After successfully negotiating the curvy route up the intracoastal waters between Southport and Brisbane, and the power line that was just barely high enough for us go under (actually we had at least 16 feet of clearance), we arrived in Manly which is just south of Brisbane. Manly is home to a protected boat harbor with 4 marinas and a LOT of boats (even more slips were added than shown in the photo below):
We had heard our friends Mark and Dana of s/v Northfork had just arrived back to Brisbane after spending several months back in the US. They not only brought a ton of suitcases back with them, but also a 2 month-old son. We were hoping to visit with them, but they had a trip planned to Melbourne the next day. Fortunately, with jet lag they woke up really early the next day, and had time to come visit with us. We ended up going to town for brunch and getting to see them and the baby. It was good catching up as we had only seen them a little in Fiji and Vanuatu, the last real time together was in Christchurch before the earthquake.
Since we were already in town, we jumped on the train and went to the big city of Brisbane. We had been in touch with s/v Totem and s/v Callisto who are at the marina downtown on the river. After walking a bit at Streets Beach, we caught the city ferry and arrived at the marina. We spent most of the afternoon hanging out with Totem and Callisto. It was great catching up with them as well. A very busy day for us socially. It’s unusual if we visit one boat in a week, and we did THREE in one day! We reversed our course as the sun was setting and took the ferry, train, and then had to walk 1.5 miles back to our boat. Whew!
Since then, we’ve been spending a lot of time doing cleaning and other maintenance projects on the boat. A big one for me was cleaning off the dinghy. It got some serious yucky build-up on the bottom – especially while we were in Sydney. It took me two half-days of scrubbing to get most of the cleaning done, but the dinghy looks much better now.
We are trying to get the boat as prepared as possible before we leave for the US, so we have less work to do when we return. We need to quickly provision and move the boat up to the Whitsundays when we return. There won’t be time to do maintenance, or a lot of cleaning beyond maybe a boat wash-down.
We still have a long list of jobs to do in the next three weeks. It’s not going to be a lot of fun, but we hope to sneak off and do some sightseeing in Brisbane. We know of at least three crews coming here that we hope to see before we leave: Boree, Oso Blanco, and Kilkea (coming from New Zealand). That will help add to the fun as well.