Boxing Day and Leaving Hobart

Boxing Day, December 26th, is a national holiday here in Australia. It's not celebrated very much in the USA. I think it's reserved more for British Commonwealth countries where tradition would have “Christmas boxes” or presents (pressies, in Oz) given to servants the day after Christmas (because, of course, they had to work on Christmas Day). Many servants also had the day after Christmas off to spend time with their own families.

Here it seems Boxing Day allows an extension of the Christmas holiday and some recovery time before New Year's celebrations. Especially with Christmas being on a Tuesday this year, many folks also have Monday off and everyone has a long, long weekend. Time to get away on a holiday or spend more time with friends and family. If you're in the UK, perhaps you might go on a fox hunt. Sports and after- Christmas-sales shopping also seem to be high on the activities list for this holiday.

On the nautical side, today was also the start of the 67th Sydney-Hobart race. Boxing Day last year, we were at Sydney Heads on a friend's boat as the race participants flew past on their way to Hobart. This year, we had to leave the Elizabeth Street Pier in anticipation of the race arrivals though it won't be for a couple more days. Spirits will be high and from what we've heard, there will be a lot of celebrating going on when the boats arrive … winners or not.

We're not alone, by the way. Every boat in the inner harbor, even folks with permanent berths, must vacate by 5pm on Boxing Day to allow the arriving boats a place to berth after their arduous passage. In fact, many boats left before Christmas and we had lots of room to ourselves yesterday.

As for us, we've been busy with mundane sorts of things. We did the last of our provisioning, defrosted the freezer, did the laundry, equalized the batteries, made yogurt and granola, filled the water tanks and generally did everything possible to use the dock water and dock power before heading out. We have returned to our anchorage spot just north of the Tasman Bridge in Cornelian Bay. It's about a 3km jaunt into town along the foreshore walk, so we'll still have a chance to see the arriving boats without being in the way or in the middle of all the commotion.