The sunshine lasted until around 3pm on Monday, when the rain closed in and the wind picked up, and settled in for the next few days. We were expecting this, which is why we had anticipated a stay of about a week in Mooloolaba. It’s not really a hardship, as it’s a great little place, and somewhere I have always wanted to live.

I first came to Mooloolaba in about ’93 or ’94 on my first long offshore race since arriving in Australia. It was on a Cavalier 30 called Micron, part then of the Eastail fleet, where I worked. The owner George, was looking for crew for the Sydney to Mooloolaba race, which at that time took place the weekend before Easter and was run by the Middle Harbour Yacht Club. I remember that it took us about 4 days, it rained a lot, and when we arrived about 3 am, we got off the boat still in our full wet weather gear, still wearing our harnesses. The 6 of us harnessed ourselves to the bar, ordered a jug of rum and coke each, and it went downhill from there!

Every Mooloolaba race that followed that had better and better weather, and we learned where the best apartments were with direct beach access as well as being close to the marina. In addition, the yacht club got extended and improved and became this fantastic destination. Ultimately though, the race died a death when they decided to change its timing to winter, and sadly the yacht club went bust. However, the building is now a successful pub, known as “The Yacht Club” and the Mooloolaba Yacht Club has resurrected itself at the Wharf.

Pete and I made the most of the fine weather between the rain, to get jobs and laundry done, and even managed to get a sunset drink at the surf club on Tuesday evening. On Thursday we walked up to Alexandra Headland to go to Jaycar, and as there was an Aldi next door, we did part of our provisioning there. We had lunch at Alex surf club kiosk, to rest our weary feet, then shopped at Coles in Mooloolaba to finish the days provisioning.

We had decided to treat ourselves to dinner out, so after some napping to recover from the 8 k walk, we headed out at 7:30. If you are ever in this part of the world, you simply must try Augello for incredible pizza! We tried 2 of the chef’s “worlds best pizza” winners and they were incredible. One was a Japanese inspired duck on a base of rice, the other a traditional pizza base, but again Japanese inspired with ocean trout, tonkatsu sauce and panko crumbs. Simply Devine! We also had a salad and calzone, which were very good too, but incomparable to the two world beater pizzas!

Not content with being too full to eat any more, I insisted we find ice cream to help the walk home. Off season, everything closes here pretty early, but we did find a Ben and Jerrys, still serving. I had a giant chocolate dipped cone with 100s and 1000s with 2 scoops of ice cream. The trouble was the scoops were about a litre each! Pete was far more restrained and had a normal size cone and scoop. I couldn’t eat the whole thing of course, but it paid me back by making me suffer severe indigestion all night 🤢

On Friday morning, the weather had resolved into a forecast which would allow us to head north, departing Saturday, so we started our preparations. I spent the day cooking up a meal to freeze as well as doing final provisioning and making filled rolls for lunches. We put the boat covers away, reseated the dinghy on the bow and Pete redid the reefs with the new donuts. We wanted to get more fuel, but our only option was to walk 1.5 km to the servo and get our jerrys filled. Poor Pete did the penance on this taking a marina trolley to help, while I made my final trip to Coles.

We had a sunset drink with Murray, our next boat neighbour, who wished us well on our trip, then cooked risotto for dinner. I could barely stay awake by now, so headed off for an early night.

Our plan is to leave Mooloolaba on the morning tide around 9 am, head north around Fraser Island and then see what the forecast looks like. We should get to Breaksea Spit by 9 am Sunday, and currently the forecast is good for Lady Musgrave Island. If the forecast is not so good by then, we will probably head to Bundaberg.

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