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Date: 09 Nov 2012 09:51:32
Title: Bundy scrubbers

We're still in Bundaberg, or Bundy as it is affectionately known by the locals. We had hoped to be on our way to Sydney by now but we are still waiting on some paperwork that we need in order to clear customs. Mystic is currently prevented from leaving port as part of the importation process which we have to complete in order to sell the boat in Australia. 

There are some silly rules here, and by far the most ridiculous one is that we have to apply for a gas license from the "Department of Ozone gases" because we have a fridge on the boat which uses gas refrigerant which means we are a "gas importer". This in itself is new information to me - why on earth would the fridge have gas in it? Apparently it is used to do the cooling. Who knew?! Anyway, the levy for the tiny amount of gas our fridge uses comes to the grand sum of $2.46, and in order to pay this, the application fee is $400. WHAT?! Anyway, we are waiting for the man from the department of funny gases to grant us our permit, and only then will the government accept our generous payment of $10,000 import duty. Fun times!

It's ok though, as we've been having a "great time" cleaning the boat. This is not like cleaning your house. Not even close. The boat has so many compartments and sneaky hiding spots, and is made from so many different materials that all require different cleaning products, that it is much more demanding. And it's 30 degrees. We've made a good start though, although it can be very hard to get motivated! Archie has done some awesome work on the deck - we have found a wonder product from the chandlery which is making light work of it. A little acid goes a long way! I've been cleaning the bilge (that's under the floor boards for you non-boaty types) which has been a delightful mixture of cockroaches and grime. Yummy. We've had a bit of a roach issue recently, after 8 months of being so careful about bringing cardboard onto the boat, somehow the buggers found a way onboard in Vanuatu, and multiplied like, well, cockroaches. On my recent trip back to Sydney I bought some traps which are doing the job and most of them are dead now.

The good news is that we passed our termite inspection today (another Australian requirement, another $600) and are officially termite free. They don't seem to care about any other bugs which is quite bizarre.

Despite the complaining about importation procedures and cleaning, we are loving being back in "civilisation" and our trip to the supermarket in town was a joy! Fresh milk, strawberries, crunchy nut cornflakes, broccoli and haloumi. Hurrah! (not all at the same time…) The marina here is full to bursting, with a lot of boats from the rally here and not moving on because of the weather. We actually got the very last berth available, after they moved a boat whose owner hadn't paid his rent, in order to accommodate us! It's a really nice marina, quite new with very friendly staff, and has a good restaurant, chandlery, laundry and free bus into town. 

There is a big southerly wind coming up the coast over the weekend so we couldn't really have got further than Fraser Island even if we'd been able to leave today, so we are staying in the marina for the weekend, and then will hopefully be on our way on Monday. We will sail through the sandy straits between Fraser Island and the mainland, which is meant to be beautiful, and then we will probably hotfoot it down to Sydney, maybe stopping in Coffs Harbour for a night if we need to escape any inclement weather. The rally organisers gave a talk yesterday about anchorages south of Bundy and how to get through the sandy straits which are very shallow in parts. We had initially thought we couldn't get through but apparently it is easy, and because it's Australia, very well marked. There are even local volunteer radio operators that will give us gps co-ordinates to get over the shallow bar at the end! 

We hope to get to Sydney next weekend. WE CANNOT WAIT to see everyone and get Mystic through the heads!!! 

Mystic looking sparkly in Bundy marina

Results of our toil - anyone looking to buy a yacht?

The galley all scrubbed up

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