Waking up to the view of a fisherman 2 meters behind our camper was new to us. We watched him for a while and it seemed the fish were very good at taking his bait and not getting hooked, however he was probably just ripping their mouth apart by how hard he was yanking the rod each time he got a nibble.

It has to be said that Hayley is very good at throwing me off the scent of what we was doing today, I guessed sailing but she kept making me question it. As we approached the docks I started to get more and more excited and then she presented me a leaflet titled ‘Champagne Cruises’. I didn’t want a cruise I wanted to sail a yacht but she quickly turned over the leaflet and pointed at the “learn to sail” section on the back, learn to sail? I know how to sail I have read “Sailing for Dummies”!

The boat was a 36ft Dutch brand that the skipper, Michael, had hand built himself in his mothers back garden 17 years ago. Size wise it is almost identical to the boat we plan to buy when we finish this trip so I was really looking forward to getting underway. It was a private charter, meaning that it was only Hayley and I on-board with Michael. Today was a very windy day, 20 knots, and it was music to my ears when he said he had to reef the sail, it meant it was going to be a rough and fun experience.

As soon as we started to get out on to more open water we raised the mainsail, un furled the jib and trimmed them to our close hauled course (sailing 45 degrees in to the wind). As we left the seclusion of the harbour the waves really started to pick up and it was not long before water was spraying everywhere and coming over the bow. It was awesome!

A few tacks and a couple of jibes later we were heading back to the marina with huge grins on our faces and a couple of glasses of Champagne in our hands. Getting our yacht and setting sail to explore Europe cannot happen soon enough and I was really happy to see that Hayley enjoyed it.


Sailing is some hungry work so we thought we would take advantage of the free BBQ’s on the beaches so popped to Woolworths, grabbed some burgers and slapped them on the BBQ whist enjoying the picture perfect view over the Golden Coast beach.

Hayley now dropped the bombshell that it was time for my second present, how can she top the sailing? Turns out she had booked us into the best hotel in the area, Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise. Having a beautiful 1 bedroom apartment on the 39th floor with phenomenal views over the coastline was a real treat, but best of all it had a washing machine and dryer, alleluia! Dumping all of the most stinky clothes in for washing we started running a bath, it’s been way too long since we have had a good soak but didn’t really realise that bubbles in a Jacuzzi bath results in A-LOT-OF-BUBBLES!


After living in and out of a car for a month, and having spent the last week in a campervan we still didn’t feel clean so headed down to the spa to take advantage of the steam room and sauna before heading out to dinner.

On to present number three. Dinner was a scrumptious three-course meal with some sensational BBQ ribs. The service was horrific and we were in there for nearly two hours but Hayley confessed it was a Groupon so we didn’t really mind, after all this is the first restaurant meal we’ve had in weeks!