Aus Mooching around Mooloolaba
Mooching Around Mooloolaba
It is not only humans who enjoy this Australian East Coast Seaside Resort; we awaken on Zoonie in the mornings to the sound of the local mynah birdsong, paddle-tailed bush turkeys pick over the tinder dry undergrowth for grubs and ospreys nest happily on the top of poles within easy reach of interested eyes and camera lenses.
It is easier to show you Zoonie’s ‘venetian’ canal mooring in the two photos from the chartplotter rather than try to explain it. On the way in we had to keep well right to enter as the sand builds up on the left side leaving scant sufficiency of depth even at high water. From the beach it is easy to see the lighter shallower area and is well worth a little study ready for our departure along with the ease of following the black line Zoonie laid on the way in.
Lynne and Geoff live in the house shore-side from us. Geoff had a good job with the World Bank and was living the life, fresh air, exercise, entertaining and travel when one day a stroke robbed him of all of that and despite trying to ask for clot busters in the hospital where he couldn’t make himself understood and is now wheel chair bound and highly dependent on Lynne and his carers. He can talk now and makes witty jokes and shows an interest in us and is very upbeat. He still works on the management of property he owns locally and at least he hasn’t had to leave his home. The adjustment must have been very tough. Where but for good fortune go you and I.
The young of today play water games and whizz around the canal next to Zoonie on their boards exercising and practicing under adult instruction, maybe to be tomorrow’s lifeguards. The lost fishermen of yesterday are remembered in bronze and families and couples of all ages love to be beside the seaside here either on holiday or living in the apartments of which there are many, or in spacious homes on the wide streeted leafy suburbs.
From the photos you can see how well the river is used and how popular it is as a living place. The little island of Minyama is joined to our landmass by a bridge over under and around which fishing takes place on a daily basis. Some river users get it wrong; the upended yacht anchored on a coral head or rock and fell off it as the tide receded. The owners were not on board and have been uncontactable since. The residents are sick of the ugly sight, maybe the owners are uninsured. We motored many times around to the free public pontoon in town in the tender and enjoyed seeing dinghies still sailing in the river. The ethos that all types of river users are welcome even to anchor for free amidst these million dollar homes is one thing I like about the place.
Rob has experienced some of his first bush tucker, Bush Tomato and Kanga Bangers with smooth skinned kumara potatoes and Clawson Stilton Cheese (Yep, all the way from Melton Mowbray). He spent the best part of one day in the hospital having tests for his giddiness, which turned out to be calcium crystals getting into the wrong part of his ear. Some physio on the spot and advice on exercises to do himself and he was soon back, thanks to Uber and chatting with the riggers who were measuring up for the new stays.
We soon found our local, the James Squire amidst the multitude of restaurants and bars facing the river and anchorage and watched the England v All Blacks Rugby match finding we were amidst more England than NZ supporters judging by the cheers.
We were happily caught up in the holiday atmosphere for a few days. There were jobs to be done on Zoonie and we decided while still held in the town awaiting our service providers that we would visit the city of Brisbane travelling by coach from here rather than take the time to cruise Moreton Bay with Zoonie and then have to come out again as time is of the essence if we are to make our Christmas in Tasmania rendezvous ready for crossing the Great Bight.
Jesse and Danny from Quin Rig came and laid out their tools kits on Zoonie’s freshly carpeted pontoon and replaced the five shrouds that were in the invisible process of becoming undone, single strands of steel were breaking beneath the swage. At some stage they have been overtightened, they are the shorter inner shrouds and are meant to be slightly slack ready to take up the strain of the masthead shrouds.
John brought our new auto pilot control box for the cockpit. The rusty liquid seeping from the unit and staining the white fibre-glass was a give-away and we are very grateful to John who discovered the unit was still under its three year warranty which expires in January, so saving us at least £600.
As soon as the work was done I got on to Greyhound Buses to book a day trip to Steve Irvin’s Australia Zoo on the Saturday and a return five day trip to Brisbane on the Monday securing a double ensuite room in the City Centre Youth Hostel for $444 (£225), on arrival we were in hostel/backpackers paradise and we could have done cheaper but I doubt we could have done better.