Saturday, March 26, 2011

We left Yamba almost a week ago when we left the mooring. It was just too shallow to anchor anywhere so we went across the river to Iluka, it is only about 600m, and there was a decent anchoring spot there. We finally got the alternator, regulator problem resolved, all we had to do was buy a new one of each and a new start battery to boot, plus pay a marine electrician to figure out what the problem was and install the new STUFF! Oh well it was only one boat unit!!!!

This place is for sale, you can see the sign if you look closely, a bargain perhaps, but did you hear about all the flooding that went on. I wonder how high the water got in this place.
Yesterday we set off up the river, hopefully we won’t be without a paddle, but since we have a working alternator/regulator our motor should just keep charging on. We went up the Clarence River. To proceed up more than about 8 nm you have to call the bridge guys 24 hours in advance and arrange for them to open the bridge. We have been through bridges that open in two ways, one of bridges opened in the middle and one side t swung up and you went under the open part. The other bridge, swiveled, the middle part of the bridge swung around so it was perpendicular to the stationary part and you motored through. We came up to this bridge and I puzzled away trying to figure out how it opened. I suppose you engineering types will take one look at this bridge and figure it out. I asked Barry how he thought it opened and he wasn’t sure. After about an hour I figured it out, have you??? Think about it. Here are those Aussies, fishing again.

We stopped and anchored across the river from a town called MacLean. MacLean is the home of a huge Scottish contingent living in Australia. The town is famous for its painted telephone poles. Each pole has a different tartan painted on it with the name of the tartan added near the top. I think this is a very unique idea and I was very impressed at the effort that has gone into the painting, some of the tartans are very intricate. MacLean, like a lot of other small towns in Australia has its roots in the 18th century. There was a sign on the school, established in 1886; I did not know that Australia was an older country than Canada and I am constantly astounded at the age of the buildings. A lot of the smaller towns have maintained their original main streets, so there often are very old, well kept buildings that continue to be in use today, I love the architecture.

By the way I am thoroughly enjoying the infusion of the Canadian goods that my relatives brought with them. At the top of the list is the Crest toothpaste, any of you that are going offshore and partial to Crest be advised outside of the U.S. Coolgate has a monopoly and Crest is nowhere to be found. Next would be the Maynard wine gums, that I only shared a few off, next the peanut butter, followed closely by the Back Eddies, a seasoning spice that makes the steaks taste like home. Then there is the maple syrup, most of which was used in the morning after the wedding breakfast that was rustled up by Barry and Bruce. My eyes are protected by the over the glasses, sunglasses my Mom brought and we are enjoying the Canadian tea. It was great to get these tastes of home.

Patricia and the kids may come and visit us for a few days and then we will be heading north. We filled in our application form for the Indonesian Rally today and have paid our money so I guess we are going. The rally leaves from Darwin on the 23rd of July, so we have over 2000 nm to sail before we get there. There is the Great Barrier Reef to explore on the way so time seems to be slipping away. Our insurance policy says we can’t be north of Bribane during the cyclone season, which ends in April. We will sail north check out Brisbane and watch the weather before proceeding any further north.

The bridge went up in the middle, I wonder if there are any other ways for a bridge to open. It is pretty obvious when you think about it but trying to figure out how it would swivel or which side would go up had me thinking on different tangents for awhile.