New Year’s Eve is usually a slow build to an all-night party, but for Karl and Todd (the boys from LA) an early start saw them full of beans as we set off on a fabulous adventure plunging the Mornington Peninsula.
On the drive down, the boys had a platter of fresh Red Hill berries before a wine tasting at Willow Creek's new pop-up cellar door.
We then walked Flinders Pier to grab a bag of dripping fresh mussels from Harry the Mussel Man. These went straight into ice in the back of the Plunge mobile.
In brilliant sunshine, we drove to Barn & Co via Willow Creek Winery where gorgeous Geraldine McFaul gave the boys a tasting of her 2015 Chardonnay out of barrel. Todd rated this tasting (a world first for both he and Karl) his favourite wine of the trip!
Barn & Co is the hottest meal ticket on the Peninsula right now and despite the pressures of New Year’s Eve, Chef Bernard McCarthy prepared the mussels along with five other dishes teamed with some tasty local wines: Foxey’s Hangout Pinot Noir and a perky Chardonnay from Allies.
During lunch, sisters, Maia and Sage sang duets while their proud mum, Maitre'd, Rachel McCarthy, was ever the charming host. As we left for Stonier Wines, the mercury hit 38° so, after a tasting and some quick sightseeing in Merricks, we decided to head straight back to Flinders to cool off. Luckily the Plunge mobile was loaded up with snorkeling gear, towels and sunscreen!
It turns out, Todd and Karl are both excellent divers. Karl produced some amazing form that he’d obviously honed while on the US diving team with the great Olympian Greg Louganis.
The Flinders crowd gathered, hooting and hollering as these amazing athletes climbed the hand rail for perfect dives; somersaults, pikes and twists. Yes, you can actually plunge into the ocean on a Plunge tour!
After snorkeling for weedy sea dragons, we drove to Balnarring Beach for a shower and a chilled flute of icy cold Peninsula sparkling. We all then kicked-back on the Topsy deck with Leigh Houliston and friends.
Returning to St Kilda before 7pm, the boys started preparing for a 4am flight to New Zealand. A busy schedule for two charming people!