Gold Coast

Fri 2 Oct 2009 03:24
Friday 2nd october 2009
Position 27:58.0S 153:25.0E
Well, we have moved on, but not far. Hit of last weekend for me was the open air concert at the Northshore Park: a disconcerting journey for those relying on public transport, but we made it through streets of industrial wasteland to the Northeast of the city, and after a long bus ride. The Australians do this sort of thing rather well. Trashing the classical orchestral repertoire in a way that leaves Classic FM just scratching the surface. Anyway we had Ludwig Van, lots of George Gershwin, and period Russian Soldiers setting off the canon at the end of the 1812. Great fun, and Charlie was in charge of supper from the food stalls, always reliable in this department!  Poor Mark had the short straw, guarding the boat back in Brisbane, from the drunk and ticketless would be pop concert goers at the Parklife event in the botanical gardens. Although only a stones throw from the boat the noise from the treble speakers were directed away to the north, leaving Mark with a constellation of subwoofers to contend with. Didn't Dad do well!!
Gold Coast- The colour of the sunsets around here? No, of course not, this is Australia. The term was coined, pun intended, to describe what you need to live here, especially in Southport Yacht Club Marina, where we have taken up temporary residence. We should have anchored in Bum's Bay (They certainly don't welcome the poor around here), but needed to top up our water and fuel, and Charlie needed to wash her hair. Now that we are here the lure of shoreside toilets and showers, unlimited water on board for cooking and washing, and 240 volt electricity for Marks 24hour computer use is seductive. It is also rumoured that the waterways police check out the occupants of Bum's Bay to make sure that they are not discharging their toilets overboard; and no, I don't know how they do this. Anyway, the washing machines here have been on overtime, and at last our clothes and upholstery are clear of the red dust from last weeks storms. 
We are 40 mins walk from Surfers Paradise - the epicentre of this sprawling holiday coastline. 'Surfers' is described in the Lonely Planet (how inapropriate that they should have visited!) as flashy and trashy.. I find that I have nothing to add.
We got here via the waterways behind the Stradbroke Islands. Very attracive and similar, but at the same time different in character, to the Great Sandy Strait. Unintentionally we spent two days here, one of them stranded on a sandbank off the shoreside community of Cabbage Tree Point. Not that anyone there seemed to care or notice. The nights were dreamy: complete calm (how did we ever cope with those Pacific swells) and isolation, unless you count the pelicans. Generally low lying sand Islands, and lots of Mangroves, and I am afraid some sandflies. As we travelled further south the whole experience changed dramatically: high rise buildings appeared on the shore, and all manner of fast and noisy watercraft, from jetskis to gin palaces, left us wallowing in their wakes.
I am now stuck here with a strong winds forecast ahead of the next southerly change. Even on my own I would not really fancy a gale, especially with steep seas over the shoal waters off the coast. And we have all lost our sea legs......So once again discretion becomes the better part etc etc. I am however getting very frustrated by our slow progress. It is still a long way to Sydney, and it will be much harder coming back.
Despite the absence of pork pies and pork sausages Mark has managed to pick up a mild dose of swine flu. Mum's the word as far as the Authorities are concerned, as Fleck awaits the inevitable epidemic!! To pass the time we plan a further budget busting exercise: a days car rental to get us into the hinterland and perhaps some of the wineries. Should be a great trip, unless the rumours of a further dust storm come true.
We were upset to learn about the Tsunami, which has had no effect down here that I know of. We were of course in Tonga last year, for several reasons a highlight of many in the Pacific.