Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Websites Listed In My Favorite Bathroom Book (Part 9)

It's time for me to look at another website listed in my favorite bathroom book!

Today I'm going to be looking at Hawkesbury Cruises which provides water adventures in the Hawkesbury River.

The Hawkesbury River is north of Sydney, I believe. And well...it's not just a belief. When I went into the bathroom to look at the book, so I can find what website is on my agenda today, I skimmed a bit and saw mention of the north of Sydney. But even if I didn't see that, I think maybe I would have already known it. I hope so. Though I could be deluding myself.

Now I'm going to look at Google Maps to see exactly where this Hawkesbury River is.

Well, it's hard for me to get a sense of exact location. I don't really know how to read rivers on Google Maps. I plugged in Hawkesbury River. I got an exact location, but it seems to be below the big river.  And I'm not even sure the big river is Hawkesbury.

Maybe I need to consult Lord Wiki.

He says the Hawkesbury River is north and west of Sydney. If I'm understanding things right, the river begins north of Penrith and ends at Broken Bay. Broken Bay is near Palm Beach. Palm Beach is my point of reference because of Home and Away.

Lord Wiki talks about river mouths. I'm sure I learned about that in elementary school, but I have forgotten what it means. So I asked him. He says it's the part of the river that flows into another body of water. So that's Broken Bay for Hawkesbury River.

Well, I should get to the cruise website. If I have any more questions along the way, I'll refer back to Lord Wiki.

The home page of Hawkesbury Cruise has photos of their ships and listings of cruises.

They say they're a family owned business, and they work out of Brooklyn. Not NYC Brooklyn. This Brooklyn is in New South Wales (obviously) and close to Palm Beach.

I wonder where the name Brooklyn comes from. Where did it originate?

Lord Wiki says the NYC Brooklyn started as a Dutch town called Bruekelen.

I wonder if the Australian Brooklyn is named after the American one.

I think it might be, because Lord Wiki says the NYC Brooklyn came about in the mid 1600's. That's way before Australia started having European names for their things and places.

I should get back to the cruises.

It looks like they have planned cruises you can join, or you can charter boats and arrange things to your liking.

Every weekday at 10:00 am, they have something called The Riverboat Postman.  It's pretty awesome. It's not just a fun cruise. It has a practical purpose. The boat delivers mail and other goodies to people who live in areas that are only accessible by water transportation.

They have another whole website about this cruise. I clicked on it, and so far it's not working for me.

I hope it will work eventually, because I'm curious about it.

Ah! Here we go. It's working.

The Riverboat Postman adventure began in 1910. Though I'm not sure they used the same boat, or whether the same family owned the business back then.

The ride lasts from 10:00 to 1:15. It's Monday through Friday. You get coffee, tea, and homemade Anzac biscuits.  I wonder if that would be enough to hold me over for three hours. Or maybe I'm saying that because I've been hungrier than usual lately.

Never mind. I just looked at their price and inclusion page. You get lunch as well.

The price looks quite reasonable to me. It's $50 for an adult and $15 for a child under 15. It's $44 for seniors. How old are seniors in Australia? Maybe I should wait until I'm a senior to return to Australia. I imagine there'd be a lot of discounts.

I just googled. It's age 60 when you get your special card. What is it here?

Lord Wiki says it varies.

Anyway, I don't think I want to wait until I'm 60 to return to Australia. But maybe after my 50th birthday trip, I'll do a 60th birthday trip.

The lunch on the Riverboat Postman boat looks good. I wouldn't be interested in the ham, but the cheese, bread, and veggies look yum. Plus, they said they'll cater to your dietary requests if you tell them ahead of time.

It all sounds very lovely.

Wow...I might have to rethink our Australia plans.

I was thinking of skipping the Sydney area. But now I see that  on the Riverboat Postman site, they have a list of Brooklyn accommodations. Maybe we should stay there and go on one of these cruises.

I've been sitting here trip planning on Google Maps. That's one of my favorite games.

Right now I've mapped out a trip that begins in Brisbane. Then we drive up to the Gold Coast. Then we head south to Byron Bay, onto Coffs Harbour, and then end up in Brooklyn.  If there's not a large surcharge, we'll return our car to Sydney airport and then fly from there to Hobart. But if it's much cheaper to return the rental car to where we originally got it, I guess we'd drive back to Brisbane.

It would be a total of 20 hours. How long would it take us to do that drive? And I'd want it to be a road trip where we spent ample time in each place.  Our recent American West road trip was about 30 hours in 11 days. It felt a bit rushed in certain places. But if we are in Australia, I think we would be there longer than 11 days. I'd want to go 30 or more. So we could take it really slow.

I should get back to the cruises. But when I'm done with this post, I imagine I might be playing around for awhile.

I'm going to look at the other cruises that Hawkesbury Cruises offers.

Here's the Seven Islands Cruise.  You have to have your own group set up—20 people minimum and 180 maximum. You get to pick the time. And it's a fish and chip type thing. They don't say anything about special diets. But I'd be okay. I'd give my fish to Tim and Jack. I'd be happy with just the chips.

Yeah...and I was going to move on after  talking only about the food. I should probably mention that the ship visits various islands in the area. You get to learn something while eating.

The Danger Island Cruise looks very similar to the Seven Islands cruise, but you see different things. Since I don't really know the area, I'm not sure I'd be picky about which little islands we see.

I don't even know why I'm so excited about these cruises. We went on one in Virginia with friends, and I was hot and bored. Although I don't think they offered food. We just sat there in the sun.

I'm kind of skimming over the various tour cruises. They all kind of look alike to me.  You learn; you get morning tea; you eat fish and chips.  It all sounds great.

They have a New Years Cruise on Sydney Harbour. This one aint cheap. It's $550 per person. Yikes!  It does have an open bar, though; also music and lots of fancy food. It might be worth the money for me if I drank and enjoyed fireworks.

This page of the website has information on chartering a boat. It includes a PDF with menus and prices.

I'm trying to understand it. I think you pay a certain price for a boat, and then the menu would be an add-on.

The cheapest boat is $450 per hour and the most expensive is $550.

The $450 boat is the M.V. Emily Melvey. It fits about 50 people for a sit down meal and about 80 if your people are just going to stand around doing the cocktail thing.

There are two toilets on board. I guess that would be enough for 50-80 people. It's probably more than what you get on an airplane.

If you have a bigger party in mind, you can charter the M.V. Zarapito or the M.V. Bayrunner.  They can each fit about 120 people.

Now I'm going to look at the menus.

Fish and chips is $18.50 per person. This includes fish, chips, salad, and then you have to choose between watermelon or truffles. I'd want both, thank you very much.

The Cabin Boy menu is $22 per person and includes various appetizers. It's like fruit, cheese, veggies, olives....that kind of thing.

The Bosun...I think it's the same meal you get for the New Years cruise. Or at least it's similar. Both have an offer of vegetarian quiche.  If you're not vegetarian, you can have salmon or beef. The price for the Bosun is $45 per person.

One of the things you can charter the Hawkesbury cruises for is your wedding. You can have a large grand affair with 120 guests and the whole meal thing. That's about $6000. I don't think that's too awful in terms of weddings. It's cheaper than our Disney World wedding.

You could also have a small casual affair with 50 or so of your favorite people eating fish and chips. That would be about $1400.  That sounds fairly reasonable to me.

Wait! Oops. I missed two of the menus.

They have the Captain, which is the same price as the Bosun. It has a similar menu, but instead of salmon or beef, there's a chicken or beef.

The Admiral is $60 per person. You get oysters and prawns, plus some ham;this along with beef and chicken. And all these menus include the vegetarian quiche.

Now here's something I forgot and why I managed to come up with a very affordable wedding on these boats. Alcohol!

If you want a full open bar, it's $12 more per person.

Well, that's not too much actually.

For the most expensive menu plus drinks, it would be about $9000 (including price of the boat charter).  But then you have to add in the damn wedding dress, the flowers, music, wedding favors, etc. That's how it goes up in price.

But if you're smart (unlike I was) you can have a nice simple affair.

If I could do it over again, I'd have something very small and simple. That's not to say I didn't have a great time at our wedding. And I loved planning it...probably as much as I love planning vacations. But it was too much about the party and entertaining our guests, and not enough about love, commitment, romance, etc. Plus, the crazy thing is neither Tim and I had a lot of friends. So most of the guests at the wedding were my parent's friends! There were a very few number of my friends, a few of Tim's friends, a little bit of Tim's family, some of my relatives, and the rest were my parent's people.

Well, I can't change the past. But I can hope for better in the future. So I hope if Jack gets married, he'll have something that's much different. That might not be the case, though, since it's the bride's family who usually pays for and controls everything. Well, hopefully they'll be the type of people who like simple things. Unless Jack wants a huge wedding. Then hopefully he'll marry a rich person, or a person with a rich family who likes to throw big parties.

Anyway, I think I'm done with this post. I'm going to quit, and go play my Google Maps trip planning game.