February 2019: Australia

February was waiting for weather and parts. The girls became restless. I didn’t help to calm things.

EX-TROPICAL CYCLONE OMA. Poor old misrepresented Oma was a media beat up if I’ve seen one. Nevertheless, conditions were unfavourable for sailing to Sydney or New Zealand or anywhere really, so we hung out some more at Gold Coast City Marina (GCCM). Coomera is lovely this time of year.

Sushi swam with catfish.

And Nudge, the fishing dog, visited for pats.

This is the worst we saw of Oma at GCCM:

This is the best Dale saw of Oma at Burleigh:

BOAT KIDS. The girls played kite rugby…

… and worked for their supper.

LIFE. We said ‘see you soon’ to Sushi. Leaving her is the saddest thing about our trip. We miss her. My chest feels tight when I think about her.

Sushi, however, is doing just fine, snuggling on new laps and couches, indoors and out.

SAILING. We sailed the Broadwater to Moreton Bay.

The weather wasn’t great and we wanted to be elsewhere, but we made fun, between itching at each other.

BOAT PREP. Dale was uninspired by my comments last month about his pointing skills. Fair enough. Even though MUSCAT 7 was loved and cared for thoroughly by her previous owners, we (okay, mainly Dale) worked hard to prepare her for family cruising in international waters.

For the yachtie types, these preparations included the following:
-New rigging (installed by Allyacht Spars, the original riggers).
-New genoa sail (Evolution Sails).
-New main sail bag (Evolution Sails).
-New 36kg anchor (Sarca Excel No.7).

It’s rated for a 24 tonne boat and we’re a 7 tonne boat. It helps us sleep at night.

-New 720 watts of solar panels (2 x 360 watt Sunpower X22 panels).
-New regulator (Victron Energy MPPT 150 volt 70 amp).
-New davit-mounted stainless steel solar panel / surfboard rack.
-New 3.6 meter aluminium hull inflatable family tender with 18hp engine.
-New Queen mattress.
-New front shade awning.
-New watermaker (Rainman 120L/hr).

-New fuel tank spin-out inspection hatches and full tank cleans.
-Full engine service and new suite of replacement parts stockpiled.
-Other bits and bobs e.g., registration on the Australian Register of Ships, new suite of running rigging (ropes), full toilet service*, new fans, new suite of EPIRBs, new Australia/Pacific charts, new helm station seat cover, various new interior fabrics, first aid kit update, refurbished front trampolines, new suite of fenders etc.

*A special thanks to all the four year olds who pooed and flushed fists full of paper down the toilet to give the system a full shake down, and a special tip to everyone: perhaps don’t ever ever, ever mention the toilet to Dale. Ever may be too soon.

HOMESCHOOLING. Unfortunately, our homeschooling journey didn’t begin smoothly either. For the first week of term, I nicked off to hike the Abel Tasman Trail in New Zealand with my buddy.

It was wonderful (highly recommend), but I’ve played classroom catch up since. If the girls don’t make it to university, it’s my fault.

Anyway, homeschool is now well underway and we always seem to be “on excursion” or “out in the field”. I’m unsure if this is good or bad. Again, if the girls don’t make it to university, it’s my fault.

When we’re out during school hours, sometimes I feel people think I’m a weirdo homeschooler. And then I realise I am…


I enjoyed these books. Good solid reads – 3.5 to 4 stars. I love Kate Atkinson and Transcription probably pipped Blowing the Bloody Doors Off as pick of the month, but it’s not my favourite novel by Atkinson; that would be Life After Life.

Willow was so sad to finish the Alice series. She loved Alice. She also became hooked on the Diary of a Wimpy Kid… apparently any reading is good reading for kids, but I feel the same about the Wimpy books as I did about Billie B Brown… Willow agrees with me that Billie is ‘healthy’ junk food for the mind, but seems to be rebelling by wholeheartedly loving Wimpy; the ultimate rebellion when your mum is a book snob. Sigh.

Many of Hazel’s favourites from January remained on high rotation. A new favourite, Come Over to My House, is the edition I was given for my third birthday. It’s a cracker of a book and is as relevant as ever for these times.

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