Saturday, September 25, 2010

Settling into Townsville

The 'duckpond' outside Townsville isn't a very good anchorage. It's very shallow, muddy, is adjacent to the major (smelly & noisy) port and doesn't have anywhere easy to access the shore. We tried a few different approaches - each of which involved a long, wet dinghy trip and then a slightly dodgy tie-up before a long, hot walk into town.

So, we finally caved in and bought comprehensive insurance *ouch*.
Quite a few hundred dollars later.... we are now legally OK to enter marinas up here. But we still weren't quite sure if we would succumb to the expensive luxury or continue to anchor (for free)...

A few hours spent researching all of the marinas, their prices, pros and cons left us still wondering what to do! The cheapest option is to stay in Hinchinbrook marina... but there's not much there apart from a resort.
A quiet spot along The Strand

Still deliberating on what to do, I went ashore alone while Rene worked and I explored Townsville some more. After walking along 'The Strand', I fell in love with the place and within 24 hours we were tied up in berth E4 at the Breakwater Marina! We've paid for 3 months in advance (double *ouch*) as there is a discount for long-term rental. 

So. Suddenly, here we are! Settled (for the moment) in a town we'd never foreseen that we'd stay in. We didn't even make it to Cairns as we'd planned.
Rene hangin' at our new hood
So far Townsville has been pretty good! We met with some relatives at 'The Bucket' (an amazing free water playground). It was cool to connect with family we haven't had much to do with. The kids loved the boat after some initial confusion about how a boat could also be a home!
Rene running in to get the 'bucket' dumped on him!

We helped a boat limp in from the Louisiaides which had a broken engine and a broken autopilot! Meeting people who had just survived a pretty intense situation was inspiring... I wish I was more resilient! 
Last night the marina had a party which raged on until 3am! It has been fun meeting all the locals and hearing their stories. 

Each morning I wake at dawn to the sounds of tropical birds flocking to the parkland adjacent to the marina. I have slept so soundly since coming here - the boat doesn't move at all in these protected waters. The amenities are fantastic and the showers are integral to my health and happiness as it is sooooooo hot already! Having unlimited power is also a treat as we can use our laptops and leave lights on at night without having to run the stinky generator! 

So... with 3 months (maybe more) planned for us to stay here, I've set the ball rolling for getting supply work and have started to think that I'd love a car again! Need to make some money before that can happen... our cruising budget is well and truly scraping the barrel!
View of the marina from the bird-filled park :D

1 comment:

  1. Double ouch i agree! I wonder how you are getting to Brissie for Xmas? Jan