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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

(*) Thick foggy blanket

Over the month of December I travelled a 2,000 km / 1,245 mile return trip to spend a weekend with Raven and her family in Brisbane. Then a week later I tripped down to melbourne and back, towing a small boat trailer. Yeah, another 2,000 km rond trip. Needless to say, this great little car never skipped a beat the whole time.

The first day upto Brisbane was a scortcher! I dunno how I would have been able to do it without the A/C... the car temp guage didn't even budge at all. I drove thru the smoky effects of at least three major bushfires on the way too... like driving thru a fog at some points. happened on the way down to Melbourne too... the bushfires were like 100 km / 60 miles away, but the smoke was just hanging there like a thick foggy blanket! The trailer towed so well, I had to check out the back window every now and again just to make sure it was still there! heh heh

Melbourne is a XXXX of a place! Needless to say - I wont be driving thru there again in a hurry, if I can help it! I know Sydney's bad traffic-wise, but Melbourne's main thru streets are just... narrow and cluttered! I spent the night on the shore of Port Phillip Bay [in a motel, not under the stars! lol], enjoying a much-missed walk along a long beach in the sea breeze. Lovely! Frankston, that's the place, with the long Pier. The swimming changing huts all along the beachfront make it look like its the south coast of England or something... and those little woden sheds are damn *EXpensive* too! There were some for sale, and the prices were just rediculous! Oh, and why would Frankston have a Surf Life Saving Club, on the shores of a large landlocked bay? rofl. I guess I'll always be a seaside Sydneysider deep down somewhere... tho I don't miss the crazy business and crush of the place AT ALL!

I took my new Laser out for a sail at Chifley Dam [near here] on Saturday. I had to borrow a few bits and pieces, and it's a second-hand boat that needed a few things updated etc [which are on order etc]. It felt different to my other boat... not bad, just different. The easiest way to describe it is... like the difference between a car with a manual or automatic transmission... it's both driving, just different... Sailed well tho. The dam there is at 57% capacity, which is about zillion gallons more water than we have out at Carcoar [where I jormally sail... it's at 13% and practically unsailable at the moment :( ]. Needless to say, once you step ito the water, you start to stir up the fine black silty MUD on the bottom, and if u aint careful it gets on EVERYTHING! Then it doesn't settle back down again, so you can't wash things off with the water either! Gagh! out in the middle it's fine, but aorund the edges where you launch from, the mud isn't thick or gluggy, it's just... persistent? Anyways, I survived my first solo sail in my Laser! I've stilll got the Solo... I dunno what I'm gonna do with it yet. It was leaking a bit at the start of December, but a good fibreglassing job on a few small slpits see it now water-tight. Nothing wrong with it... i simply got the Laser becuse the Solo was simply too easy to sail! It's almost effortless to sail, whereas the Laser, well, you have to really sail it properly for it to work properly! heh he. Plus it'll help being able to sail alongside the small flotilla of other boats of the same class in the various dams around the region.

Two regattas are coming up. Three weeks out at Oberon - that'll be my first real time out with the new Laser. But if for some reason the parts I've ordered don't arrive by then [and Lorf knows why they wouldn't be here by then!], I can still take and sail the Solo inbstead! heh heh. The week after is a trip over to Lake Windamere, on the way to Mudgee. It's like a whole wekend camping, so I'm looking forward to it. And get some much-needed sailing practise in as well.

I can get away for two weekends' camping in a row, as the boys will be away during their holidays, on a camping trip with Nan. Good on 'em! They are going outrageously well. JD, who's 13 1/2 already - and at least an inch taller than me already (5' 11"), is having a wow of a time being treated as a grown up in his first real paid job! he's helping pick cauliflowers in his step-dad's paddocks. he's got his own chair, mug, and getting treated like 'one of the guys' there - and he's loving it! he says he's not tired when he gets home, but he sure goes to bed early and sleeps straight thru every night! heh heh SJ and Ix are growing and going well also. Their school reports show they're going just fine at school and socially and stuff too. Excellent. They're looking great too.

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On January 02, 2007 3:46 PM, Blogger caroline said...

Happy New Year Mal! Glad to hear that you are doing so well.. keep up the sailing...sounds like you love it.

Glad to hear that the kids are doing so well. A job is a great thing to show you a value of a dollar.

Take it easy Mal...i was glad to hear from you again.

On January 04, 2007 1:54 AM, Blogger gammamom said...

Yes, Mal, Glad to hear that you are doing well too and that the kids are also doing great! We miss hearing from you, love reading your posts. Keep it up! Happy for you getting a newer boat, Have fun!


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