474. Sunday 24th January 2016. Surf, kite flying and boats washed ashore on the Gold Coast…

Monday 18th January

Well, this week has started off with activity.

Paul and Shelby-Rose left in the morning to attend the funeral of Paul’s uncle.

Anakin stayed with us. In the morning we went to Sheraton Beach (which is really Southport Beach only a few hundred metres further north in front of the Sheraton Mirage Resort – Actually the very long beach, stretching from Burleigh Heads in the south to The Spit in the north is broken into smaller beaches named for a location. Each section, with flagged safe swimming areas has a Lifesaver station and each one is numbered. The next beach to the north of Sheraton is called Sea World Beach because of its proximity to Sea World. Just to the south of Sheraton Beach is Southport Beach, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and so on.

Simple?

Confused?

I live here and still trying to understand it. Next week’s lesson is on the Lifesaver station numbering system.

Anyway, I digress.

So here we are on Sheraton Beach and rolled out our new mattress style kite – a kite with no stays – the same style as used by kite surfers and sky divers. They are also known as Parafoil Kites. Within minutes it was up and flying and we spent a good half hour learning how to use it.

Anakin in control.

Anakin in control.

Launching the kite.

Launching the kite.

Anakin learning to fly the mattress kite.

Anakin learning to fly the mattress kite.

Frank chasing Anakin with the kite

Frank chasing Anakin with the kite

Full flight.

Full flight.

Next Donnis went for a surf – between the flags of course – and Anakin used my Boogie Board.

Anakin loved surfing on the Boogie Board.

Anakin loved surfing on the Boogie Board.

An hour later we literally had to drag Anakin away from the surf. Only two hours in glorious sunshine was enough for us all to come home with sunburn especially on the face. We had lunch at home then went to the movies to see The 5th Wave, a sort of Sci Fi young teenager bit of nonsense which had an ending designed to make a sequel. By then, hopefully, Anakin will be too old to want to see it.

Anakin asked for San Choy Bow for dinner but was too exhausted to eat much (I guess the giant bucket of popcorn at the movies did not help with his appetite.) Paul and Shelby-Rose were also tired from their day so we had an early night.

ZZZZZzzzzzz.

Tuesday 19th January

Anakin shows off while Shelby-Rose tries to hide behind her hand.

Anakin shows off while Shelby-Rose tries to hide behind her hand.

Paul, Shelby-Rose and Anakin left for the long drive back to Mackay.

Donnis drove me to one of my almost daily medical appointments.

Sigh!

Thursday 21st January

We drove to Brisbane.

We stopped at the Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospital. Gulp! This hospital is about the size of a small town and is on multi levels. We stopped at the parking station I researched last night. The fee was $5 for the first 5 hours then $5 per hour thereafter.

Hmmm! That seems reasonable.

After entering via the main entrance (that’s always a good idea) we were overwhelmed by the various levels and signs. The HELP counter offered to show us to the GEM Ward. (Geriatric Education and Management) It seems the GEM Ward is at the back of the main hospital and has its own parking and she warned our parking station would be very expensive!!!

WOT THE!!!

We were here to see our very good friend Glennis M who has been diagnosed with tongue cancer and has been undergoing radiation treatment. When we arrived she was having re-hab for the wasted muscles while bed ridden for 28 days. We stayed long enough to tire Glennis until it was lunchtime (pureed meat, potato, broccoli and carrots) It is the same food every day as she still has trouble swallowing and talking. At night she is fed intravenous meals. Glennis normal sense of humour has been stretched beyond her limits.

Glennis, we wish you speedy healing and soon back home in the Daintree Rainforest

Back at the parking station we were charged $20 for a 1 hour 40 minute visit. No wonder most of the station was empty. It seems I misread the online fee structure. It seems what I thought was a sensible $5 for the first 5 hours was really $5 for the first .5 hour then each half hour is $5. Parking in nearby streets is next to impossible and carries heavy fines.

Sunday 24th January

The weather all week has been marvellous. Despite weather forecasts of storms we have had mostly sunny skies with a lovely breeze from the south east. Temps have been around 30° every day. This afternoon we went to The Broadwater so Donnis could have a swim after which we went on our walk. Did I mention how nice the weather has been?

(I should mention that last night a storm complete with wind, thunder, lightning and a splash of rain went past us) Other places copped the full force of the storm but we were basically dry.

On our walk we encountered two boats, one a monohull and the other a catamaran.

Monohull almost totally beached. The highest tide of the year is predicted tonight and with such a short scope of anchor chain it will probably lift clear and move further onto the beach.

Monohull almost totally beached. The highest tide of the year is predicted tonight and with such a short scope of anchor chain it will probably lift clear and move further onto the beach.

AS we move closer evidence of hurried maintenance is obvious. It has been a very long time since the hull has been antifouled.

AS we move closer evidence of hurried maintenance is obvious. It has been a very long time since the hull has been antifouled.

A simple knuckle hammer test reveals this is an aluminium hull with a fibreglass sheath on the deck.

A simple knuckle hammer test reveals this is an aluminium hull with a fibreglass sheath on the deck.

The keel is buried deep in the sand which will hinder it floating. The solar panels look in good condition while newish instruments are in place.

The keel is buried deep in the sand which will hinder it floating. The solar panels look in good condition while newish instruments are in place.

Yep the boats condition leaves a lot to be desired. The amount of bird droppings indicates nobody has been aboard for some time.

Yep the boats condition leaves a lot to be desired. The amount of bird droppings indicates nobody has been aboard for some time.

Both appear as if they are well beyond their use by date, have not had quality maintenance for years and both were in desperate need of anti -fouling.  I inspected both boats and each had an anchor in the water but with very little scope (That’s the amount of chain and rope under the water) and both boats probably dragged anchor during the storm last night.

This catamaran was equally in a bad way having beached during the storm. Antifouling must be a dirty word as the hull has not been cleaned or antifouled in a very long time.

This catamaran was equally in a bad way having beached during the storm. Antifouling must be a dirty word as the hull has not been cleaned or antifouled in a very long time.

Unless there is human intervention the cat will move higher onto the beach at the next high tide. Note the buried rudders and keels which will make eventual remove difficult.

Unless there is human intervention the cat will move higher onto the beach at the next high tide. Note the buried rudders and keels which will make eventual remove difficult.

We also noticed many boats at anchor and rafted (that’s when two or more boats are tied together on one anchor) up in nice anchorages beside Wavebreak Island and South Stradbroke Island.

One of several groups of boats rafted together in preparation for Australia Day. At least one boat is worth over a million dollars.

One of several groups of boats rafted together in preparation for Australia Day. At least one boat is worth over a million dollars.

A number of tents were set up on beaches as well. We were told boats set up the rafting a week before Australia Day so they can have the best position.

Hmmm! I guess we better start planning for Tuesdays Australia Day activities.

I cant help myself. The sun was shining on the city buildings and the image was saying take the photo.

I cant help myself. The sun was shining on the city buildings and the image was saying take the photo.

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