Return of Cap’n Pete

Monday dawned bright and warm again and after a double coffee and breakfast I got to work on the stern polishing. On Sunday we had had two new boats arrive on the arm, both from Sydney. I had chatted briefly to them to let them know I would have a car on Monday to pick up Pete and could do some shopping in town if needed. On my morning tea break, Janet, from the Hanse, came and chatted for a while and she invited us to dinner that evening.

Once I had showered and checked if anyone needed supplies, I headed off to pick up the car. In the marina office, the manager had brought in his model HMS Surprise, built by a local model tall ship builder. It was wonderful and very true to the original as far as I could tell. Fantastic to meet yet another Patrick O’Brien fan!

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I intended to do some shopping first then pick Pete up, but the strawberry place was closed, so I thought I would check out the area and see what beaches would be good to take Pete for a swim. I had been to Bargara, so thought I would check out Coral Cove as it sounded so nice.

It is indeed a pretty place, but no coral in sight just plenty of basalt rock! In fact the best beach on this part of the coast is Bargara, and so if Pete wanted to swim that is where we would go. I did have enough time to pop in to Sugarland to pick up some odds and ends, before heading to the airport. Petes flight was on time and we were on our way to Bargara for a swim by 3 pm. When we got there we found the centre of the village and realised there were a few shops that may be worth checking out, including a butcher and a bakery. As we had the car for 24 hours, we decided we would come for breakfast in the morning, and check out the shops. We had a lovely dip in the ocean, refreshing for me and even more so for Pete who was fighting a hangover from Sunday’s winter series race at the CYC.

That evening we had a very yummy curry aboard Koonya, with Janet, Mark, Ruth and Steve. It was one of those nights where we just kept finding the need for another bottle of wine and somehow, the wine just kept flowing, along with the conversation. Thank goodness we were just across the dock from them, a short stumble across the pontoon! Needless to say, we had a very slow start to Tuesday, with no sign of Janet, Mark, Ruth or Steve when we headed off to breakfast at 10!

We found the quietest cafe on the waterfront and ordered the works – bacon, egg, sausage, hash brown, mushrooms and tomato, and I ordered a banana smoothie to get my banana fix! We then visited the butcher and picked up some ribs, so we could invite Janet, Mark, Ruth and Steve for dinner, and we also discovered Bundy Bum Nuts there. Local eggs, produced by fully free range chooks – brilliant name!

img_2129.jpg The bakery supplied a loaf of olive sourdough, the strawberry place was open so we got kilo of strawberries, plus we found a farm produce shop at the side of the road and picked up what they had on offer as the supermarket fruit and veg has been very ordinary. We then headed into Bundy, but first visiting The Hummock Lookout.

The whole Bundy area is very flat, being a volcanic plane, but there is one small hill, being the remains of a volcanic core, which has been weathered to a mere bump in the otherwise flat surroundings. It was named “Sloping Hummock” by Matthew Flinders when he was charting the area, and the name has stuck. Even though it’s not very high, because the surrounding area is so flat, you can see for miles out towards Fraser Island, down towards Hervey Bay and north to 1770. It’s a great vantage point for checking out how the sugar cane harvest is going!

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Returning to the marina to drop the car back, we spotted ex-HMS Tobruck, which is just down from the bulk sugar terminal, being decommissioned and prepared for being a man made reef to be located just off Bundy. As it wasn’t that far from the marina, we donned walking shoes and had a walk up to see it. After the walk, it was time for a nap and then dinner prep, and a film. We watched Rogue One, which was pretty good.

By Wednesday, the weather was resolving into a likely blow from Thursday through to Saturday, so we decided we would hang around a bit longer and wait until the worst went through, before heading north again to Pancake Creek. We settled in to a day of work on Wednesday, with Pete going up the mast to uninstall the old masthead light unit and reinstall the new one. While he was doing that, I continued the stainless steel polishing down the port side. This is pretty much a continuous job, a bit like painting the harbour bridge – when you get to the end, it’s time to start again!

Pete decided to have a go a my failed window seal, and as I expected, he succeeded in installing it, though not without much swearing and frustration. We made an executive decision not to put silicon glue in, as it was hard enough to just get the seal in, let alone remove it once it was in, to add a substance that would make it even more difficult to reinstall! We have yet to test it, and figure that the only way to really test it will be at sea, where the boat can flex. Watch this space for news on that front! That evening, the marina were supplying sausage sangers for the State of Origin game, so we suggested to the others we BBQ the ribs and watch the game, and they were keen. We ended up supplying ribs to about 20 people, but it was a fun evening, especially with NSW actually winning! It was capped off with our BBQ pineapple, purchased from the farm shop, marinated in rum and brown sugar!

The Glorious First of June is a public holiday in Bundy for the Bundaberg Show. How could we not go? We hoped to get public transport, but as it turned out, the marina shuttle bus wasn’t running and neither was the local bus service. Fortunately, my fave vehicle was available, so we forked out $50 for another 24 hours use of the ute. I put on my Akubra and off we went to the show in the ute, and what a great day! Tractors, steam engines, historical electric fences, chooks, guinea pigs, flowers, fruit and veg displays, baking displays, craft and handiwork displays, cattle, steers, horses, show bags, Dagwood dogs, carney rides, wood chopping. An enthralling day, enjoyed by what seemed to be the whole population of the Bundaberg region, not just us ring ins! Best bit was watching the under 12 led steer and heifers, with some very small kids parading their livestock very confidently!

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On the way home, we drove through town and along the river and were surprised to see so many yachts in town reach. We stopped at the Bundaberg sailing club to see if it was open, and it was like driving into a farm. Down a narrow lane, turn right on to a dirt track over a cattle grid. Out of the car to unlock the gate, close gate behind us, and we were surrounded by mainly large catermerans on trailers, then round a corner there was a club house on a rise, with a pontoon and ramp on the river. We got out of the car to look around and were greeted by a caretaker who came and chatted to us, showed us round the club house which was unfortunately closed. He introduced us to a kiwi dude, who had sailed here via Fiji, then decided to buy a van and travel around Australia by road. He and his wife had just got back after a few years travelling and were going to sail back to NZ, leaving the van here, so they could come back!

We took our leave having chatted for about half an hour, and resolved to launch the Goon Bag to make a trip up River before we leave. On our arrival back at the marina, the breeze had really dropped, so we launched and armed The Goon Bag, ready for an adventure in the next day or two.

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