November 5-7, 2011
These three days were spent putting items that we want to sell on various websites to advertise them for sale; answering phone calls and showing items to interested parties; determining the best way to get from Brisbane to Sydney to catch our flight home to San Francisco; making reservations for a flight from Brisbane to Sydney; selling our two kiteboards; and researching and making reservations for our Christmas stay in Kauai. We have decided to stay in Manly until November 16, when we return to the US. We have too many valuable items that we need to sell which will require our being available to show them plus we need to be around just in case we can help sell Dream Caper. We are sorry we won't be able to spend time in Sydney this time but 10 years ago we visited Sydney twice on two different trips. We will visit the Gold Coast and Brisbane area, making day trips when we can.
Notice the spikes on these bike helmets. We have seen this often and asked this friendly couple why. They are to detour the Magpies (birds) that swoop down on bicyclists who unknowingly get too close to nests and mating areas. Apparently these Magpies attack intruders by landing on their heads and pecking.
November 4, 2011 Friday
After researching the internet and making a few calls, we found a synthetic grass tennis court just a ½ mile from the marina near the Manly train station. It is in someone's backyard and he charges $10 per use, the money to be left in a mailbox. After 1 ¾ hours we exhausted ourselves and walked through the neighborhood back to the marina. We noticed lots of "tank in use" signs on fences in front of people's homes. We stopped to ask someone who explained the whole water shortage situation in Australia. A few years ago, there was a drought and the government encouraged installations of water tanks by heavily subsidizing them. The "tank in use" signs were put up to notify officials and neighbors that they were using tank water to irrigate their lawn and not city water which was prohibited. Last year in January, the drought turned to massive flooding. Now, the tanks are used to save having to pay for city water. We have found the Australian people to be very friendly and talkative. Steve stooped to pet a dog (Steve just can't let a dog pass by without touching it!) the other day and we had an interesting 15 minute conversation with the owners about their travels to the United States. The bicyclists with spikes on their helmets were very informative about the Magpie and Ibis birds, plus they had also traveled to the US. Often when Steve takes a load of garbage to the marina trash bins he returns 30 minutes later because he got to talking with some local.
These beautiful large birds are called ibises. However, the locals find them highly annoying because they come into the restaurants and picnic areas to scrounge food including jumping up on tables and getting too close to diners.
November 3, 2011 Thursday
We relaxed most of the day until the afternoon when the first set of interested buyers came by to look at the boat. We went for a walk until the broker called us to return to talk with the possible buyers who were favorably impressed with the boat but are also looking at other catamarans on the market. Dream Caper looks terrific but it is difficult living in a showroom which we have to always keep neat and clean just in case someone wants to take a tour. We've taken to "having a tub" Australian slang for taking a shower on shore so we don't have to keep cleaning our shower on board. We congratulated ourselves for enduring the first set of possible buyers and had a nice dinner at a local Thai restaurant.
Looking down on Dream Caper from the top of the mast. Notice Steve down below.
Portia in the boson chair with tool in hand ready to go up the mast.
November 2, 2011 Wednesday
Early in the morning before the winds kicked in, Portia went up the mast which is 60 feet high to cut the broken radio antenna wire attached to the top of the mast. Steve usually would perform this chore but because the repair (simply cutting the wire) was easy, Portia had the honors. Actually going up the mast is more strenuous for the person left below who has to hand crank the winch to lift the weight of the other person. However, it is a thrilling experience going up the mast not only because of the fear of crashing 60 feet to the deck below but because the view from above is unobstructed and expansive. In the afternoon, someone in a catamaran on the dock came by and bought our old spinnaker which did not fit Dream Caper although we used it a few times. It was from Steve's previous boat, a Catalina 42. We have a list of items for sale on the bulletin board in the marina's laundry facility. In the evening we barbecued steaks at the marina's barbecue area.
Steve, Brian & Cheryl under a Jacaranda tree in downtown Manly, Queensland, Australia
October 29-November 1, 2011
Saturday: Brian and Cheryl took the train to Manly where we had a delicious lunch at the MBTBC restaurant overlooking the marina. The city of Manly put on a Halloween celebration, Australian style, in the park next to the marina and the closed off main street, where they had kiddie rides and food stands, vendors and performance stages. After relaxing on Dream Caper for a few hours, we walked over to the evening parade which featured lots of vintage cars with draculas, witches and frankensteins waving, marching bands, and various groups of costumed people to the delight of bystanders 2-3 people deep along the parade route. Okay, so the parade was only 5 blocks long. Two bandstands featured local musical talent. After a good time was had by all, Brian and Cheryl hopped into a taxi to take themselves and our 50 pound rolling duffel bag to the train station back to Brisbane. They will leave for Sydney tomorrow to catch their flight to LAX. We have lots of items that we have accumulated in our 8 years of cruising and with the limited one checked bag rule we know we will exceed our allowance when we return to SFO in a few weeks. Brian and Cheryl had an extra bag allowance so we were extremely happy that they were willing to cart our filled duffel with them.
Sunday, Monday & Tuesday: We sorted through all of the stuff on Dream Caper. It was a chore. Lots went in the garbage or was set alongside the marina garbage cans (the boat cushions and rubber boots were taken by somebody before the garbage was picked up). Arnie and Jan, two local cruisers, allowed us to load their car with charity items which they will take to the drop off bins for us. We emptied and scrubbed all of the closets, cabinets and drawers and put back those items that will stay with the boat. We packed out of sight items that we will be taking back to the States with us and then we scrubbed and cleaned, scrubbed and cleaned, seemingly forever until the interior sparkled. With the woodwork and cabinets polished, the salon carpet washed and dried, and the countertops gleaming, the two yacht brokers toured Dream Caper on Monday and pronounced her in impressive shape for her age (12 years old). Clyde a diesel mechanic came by to arrange for making some minor repairs on the engines. On Tuesday, we scrubbed and cleaned the exterior of Dream Caper, polished all of the stainless steel, replaced the bilge pump in the port engine, and took more trash off the boat. Now Dream Caper is ready to show. She looks terrific. We are hopeful for a quick sale, but one never knows when that one person will come along. We hope it is soon.