Our time in Townsville consisted of work, work and more work. We had the occasional road trip to sightsee when our days off coincided.
Our first day trip was to Ayr a little south of Townsville where we picnicked near the carpet snake totem (Gubulla Munda) in Plantation Park. This park is of importance to the Juru people (Birri-Gubba nation) who bore their children on the creek's banks, buried their elders and enjoyed ceremonies. This sacred site also holds the remains of elders returned to their traditional lands after having been taken to the UK as curiosities.
|cherished Jack's last road trip|
...before a quick drive through of Tully with it's belching sugar cane mills.
We also day tripped to Charter's Towers and the Hervey Ranges. We enjoyed long weekends travelling to Cairns to drop our tattered genoa to a sail maker for a cut down and UV strip - any excuse for a trip! Our first trip coincided with Marg's birthday so we splashed out and stayed at a high rise motel near the marina, Ruby supposed to be spending her nights in the van. The first morning Marg went to give her an early walk, only to find her sleeping under the van. Princess had apparently decided the backpacker vans offered company so exited and enjoyed a night on the town. Thank goddess she had the sense to return to the van!
|Cairns waterfront by night|
|and by dusk|
.....a stop at Cardwell to see the towns' rebuilding after Yasi which had devastated the area.
"Cardwell looks like a bomb has hit it. according to a woman who last night took shelter in a laundry as Cyclone Yasi tore through the north Queensland town.The coastal community was yesterday warned to expect a storm surge of up to seven metres triggered by the severe category-five storm, with thousands of people told to flee the danger zone.
It was so noisy, the banging and clattering going on. It was very scary. " 3/2/11SMH
Cardwell is functioning again, the waterfront walkway is splendid but unfortunately Hinchinbrook Marina just down the road remains a mess.
|Cardwell morning after Yasi|
|Cardwell a few years later|
Our stay in Townsville was tinged with sadness as Marg travelled to NSW to be with her beloved Aunty Beryl as she passed. It was a difficult fortnight for the entire family but also a relief when Beryl left, in her own good time with loved ones around her, to be in a pain free state. She believed she would come back as a pelican, so if you see one chuck her a fish.
Our down time in Townsville also consisted of Manatee maintenance - we refurbished the aft cabin, replaced the house batteries with AGM's, painted the deck and had a rigging check. We also spent many an hour enjoying the strand; strolling along the waterfront, enjoying a gelato, drinking coffee and gazing into the waters beyond.
|Looking down the beach from our favourite gelato shop|
|view from Tobruk café-our favourite (dogs welcome) cafe|
|and the waters beyond|