Sunday, September 10, 2006


Melbourne, Victoria September 2006

I cannot believe we have been in Melbourne for four months. I am sure our yacht is attached to the bottom. Cockatoo II will be coming out of the water on Monday so we can repaint the bottom and Paul can weld a skin fitting into the hole he drilled in the side for the generator exhaust. (Another hole!! But at least its above the water line)

The weather in Melbourne has been very cold, wet and windy. I have not enjoyed getting up early and walking to the train station in the early morning but the sunrises have been stunning. Most mornings when there is no wind there are hot air balloons over the city, most spectacular and a few have landed just near us.

Paul has started to wind down work wise and concentrate on getting Cockatoo II ready for moving on. He has done some fabulous woodwork, making cupboards, moving the navigation table. He has also nearly completed installing the diesel generator, fixed the diesel leak in one of the tanks that's been there since we got her, changing the toilet from a manual pump to a electric macerator system and switched the intake water to fresh (Grey water) instead of salt, this should stop the pipes from classifying. He has been a busy boy. In his spare time Paul has taken the sails to be restitched and filled the diesel tanks changed some of the plumbing installed a depth sounder in the tender put a vang on the main boom, rerigged all the rigging on the mast and revarnished most of the wood work.

We have the anchor chain out on the dock and are repainting the markings which have all worn off. Our bow is sticking up out of the water by about 15cm showing how heavy the chain is, it is also showing rather large barnacles on the bottom as well, thank goodness we are coming out on Monday so that she will have a clean bottom.

I have been busy working and earning the money, leaving early and getting home late to find dinner waiting on the table. My position is being advertised and I should be free to depart by the end of October.

We have met some lovely people here and they have even taken us sailing with them. Ron on "Conrad " has taken Paul Wednesday sailing, and Peter and Ian on "Just a minor hickup" has kindly taken me sailing on their ocean racer and last weekend on their etchell "Creature from the swamp". The etchell is the smallest yacht I have ever been in and we came first. I am sure I was just there for ballast but I had a great time.

The bay is huge and very beautiful. The beaches are yellow sand and the light gives everything a pastel coloring. The are lots and lots of freighters coming and going, now we know why it is one of the busiest ports in the world.

We are hoping to catchup with Anna (Paul's cousin) and Matt and their daughters soon and we have had a lovely time visiting my auntie Judy and Uncle John in Ballarat. We also caught up with my cousin Caroline, her husband and beautiful daughter Poppy in Williamstown.

Paul has purchased another laptop which means that we have no use for our old large PC as this was using heaps of power being over 10amps where as the laptops use under 4amps. He has stripped the PC and sold the parts on eBay. We now have two Laptop's one for everyday use and plotting and then the second for a spare emergency computer and for me to use when Paul is on the net.

I don't know if I told you that we purchased a small cheap car when we got here and this gets us around, we plan to sell it some time in October.

We are off to Darwin for four days this coming weekend. Paul is attending a conference for work and I will be revisiting my old haunts, I have not been back to Darwin since I was blown away nearly 30 years ago. I am also looking forward to having lots of showers and sleeping in a bed where I can stretch out and not touch the walls.

Life has been hectic even though we have not been sailing, its not long now before we head off on our next leg towards Sydney. we are planning to move to Docklands then Williamstown and Geelong before we leave the bay

Hoping this finds everyone well and in good health.