August 25, 2005

Here we are in Oz. Arrived in Cairns around July 15. I just got very lazy and didnít feel like writing journals. We hauled the boat at Norship Yard at the end of July. Jordan ís journals give all the tech details. We were going to rent an apartment while the boat was on the hard (on dry land) but it turned out to be so expensive we ended up staying on the boat. It was fine as they had enormous stairs they would push up to the side of the boat so we didnít have to use ladder. The bad thing was we couldnít use the toilets or the fridge as both require water for operation. It was a bit like camping. All boat yards are dusty and load places to live so by the third week, I was really tired of it. Not to mention the morning disposal of the chamber pot.

Lots of stuff got fixed. We ended up rolling on the bottom paint ourselves and it wasnít to bad. The paint crew messed up taping the line between the boot stripe and the bottom and it had to be redone. What a joke. We had them do it because we wanted it done professionally  - ha ha. Of course, we didnít realize this till everything was done and we un-taped did we see it. Fortunately for us, we found the heat exchanger to be completely corroded. A thousand bucks later and we have a new one.

Cairns is pretty good. Awesome mountains and on the water with the average temp of 72 Fahrenheit. It is a tourist town as the major industry here is the tourist. Its where they take the masses out to the reef in huge tour boats. They zip them out on huge super fast catamarans Ė to experience the Great Barrier reef with 800 other folks. On the other hand itís a high volume way to let people experience the reef world which is good for creating environmental awareness.

Jonah is on summer break and it has been hard to keep him occupied while doing boat work. I signed him up for junior Swim Squad at a local pool three times a week. At least he burns some energy off. We bought him a BMX bike and he spent a lot of time at the boat yard biking around the yard and wiping out. Now we are here at Yorkeys, I walk and he bikes to the beach. He has never biked on a road with cars so it involves me shouting instructions. The first time was scary but he is gaining the ability to drive the bike straighter in a consistent manner and look where he is going. He met a kid called Hayden who lives on the Yacht ďPangeaĒ which is currently moored in the river near the Cairns Cruising Yacht Squadron. The Squadron was next door to the yard we were in so Jonah played with Hayden on Squadron BBQ night and on the weekends. They use Haydenís toy guns and play elaborate war/spy games. They basically roll their eyes when I ask them what they are playing. Dumb adult questions. He is going for a sleep over tonight at Haydenís place and is very excited. Jordan and Jonah gave me a lovely perfume for my birthday.

Jonah has declared I am half of 90 and we have just found out a working visa for people over 45 is extremely difficult to get. I guess they have never heard of age discrimination. Our current plan to work here is looking dim so as a result we have develop around 6 alternate plans. Chances are we could be anywhere this time next year.