October 31

Today we rented a car so we could check out the possibilities for a week’s rental while we haul out, next Tuesday. We drove to a nearby vacation town called Bargara (‘Bagarah’ – sounds Irish) and found several beach motels, weekend rentals, apartments at very good rates, esp. factoring in exchange rate. We looked at 5 places and in the end it was between 2 apartments in the same building about a mile away from the town center - #4 and #3. We saw 3 first and we all loved it.  

Its faults though were a 50s/60s kitchen, two shabby loveseats (2 person couch – they call this sort of thing here a ‘lounge’ I think) and a very small TV on a low cabinet. Its plusses were a nice ‘beach cabin’ feel – even though it is part of a 8 apartment building – this one is the ground floor closest to the beach with a huge lawn too, right behind the dunes about 50yds from the ocean. It has a killer master bedroom on the second floor with its own balcony with 2 nice chairs with the killer beach view. Oh, Jonah wanted number 3 because it has bunk beds in the second room.  

Number 4 does have a balcony, sizable in fact, with a nice outdoor eating table and a view of the ocean from the porch, but nothing like the in-your-beach feel of number 3. But number 4 is modernized with a brand new kitchen, clean and comfortable living room with a brand new couch, cocktail tables, matching lighting, and 2 club chairs of incredible plushness and comfort and a big(ger) TV with stereo, etc., etc., etc. And it is only 20ft further from the beach. Both were A$500/wk. We will be comfortable and having a nice kitchen is paramount to producing decent food (the 50s/60s kitchen was primitive looking and reminded me of my youth).  

Oh, and I bypassed the reefer cutoff switch and it works fine. They have a decent switch here that I could use, but I’m waiting to get one from the US (they were sending me something anyway so I had them put it in the package – Fisheries Supply, in Seattle BTW) so it will match the other 2 and fit in the wooden faceplate which covers several big cutoffs and battery switches. We want them to match! I should have had a spare, a lousy $20 switch like that. We had to go through our biggest spares storage area the other day while checking to make sure the water hose was not kinked or blocked (the water pump debacle) and we were amazed at how much stuff we have that we have never used or needed. But we didn’t have that damn switch – had a bunch of others of many types. Of course we will get 2 from the US to keep one for a spare as is SOP.  

Today was also Halloween and we have included Jonah in the tradition of that holiday and sometimes it has been difficult because Halloween is not a universally celebrated event. In Australia it seems hardly anyone knows what it is or what it is about. So it worked out well when Kate decided that Jonah would do “Reverse Trick-Or-Treating”. She had gotten some Pirate stuff somewhere else and saved it and he dressed up and went out to walk the docks with a bag full of candy stopping at boats and giving it away – and he LOVED it. I stayed home and when he came back he was ecstatic. He said he had a great time and that there was “considerably less candy in the bag” and then dumped it out on the table, about 4 or 5 pieces out of 2 bags they started with. He even picked up some big sucking candy from one person. Kate said most people had no idea, one man said he didn’t want any candy and wouldn’t come out of the hatch and the one or two Americans who were home (there must be 8 or 10 US boats here) thought it was so cute but didn’t have any candy themselves so gladly took some! It could be a trend…