in Australia

CR and KN Williams
Sat 7 Aug 2010 06:33
21.07S 149.13E
13:00 Saturday 7th August
I suppose it's impossible to be jet-lagged at 5mph but nonetheless sleep deprivation and interruption for 8 days has left one a bit disoriented.
Nonetheless I feel able to comment on Australia as I have known it for 36hrs.
So far Oz seems to compose mainly of 'NO's: NO unaurtherised vehicles, NO scooters, cycles, NO alcohol past this point, NO alcohol before this point, NO reversing vehicles off the pontoon, NO more than two vehicles on the gangplank at one time( why not just say 'NO idiots'?), NO entry (of course) and NO exit (?why). Since they only seem to drink beer, they also are obsessed with booze; alone amongst the many countries we've visited, you can't buy it in supermarkets.
America and England are said to be two two countries divided by one langauge.
This may also be true of Oz; seeking a bottle of wine we were directed to a 'bottle shop' and trying (unsucessfully) to buy a local SIM card, Clare was sent to the 'smoke' counter ( where they also sell cigarettes). I no longer resent being addressed as 'mate'. That being said the Australians themselves are delightful and are really sorry when can't do what you want (unlike the French who simply say 'desolee'). The whole place reminds me of Hatch End where I was born (nr Pinner, nr Harrow, nr London, Endlandland) in the 50's:  they don't actually have opening hours but do as near as dammit; they are all complaining because as of 7 weeks ago, they are allowed to open shops on Sunday. Most of the places you want are shut whenever you go.
I can't do much mending because all the chandleries are shut (the gas solenoid has bust which means we can't cook).
Keith has omitted to mention that it is Saturday so hopefully stuff will be open on Monday.
 I knew the health and safety people were special but they exceeded my expectations...Luckily Keith was a complete star and stayed calm and helpful throughout. I nearly lost it as the chap checked all the lockers and the bilges for termites and examined all rice, pasta etc..He was thrilled to find a tiny dead insect in some rice that had been deep filed in a locker. When he told us that Australian butter was O.K. but French butter may have BSE I realised this was a no win situation.
The marina is nice with a selection of restaurants which is good as the cooker is not working. Thank goodness the gas packed up as we arrived here and not at sea.