Gladstone - Making the most of what you have!

Mike and Liz Downing
Thu 4 Jul 2013 12:07
So what do we visit today? Is it the power station, the aluminium smelter, the coal terminal, the new LNG construction, or possibly the cement works! They run free industry tours here. Whatever the construction, Gladstone seems to have one of the biggest in Australia. It has to be one of biggest 'high visibility jacket' cities in the world - every 3rd person seems to have a dayglo yellow or orange jacket on. Construction is going on everywhere.
When looking at all the ships waiting to come in, which we thought were all coal ships, we did spot a fully loaded ship and we passed an empty ship leaving. These couldn't be coal ships. Although coal accounts for 70% of the shipping, bauxite is shipped in to be processed for aluminium production.
All this industry, but (so far!) the air has been fresh with no hint of pollution. The marina is in a park setting with lots open grass, Norfolk Pines, boardwalks and buildings that are reminiscent of New England wood construction, painted white and blue. The water is so sheltered here that the boat never moves. The facilities are great and it's only a relatively short walk into town. It couldn't be better. The marina launderette is easily the best we've ever encountered and everything is being washed - even all our Musto foul weather gear (normally scared it'll get damaged and/or leak).The coal loading terminal is not that far away, you can see all its lights at night, but again, so far, we've had no dust on the boat.  
It's definitely warmer here - short sleeve shirts during the day and even shorts at times. So far it's been sunny most days and it's lovely and warm in the sun. We must be going in the right direction!
Sunset on passage to Gladstone.  (Genoa poled out - foreguy, aftguy, topping lift and sheet.)
The BBC gets everywhere!
What you get when trying to take pictures of dolphins without using video!
Quite an armada anchored outside the port (each ship in the two groups being one mile from
the next ship).
The still waters of the marina.
The marina shower block.
The marina's main office.