Thursday, November 07, 2019

A busy week in Bundaberg - our (Re)Introduction to Australia

[Kyle]We spent a whole week in Bundaberg after arriving in Australia. It is hot and flat and reminded us a little of the Outer Banks on the east coast of the USA. That is, of course, except that everything is different. So it was the Outer Banks with Eucalyptus trees and Kangaroos.

Our first Kangaroos, Dressing up for a party and meeting new friends, and a splendid cultural welcome from the Taribelang Cultural Aboriginal Corporation

We divided our time between boat chores and exploration (The local 'Bundy' Rum distillery offered us 2 for 1 entry - so it definitely got a visit

We did the usual chores in town. It was nice to get to proper stores that actually stocked what we wanted, not just what was available. We bought some new tools and got some of the foods we have been long missing. We got our spinnaker repaired and I replaced out dead wind turbine with a brand-new one.

The local bird life has been enthralling us
What is common and boring to the locals is novel to us

We got out the bikes and had a way-too-long ride down the coast. We also went into town to see the Bundaberg Rum distillery, the Aviation Museum and many of the parks. At the end of our week, there was a big party for the Go West rally participants. I went in my kilt, which is always a good conversation starter. Then they had a raffle and we won a free haulout! Woo, hoo! That’s the next bottom paint job sorted, then.

We joined the guys aboard Mahana' for a trip to Childers "Snakes Downunder Reptile Park & Zoo"
Huge thanks to Nic & Caitlin

Lunch and the Pharmacy Museum in Childers town

We broke out the bikes and took a ride along the coast
via Mon Repos (famed for its turtle nesting)
On the way we stopped in at the local Volunteer Marine Rescue center to see how it's done

In the grounds of the Botanic garden Kyle spent a LOOOONG time with the simulators at the Aviation Museum
& amazingly he had them all to himself

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Passage to Australia

[Kyle]We had a somewhat easy week to Australia. It had been over five months since we had spent that much time at sea, but we fell into our normal routines easily enough.

Mixed seas on the passage

Visit from a tropic bird

The passage was a bit too windy on either end, with a slightly too-calm middle that allowed us to rest in between.

One evening we had a visit from a Boobie determined to take a restWe enjoyed several of his attempts to land which included a few slides down the spinnaker before he finally made it and settled for the night

After the rough leg into Hervey Bay, we arrived into Bundaberg in the wee hours. The harbor approach is well-charted and almost too well lit. Those flashing blue lead-in lights are a bit on the bright side. We anchored across from the marina, where we snuck in a few hours of rest before being assigned a berth in the morning for clearance.

The officials were friendly and efficient. The biosecurity guy poked around a lot and looked at all of the wood he could find, but he didn’t ask us to dismantle or unload anything to get a better look. The whole process took maybe forty minutes. One unlucky boat had two rats aboard, that had been picked up at the marina in Port Moselle. Not only did that trigger a very thorough inspection by the officials, but they also chewed through electrical, hydraulic and steering lines before being hunted down. I guess it was good we had anchored in Baie des Citrons after all.