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Friday, September 16, 2011

September 4 - 16, 2011; Manly and Brisbane

Returning to Destiny, we unpacked our clothes outside in the cockpit because everything was covered in red dust. I spent the next day laundering to get the red out. The hiking shoes were another challenge altogether but eventually came clean. With the weather warming and while we were in a relatively calm marina we began a little bit of maintenance work on the boat. Waxing is always needed. Paul and Lei ellen on "Gato Go" were in one of the nearby marinas, so we met them a couple of times for dinner. Then one day, Scott and Muriel came by in their car to rescue us from our labors. They took us on a day trip down the coast. We love it when they get bored because they always want to drive somewhere with us.
On September 8th, weather and tides were right for us to move up the river to Dockside Marina in Brisbane. I've said before how much I love it there and was excited to be getting out of Manly. It's an all day trip and we knew that we would not be able to arrive at "nil tide". Fortunately there was an end berth available for us to tie to until 7 PM when the tide would go slack. As we passed the marina to make the turn back up river, I thought I was seeing an apparition. At the end of one of the arms sat a large St. Frances catamaran named O'Vive!  I yelled back at Frank to check it out - how could it be? Dave and Nathalie had shipped her back to Florida from New Zealand two years ago. Had they turned right around and sailed here??? As I was pointing at her, a man came out on deck, pointing his binoculars at us and then started waving his arms. My gosh it was Dave! He came over as we were just getting the dock lines looped to the  cleats. What a sight for sore eyes. He explained to us that after returning home he put O'Vive! on the market. An Aussie couple had come along and bought her. They somehow engaged Dave to deliver her to Brisbane. He did it in 4 months of hard sailing with a small crew. He had just arrived the day before us and now had the new owners on board. They were leaving soon for Yamba. Well, what do you know? We are constantly surprised by the twists and turns of destiny.

The Jacarandas were just coming into flowering season, lining Dockside's boardwalk with varying shades of lavender blooms. We enjoyed walking all over Brisbane nearly every day. As I have said it is an extremely walkable city. Several times we trekked over the Story Bridge into China town for a meal. Many days we strolled to South Bank just for the exercise or a dip in the beautiful pools. The weather is still very cool at night and not quite warm enough for shorts during the day (except for Frank who wears shorts year round). We spent lots of time with Scott and Muriel, meeting them and their daughter Lauren and her boyfriend Will for dinner. Wednesday we walked to the Queen Street market for fresh groceries, pasta and baked goods.  Being springtime, however, there was a lot of rain.

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