Mike goes home and Lynn has some fun

Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Thu 27 Aug 2015 06:17
Mike goes home and Lynn has some fun.
I apologise for the lack of recent updates, but here goes!  A difficult post with its stark contrasts!
We got back to Magnetic Island Marina on 24 July, waiting for further news of Mike’s mother. She had survived her stroke and was in hospital, but very weak and receiving life support.  While waiting for better news of her prognosis, we had the joy of attending our friends’ son’s 1st birthday party. We first met Lachlan when he was a few days old, and have seen him grow up so quickly, we feel like family.
lachlan balloons   cake
Lachlan with his balloons                                            Alberto (local Italian restaurateur) made a delicious ice-cream cake
Sadly the news soon thereafter was, that Mike’s mom was deteriorating, and we got him a flight home. He took the long trek, via the island ferry to Townsville, flight to Sydney, flight to Perth, flight to Johannesburg and then finally the flight to Cape Town.  On arrival Hayley (his daughter) picked him up and took him directly to the hospital where he was able to speak to his mom, and she knew he was there. For the next three and half weeks, Mike stayed in Cape Town, visiting his mom as well as using the time to write another private pilot’s exam and get in a few more flying hours.
The day after he left, I took my bike to Townsville on the ferry to look at the art exhibition on the Strand in Townsville – all kinds of amazing sculptures.
imagine    sand sculpture
For my fellow Scrabble lovers                                                                                       Huge sand sculptures .... just sand and water!
Back on the boat, I was getting on with life – and having a pretty good time.  Our immediate neighbours on the dock, Chris and Ian from s/v China Grove invited me over for drinks and we also tried out the local Mexican restaurant.
For some time I have belonged to a group on Facebook called “Women Who Sail Australia” – and through WWSA have made quite a few new friends. Deb and Bryan Hunter (sv Back Friday) took me under their wing and we had dinners, drinks, baking lessons and lots of laughs - with them and  Paul & Kathryn (sv Moor R&R) and Stephen & Sharon (sv Shiraz). Stephen and Sharon have a lovely apartment overlooking Nelly Bay and are keen yacht racers with the Townsville Yacht Club.  One Sunday they invited me to join then on the Ladies Helm race, which was good fun, but sadly we came next to last!   Memories of FBYC!
brian  IMG_2560
Bryan’s birthday at the local Thai                                                            Sharon, Deb and Kathryn, hiking on Maggie without me
Time 2 is in good shape, so there was not much I had to do with her while Mike was away, other than cleaning and a bit of an electrical issue. The voltage in Australia is 240v, a bit higher than the 220v which we are used to. As the marina was often running closer to 250v, it would trip our systems.  As Time2 has lots of “safety systems” on both the transformer and the inverters, I was not concerned about any danger – just irritated. So I did some investigation, got hold of the manufacturer who sent me the manual, and was able to re-set the parameters and sort out the problem. While monitoring the problem, another new friend, Helen  (sv Coomera), was helping me by texting me her inputs at regular intervals. Helen is living on her yacht alone while her husband works on the gas mines in Western Australia for weeks at a time, and I have enjoyed her company.
And the fun continued – I booked a long weekend down in Melbourne. A city I had not visited  since doing some work with Priceline in 2005, and was looking forward to catching up with old colleagues and friends.  It was a busy and very cold 5 days. I stayed with Richard and Melanie for the first few days and then with Wendy and Tony. Also managed to catch up with Simon & Jane (ex Cape Town) and Jo & John (sv Kirra Kirra) whom we met sailing last year. There was lots of eating, drinking,  and of course shopping – all things that Melbourne is famous for!
vietanmese   P1010870
Eating Vietnamese with Mel, Richard and Simon                                                        The iconic trams on Chapel Street where I stayed in ‘05
IMG_2475     jophn jo
Wendy & I love our bubbles!                                                                 Brighton Beach bathing boxes -   with John & Jo
Back on the boat, I had a week or so before Mike returned, so got a few chores done around the boat and a little more socialising.  Chris & Julie (mv Tick Tock) who live on the island invited me to join them and some friends for an dinner/ show evening at “Stagedoor” a local venue. It was a hilarious evening of music and dance, where I got called up on to the stage (my worst nightmare) . Hopefully the  video has been deleted!
The set was Purgatory, the  tune was “Viva Las Vegas”, the accents German, and ........ 
By late August Mike had to return to Australia.  The marina was hosting its annual yacht race and all the yachts not sailing, have to leave. Mike’s mother was still in hospital, with little improvement. With a heavy heart he had to leave, as we had to move Time2 out to the reef where we could anchor.