These are some scenes and signs from the last 10 days in Scarborough, Australia. We have spent most of the past 10 days getting Sabbatical III ready to get hauled next Thursday (Nov 19). There is a myriad of things to do (the list has 165 items), some of which are easy and take only a few minutes, and some of which are complicated. For exmaple, the problem with the feed pump to the watermaker was solved once I took some things apart and found an obstruction. The problem with the exhaust riser for the Yanmar diesel requires a new one which costs half as much in the US as in Australia, so we will just bring one back with us in May and replace it then.
It has become hot in the past few days. The midday sun brings up a sea breeze that exceeds 20 knots in the afternoon. We have taken advantage of the free electric BBQs scattered in the parkland along the shore to have quick, convenient, and cool BBQ suppers.
Here are some pictures from Brisbane and Mooloolaba. Australia is great – lots of sunshine, nice people and endless beaches. Also abundant restaurants and coffee shops. Lots of seafood – especially in Mooloolaba. Some amazingly fit people as well as a whole lot of overweight people. Looks a lot like the U.S. in that respect. Way too much good food around.
How did it get to be November already? We spent 8 days enjoying Brisbane – lots of great walks in that town. Now we have been in Mooloolaba for 4 days. We came up here to see our friends Intiaq.
They left New Caledonia a week after we did and we have not seen them since, although we have been in contact by e-mail. We knew they were planning to come to Mooloolaba at some point to leave their boat and fly home to Switzerland for a few months. We did not know, however, exactly when they would arrive in Mooloolaba. We decided to sail up and hopefully rendezvous with them for a few days. It turned out to be a great plan as we sailed into the here within 1/2 an hour of each other just by coincidence. It was a very nice reunion as they are always the most hospitable people. Karin immediately prepared us one of her beautiful gourmet meals and we have spent a fair bit off time with them. They are quite busy, however, getting ready for their departure which is going to be this Friday (tomorrow).
Mooloolaba is a great little place with a beautiful beach and lots of restaurants and a great boardwalk. Yesterday the beach was filled with dozens of iron-men and women – all doing the most extreme exercise at the beach. Whole groups of incredibly fit men and women were doing a routine where they would first run into the raging surf and swim to a buoy and back, then run around a marked off section of the beach, then grab their surf-board and paddle out to an even farther buoy and ride the waves back, then run around the poles on the beach again, and finally grab a sea kayak and paddle like crazy out to an even farther buoy. After seeing one round of this Mark and I were sure they would all collapse on the beach, but they just rested for about 60 seconds and then set off and did the whole thing over and over again. I have never seen such extreme physical fitness. Boy did we feel fat and old! We plan to leave here today and sail the boat down to Scarborough – at the marina where Sabbatical III will spend the season.