It was very wet and by Australian summer standards, very cold. There were 16 hardy souls on board all determined to have a good time. And succeed we did.

The Mothership is a very technologically advanced boat but she had been designed to hide that fact. Having said that, Australia Day is a day for showcasing Australian ingenuity and design. I wanted everyone to know that we were a solar powered boat but because the solar panels are place where only the sun can see them, I had to do something.

The idea I came up with was a 8 foot sun on top of a 20 foot pole. I was very excited, it was going to look amazing and would be seen from miles away. However, as the weather deteriorated so did the merit of my idea. Even before the start of the Harbour Parade it had been smashed by gusts of over 40 knots. Down the pole came and the boys got to work. Gaffer tape, broom handle, cable ties, just like new. The pole was chopped in half and the sun rose again. It was a different kind of solar engineering and all before the parade.

There were some 40 brightly decorated boats in the parade. Starting at Berry Point we made our way under the Harbour bridge to the Sydney Opera House then around Farm Cove and over to Athol Bay via Fort Dennison. It was a lot of fun.

Put the lamb on the BBQ and drink sensibly were my instructions. As you can see from the photos they got the lamb right. We ate, told a lot of stories and lost track of time. When 6pm came around we noticed that we were one of the few boats left. That’s the great thing about the Mothership. everyone can have a great time even in the cold and wet.

Next was the day’s big event. The Darling Harbour parade. 2 tall ships, 3 special boats from the heritage fleet and us. Our slot was just before the presentation of the Australians of the year and the fire works. I wasn’t sure what to expect but as the swing bridge opened and we entered the inner harbour I was hit by a wall of sound and the faces of over 100,000 people. Darling Harbour is like an amphitheatre and the atmosphere was thumping. All I had to do was to go around slowly and not hit anything. And thankfully I did just that. Phew.

Certainly a day to remember.

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