06 July 2013 | Port Abel Marina, Airlie Beach, Qld
We’re now back in shorts aboard ‘Echo Beach’ after our circuit through Brisbane to Perth then Sydney and then back through Hamilton island.
Airlie Beach is very warm and humid after the cool fresh southern weather. There was a strong wind warning issued today for the coast with 30 knot winds for the rest of the week! - so we have decided to stay at the Port Abel Marina and just enjoy Airlie Beach.
We have met a few people here – already had drinks with Peter from ‘Valhalla’ (Dufour 385) at sunset yesterday. Peter is a past winner of Hamilton Island Race Week and will be competing again this year.
Ken Thackeray came over and introduced himself. Ken has ‘Mystique’ a sister ship to ‘Echo Beach’ – he has impeccable taste and an eye for good design! Ken and his wife Rhonda set up the Shag Island Cruising Yacht Club (SICYC) which now has over 2,000 members including GJ (Leanne will join tonight). SICYC was set up for fun and fund raising for prostate cancer and the membership is growing rapidly in Australia and overseas. Everyone that joins is appointed a Flag Officer (Vice Commodore) of SICYC so one of the side benefits is the privileges afforded when you travel to snobby yacht clubs that will only allow Flag Officers of visiting Yacht Clubs entry. GJ is Vice Commodore, Cottage Rock, NSW. The biggest privilege however is contributing to a great cause. There is also the opportunity to participate in lots of fun sailing events and sundowners. Ken invited us to the SICYC Sunday drinks at the Hogs Breath Cafe at Airlie Beach tonight so we will go along and Leanne will be signed up to a great cause. www.sicyc.org
Our trip went well – mission accomplished. We stayed in the Swan Valley though didn’t get time to visit one vineyard. We spent most time with GJ’s Dad and caught up with his sisters and many of their kids along the way. Weather was brilliant (though GJ worried about the WA wheat growers who look like they have yet another dry year). The mornings were very crisp for our walks (4 degrees is a bit of a shock after the tropics) around the golf course and the dry weather seems to have brought in huge numbers of kangaroos . It was good to see the growing band of bankers in the family – most banks now covered.
Sydney was a highlight – meeting grandson Josh for the first time – and seeing Myah who is growing up fast. It was also great to spend time with Belinda, Matt and Mandy. Josh enjoys his sleep during the day and wants to party at night - so we saw him at his most angelic time.
Time for our morning stroll around Airlie and we’ll see what this week brings – apart from the wind....