Year 5 Day 129 Cairns!
09 June 2012 | Marlin Marina, Cairns, AU
Dave/ Sunny Again!
One of our major milestones along the Australian coast has always been Cairns. We have been told by many people that it is the best and one of last places to provision before leaving Australia. While we plan on also provisioning some in Darwin, we have been told that things are much more expensive there since Darwin is rather isolated up in the Northern Territory and everything needs to be shipped a great distance to get there.
Well, today we arrived in Cairns. The sail up from Moresby River was fine and we actually had enough wind for a few hours to sail without the engine running, which was very, very nice. The sun was out the whole time and by mid morning it had warmed up the enclosed helm on the flying bridge deck so that we could remove our sweatshirts and be comfortable. We are still struggling with the concept of being north of 17 degrees south and it still is cold outside. We know that it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere but we are well into the tropics and had anticipated warmer weather. It is in the lower to mid 60's in the mornings and with the wind chill factor, it feels like it is in the 40's or 50's. We actually sleep with two blankets on us.
Since we want to do major provisioning, we have decided to stay in the marina here in Cairns. It is right next to the Central Business District and shopping is very convenient. As we turned into the marina and approached our dock, we were greeted by our friends Marian and David of S/V Kilkea. They had arrived yesterday. They ran over to our slip and helped with the dock lines. There was a good cross breeze and a strong cross current but we came in just fine and in no time were tied up and giving and received hugs with our friends.
John and Cheryl of S/V Sea Mist arrived at Cairns about an hour before us but they have decided to anchor in the channel across from the marina. However, they are close by and we plan on seeing them a lot while we are all here. They will be staying about 5 days while Kilkea and we will be staying a week.
To celebrate our reunion with Kilkea, the four of us went out to dinner. We had invited John and Cheryl to join us but Cheryl was a bit tired. We too were tired but since we could just about trip and fall into the restaurant from our boat, we decided that eating out was easier than cooking in. Plus, what cemented the concept was the fact that Kilkea had a coupon that gave 50% off the food and DRINKS at the restaurant. Man, we just could not pass up a fine evening with friends and great savings to boot!
The restaurant, Sauces, was very reasonably priced without the discount, the service was very good and the food was delicious. We spent the evening catching up with David and Marian, swapping stories, making jokes and just having a grand old time. Reunions with fellow cruisers are always such sweetness.
We have not made any plans yet for tomorrow and it most likely will be a day of rest with some cleaning of the boat. I need to give the deck a good washing and scrubbing. Without the daily multiple rains that we had in May and the fact that each of our most recent anchorages have been in mud, the front of the Leu Cat is rather spotty with mud that came up with the anchor and chain. Usually, I wash it off with our deck hose as the anchor comes up but we have been leaving each morning in the dark so I just have not bothered. It now looks rather disgusting and I am sure our neighbors are wondering from where these slobs have come from...
Techno-Tip Of The Week: Hoist That Dongle!
I owe this techno-tip to our good friend John of S/V Sea Mist. We have found that when we were 20 to 30 miles from the coast of Queensland that we could not get Internet access through our Telstra dongle. This did not surprise me since we knew that many of the anchorages we were at did not have a cell phone tower and being out so far from the coast we were below the horizon of the cell phone towers that are along the coast of the mainland. For many of our days after leaving Bundaberg we were without Internet. As a cruiser, you quickly appreciated how wonderful and magical the Internet is. It lets you Skype to your kids who live halfway across the world from you, lets you order boat parts that are desperately needed when something breaks, and lets you surf the Internet for whatever information you crave.
Thus, any tricks that you can use to have access to the Internet are always greatly appreciated. Well, John came up with this trick that I would like to pass on to you. When he discovers that he cannot connect to the Internet through his dongle that is plugged into his computer, his removes the dongle, encloses it in a Zip Loc bag, ties a line around the dongle in the bag and then hoists it up his pennant halyard up to just below the first spreader. This is about twenty feet above his cabin. From this height the dongle can "see" the cell towers on the mainland and will connect to them. The Telstra dongle does not have to be plugged into your computer to work but will automatically connect to it through its wifi capabilities. The battery in the dongle will last up to about 6 hours (at least mine does) before you need to plug it back into your computer to recharge it.
I think this is pretty slick trick that he came up with and he says that he has been connected Internet each day since leaving Bundaberg.