Tuesday, September 30, 2008

flapping 'round the fish co-op

Our first week at the co-op was very tense and challenging. We encountered an environment that is seldom mentioned in boating tomes. For whatever reason (fear, addiction, just run out of puff), there is a group of boaties (and I use that term very loosely!) that lead a life that revolves around alcohol-they sit on or around their boat and drink and drink and drink. Unfortunately a couple with this "lifestyle", who haven't left their co-op berth in 6 years decided that we were going to be their new best friends. We were woken each morning by the sound of this couple drinking, arguing with people and using language that made us cringe-at 7ish right next to our boat-yuk! Whenever we emerged we were given the third degree-what time did you go to bed, what are you doing, yahdah,yahdah,yahdah. We made it clear that their lifestyle was not ours-they continued to pursue. We ignored them hoping they would leave us alone-nah they peristed. He started telling people he now had 3 wives-oh god, wake in fright! We became very disheartened, our home was being invaded and it was not where we wanted to be. We searched the district looking for another berth-damn nothing available. Eventually AK got VERY firm-he had already started calling her bwana (boss woman) as she had directed him to leave us be-and they moved back to drinking near their boat-yah, we reclaimed our space.

Living on a boat in a marina environment is an interesting experience-you are constantly in the public eye and your space becomes very sacred. We are very careful who we invite on board and find that we have to be firm with people-some think it is OK to jump on deck for a chat.

We are in Laurieton as AK has family in the district-Aunt Joan the 84 year old matriarch from Lake Cathie, cousin Mark (and family)the boatie in Roland Plains, Aunt Gwen an 83 year old fisherwoman from Queens Lake and cousin Carmel (and family) an immigrant from Adelaide settling in Telegraph Point. We have been spending as much time as possible with them-bingo with Joan, lunch with Carmel, chats with Gwen and much laughter with Mark, Marti, Paddi and Sophie. Mark and Marti helped us reclaim our space at the co-op and Mark is altering our mizzen sail to allow us to move our boom upwards for more space.

We have been doing more work on Manatee- the carpets in the single and aft cabins have been removed and the floor stained-it's an unfortunate orange at the moment, we're still working on it. We have found a fantastic engineer who has made us a new bracket for an alternator and a new exhaust pipe for our generator- all great quality at an unbelievably cheap price.
We also hoped to pick up some work while we are in town-not much around though-the area is quite depressed, with a number of businesses laying staff off. We have managed to pick up some casual stocktaking, but not enough to make much difference to our bank balance!
Since we have been here we have been lucky enough to have jackik fly overhead our berth (in her piper warrior sewzy -great navigation) on her way back to Sydney from Kempsey. Our friend Les has also had sucessful treatment and is on her way to a new life- fantastic news and cousin Greg is also steadily improving after his medical challenges. Unfortunately we have had to miss a few important birthdays of friends- happy 50th to Tony and Jenny.

We are spending a lot of time at the beach, walking at least 5km a day and we have bought esky lids and have ventured into the surf. We also have a new camera!
An unusually overcast day at Dunbogan Beach
Pearl enjoying her "walk"
Ruby posing for the body shot
the only footprints are our own on Dunbogan

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

life at Laurieton

The following Wednesday we moved down the river to our organised pile berth (4 poles that you "park" your boat between) at the Laurieton Fish Co-Op. For $85 weekly you are left alone by the vigilant waterways staff who rigorously police a no liveaboards policy...and rent includes water , power and a finger wharf to the shore.

The trip down to our berth was interesting as the river runs at about 4 knots. Even though we moved between changing tides (you get about 30 mins grace from the current), it was difficult. We have since watched one of the fishing boats (wooden) and the skipper drives the boat in at a very fast speed. As Manatee is a very heavy steelie she takes a while to stop. Marg managed to get Manatee's bow sprit poked into our berth and with the assistance of others throwing ropes AK managed to pull her in.

After a welcoming party from a few of the permanents we took the girls for a walk to explore their new home.

As we are being a little slow (yes we know Jackik) in updating our blog, here are a few other blogs you might find interesting..............




Thursday, September 11, 2008

Crowdy Head to Laurieton

On Friday 29/8 we prepared for a 1000hrs departure.....then we had visitors -a local (elderly male) who had heard us on the radio the night before (how many on board, expected departure time etc)and decided he would visit for a chat and 2 tourists who saw the dogs on board from the beach and also wanted to chat. AK has a new mantra....don't be impatient, this is the country, don't be impatient, this is the country.
We left the harbour about 1150, churned through the alarmingly largish breakers and set for Laurieton. Viewing beautiful and sometimes majestic coastline, it was an uneventful trip. Marg navigated the Camden Haven bar beautifully (the worst we have experienced so far), surfing Manatee through the washing machine of an ebb tide...oops another rule broken. We were met on the river side of the bar by two enormous dolphins who swam on our bow wave and guided us safely through the first few navigation markers. We tied up to the jetty at the RSL, a free berth with free amenities...yippee! Really a great spot, parkland and bike/walking pathways radiate along the river, very quiet with the township 5 mins up the road. We spent 5 days at the jetty (max allowed) while we organised another berth or mooring.