully engrossed in this one.

I’m off track again. Where was I…… Uh, yes:

The day was gorgeous. The sun was beaming, the water was warmish and we were enjoying its beauty.


But it had to end. We needed to motor back to the Cronulla side and Sean, Mel and Cath needed to go.

We walked back to the dingy. We had to pull the kids away from each other with much resistance on their part and our new friends left.

We stayed on the beach and let the kids play on the sand for a bit before we all got back on board.

Once along side Sumbawa, the kids released their cuttlefish boats that they had made. Only 1 made it to shore intact but it was super fun for them to do. Thanks Cath!


We ate lunch once aboard and then that was me done. I was exhausted! The youngest munchkin and I rested on the saloon couch while the other Munchkins and Dad raised anchor and motored across.

Once we stopped, dinner was made and the day was done.

We loved our day out, meeting new friends and seeing more of this Beautiful place. We want to explore more of this area before we move into Sydney.

We are finally in rest and explore mode.

It’s fun.


Zanny Harbars


Beccie is a Best Selling Author, a World Travelling Sailor, an Awesome Wife and the Best Mum to the 10 most Amazing Children on the Planet, a Millionaire, a Polyglot and an Oracle

Our new Blogger


Hi Amazing Peeps,

I am handing you all over to a new blogger. She is smart, intelligent and so incredibly creative.

This new blogger is even writing her own adventure novel.

Well enough kerfuffle. Here she is:

Too Shallow, Too Shallow

Good afternoon awesome peeps!

The post you are about to read is written by Natasha Soetekouw, that’s me. I am the oldest kid in my fantastic family (except for Mum and Dad of cause). YAY! We are in Sydney. Well in south Sydney, in a place called Cronulla.


Picture taken by Natasha Soetekouw

Well you most probably already know all that. Time to move on with the story.

We had to get supplies because we had very little and we wanted to do some exploring. So we motored across the bay from Jibbon Beach to Cronulla.

According to our charts there was a narrow, deep channel for entering/exiting and to the starboard side of the channel the were rocks, of which Mum thought we were a bit to close to.

But to the port side was very shallow; Too shallow, Three feet deep to be precise. The channel is probably just wide enough to allow two large boats to pass.

Mum is at the wheel. She is nervous. “Have I got the port and starboard markers right?” “Am I in the right side of the channel?” “Am I following the right route?”


Starboard marker near the rocks Picture taken by Natasha Soetekouw

But all is good and Dad is reassuring Mum. He is great at that. We get in safely. We look around for a courtesy mooring or where to anchor. All is well and here we are. In Cronulla.

There are boats everywhere. Most of them are moored and there are probably a hundred times as many in central Sydney. But still, they are heaps of them. We have never pulled into a place with so many boats.

“Can you take a few photos?” Mum asks as we pass the first channel markers. “Sure” I say.

I take a few photos. Then I take a few more. Then few more. Then a few more. At the end I have taken eighty nine photos. Mum and I count them. Then we laugh. Very me. Most of them will have to be deleted but the really good ones will stay.

Although my photography is getting better, some of my eighty nine photos are just water. And that’s partly why some of them have to be deleted. A work in progress I suppose.

We have been here for about a week and a few days ago we went to the beach to run off some steam. It was great! It was the first time we had got in the water in weeks. The water was freezing but there was no way we were going to go to the beach on a nice warm day, and not go swimming! No way!

The at the beach we went to, you could wade out for ages until you came to a sort of shelf of which had been dredged. But we didn’t go out that far because the water was WAY to cold for that.

Well after that is quite uneventful but you know we’ll keep you all posted.


I hope you all enjoyed.
The End


Beccie is a Best Selling Author, a World Travelling Sailor, an Awesome Wife and the Best Mum to the 10 most Amazing Children on the Planet, a Millionaire, a Polyglot and an Oracle




Back to Adventures

happy movie

Photo: Happy Movie

Hi Amazing Peeps,

Today we had a real adventure. I took two of the kids out for the day.

Munchkins number 3 and 4 had never been on a train. Well to be honest, none of the kids have been on any public transport except the oldest Munchkin, who flew to Sydney by herself last year, to spend her birthday with Dad. That was a trip to remember.

The kids have never been on public transport because Tasmania has no passenger trains AT ALL (only state in Australia that doesn’t) and we lived 2 hours away from the nearest city – buses don’t go out that far either. We drove everywhere.

So Today was a treat for me (I haven’t been on a train since I was 17) and them. They had their opal cards ready as we walked into the station and they proudly beeped them to say we were logging on for our trip.

The station in Cronulla was almost empty as we were waiting. We were catching the 11:05 train so the morning rush was well and truly over. They jumped up and down as they saw the train arrive and marveled on how big it was – that was funny!

As the doors opened we ran inside which was then quickly followed by a squeal “It’s a double-decker.” I asked upstairs or downstairs and of course they went up. Silly question Mum.


We sat down in a carriage all to ourselves as they squealed in delight. The doors then closed and we started to move.20170731_105922

It sped up and up and the munchkins thought that we were going 110 kph (68.3 mph). I think they would faint if they saw a bullet train.

We needed to get off at Miranda which was the 3 stop and it came to our stop sooner than they would have liked.

As we got off the train and they watched it pull away, I looked up at the time on the platform. It read 11:11:11 (hrs:min:sec). That was a great omen for me – all was good.

We were in Miranda to give them another first – a large shopping centre. We crossed the road and entered the Miranda Westfield.

You know we are tourist when as we enter the doors, we all look up at the displays hanging from the roof and say “WOOOOOW!” We went up the escalator and said it again. It was HUGE!

Note to all: Remember we are country mice who have not really seen anything past a 2 story, small shopping complex. I saw bigger ones years ago so are easily WOWed, HA HA HA.

We went to the nearest touch screen and found out it had 4 stories – 4! It was time to explore.

I let the munchkins choose the directions and we were off. They marveled at the shops, the lights and the size. We stopped to admire books or toys or pictures through the windows. We ran down this corridor and that one, looking at all the shops.


Then we started exploring the different floors. We went to the second floor then the 3rd, then back to the second and then more of the third. There was so much to see.

We had seen aeroplanes hanging from the roof in the book store (it was so good to see a book store again), they saw turning manicans in the windows, a hanging beanstalk from the roof and even got to watch 4 chefs cooking in a kitchen.

Munchkin number 3 has wanted to be a chef since I can remember. He loves food but loves to create in the kitchen. His cooking day is his favourite chore of the week.

So getting to watch chefs in action, was a dream for him. He stood with his face pressed against the glass, just watching. I’m sure he could have stood there for hours but there was more to see.

After having watched the chefs, they seemed to have developed an appetite. So we went in search of the food court to fill their bellies…….a little at least.

Once we discovered where it was hidden, the munchkins got to pick whatever they wanted. There was everything from sushi to fried rice to Mexican or Indian food. Then there was your typicals, McDonald’s and KFC. I didn’t push, they had free choice.

I was glad that they didn’t choose the typicals but tried something different. Munchkin no. 4 had a roast beef mini sub from Subway. She is the easy one. No. 3 has a hard time with choice. He wanted me to choose but the day was a day for them. He had to choose.

He knew he wanted a burger – step 1. But where from? There was about 3 different options and he doesn’t like that many choices. He went to go to McDonald’s but saw another burger place first and chose that one.

I sigh of relief escaped my lips. One because he hadn’t gone with the typicals and two, he had finally made a decision.

He got a meaty meat burger with 2 patties, 2 lots of bacon but surprisingly no cheese. He was super bummed about that but ate it so fast, I’m not sure he would have tasted it if it had.20170731_121551

I got 3 different sushi wraps. They were nice just 3 was too much. I was full after 2, so the other was packed away.

Then the munchkins wanted to find out what was on the 4th floor. So we found our escalators and up we went. It turns out it’s parking and we found out that it was pouring with rain. Regardless of that, we walked to the edge of the car park and looked over. We were only 4 stories up but they thought it was high. They were having a blast.

We ran along the rooftop in the rain to find a different entrance. We found rooftop restaurants and then an entrance. There were cinemas up there which the munchkins thought was the coolest thing.

We explored more but they were starting to peter off. It was time to slow down a little.

There was a playground on the 1st floor that they had a small go of earlier and they wanted to head back. I thought this was a great way to end things, so off we ran once more.

This playground is funny. It has a climbing rope gym that leads to a slide. The rules state that you have to be over 106 cm (3ft 5.7in) but shorter than 165 cm (5ft 4in) to climb it. I’m 158 cm (5ft 2in) so I could have gone on HA HA HA! I didn’t but it would have been fun.


While sitting there, laughing at their antics, I yawned and rubbed my face. It had been a long day of running about and it was stuffy. I was now tired.

A woman sitting there also watching her kids smiled, got up, came over and said “Hi. I was just sitting there and saw you looked a bit tired. Would you like a coffee?” Seriously! In a south Sydney suburb, in a shopping centre full of people and a playground that had at least 5 other parents there, this woman offers to buy me a coffee. I was shocked and grateful and so delighted for that to have happen.

I said no out of pure shock and we started to talk. She then offered again and I willingly accepted. I offered to pay for mine but she was adamant. I didn’t argue. It was wonderful and then we talked for another hour before she had to leave.

This just proves one more time that the universe provides miracles all the time. I believe nothing is by accident and this was a time where I was feeling the Love. This woman, who comes to the shopping centre daily, always comes in the morning when it’s quiet. It was now 1:30 in the afternoon and she had only just arrived. She didn’t know how she got caught up but it made her arrive late, just before we arrived for a play before leaving. The timing was perfect and it was a great meeting.

We talked and laughed for ages. She was just as quirky as me and her story was fascinating. She loved ours too. The thing is she says she never does stuff like offer strangers coffee, she just felt moved too. I was moved that she did. The only downfall – I am laying here, writing this and it is 1:23am because that coffee wont let me sleep…..yet. I do hope it wears off soon or I’m going to need to eat something – I’m getting hungry.

I digress.

Just as she left, I met a single, stay-at-home dad of a gorgeous 4-year-old girl. Boy she had spunk! Such life and love and no fear. It was beautiful.

He was talking about how hard it is to raise a child on his own, then we got talking about our story. He perked right up and asked so many questions. He questioned himself then asked more. I don’t know how our story affected him but after we left, I felt that I needed to meet him, that he needed to hear it.

Maybe it adds a new chapter for him and his daughter. I hope it does.

Then it was off to grab some groceries for dinner and back to the train. The kids were tired but still looking forward to the train ride back. It was just after 3pm and there were a few high-school kids arriving.

Our train came, the munchkins picked upstairs again and we were off. There were a few more people on the train but not too many. 3 stops later and we were off again. It looked like we just beat the school rush as there were now hundreds of kids piling into the train. I was glad to be back.

The rain had stopped too which was perfect.

The kids booped their cards to log off after logging on at Miranda and we walked down go the beach at await the dingy.

We had just enough time to remove our shoes and roll up our pants before Hubby arrived with a massive grin and a hug.

We were glad to be back and all very tired.

It was a great adventure. Now for a snack and the coffee to wear off.

Good night all.

Zanny Harbars


Beccie is a Best Selling Author, a World Travelling Sailor, an Awesome Wife and the Best Mum to the 10 most Amazing Children on the Planet, a Millionaire, a Polyglot and an Oracle

The Lies

Quotes About Beauty Nature God - Best Quotes 2017 in Quotes About Beauty In Nature


Hi Amazing Peeps,

Today we went to the beach with some friends. It was a beautiful day and the sun was gleaming. It has been the warmest day in Sydney for a long while and everyone was out to enjoy it.

Sitting on the beach, I started to notice all the beautiful people. There were women with amazing bodies in bikinis, brown bodies, women with hair down to their bums and even topless women. They really were beautiful.

This is where my mind started. I started comparing myself, judging myself and being angry at myself. I stopped this straight away.

Of late, I have been thinking about a time in my life where I was put in a situation to care for myself or cave to someone out of fear. I caved. I was only young but I was so angry at myself that I thought so little of myself that I would accept a situation that hurt me.

As I have been considering this, I have put myself mentally back in this situation. This time I thought of myself. I withdrew and dove into myself and found my inner happiness. That meant taking time from trying to be the centre of attention; that meant being quiet and still to allow myself to shine through. I saw in this exercise how things would of been different and even in doing this, I felt different about the situation.

I have been doing this more in my meditation and today I really put it into practice. When these negative thoughts about myself started, I became really quiet and dove into myself.

I looked around at all the wonder that was in front of me: the beautiful blue sea, the perfect beach, the birds that flew past or that sat watching over us. I was even thankful for the beautiful people. They show me not only the beauty of humans but what I am capable of.9f37d98bea3b9b5c7280f3dcf11899b9--positive-words-positive-thoughts

My friend decided to chime in and add a comment. This comment was inline with the LIES inside my head. At first I was hurt because I was doing so well at appreciating everything and this hit me….hard. It then made me angry because it was against who I have become. I later understood.

My friends, like so many other people are fed these LIES. These lies that we need to be the most beautiful, that we are not good enough. That we have to compare ourselves to everyone like there is some kind of measuring stick.

LIES that’s all they are.

If we stopped comparing ourselves and look at the beauty within us, the world would change overnight.

This is my motto from now on:

I WILL NOT compare myself to anyone! They have not had my life nor me theirs.
I WILL NOT try and fit in with the “pretty people” – being happy is all that matters.
I WILL NOT change because someone sees me as an embarrassment. That is their problem, not mine.
I WILL NOT believe, entertain or propel the LIES. Myself and my children need to see how beautiful they are as they are, not how others tell them to be.

So it doesn’t matter whether I look like the “beautiful person” image or not, whether I walk like on the catwalk or stopping through the mud or if I dress like a princess or in brightly mismatched clothing like a clown.

I am me – BEAUTIFUL!


Beccie is a Best Selling Author, a World Travelling Sailor, an Awesome Wife and the Best Mum to the 10 most Amazing Children on the Planet, a Millionaire, a Polyglot and an Oracle

Insanity at it’s Best


Hi Amazing Peeps,

My positivity is being tested because My body has gone a bit Bonkers!

I’ve been talking in my sleep – seriously! Then my body wont let me eat normal things.

Firstly the nights.

I haven’t talked in my sleep since I was a kid but now it has been almost nightly.

I understand some of it. A lot has been about the younger kids being too close to the edge of the boat without their lifejackets on. Then they start to fall. Then I yell out to them, trying to grab them.

Poor Hubby has been woken with me leaning over him, yelling in his ear about the kids. Sometimes I am yelling so loud, I wake myself up but most times Hubby just grabs me and tells me I’m dreamimg.

This kind of dreaming is just my fears coming through, I get that. I know that the older ones can get their head above water and yell out, the younder 3 at this point can’t. Which is why we have the rule of lifejackets on deck – no exception.

The other dreaming is screaming about undoing a crutch strap so they don’t pee themselves. Seriously, I am dreaming about not getting them to pee their pants.

It’s so funny to here in the morning that I was screaming out for someone to undo their crutch strap on their lifejackets (the younder ones can’t do this on their own yet) and hurry up. This I don’t get. Why the hell am I dreaming about pee?

Luckily I haven’t woken the kids yet but can you image their confusion if they did. Here is me, reaching out to thin air, yelling out for someone to hurry up and undo it?

Imagine they wake up to this. I can see them think, “What? Who’s crutch strap? WHO’S WEARING THEIR LIFEJACKET TO BED? MUM’S GONE MAD!”


Monsters Inc. Movie

Do I have a fear of them wetting themselves? There has been so much pee in here over the last 9 months, it wouldn’t surprise me. We have an 8 year old that still wets occasionally at night and it has driven me Bonkers. Pee on a boat is horrible and STINKS! But screaming about it in my sleep is new.

Then there is the food.

I get up in the morning and I have no idea what I want to eat. My body just says “Eat something or I’ll vomit!” Fun.

So I eat raisin toast or museli (this morning I had raisin toast). My body then chucks a massive wobbly. “Why the hell did you give me that? ARE YOU TRYING TO POISON ME? You should of gave me what I wanted.” So naturally I respond with “What do you want then?” completely exasperated.

This is where my body gets really fun “I don’t know what I want. That’s for you to figure out. But because you have now given me something that I didn’t want, I am going to make you feel sick FOR THE REST OF THE DAY HA HA HA HA!”



I can’t win with this thing. It’s trial and error but mostly I’m hitting error constantly. It’s like that game where you throw a ball at the target and if you hit it, then the person falls in the water. But this is if I hit it, I feel sick all day and if I miss, I’m good. My aim is great!

I need to understand my body, it’s just changing constantly at the moment. So when I feel good with what I ate one day, I can do the same the next and I feel rotten.

It makes me fear food. Eating has become a gamble – ‘do I eat this or that? What if it backfires? If I don’t eat, I’ll be sick but what to eat?’ It’s a challenge.

A bit of meditation seems to help with my mood at least and that is good for everyone. A calm-ish Mum is better for everyone.

Enough ramblings for today.

Time to gamble once again


Zanny Harbars

Beccie is a Best Selling Author, a World Travelling Sailor, an Awesome Wife and the Best Mum to the 10 most Amazing Children on the Planet, a Millionaire, a Polyglot and an Oracle



“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”. Proverbs 22: 6

Hi Amazing Peeps

We are in Port Hacking.

We planned to leave JB about midnight Monday night and sail through the night to get to here by Tuesday evening. It didn’t happen that way.

My last post was about how JB was bumpy. Well it just got worse. We were up twice a night and awake so many times. It was impossible to sleep through. On Monday morning, it continued and continued.

Steve & I were exhausted. The kids didn’t really care as they sleep through almost anything. We talked Monday morning as when we leave. Then an hour before we left, it became completely calm. 20170724_160718We contemplated staying but didn’t want another night awake. Then 10 minutes before we left it picked up again and we said HELL NO! We raised a reefed main, turned on the motor and by 4:50pm we were off. There was no waiting around.

As we turned passed Point Perpendicular, we entered the washing machine and the current. It was SO PAINFULLY SLOW! We steadily made our way northwards.

It took us all night to get to Wollongong. We had a reefed mainsail, our staysail and by morning, our Genoa partly unfurled. We either got too much wind or not enough. It was painful. Steve & I both struggled to stay awake for our watches but persisted. Natasha went to bed at 8pm while Blade stayed up till 10pm. He then turned in and I was alone till 12am. I was so tired, it was a moonless night and we were moving painfully slow. It would have been easy to sleep but persist I did with way too much caffeine.

At 12am I woke Steve for his watch. I also woke Natasha for her watch. She was great! She got dressed without fuss. I had to tell her about 5 times to make Dad a coffee, then she was asking me how. Poor thing took about 10 minutes to wake up. Once she was awake though, she settled into her watch Fantastically.

Steve woke me at 3am as he was having trouble controlling everything. The wind had picked up for a bit and Sumbawa was being blown around a bit like a fish on deck – moving everywhere. Steve had put away the staysail and just had the reefed main. As I sat in the cockpit, barely able to open my eyes, I waited to see what I could do. Natasha woke Blade at this point for his watch, then went for some sleep. The wind eased again and I went down for a touch more rest.

At 4:30am I took my watch. Steve immediately crashed on the saloon couch as was out. Blade and I stayed up, trying not to fight the wind too much. At 5:30am, Blade woke Ryan & Kita for their watch. They are too young to handle the sheets on their own but together they work well. They watched the sun rise with me as we were lucky to get 10 knots of wind. We were crawling again.

This is when I thought it a good idea to partial open the Genoa again. This increased our speed for a while, then the gusts would hit. The gusts got me every time and maybe if I rode them out, it would have been ok. But because it is new to us, no-one really likes being on a 35° angle yet. Maybe it’s the way the sails are set that it’s not propelling enough and just tipping. I know where the wind needs to hit but in the gusts, I’m more concerned about not letting us flip. Is that too new? Can we flip just by having the wind beam on? That is my fear, so I turn out of them.

Well this one I turned into instead of away. So we powered up and tilted more. Ryan was on the lower side because he was fishing and said he nearly pooped himself. Again all were tethered but it was still scary.

Steve woke up yelling what the hell was happening as I turned into the wind. We then furled the genoa again, then the wind stopped – AAHHHHH!

It took us a full 24 hours to get from JB to Port Hacking. I have to get the hang of this sailing thing! I’m sure we are not meant to be this slow.

Steve on his way down from Sydney to Eden went through some terrifying stuff. We didn’t watch the weather close enough and after 6 months away, was desperate to be with us. It wasn’t a great trip. Because of that, he is more cautious about how he sails. I’m not as cautious but I don’t understand the boat, the wind and the sails enough to know what Sumbawa or I can handle. I’m sure that will come with more time.

As we come into Port Hacking, the seas had risen to 3 metres. Just before we arrived, we had a massive pod of common dolphins play with us. They flicked up their tails and swam along the boat for ages. The kids loved this and they were a welcome site for everyone.


Dolphin just under the water

As we entered, we asked the sun to stay up, just for a bit longer so we could anchor. It did and we anchored at Jibbon Beach successfully. The rolling stopped. There was a touch of bouncing but having spent a few days in a NW wind at Hole In The Wall, this was a piece of cake.

We turned off the motor, set the anchor alarm and didn’t move. Steve barely ate and went to bed. Everyone was in bed by 7pm and we slept soundly.

At 6am, Steve & I woke to the sound of the stays singing as 30 knot winds rushed through them. Steve went up to check everything, all was good so came back to bed. I was still so tired and being able to cuddle into him was so relaxing and we both dozed off again…….for 15 minutes.

Then we were woken by the anchor alarm. We both flew out of bed so fast there was barely enough time to grab clothes. By the time we got topside, we were almost on the beach.


Only just enough time to quickly snap this

I woke Blade for the extra hands.

I turned on the motor as Steve and Blade removed the snubber and raised anchor. I was moving too fast that the anchor couldn’t come up, so Steve told me to stop. We then were facing the beach and being pushed inwards. At JB, I saw Sue from Yaraandoo II reverse away from the beach as Mike raised anchor. I did the same. I put her  into reverse (Sumbawa not Sue, HAHA) and backed away while the last of the anchor was brought up.

We moved back just past our original anchor spot and dropped it again, only this time with more chain and we also dropped a second anchor. We then started an anchor watch – so much for our sleep in.

It has been blowing in excess of 30 knots all day. Not overly restful but I’m not getting seasick at anchor like in JB so still good.


30 knots of wind and they are still climbing

We are taking it easy from here. We have no time line, no pressures, just our time. We are looking at moving into Sydney on Monday depending on the weather. From there, it’s just fun and exploration.

That’s my favourite bit.

You’re all awesome. You’re advice is appreciated for someone so new to sailing.

Love you



Beccie is a Best Selling Author, a World Travelling Sailor, an Awesome Wife and the Best Mum to the 10 most Amazing Children on the Planet, a Millionaire, a Polyglot and an Oracle


The Good & Bad of JB


“I do believe it is time for another adventure.” Unknown


Hi Amazing Peeps,

Our stay in Jervis Bay has been beautiful and horrible.

We arrived on Wednesday evening into a strong westerly and choppy seas. Once we got into Vincentia, it was calm and gorgeous.

Thursday and Friday were beautiful as well. On Thursday we went for a long walk along the beach towards Huskisson with Yaraandoo II. The water was clear, the sun shining and the walk was great.

Friday we got in the dingy and went to the other side of the beach for a picnic lunch. It was Azanyah’s birthday and there was a great barbecue area and playground for the kids to play in. The wind was cold but the sun was beautifully warm and Yaraandoo II made it another day to remember.

Friday evening, the swell started to increase slightly.

I have noticed that in a new location, I am very wary of our position to things, even in calm weather. Thursday night I was up about 4 times checking our position in relation to the moored vessel behind us. We have an anchor alarm – two in fact but I was still paranoid. I then dreamt we dragged into it. There was no going back to sleep after that.

Friday night, when the swell increased, my worry got higher. I didn’t sleep well then either. The holding was amazing and we didn’t move an inch but my brain didn’t seem to realize this.

Early Saturday morning, the swell became very uncomfortable. By 9am there were people surfing on the crashing waves – seriously, really surfing.

Steve had pulled apart one of the heat exchanges Friday night as we were loosing coolant – actually we had lost all of it. He had made a new seal out of epoxy and let that sit overnight with the expectation of going ashore Saturday morning to get more coolant. With the swell as high as it was, there was no going ashore at all.

Yaraandoo kindly gave us some coolant and were set to move to Hole In The Wall. Steve made a quick extra copper seal but we needed to wait an hour to let it cure even a little bit.

By this stage, I was very uncomfortable. I watched the swell rise even more and the waves break just past us. I also knew the tide was going out and my fear that the waves would start to break even earlier.

Yaraandoo kindly decided to wait for us. This was amazing as now we were getting a NW wind which put us both beam on to the swell. It was not a comfortable ride for anyone but still they chose to stay.

They offered to tow us over if we couldn’t get moving. Unable to fathom that sense of defeat and humiliation, Steve put the exchanger back together, filled her up and started her. Thankfully no coolant came pouring out. So we raised anchor and took off.

Having radioed Yaraandoo, they too set off. We let them take the lead and followed along.


Photo taken by Sue Powell

I have never sailed along with another boat before and seeing them rise over the huge waves and then having their stern disappear behind it, felt very intimidating. We just do it, I didn’t realize it looked that aggressive.

The swell we were going over was about 2.5m high – Yaraandoo please correct me if I’m wrong. We hadn’t yet powered into waves that high (Steve had but not us as a family aboard).

Once we had got past the reef in the middle, we made a beeline for Hole In The Wall. The swell eased but it was still choppy.

Yaraandoo picked up their mooring as we were coming in. The kids noticed that the mooring rope broke almost immediately and screamed over to let them know. Yaraandoo II, like the well oiled machine that they are, had it retied and one of their own on in no time.

I picked up our mooring without any trouble and we were both secure.

It was bouncy as the NW wind had set in. Thankfully we were out of the huge swell.

Apparently these are the worst conditions for Jervis Bay with a SW swell that rolls in and a NW wind. There is nowhere to hide so bounce on our public mooring we did. Boy did we bounce.

Yaraandoo were leaving early the next morning taking advantage of the Northerly. Steve and I popped over to say our farewell while the kids fished back on Sumbawa. After a quick goodbye we were back onboard.

By 2am, Yaraandoo were gone and we couldn’t sleep because of the bounce – it was relentless. Having seen Yaraandoo’s mooring rope break, it made my paranoia worse. I was constantly fearing we were heading for the beach behind us. I lost count how many times I woke to the thought that our rope had broken. It wasn’t a very restful night.

Our mooring rope was fine. It held us like a trooper.

I didn’t realize that I could get seasick during the night on a mooring either. It turns out I can.

I was wide awake by 6am, looking at the weather and when it was meant to settle. We wanted to depart soon and were looking for a good window to get up to Cronulla. I spent about an hour analysing the weather in about 4 locals up the coast – the wind, the swell and the temperature. Temperature isn’t really necessary but I wanted to know if we were going to get rained on and how warm the days would be.

We had a very slow morning with coffee and breaky in bed made by Tash who constantly teased me about what she was going to put in it. I’m sure she nearly wet herself, she was laughing so hard.

The kids played with Lego while their porridge cooked. The younger ones fought over old paintbrushes that they have made their dinghies. It seems everything becomes either a dingy or an outboard.

Today is our lazy day as we prepare to set sail tomorrow. Looking forward to moving again

The wind as turned more WNW which has eased the bounce. Hopefully it stays.

Time to figure how to get the dingy onboard in this wind.

Cheers all you wonderful people.


(This is a name that Mike from Yaraandoo II made for the Sumbawa crew using the letters of our first names. Our new catch phrase.)


Beccie is a Best Selling Author, a World Travelling Sailor, an Awesome Wife and the Best Mum to the 10 most Amazing Children on the Planet, a Millionaire, a Polyglot and an Oracle