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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May 19 - 23rd, 2011 The Gold Coast and the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show

Leaving Yamba for the Gold Coast we heard from our friend, Russell Meggitt that he and some of his mates were heading up for the big boat show at Sanctuary Cove. Within the same few hours we received a message from our friends Paul and Gloria (s/v Scallywag) that they would be flying over to Gold Coast from NZ to man the sales team of the Fontaine Pajot exhibit. They wanted us to meet up with them and offered us boat show passes. Having good times to look forward to at Gold Coast, we arrived abuzz with new energy.  Russell secured a berth for us through a friend of a friend's brother at the already full South Port Marina. It is the place to see and to be seen. As we were berthing, Russell phoned to tell us he and his mates were waiting for us in the bar while watching us try to get into the berth…thanks for the help, guys.  We joined the boys for happy hour, as one of his mates whispered into my ear that many famous locals were present in the yacht club this night. He seemed to know them all. We were introduced to Rob Mundle, an Australian journalist, sailor and author who has written several bestsellers relating primarily to life and adventure on the sea.  One of his most famous books is titled, "Fatal Storm", about the tragedy of the 1998 Sydney-Hobart Race. After visiting with Rob for a while, he introduced me to his dear friend, Kay Cottee. If you are not a sailor, you may not know of Kay. She is the first woman to sail singlehandedly, unassisted, nonstop around the world on her 37-foot sailing yacht Blackmore's First Lady. She accomplished this feat in 189 days at the age of 34, in the year of our Lord, 1988. Kay has my unbridled admiration. I was even further impressed when I learned that her journey ended on June 5, 1987, which happened to be my 30th birthday. Having a quick think-back to who I was and what I was doing at that time of my own life I am further inspired to respect and adore her. She was asking me questions of our journey thus far, exclaiming how impressed she is at our daring and sense of adventure. I was astonished that she would find my life and exploits even mildly interesting much less impressive. I tossed dozens of questions to her that she very graciously answered and at the end of our visit she had a new #1 fan indeed.
Frank and I attended the boat show over the weekend thoroughly enjoying the precious time that we got to spend with Paul and Glor. Although they were working we found intermittent time to spend with them. We found ourselves seriously inspecting the cruising catamarans. FP and Leopard had some very attractive and impressive models that held our attention, and noticing this Paul managed to get us into the owners' party at the FP headquarters yacht. The weather was very uncooperative, throwing winds and rains at us yet we managed to make the most of this fabulous boat show. It far surpassed the Auckland Boast Show that we had attended in 2009 – blew it right out of the water, so to speak.
Our time in Gold Coast ended all too quickly, and before we knew it Paul and Glor made a proposal to Frank that we just could not refuse. He asked if we would like to join them on delivery of one of the FP's up to Mooloolaba on the 24th. This would require us spending Monday night on the catamaran with them in order that we could cast off early the next morning. We merrily accepted and began packing our bags and planning provisions for the event. 

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