Although we have felt our dinghy is less than welcome in most places in Australia, we have met many very nice and friendly people in Australia. Last week, we had a kayak drop by the back of our boat and a couple named Ernie and Helen introduced themselves. They were intrigued by the “Wilmington, North Carolina” hailing port on Tahina.
It turns out that the two on the kayak are local working Australian medical doctors who did some of their studies in the Americas. One went to Duke in Durham, and the other did some studies in Toronto, Canada. One of their kids is living in North Carolina now. They had looked us up on the Internet after first noticing our boat, and were very intrigued to read our story.
They had taken note of our issue with the dinghy, and very kindly offered to let us use a boat dock behind their house which is in the Sydney Harbour not far from our current anchorage. Not only that, but they offered to help us with another dilemma we have been having.
Although Australia is embracing recycling in many places. They don’t seem to focus attention on making recycle bins publicly available. There are rubbish/trash bins in the park like you would expect, but almost never recycle bins (exceptions we have seen are in the zoos, and the mall food courts). In housing developments and marinas, we have found bins – but with signs saying they were not open to the public and that fines would apply if used by non-residents. A public fuel dock we used did not have rubbish or recycle bins. They told me it would become a nuisance, and too expensive, if they had public bins there. People would over fill the bins. I’m thinking there is a reason for that…not enough bins available to the public.
As a result of this challenge, we had accumulated over a month of recycle-able goods on Tahina. Thankfully, our new friends offered to let us use their bins for our collected recycles. And, they also treated us to a barbie (BBQ) dinner at their beautiful 150-year old home. The best part is when we arrived by dinghy at their house, they had the North Carolina flag flying on their flag pole!