Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Back in Australia: Gold Coast

Since coming back from New Zealand, we have been hanging out in the Gold Coast, and more recently, in Brisbane. When we got back, we spent a week in the marina at The Boatworks, doing some additional engine work and repairs. We were thrilled with how nice Cool Runnings looked after her 3 weeks at the “spa”. She was clean and shiny, with a polish, new bottom paint, and work done on the engines and sail drives…ready to cross another ocean...thanks Craig and his team at Signature Yacht Services and Shed i-16!

In the shed, all sparkly clean!

In the slings in the travel lift – getting ready to be put back into the water

Almost back in the water

The dinghy gets a clean while the cover is repaired

We felt quite at home there. The Boatworks supplies a courtesy car for people staying in the marina, so we were able to shoot off to the shops, and do a bit of shopping and visiting here and there. It is a great service, and made it almost too easy to continue staying there!

This is the "yute" that we got once (here they call "bakkies" or "trucks" "yutes" as in utility vehicle)

And this is me in my little Hyundai!  Like I said, we felt quite at home!!  Thank you, Boatworks for a great service

Our first big engagement once back in Australia, was the “Builder’s Reunion”. Amazingly enough, almost half of Dave’s Building Management graduating class lives in Australia, and thanks to the efforts of Brian Chambers, the chairman and founder of “Dave’s sailing fan club”, we were able to enjoy a reunion with 7 former university mates in total! Brian Chambers and Gavin Cubbin live on the Gold Coast, Richard Wilkinson lives in Brisbane, Andrew Dudley lives in Sydney, Kevin Pickering lives in Perth, and Les Gorvett lives in New Zealand. Thank you to all of you for making the effort to come to this reunion…especially those that flew in: Andrew from Sydney (and a special thanks to his daughter Katherine, who shared her dad with us on her 18th birthday weekend); Kevin who flew in from Perth, and Les who flew in from Auckland, New Zealand! We had a very special time with all of you!

Friday night was dinner at Gavin’s. Thanks to Gavin and his wife Sue for hosting us, and for the delicious curry dinner (bunny chow!). Then on Saturday, we went for a bit of a spin on Cool Runnings and had boerewors on the BBQ.  We flew the drone again for the first time in a long time (You Tube video to follow at some point!), and the builders all had a swim.  On Saturday night, we all went to Brian’s house, where we had a “make your own pizza” night with the pizzas baked in his very own pizza oven. It was so good to catch up with everyone again, almost like old times, but, amazingly enough, a little calmer. You guys are not getting old, are you??!!

Drone pic of Cool Runnings with builders on board!

Cooling off in the Broadwater:  Kevin, Andrew, Gavin, Les and Dave

Builders reunite!  Richard, Kevin, Brian, Andrew, Gavin, Les, and Dave

Gaby makes her pizza in Brian's pizza oven

The next big event to report on, was the day that Ben and Gaby got to spend at a real school! Thanks again to Brian Chambers for organizing this!! I’ve posted Gaby’s account of her day at school under the “Kid’s Cabin” tab, so please feel free to read it there! We rifled through our belongings to try and resemble a uniform, and they packed their backpacks and lunchboxes, and off they went to spend a day at Rivermount College! It was a wonderful experience for both of them, and a big thank you to Carla for coming to pick them up and to Brett and Annie for looking after them at school!

Ready to go!

Who gets to go to school in a dinghy?  

With Brett and Annie Chambers

The second weekend back William and Pascalle Voerman and their kids Alec and Cameron joined us on the boat. The Voermans showed us their backyard, and we had a great time anchoring at Jumpin Pin on Saturday afternoon, and then moving the boat closer to Tippler’s, a popular local boater’s destination, where we spent Saturday night and most of Sunday. At Tipplers, we saw wallabies, which always makes us happy!

Stunning landscape at low tide

Amazing sand dunes

The kids had fun on the dunes

Gaby makes a sand angel!

The parents enjoy a beverage…now, it looks as if only Dave and I are partaking, but I have evidence that Pascalle was enjoying a glass of wine too!

See…Pascalle actually has 2 wine glasses!!  (OK…full disclosure…she was holding mine while I took photos!!)

With William and Pascalle back at the boat

Ben and Gaby enjoyed playing Blackjack!  (no real money changed hands!)

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and we headed back up the Coomera River, dropping the Voerman family off at Coomera Waters Marina, and we went back out into the river onto a mooring buoy.

We spent one more week on the Gold Coast, taking advantage of William and Pascalle’s hospitality, doing a bunch of washing at their house, using their internet, and then on the last weekend, borrowing Pascalle’s car, so we could do a big shop at Aldi!

A dinghy full of supplies...and that's just the 1st trip...two more full dinghy loads after this!

Our final farewell of family and friends on the Gold Coast was on Sunday, March 19th. In the pouring rain on Sunday morning Dave Taylor came to pick us up, and we met with the Taylor/Smith families at Burleigh Beach for breakfast. Then Warren and Camilla, Tanner and Sage came back to the boat to drop us off, and also so that Camilla and the kids could see the boat, which they had not had a chance to do previously.

Bye Warren, Camilla, Tanner and Sage!!

 Later that afternoon, the Voermans fed us once again, and we had a lovely BBQ at their house, together with some of their South African/Australian friends.  A special thank you to William and Pascalle for everything you did for us, for your hospitality and friendship. We will miss you guys!!

Gudrun, Joe, Pascalle, William, Brenda (with Stitch), Dave, Paul and Bridget

The Gold Coast had become like our second home, and it was so easy to just continue to stay, but we had to start heading north, and we wanted to still explore Brisbane, because we had missed it on the way down. We had planned to spend just a few days in Brisbane, but Cyclone Debbie had other plans…more on that in the next post!

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