Life in the Marina
Life on a boat is not all glam and glitz, nor sunshine and sun bathed bods on the deck. Living on a boat can be similar to living in a land dwelling except the space is smaller, smaller lounge area, smaller galley area and smaller shower and toilet area. There is not a great deal of locker space to put your dearly beloved things so you tend not to be in the shops too often. The fridge/freezer is small, the stove is small and you do most of your grilling on a small barbeque. Without pointing out the obvious, not all boats are the same. Alana Rose does have a great cockpit area, just like a patio, and there is a good size deck area up forward with two tramp section which are ideal for lazing about and relaxing. In the past JJ and I have had to use this forward deck to do some repairs to the mainsail; there is plenty of space to spread things out, even room for a bod or two to sprawl and catch the sea breeze through the tramps.
JJ and I have been in Manly Boat Harbour for over a month. We are in Brisbane to not only catch up with family and friends but this is the time of the year for our medical/dental etc check-ups. JJ has found a Doctor just up the road from the marina – funny but it is the same doctor that JJ used to see when he had lived in Alice Springs – small world. The dentist and the hearing place are a little further away; we are lucky enough to have the use of Ange’s 4wheel drive. This car we can use to go to the big shopping plaza that we would have to catch a bus or train to get to. Otherwise I usually do our food shopping at the local IGA. The IGA has a great range of products and I have found that because it is a small shop that the fresh food has a faster turn over and is always fresher than anywhere else, even the local Sunday markets.
Friday the 31st Oct the main street of Manly and most of the esplanade was closed off to traffic for a huge Halloween Party. The place was packed like sardines with thousands of people, men women and children, several fun rides, face-painting, food stalls, novelty stalls, an entertainment stage, a float parade, kids fun in the park activates and fireworks. Ange and Alison came with JJ and me as we prised our way through the crowd, finally getting to the pub for a meal. The street were still packed and thronging sometime later when we emerged from the pub and fought our way through the maze of scary characters back to Alana Rose where there was plenty of space to relax with a nice glass of wine while watching the spectacular fireworks display in comfort.
My days are filled with an early sunrise with a cup of tea, a long walk along the esplanade, a quick shower, a relaxing breakfast with another cup of tea, morning chores or off to the docs/dentist etc with JJ and a lazy afternoon of either reading, knitting or playing on the computer followed by sundowners and dinner in the cockpit, maybe watch a DVD later and early to bed by about 2200h. Wednesday and Friday evenings (not all the time) there has been a communal barbeque over at MBTBC Marina; JJ and I have been over a few times and this is where we met other people who live on board in the marinas; Andy, Cath and daughter Morgan, Michael and Virginia, Geoffrey, Paul and now at Eat Coast we have run into Bill and Val, who JJ once knew in Alice Springs (more people from the Territory!).
While in the marina Alana Rose has had the occasional family member come visit. Ange was done the first weekend in port, staying overnight and just chilling out. Her next visit was to be an overnight trip out to Tangalooma. Tangalooma is a great anchorage on Moreton Island where the port authorities have dropped several old boats to make a man-made reef. We were lucky enough to be there on a Friday, a week day, as when it came time to up anchor and return to the Boat Harbour on the Saturday afternoon the place had been inundated by a variety of small watercraft and a heap of people camping on Moreton Island. Our less crowded day was filled with watching sea turtles – one came right up to the boat, snorkelling the boat-reef, walking the pristine long sand beach and watching the sun set over the water while relaxing in the gentle sea breeze of the evening.
Then came Melinda and Sam for an afternoon relax; with their second visit, the same afternoon that Cherie and Tarryn came down from Mooloolaba bring Cherie’s mother along, Steve came on board too. (This was the weekend that I had travelled to Dubbo to see the kids - Maslen family and Cassandra). Steve, Melinda and Sam also came out to Peel Island for a day trip last Monday. JJ and I try to pick a nice day to take people out and in doing this we are not always blessed with enough wind to totally go by sail only. Oh well, such is life!
Our third visit was from Carla Corey and girls, Isabella and Olivia who stayed overnight using the boat as their base while in Brisbane. Ange and I spent the day out at Australia Zoo with Carla, Cor and girls, and then it was back to Alana Rose for showers in the amenities block, dinner (fish and chips from the shop) and relax time. Isabella and Olivia clambered everywhere, keeping Carla on her toes. Olivia had been sick and did not want a bar to do with anyone else but her mum, not even Cor and if poor old JJ even poked his head in the door or went anywhere near Olivia, there would be all hell let lose. Isabella was easier, striking up a good conversation with everyone and totally excited just being on the boat and seeing Nanny and Poppy. Cor through a line over the back, mainly for something to do and amuse Bella. Would you believe it? Cor actually caught a fish, a large cat-fish, which he threw back once Bella had had a good look and the photo was taken. Cor currently hold the record for the biggest fish caught off the back of Alana Rose.