T and Jose went to the spot quite early in the morning, to set up a tent for shade, and Jose took our table and chairs too. T took his boat and Jose helped him get the boat into the water, via the boat ramp.
The rest of the family joined them about 10am, carrying a couple of cooler boxes laden with food and drinks.
Then our mutual friends W and L arrived (the ones that live by the river and feed the ducks and swans).
G joined much later, close to lunch-time as she had been making a curry for our lunch.
Gosh, so much food again!! That is all we had been doing since mid-December, eat and drink too much!! Well, I don't drink much...
|T's boat - Taffy with some of the boys|
Before lunch most of the boys went on the first river outing, while the others stayed behind talking or reading.
Suddenly someone shouted "Dolphins" and we all rushed to the water.
Two dolphins were about 3 metres from the edge of the river. Unfortunately not easy to photograph, as they would dive and disappear and then appear a bit further down, but still we were thrilled.
After lunch it was the turn of the second group to go on the boat, and I went with.
In the river we saw a couple of the local Black Swans, cormorants sunning themselves, ducks and again a couple of dolphins, maybe the same ones from earlier...
|Black swans and cormorants|
We first went to our right all the way to the suburb of Shelley, then turned back, past our starting point and then went left up to the suburb of Applecross.
We went under the Canning Bridge which I drive over many times, so it was interesting to see what holds it up - a lot of timber poles!
|Deep Water Point from where we departed to Shelley (right) (not as close to the coast, as this is a road route, then back to the left until the South of Perth Yacht Club in Applecross.|
As we turned a corner by the South of Perth Yacht Club, we spotted the beautiful replica of the Duyfken.
The original ship owned by the Dutch East India Company became the first European vessel to make a recorded landing on Australian soil in the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north of Australia.
Over 400 years later, Dutch born Australian historian Michael John Young lobbied for a replica to be built as an educational tool to raise awareness of Dutch exploration of Australia in the 1600's.
An amount of $3.5 million was raised for its construction, and it was launched in the port city of Fremantle in January 1999.
In 2012 the Western Australian Government committed funds to keep the Duyfken in Perth for 10 years. At the moment it runs twilight sailing tours departing from the South of Perth Yacht Club in the suburb of Applecross.
|The replica of the Duyfken|
On our return back to Deep Water Point we sailed past some grand yachts, and the Raffles Building and Hotel.
The two-storey Art Deco hotel from 1939 was saved from being demolished in a 10 year campaign that ended in 2002. The site was sold to Multiplex which built a controversial 17 storey apartment tower, but had to retain and renovate the hotel.
|The South of Perth Yacht Club and the boats moored there, and the Raffles Hotel and building on the edge of the Swan River in Applecross|
|Swan River and the city of Perth in the distance|
At around 5pm we started dismantling the tent and packing up our stuff, while a couple of the men got the boat out of the water.
|Dismantling the tent...|
Before leaving a group photo was in order - first just our family, then we asked a passerby to take one of the whole group.
|Jose, Benoit, Thomas, T, G, Karina, Sami, Isabelle, Max, W and L|
|Jose, Thomas, Isabelle, me, Karina, Max and Benoit|
|The fancy houses across Deep Water Point Reserve|
When we left the picnic area we drove just down the road to Heathcote reserve in Applecross, a beautiful park just above the South of Perth Yacht Club.
The buildings that previously housed a former asylum hospital built between the 1920's and 1940's, they have been turned into a cultural precinct.
The area is very popular with parents with children as Heathcote has one of Perth's super playgrounds. The pirate ship, tunnels, secret hideouts, bridges and lookout points around the ship provide kids with endless hours of fun.
Also popular with those who like to picnic, as it has free barbecues, a coffee shop, and is also one of the most picturesque with views to the city and surrounding areas.
|Heathcote building and tower - view of the Yacht club and view of the city centre across the river|
|Lookout bridges looking like a ship's deck, art and great playground|
|Father Christmas in Applecross|
When we drove back home we stopped by the river in Shelley to take photos of the sunset.
This was Isabelle and Max last evening in Perth, and they loved watching the sunset and the red and orange tones it left in the sky.
|Black swans at sunset, Isabelle and Max having a romantic moment with the sun setting behind them|
At home we got ready to go out to dinner to an Indian restaurant - 2 Fat Indians, in Carousel Shopping Centre, just a 10 minute drive from us.
Isabelle and Max had never had Indian food and were a bit worried about it being spicy, but we ordered mild dishes for them and they enjoyed the new experience.
Friday, 27 December - Isabelle, Max and Benoit had to check out from the Airbnb at 10am, so before then, we drove to the Airbnb to pick-up their suitcases, and they came to our house.
We had an early lunch of pizza and then Jose and Thomas drove the 3 of them to the airport where they had to be by 1,30pm for their 4,30pm flight to Europe.
Monday, 30 December - Karina and Thomas departed to Manila, and our house was empty and quiet again 😔
And so 2 weeks flew by with lots of travel and sightseeing and family time!
They enjoyed their time and we also enjoyed having them here.
Tuesday, 31st December - Jose and I and L and W (our friends that feed the ducks/swans) attended the New Year's Eve party at the WA Portuguese Club in Fremantle.
This year it was a small party, about 100 people, great music and a catered dinner, unfortunately not Portuguese food, but still good.
We returned home after dancing until about 2am.
|L and W, Sami and Jose|