Iluka, not much rhymes with that.

Thu 12 Nov 2009 22:25
Wednesday, 11th December
Location; Iluka Bay, 29:24.79S 153:21.08E
Crossing the Clarence River is the equivalent of sailing over from Falmouth to St Mawes in the Fal Estuary, back in Cornwall. Iluka lies to the North, and is just a small settlement, with a bit of fishing going on; and tourism: aimed at the Grey Nomads, not the Surfers. A low training wall tames the rivers currents, and Iluka Bay lies behind this wall, a totally protected anchorage, and very pretty, and no marina fees! I'm topped up with fuel and water, so no need of shoreside luxuries for a day or two now. Ilukas claim to fame is the southernmost rainforest site in Australia. I did go into this at dusk, and although there was no sign of any rain, there were plenty of big fat black mosquitos, so I beat a hasty retreat to the 'Hotel'. Before wine bars were invented, there were only two places that Australians could get a drink: Hotels and Clubs. Clubs may pretend to be Sailing Clubs, Bowling Clubs or whatever the locals mostly get up to. In fact they cater for anyone who will use the pokkies (slot machines), pay the membership fees, and wear smart casual in the evenings. We have been to lots of Clubs: as we live more than five miles from all of them, we sign ourselves in as visitors for free. Hotels (Pubs) cater for everyone else whose circumstances dictate that they need a drink: old soaks particularly. I attract these folk: you sit in the quietest corner with your Sydney Herald, and they wander over, sit next to you, and froth and spittle over the newsprint.. Hotels don't miss out on the Gaming Industry, one of the rooms will look like the inside of a UK betting shop: screens showing racing from all over, torn betting slips on the floor, and a general air of despondancy/desperation, but here you can drink up just as your losses mount up: perfect. The Sedgers Reef Hotel at least offered great views of the bay, but was one of those places littered with signs informing potential customers what they are not allowed to do: 'absolutely no parking here'  'customers own food not to be eaten at these tables' (it's OK if you have stolen it?). These things are worse than Graffiti: examples abound in the UK: Cafes in Ambleside and on Plymouth Hoe spring imediately to mind, there must be other ways of controlling your customers? Back on board for vegetable stir fry with soy sauce, garlic, and honey. Usually this sauce comes from a packet, but Conny doesn't like these things, on account of the e numbers, so I will experiment a bit out here. The big thing about Asian food is the amount of sugar in their sauces. Honey doesn't seem so 'bad' as spoonfuls of refined sugar!!