530. Sunday 29th January 2017.A week of 30 degree temperatures ending off in the surf…

A Thursday 26th January

Australia Day

Aah, Australia Day. The day we set aside to celebrate the birth of our nation and consider the uniqueness of our land and our people.

A day celebrated in song and dance.

A day which is a public holiday and if it falls on a Thursday many think it is quite OK to take Friday as a sickie and have a long weekend so we can drink for 4 days .

A day we can all join together as one people, our hearts swelling with pride  and enjoy a barbecue on the beach, in the park, in a high rise balcony or in our own backyards. As we enjoy our barbecued sausage or beef pattie we make hamburgers topped with the Australian tradition of canned beetroot – which is grown and packed in Chile or China or Vietnam.

A day when those of us who enjoy a cold beer or twenty feel the need to consume as much beer as possible before we pass out and miss the rest of the day. Later we tell anybody who stands still long enough how we had a great day and got pissed. We think the proud tradition is to get pissed and have no interest in any other reason we may have to celebrate.

A day when we wave patriotic flags, wear clothes in our flag design or our National colours, wear hats which look like our flag, decorate our picnic table with a tablecloth which looks like our flag, serve food and drinks on paper plates and plastic cups all adorned in our flag or National colours. All around us are constant flag and colour reminders of how proud we are to be Australian.  Yet, we fail to recognise all those cheap flags and clothes and throw away picnic paraphernalia are all made in China, or Pakistan, or Indonesia. None of it is made in Australia.

Yet, there are those among us who truly respect this country. Those people who were born here or arrived as an immigrant or refugee and have taken on our Nation as their home and contributed with pride and dignity. Those countless families who respect our day of remembrance, reflection and thanksgiving and contribute in their own quiet way to our one day where we can call ourselves Australian, we can celebrate and enjoy our day other than by the number of beers we can consume.

As it happens, we celebrated Australia Day with a barbecue at our clubhouse. There was a thong (and for our readers elsewhere a thong is sometimes known as  “flip flops” which you wear on your feet – cheap and nasty footwear) throwing competition, a hole in one putting competition, quoits and darts. We also sang and did dances. Naturally we had a beer. A nice family type of celebration only we are a family of families.

Friday 27th January

Eldest daughter Melissa and husband Steve arrived for an overnight stay.

Saturday 28th January

For us we got an early start, that is wewere in the car and on our way by 8am. We wanted to show Melissa and Steve a little of the Gold Coast before they have to leave for their flight home to Mackay.

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Melissa Frank n Steve standing on the rocks at the Gold Coast Seaway with the Broadwater and Lands End in the background. A heavy fall of rain had passed through just before we arrived and the heavy rain can be seen in the distance.
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Frank does his tourist guide explanation for Steve.

As we approached The Spit it was obvious something was going on. There were sailboats thick on the water all heading for the Gold Coast Seaway.

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Boats heading to the start line are already beginning to raise their sails.
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Monohulls and Multihulls compete against each other.

Not only sailboats but a veritable flotilla of jet skis, tinnies, power boats, Coast Guard and Police Boats. This was the beginning of the annual race called the Surf to City where boats  start the race just behind the surf and depending on boat size will race inside South and North Stradbroke Islands via the Broadwater.

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The fleet is beginning to build. Sails are being raised and boats are jockeying for favourable start position.
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The fleet continues to grow. Outside boats will start further offshore. The smaller boats on the inside leg will actually start by sailing back in through the Seaway before heading north along The Broadwater.
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At a strategic position at The Seaway is a diver safe entry and exit location. Note the snorkellers and divers with jet skis and more boats rushing to join the race start.

The larger boats generally race offshore of the islands. The official race information provided by the Southport Crusing Yacht Club probably explains the race better.

No other race in Australia consists of two fleets, an offshore and inshore fleet, both starting and finishing at the same place. The Surf to City Yacht Race is also one of a handful of races that see both monohull and multihull yachts compete against each other. Held in January, the Surf to City is now in its 24th year. In 2016, the Surf to City attracted over 110 of the most influential yachts in Queensland and northern New South Wales ranging in size from the mighty Black Jack to 7m trailer sailors. The Inshore Fleet is usually a day race. The course follows the main channel from Southport to Brisbane past all of the islands in the southern part of Moreton Bay. The Offshore Fleet is a day/night race. Starting off the Southport Seaway, the yachts head north around Cape Moreton to enter Moreton Bay and then to the finish. The race is organised and hosted by Queensland Cruising Yacht Club and run in association with Southport Yacht Club.

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The rain is heavy looking towards Lands End.Naturally with the heavy rain and temp already hovering at 30 degrees the humidity levels increased to around 95% and the temperature felt more like 35 degrees.

It was wonderful to have Melissa and Steve join us even if it was only overnight. Thanks for your visit.

Sunday 29th January

Today dawned bright and sunny much as it has for the past few weeks. As usual the temp got to around 30° and stayed there all day. The Co-Pilot and I went to the beach at Sea World Beach where Life Station 42 overlooks the surf. We swam and surfed between the flags and my Boogie Board got a workout. Water temp was 25° so I was able to cast off my cold water sookiness and leap straight into the surf. On days like today the beach is the place to be. We forgot to bring our shade tent so shortly after our swim we walked back to i30 and drove home.

The time spent st the beach was invigorating and the constant pummelling by the waves is as good as a workout at the gym.

Only 12 more days until we embark on a big adventure.

Stay tuned.

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