We've made it!
It is eerily quiet, it is strangely still. Maiken is moored at a marina in Brisbane. The last few days have been quite a study in contrasts. Saturday was the day of the whales. Humpback whales everywhere (well we saw 5 of them in a very short space of time). Freddie jumped up the ratlines with his camera and started pointing where we should go (the winds were non existent so we were motoring). It was the opposite of normal cruising - where you only very occasionally swap direction - I was "doing doughnuts" round whales - cool. After the 4th sighting when I saw another Freddie didn't even bother to come on deck he just told me not to hit it. So whales had become just one more hard thing to avoid.
That afternoon we drank the bottle of champagne we'd been saving for the birth of our friends baby. We've since found out that little Maya was born around this time - congratulations Sally and D - she's gorgeous.
So the idea was that we'd just slowly head towards the Brisbane channel - arrive there at dawn and then spend the day motoring up. Great plan but it didn't account for the early arrival of a quite UNNECESSARY "weather event", with lightning, howling winds, choppy seas and fishing trawlers. Freddie said it's the first time he's had all sails down and we were still making 5 knots. So after 9 days of beautiful weather it was a little reminder about how lucky we'd been. It took us from 8am to 4pm to reach the Manly marina. 4pm on a lovely Sunday afternoon - everybody in Brisbane who owned a boat was out and heading home to Manly marina. There were kids in little dinghys, motorboats, a zillion yachts. Go away silly people, we're sleep deprived gnarly sea dogs and we don't want to bother with the likes of you. Happily we made it without hitting any of them. Another boat had just cleared in (customs and quarantine) so we didn't have to wait for the officials to arrive. We could have waited half a day and checked in without paying a fee (because we arrived on a Sunday) but the lure of a cold beer and steak was too strong. We were still operating on Maiken time though - and were asleep by about 8pm.
Yesterday we moved up to Scarborough marina and caught up with our good friend Simon. Freddie was a little taken aback when Simon's wife Jane called to say that there was a snake in their caravan and she didn't want to go to sleep there. Welcome to Australia Freddie - now the real adventures start!