Preview of passage from Scarborough to Darwin

Scarborough to Darwin
Scarborough to Darwin
Scarborough to Darwin

The map above shows the area that we will sail through during the next two months. We will go from Scarborough (Redcliffe) near Brisbane in Queenland (the yellow icon) to Darwin, in the Northern Territory, the red icon. We will cover about 4000 kilometers (2100 nautical miles).

M.

Preparing for departure

Well, I finally have time to write a blog entry. We have been in Australia for 2 weeks now, and back on the boat for all but the first two days when we stayed at a cute little B&B (while our boat was still out of the water).  The boat got put into the water on Friday, the 15th of April and since then we have been working, working, working.  So much to do – even after we put in so much effort last November to make sure everything was in good shape.  I guess the boat just keeps aging and things start to fall apart more and more. (Kind of like us!)  Since we have been back Mark has had to fix the fresh water pump, install a new flush pump for the toilet, replace the manual bilge pump, re-attach the auto-pilot, replace all the fresh water hoses, flush and clean the yucky, filthy bilge (where we found among other things a couple of long lost screwdrivers), install a new remote control for the autopilot and other instruments – then as part of just normal boat preparation we had to  re-attached the back-stays, lift the mizzen boom, put up all three sails (which had been taken off for the season), change the water filters, re-insert the knot reader (speed instrument), refill the propane tanks, etc.,etc.  I won’t bore you with more of this, but Mark’s list was huge, and mine was equally long ( although maybe a bit more enjoyable as most of it involved buying and storing food!) The deck of our boat looks like a tornado swept through – but we hope to get the clutter put away tomorrow, finish up our provisioning, and actually start heading north on Saturday.

The weather fluctuates between beautiful and  nasty – with strong winds and lots of rain in the forecast for the next few days.  We are looking for a break in the bad weather to start heading north as we would like to get north to Lady Musgrave (a coral reef about 240 miles north of here) for our first stop.   This marks the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef  which we will sail along for the next 6 weeks or so….

Guess that makes all this hard work so worthwhile.

We will say good-bye to Scarborough Marina and the little town of Redcliffe where we have spent a couple of months each year since first arriving in Australia at the end of 2008.

L.

 

 

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Back to Australia

We are back in Scarborough, Queensland, Australia after a tiring set of flights from Providence. Instead of our usual two flights to get to Brisbane, we had four because of the limitations of our round-the-world airline ticket. As soon we arrived in Aukland, New Zealand we checked the monitor to see when our flight to Brisbane was leaving. We noticed that the monitor listed a flight that was already boarding and we wished we were on it since it was 3 hours until the next one. So we sat down to relax in the terminal for a while, and then i went scouting out a place for breakfast. As I came up the escalator, a uniformed flight agent was calling my name. How odd I thought. It turned out that we were on the flight that was boarding, and they were looking for us. They were also calling our name on the public address system. So we ran quickly to the farthest gate to get the on the plane that they were holding for us. We both thought we had a two hour layover in Aukland and did not bother to check out boarding passes on arrival. The only silver lining on this episode is the possibility that their holding the plane allowed our baggage to get transferred. All 250 pounds of our checked baggage made it on the plane. After our bags were X-rayed, the Australian security agent asked if we had a toilet seat in one of the bags, and why we did. The answer, that we had a boat, was good enough for him. I guess that they have seen enough “yachties” to know we pack odd gear with us. (The marine toilet seat we had cost us $16 in the US, but we were quoted $185 in Australia. Perhaps they plate them with gold in Australia).

“Sabbatical III” received it’s final coats of bottom paint today, and had the prop cleaned and coated with Prop-Speed. She goes into the water tomorrow (Friday) at 4 pm. It is a good thing that we booked the boat painting and launching early since it is a crazy period in the marina. The school holidays begin next week, along with the unusual juxtaposition of Good Friday/ Easter with ANZAC Day, resulting in a five day national holiday, plus next week is the start of an important ocean race. All the Aussie boats are trying to either get ready for the holiday, or get ready for the race. Finally, we posted some new video from last years cursing season on our web site. Go to our home page at http://www.sabbatical3.net and click on the new video link.

M.

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