Life down under

[] [] [] Life down under

We left Brisbane and headed south through the Southport waterway. This is a long winding, shallow system of delta channels. The channels are well marked and easy to follow especially if a kind fellow trawler owner comes up and asks if you would like to follow him through.

We made it to Southport Yacht Club and procured moorage. One of the interesting differences in cultures is that here a yacht club does not provide reciprocal moorage to other clubs, they actually charge top dollar. The people are great and the facility is very nice. I bought fuel here and the cost—like this is cheap—was $141.00 ltr, actually ten cents a liter less than in the city. I am puzzled that I got fuel for just over half this amount from barrels on a small island in Tonga? Gee are Ausies over taxed?

The adjacent town is Surfer’s Paradise, yup that is the name. Every year thousands of “schoolies” freshly graduated high school kids ascend upon the town to party. They come in time slots according to the state in which they live. It is all very organized and well run. Each kid gets an arm band and much of the town is shut off to anyone not a “school” at night. The girls all “tart up” which means dress for a party and all seem to have a safe and fun time.

One shop which had a long line shells “Schoolie” shirts on which they print your phone number or room number—gee guys could it get any easier? Actually we found them all to be very polite and well behaved-at least in the daylight.

One the “I thought I’d seen everything” list come the Surfer’s Paradise Meter Maids. This group has been saving wayward parking violators tickets for forty years. They go about collecting money—easy given their attire—and patrolling for expired meters in which they pluck the coins that saves you a ticket. Needless to say I say this as a noble cause and contributed—yes my kindness is never ending, hahahah

I am not prone to typical tourist attractions of which this area is abundant; Sea World (the evil folks who captured all our Orcas) Wet and Wild, Warner Bros Movie World and more.

The one I kept hearing about was the Outback Show. With encouragement from the crew we all booked tickets. This was an amazing experience, personifying the Ausie ability to mix their heritage, technology and just funky fun. This is what Wild Bill Cody would be doing if he were alive in Oz. Trick riders, lots of horses, cattle, sheep, and guns, and spectacular film footage shown on a massive wall screen.

The entertaining show depicted the history of the Outback and the cattle industry. The feature of this show was the history of the Australian Light Horse Brigade who fought in the Mid East in WWI. Their famous cavalry charge—may well be the last one in history—where they charged entrenched German troops and artillery and defeated the enemy.

Everyone gets a cowboy hat, a great meal and tons of fun along with a real grip on the life in the Outback.

A pesky high pressure system is hovering just off the coast making for high winds and rough seas. After waiting 3 days and a drop in the wind we did try to shoot out but soon found it just too rough and decided to wait another day. I find that just waiting for the right weather has paid off time and time again hence my blog is not filled with harrowing tales of rough seas and advice on handling storms, hopefully it will continue to be so.